Poughkeepsie's Emergency Shelter to Begin Imposing Time Limits and Fees

Homeless Residents and Community Members Protest the New Policies that they say they will Force More Poughkeepsie Residents into the Streets

NEW YORK, NY (08/31/2012)(readMedia)-- Homeless residents of Dutchess County's only emergency shelter will join community and faith leaders to protest the shelter's new harsh policies, just one day before the policies are set to go into effect. The new policies, which are available here, will place strict time limits on the shelter clients, forcing many into the streets, and will require daily payments from the financially strapped residents. Shelter clients and community leaders will hold a press conference denouncing the new policies and calling on shelter operator, Hudson River Housing, to suspend the policies while alternatives are found. Interfaith prayers will be offered by local clergy to soften the hearts of those not homeless.


Community Voices Heard (CVH), a member led organization of low-income families with chapters in Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, Yonkers and NYC; Current and former Emergency Shelter clients and homeless Poughkeepsie residents; Rev. Blake Ryder of Christ Church in Poughkeepsie; Brian Riddell, Executive Director of Dutchess Outreach; other social service providers, faith and community leaders.


On July 5, Hudson River Housing (HRH), the operator of Dutchess County's only emergency shelter, announced new policies that limit clients' stay to 120 days, and charge a $10 nightly fee after 60 days. Many shelter residents have been sleeping outside during summer weather to "bank" their days for winter's freezing temperatures. HRH Executive Director Ed Murphy told shelter clients that the policy is intended to encourage clients to find permanent housing more quickly; however, for most homeless, the cost of permanent housing is out of reach or takes several months to find. The likely outcome of these policies will be more homeless sleeping on the streets throughout Dutchess County. Community Voices Heard (CVH) Poughkeepsie Chapter has called for a suspension of these rules while area agencies work together to find a better alternative.

WHEN: Tuesday September 04, 2012 at 06:00PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
WHERE: Family Partnership Center Rear Parking Lot
29 North Hamilton Street
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601