Leading with Compassion: Emergency Shelter Relocation

Dutchess County is currently exploring locations to permanently relocate the emergency shelter from its temporary location. Due to the pandemic, the shelter moved from HRH’s Hillcrest House to the Dutchess County pods in spring 2020, which was always a temporary measure meant to provide additional space and 24/7 access to those in need.  

The county has proposed 26 Oakley Street, Poughkeepsie, a former mental health care services site, as a potential permanent home for the emergency shelter. A decision will be made as soon as next Thursday, May 5th. This is not an additional or new shelter; rather it is a permanent location for the existing shelter. It also will not serve a new or increased number of people; rather, it will serve the existing population already seeking services at the current site. 

Hudson River Housing has been in service to the community for 40 years, and throughout that time we have been dedicated to providing compassionate, expertly delivered care to those experiencing homelessness, wherever they may be. Our primary objective is always to move people past emergency shelter and into permanent housing. We do this in partnership with many individuals and organizations, such as our Adopt a Night volunteers, our supporters and donors, Dutchess County, and many other service providers. The services we provide address urgent needs, reduce street homelessness and connect individuals with resources they need to thrive. 

While Hudson River Housing has no control over the site selection process, we are strong advocates for those experiencing homelessness. Our commitment to preventing and ending homelessness is unwavering. We know that structural, systemic breakdowns that have led to high housing costs and low wages are ultimately responsible for people experiencing homelessness – no one is inherently homeless. They may be experiencing homelessness, or be currently unhoused, but being homeless is not who they are as a person.

Because of this, we believe in the potential of every individual, and we know from decades of experience that when we work together to give people support and care, homelessness can end. We are at a moment when the unprecedented resources being provided by the federal government can be used to make a transformational change in how we address homelessness in our community. It is always our goal that shelter be a place of comfort and hope for the most vulnerable among us, a place that the community can be proud of because of the care it provides and the positive impact it creates.

Ultimately, homelessness is a community challenge that requires a community solution. Hudson River Housing is always at the table to identify and implement effective strategies to improve and sustain the highest possible quality of life for all members of our community. Making sure that everyone has a safe and stable home benefits us all by creating a stronger, more productive community where everyone can contribute, and in the end, we ALL benefit.

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