WATERTOWN — The first three residents have moved into a new temporary housing facility for the homeless that opened on Pine Street last week.
After several weeks of not finding enough staff, Transitional Living Services of Northern New York opened the doors on Feb. 28 at the 18-bed facility for men in the former Angel’s Inn at 518 Pine St.
Transitional Living Services Executive Director Maureen P. Cean recommends that homeless men seeking shelter in the new facility should contact the Jefferson County Department of Social Services about living there.
The county was notified that the facility is ready to take residents, she said, adding that other services will be provided.
“You should go to DSS and say you’re homeless,” she said.
The facility will be staffed 24 hours a day.
The facility will not be a homeless shelter but a temporary home for homeless men. The former adult home, which closed in 2017, was completely renovated.
On Monday night, Michael A. Lumbis, the city’s planning and community development director, said Transitional Living is asking for $25,000 from the city of Watertown’s Community Development Block Grant program to offset higher costs for labor.
The city contributed $15,000 from the CDBG program this year. The annual cost to operate the facility is roughly $450,000.
The organization hoped to have opened this past fall but could not fill all the positions. A facility manager, four full-time resident advocates and resident monitor are working at the facility.
Residents cook for themselves and do their own laundry. Security cameras will keep an eye on the residents in case of any issues that might arise.
Neighbors were up in arms about the facility opening. A petition to stop the opening circulated. The city could not stop the center because it had correct zoning.
For a number of years, Transitional Living has run three similar facilities in St. Lawrence County.
In addition, Transitional Living, alongside CREDO and Neighbors of Watertown, are working together to open a 60-unit housing facility, with 30 units for homeless people with substance-use disorders or mental illnesses and 30 for seriously low-income people. Those units will be permanent, supportive housing.
The three organizations are in the process of selecting a site for that project.
Over the summer, local homelessness came to the forefront of city and county discussions with people living under the pavilion in the city-owned J.B. Wise parking lot.
Homeless residents got some help after a temporary center opened in a Main Avenue building and a warming center opened in the Salvation Army building on State Street.
Other more permanent efforts by a handful of groups are in the works to help alleviate homelessness in the city.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.