Joseph’s House News Archive
Arresting repeat offenders will not combat ongoing homelessness in Troy.
Troy Record, 09/04/14
“Each year, Out of Reach demonstrates that large numbers of low income renters cannot afford the cost of living in the cities and towns where they work. This edition underscores the challenges facing the lowest income renters: increasing rents, stagnating wages, and a shortage of affordable housing. The urgent solution to these issues is clear: expanding the supply of affordable housing units, dedicated to the lowest income renters.”
Mike McMahon – The Record
Kevin O’Connor, Executive Director of Joseph’s House speaks before the start of the Winter Walk for the Homeless through downtown Troy that traces the footsteps of the homeless., December 7, 2013.
By Andrew Beam, Troy/The Record
POSTED: 12/08/13, 12:41 AM EST |
TROY >> Joseph’s House 31st Winter Walk for the Homeless held more significance than ever as federal funding cuts to social services could impact some of the agency’s program in the coming year.
Executive Director Kevin O’Connor spoke on Saturday of the difficulties the agency may face in 2013 as the cuts brought on by this year’s budget sequestration could affect programs like legal aid for the economically depressed and transitional housing. Still, he was all smiles as he prepared to meet the supporting community in the winter walk
O’Connor said the cuts amount to $135,000 in lost funding for the agency, which would go toward helping people from being evicted from their homes, tenant disputes, entitlement benefits. It also will effect transitional housing, which helps families without a home find permanent housing.
“We can’t accommodate them all,” O’Connor said, adding they have put some up in hotels and motels. “We have staff visiting them.”
He also said the city will see a 24 percent cut in emergency solution grants, which will have an impact on the agency’s emergency shelters.
O’Connor sees the government trending towards trying to get families into permanent housing, something he said he commends but said it seems to be skipping a step,
“It’s premature,” O’Connor said. “What they are proposing is not enough for those in need.”
Matt Vertefeuille, an outreach specialist with Joseph’s House, said it could cut off some sustainability for their clients as the cuts to programs such as legal aid were meant to make it easier to get access to social security.
“It definitely increases the burden,” Vertefeuille said. “It puts more stress on the shelter and more weight on the shelter system as a whole.”
With the colder weather and some winter precipitation on Friday evening, Vertefeuille said the walk is a good way to raise awareness for people and give them a small taste of what it’s like to live outdoors.
“I think the walk is a good reminder,” he said. “It’s a way to get people to think what it’s like being outside.”
Joseph’s House employees weren’t the only ones upset over the cuts in funding. U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko, who participated in the walk on Saturday, called the sequestration “un-American” as he said it could serve a severe blow to communities in need.
“It should be a thoughtful and compassionate approach,” Tonko said, as he took aim at Republicans in congress. “What we need is a bold and balanced plan. We need to look at revenues and we need to close loopholes so we can cut where we can and invest where we need to.”
O’Connor also said he was hopeful to become involved in the city’s comprehensive plan process as he mentioned the emphasis the city put on community involvement in the creation of the plan.
“We are advocating for the community to make sure the needs of the poor and the working poor are included in the comprehensive plan,” O’Connor said.
He also mentioned while there may be a promising future for the city’s economy, he hopes the need for affordable housing doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
Mayor Lou Rosamilia, who said the city has completed reviewing the requests for proposals submitted by various organizations to help the city build its plan, said the community’s voice “is critical.”
Rosamilia even said the city has been working with the Troy Housing Authority to see if they can take vacant buildings and turn them into affordable housing and even looking at facilities such as the Taylor Apartment buildings 1 and 2 for options.
“We want to redevelop the neighborhoods that have been neglected,” Rosamilia said. “Downtown is only one piece of the city.”
10/1/13 We are proud to announce that Joseph’s House & Shelter has won the Supportive Housing Network of New York’s Annual Award for outstanding housing.
We are very pleased to recognize this year’s Residences of the Year!
True Colors Residence of West End Residences and Hill House Inn of Joseph’s House & Shelter were chosen by a panel of judges to receive the Network’s 2013 Residence of the Year Award. Based upon remarkable innovations in program services, a community of residents who work together, productive connections with the surrounding neighborhood and the high quality of the physical environment, please join us in applauding this year’s winners on October 16 at Capitale, 130 Bowery in New York City. Visit the Supportive Housing Network of NY website to learn more about the Gala and the honorees, or use the attached form to RSVP or Sponsor the gala.