At a special meeting held on May 30, mostly in executive session, the Board of Supervisors Human Services Committee reviewed two proposals submitted in response to an RFP. One proposal was from Maranatha Human Services, Inc.; the other from CHETH (Civic Hudson Emergency and Transitional Housing, a melding of the Galvan Initiatives Foundation and the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties). The committee decided that neither one met the county's needs and authorized DSS Commissioner Paul Mossman to enter into a professional services contract for housing the county's chronically homeless population. At the committee's regular monthly meeting yesterday, Mossman reported on his progress.
Mossman indicated that he had spoken with Galvan and MHA (CHETH) and had "worked out the programmatic issues." He said he wanted to bring a new proposal from CHETH to the committee, presumably at its July meeting, which would address the "safety net homeless population."
Mossman reported that he had also had a discussion with St. Catherine's Center for Children in Albany about developing a program for homeless families. According to Mossman, there are now six homeless families in Columbia County. He would be bringing a proposal from St. Catherine's for serving homeless families to the committee as well.
Now here is a statistical conundrum. In a presentation made earlier in the meeting by the Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood initiative, this rather shocking statistic was reported: there are 212 homeless students in the Hudson City School District. But Mossman reports there are six homeless families in Columbia County. Two hundred and twelve is far too many children for just six families. Could it be that Mossman and the GHPN people are defining homelessness in different ways? Or are some of the homeless students at HCSD runaways--teens who have abandoned their families or been abandoned by them and are living on their own or with the families of friends?