Debate over a proposed emergency homeless shelter in Saratoga Springs continues.


    A cold weather response plan that seeks to get the homeless off the streets and into shelter has been extended through this weekend in Springfield, Massachusetts.  A program to help end homelessness launched by city officials a decade ago means fewer and fewer people are in danger.

With the temperature predicted to fall into negatives, the homeless are being urged to seek shelter.

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Connecticut State Troopers are being equipped with kits to help the homeless during the cold weather, thanks to their colleagues in neighboring Massachusetts.

Marist College Students Highlight Homelessness

Nov 3, 2017
Franco Folini/Flickr

As part of National Homeless Awareness month, students at a college in the Hudson Valley will take part in a “sleep out.”

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

This morning we focus on: The People's Place is a thrift store and food pantry located in Kingston NY. Founded in 1972, their mission is to feed, clothe and respond to the essential needs of the people in Ulster County with kindness, compassion and the preservation of human dignity.

We are joined by Tim Hurley, Board President and Christine Hein, Executive Director.

An emergency homeless shelter and soup kitchen in Glens Falls, New York has closed on a new property. The organization aims to move its operations into the new space by next winter.

Peter Cook, executive director of the New York State Council of Churches, asks for funding to be freed up, as supporters hold a vigil outside the New York state Senate chamber.
Karen DeWitt

Advocates for the homeless say the Governor and legislature don’t need to call a special session in order to free up more money to help create more housing for those in need. They say political leaders could simply sign an already printed memorandum of understanding, and start helping people now.

Kevin O’Connor, director of Joseph’s House in Troy, New York, read the names of homeless clients who have passed away in the past year, who he says died too young.

Family Promise gets the green light to continue operations in Albany.

Code Blue Saratoga
Paulina Phelps / WAMC

Earlier this year, Shelters of Saratoga was forced to find a new home for its emergency Code Blue shelter after the Salvation Army determined it could no longer host the service at its building in downtown, where it had been for two years.  The program was started in 2013 at St. Peter’s School after the freezing death of a homeless woman.

  For decades, conversations about poverty have focused on jobs, public assistance, parenting, and mass incarceration. After years of intense fieldwork and study, Harvard sociologist and 2015 MacArthur “Genius” grant winner Matthew Desmond has come to believe that something fundamental is missing from that picture: how deeply housing is implicated in the creation of poverty.

Desmond says, “Not everyone living in a distressed neighborhood is associated with gang members, parole officers, employers, social workers, or pastors, but nearly all of them have a landlord.” The result of his research is the new book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

If you head into downtown Schenectady to see a show, chances are you’ll see the guys in red jackets helping visitors across the street or giving directions.

  Some Homeless advocates are dismayed by what they say is Governor Cuomo’s failure at the end of the legislative session to follow through with promises to fund five years worth of new supportive housing and other services for the homeless. Their complaints come as the State Comptroller issues a scathing report on the state of homeless shelters across New York. 

Code Blue Saratoga
Paulina Phelps / WAMC

For the last two winters, the Salvation Army has hosted Saratoga Springs’ Code Blue program at its building on Woodlawn Avenue, on the city’s west side.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The third-floor music hall at Saratoga Springs City Hall was filled for the Public Safety forum on the issue of aggressive panhandling. Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen assembled a panel consisting of the city’s police and fire departments and advocates for the disadvantaged.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

The number of homeless families living in hotels and motels at state expense is down sharply in Massachusetts.  Gov. Charlie Baker is making good on a pledge to end the practice.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

In the last few weeks, the issues of vagrancy and aggressive panhandling have been on the lips of many in the Spa City. After a now infamous picture of a man appearing to defecate in front a local building circulated online, a petition was started urging city leaders to act.


A coalition of organizations that provide services to the homeless in Massachusetts is asking the state legislature to increase funding for emergency shelters. Advocates also point to a funding disparity that they say shortchanges homeless shelters in western Massachusetts.

Friends of the Homeless in Springfield, the largest shelter facility for individuals outside Boston, sees over 1,000 men and women come through its doors each year, or about 150 per night, looking for a meal and a bed to sleep in.


Progress is being made in reducing the number of homeless families and individuals living in emergency shelters, motels and on the streets in western Massachusetts, according to a report issued today.

The report from the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness highlighted a 34 percent drop in overall family homelessness – including a sharp reduction in the number of families living in motels from 284 to 49 – and a 27 percent decline in homeless veterans over the last year.

Franco Folini/Flickr

At the turn of the year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order mandating cities statewide to give homeless people shelter when temperatures hit 32 degrees.


Cuomo says the homeless must be taken to shelter in freezing weather.

On Sunday New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order to protect homeless individuals across the state from inclement winter weather.

In 2009, President Obama and then-Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki announced a lofty goal of zero percent homelessness among veterans by 2015. They haven’t reached that goal, but they have made notable gains, decreasing homelessness by more than 30 percent in the past five years.

NPR veterans correspondent Quil Lawrence speaks with Here & Now’s Eric Westervelt about how the government has been able to curb homelessness among veterans, but also where there is still work left to be done.

Mary Giordano
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Mary Giordano usually shuns the limelight. The music teacher, who became the executive director of Family Promise of the Capital Region, was driven by a desire to help others .

Lucas Willard / WAMC

With temperatures starting to dip, the Saratoga Springs' Code Blue program is open for the season and a new day-time drop-in center hopes to provide the homeless population with a hot meal and access to services.

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A Homelessness Awareness Night will be held in Saratoga Springs Thursday evening.

  Dan-el Padilla Peralta is one of millions of young undocumented men and women brought to the country as children. He is also a gifted scholar who made his way to some of the world’s most elite schools.

Peralta’s new book is: Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey From A Homeless Shelter To The Ivy League evocatively recounts Peralta’s journey from the New York City shelter system to the Ivy League.

The housing market continues to stabilize nationwide and in the most populous county in western Massachusetts real estate sales showed modest gains over the last 12 months, according to a report released today.

The total amount of money spent on real estate in Hampden County in the last 12 months was more than $1.32 billion as average home sale prices rose in the cities of Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke and Westfield, according to the fiscal year 2015 report from Register of Deeds Donald Ashe.

" One you get to $1 billion that is a pretty good healthy market," said Ashe.


Options are being reviewed for relocating a regional substance abuse treatment center for western Massachusetts that must move to make way for construction of the MGM Springfield casino.

Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe is looking at three locations for the Western Massachusetts Correctional Alcohol Center ,which must move soon from its longtime home in a leased building that is in the footprint of the $800 million casino project in downtown Springfield.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is proposing a fund in his state budget plan to prevent low-income families from becoming homeless.   Baker is fulfilling a campaign promise to tackle the problem that confounded his predecessor.

The “End Family Homelessness Reserve Fund” will pay for counselors and a host of services to families to keep them housed and out of the state’s emergency shelter system.  Baker described it as a preventive approach that will keep families in communities where they have a support system and where their children attend school.