ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Local, state and federal law makers came to Saint Anne Institute in Albany to kick off homelessness awareness month.
“388 in the County of Rensselaer, that tells us we are failing miserably as a society,” said Mayor of Troy Patrick Madden.
That was the number of young adults in shelters in Rensselaer County at the start of this school year. The total number of permanent homeless kids is over 130.
This number includes confirmed homeless and those in unstable housing, kids living in vacant buildings, with friends and family, and outside in camps.
“We had a student that came to us taking classes in our high school and we discovered that she was living in a car with her mother and her sister and so we switched from teaching math and science to suddenly looking for a place to live and food to feed them with,” said CEO of St. Anne Institute Anthony G. Cortese.
This month-long campaign is aimed at the child homelessness epidemic in the Capital Region.
“There were over 1,100 visits to shelters in the Capital Region and that’s unacceptable,” said Assemblyman John McDonald. “I mean it’s not even acceptable in a third world country, let alone in the United States of America, let alone in the Capital Region.”
This first comprehensive youth count, which finished on Oct. 7, was a collaborative effort from Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties, along with many other community partners.
They used several different sources like surveys from the Homeless Management Information System and information collected from schools.
The message delivered on Thursday from law makers like Senator Neil Breslin was: “You give me hope that we can solve it, we can attack it, we can find the causes, cure the causes, get those kids into school, into programs, housing, which is a critical component of it.”
The Coalition to End Homelessness wants to repeat the success they had ending veterans homelessness over the last couple of years, with this new effort to end youth homelessness in the Capital Region.