SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness continues its work with meetings scheduled to take place on June 26 and on July 13 at City Hall.
The task force is charged with determining whether a permanent low-barrier shelter is needed in Saratoga Springs and if so, proposing potential sites where one may be located. The initial deadline to report to the council was July 6. Those discussions will now come a bit later, city Mayor Ron Kim said this week.
“They have about eight sites that they’re considering and discussing as possible places to site a homeless shelter,” Mayor Kim said. “One issue is that none of those (eight) sites have a structure on them, so almost anything the city looks at will require some type of construction.”
A temporary 24/7 shelter recently opened on Adelphi Street and is operated by RISE Housing and Support Services. Additional beds have been added to the shelter, bringing the total number of beds to 35.
Mayor Kim urged city residents to attend county board meetings and speak to supervisors about sharing the expenses related to caring for the local homeless population.
“Some (county) money should go to taking care of the unhoused in Saratoga Springs – who are basically from various parts of Saratoga County,” Kim said. The annual city budget is approximately $57 million. The annual county budget is about $378 million.
The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors meets as a group monthly, typically at 4 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month, at the county complex in Ballston Spa. The next meeting will be held Tuesday, July 18. Fifteen minutes are set aside for public input at county meetings, and any person wishing to speak must sign their name and address on a sign-up sheet for speakers prior to the 4 p.m. meeting start. Speakers are limited to three minutes. Written public comments may be to the Clerk of the Board at any time via standard mail (40 McMaster St., Ballston Spa, NY 12020), or electronic mail at: www.saratogacountyny.gov/contact.php?EID=125.