Where do the homeless go in the cold?

January 19, 2019 10:45 PM

Advocates for the homeless are making sure there is shelter for anyone who wants to get indoors during the winter storm.

The entire state is under a "code blue" order from the governor to make sure the homeless can find shelter.

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Monroe County has had teams out doing sweeps of known homeless communities to get anyone who now wants shelter into someplace warm.

The order requires social service districts, like Monroe County, to provide shelter to those who need it once the temperature goes below freezing or if there's a storm.

It also authorizes shelters to let far more people in than their normal capacity.

Rochester's House of Mercy Shelter has been moving extra cots from its warehouse and even bought some more on Saturday.    

Reach Ministry was 45 percent above its normal capacity on Friday night and expects to have almost twice its normal number of guests over the weekend.

County officials say they work with 19 different agencies to shelter the homeless when the weather gets this ugly and, if necessary, they have hotels lined up to take some of them too.

Anyone who ends up in crisis with no place to stay can call 911 or call the county's hotline 211.


Kaci Jones

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