St. Lawrence County website now lists emergency shelter services for homeless and displaced families
Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 2:28 pm

CANTON – In the wake of some serious storms this year, St. Lawrence County has published a list of emergency shelter services on its website.

The directory was developed by the St. Lawrence County Fair Housing Task Force and is intended to assist those who lose their home and need emergency housing.

The directory lists services that are available to individuals and families who become homeless as a result of an emergency or disaster, such as a fire or flooding, or are living with an unsafe housing condition, such as a faulty heating system.

Some of the assistance available includes hotel stays for one to two nights, security deposits and first month’s rent.

These services are available countywide, but may include eligibility requirements based on income, age, and/or disability.

Funding assistance through these programs is also limited and may require receiving case management assistance.

The directory was developed in response to requests from code enforcement officers who were seeking information they can provide to displaced residents.

“When a Code Enforcement Officer must condemn a home due to unsafe living conditions, they’re concerned about where residents will sleep for the night,” said Fair Housing Task Force member Fred Hanss. “This directory can help families find emergency shelter as they look for a permanent, warm and safe place to live.”

The Fair Housing Task Force aims to promote equal housing opportunity of a person’s choice.

People who feel their housing rights have been violated are encouraged to contact the task force.

Task force members include representatives from the Office for the Aging, Ministry of the North Country, Potsdam Neighborhood Center, the Legal Aid Society of Northern New York, and the Village of Potsdam.

The task force is seeking representatives from the banking and real estate industry who would be willing to participate in quarterly meetings.

For more information call 379-2292 or write [email protected]

St. Lawrence County Fair Housing Task Force emergency shelter locations are:

• American Red Cross of Northern NY, 73 Market Street, Potsdam, NY 13676; Contact Person: Olga Grant 268-0102;

Emergency shelter for disaster/emergency victims. May be able to help with first month rent or security deposit to victims of disasters/emergencies

• Massena Independent Living Center Solutions to End Homelessness Program, 156 Center Street Massena, NY 13662; Contact Person: STEHP Case Manager 764-9442; Available to homeless persons, or at-risk of homelessness, and can satisfy income guidelines. Assistance includes: Rental assistance (arrears or first month rent); security deposit; utility shut-off funds; and limited moving costs

• Potsdam Neighborhood Center, Potsdam Civic Center, 2 Park Street, Potsdam, NY 13676; Contact Person: Daisy Cox, Center Director 265-3920; Emergency hotel stay for one to two nights, as funding allows on a case by case basis. Internet access available to conduct housing searches. Can also provide referrals to other Neighborhood Centers in the county.

• St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services, 6 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617; Contact Person: Ask for the on-call case worker 379-2222; Emergency hotel/boarding room stay for one night. Extended assistance available to persons who qualify for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and are truly homeless. Length of assistance is based on individual circumstances

• United Helpers Supported Housing Program, 2320 Ford Street Extension, Ogdensburg, NY 13669; Contact Person: Alison Thornhill, Program Manager 393-9425; Available to persons 18 years and older, and diagnosed with mental illness. Assistance includes: security deposit; 1st month rent; utility payments; rent subsidy and case management