Friday, March 16, 2018

The County and the Galvan Motel

Yesterday, the Health and Human Services Committee of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting to receive public comment on the proposed contract with the Galvan Foundation to provide temporary shelter for homeless people at the former Sunset Motel, now the Galvan Motel. Dan Udell's video of the meeting, which went on for close to two hours, can now be viewed on YouTube by clicking here.

Dan Kent, Vice President of Initiatives for the Galvan Foundation


  1. Well that was typically disturbing.
    Not only does it sound like a done deal but it does seem like GALVAN has been given carte blanche according to the neighbors.

    What I don't get is why isn't GALVAN building a shelter in Hudson or out near Fairview where all the services for homeless are?

    All this weirdness for a little motel out in the boondocks ...

  2. I'm most disappointed in Pat Grattan, a man I've held in high esteem; one of the few good guys. To shut down a speaker who dared to question whether the "partner" who will be on the receiving end of public money, is a bad actor, really?

    Billy Hughes is certainly invested in this particular project. It has been established on this Board, by others, that Billy has not ever written a housing
    application, been involved in the construction of a housing development, rented up same, managed same, or worked to deliver services on a daily basis. Talking and touring does not an expert make.

    This is the first time I've ever seen an applicant write the housing contract and dictate the terms to taxpayers.



    And this might be helpful too.


  4. I couldn't watch beyond the first question: Galvan wrote the contract! He can reject anyone from his hotel! Including the homeless?

  5. The following comment was submitted by SlowArt:

    A lot of people talk badly about Galvan, not matter what they do, but imagine what Hudson would be like without the library and with all the buildings they have restored and are restoring still standing there abandoned, rotting and boarded up. We would not be where we are today, at least as far as commercial revitalization goes.

    On the homeless hotel, I don't see how we can look down on a private foundation taking an initiative to help house the county's homeless. They should be praised for the effort. The only downside I would say, would be it is unfortunate that a project like this takes the initiative of a private foundation to get off the ground, rather than be created and directly managed by the government. At $85 - $95 a night, (which would be low for a hotel, but this is essentially a boarding house,) the county is paying $2500 - $2900 a month to house a person in a single room, which to me seems a bit much, but perhaps not depending on the services. A private, supervised group home with services would certainly charge as much or more, but in that case they would be providing the services themselves and here the county is providing them, albeit in a space provided by the facility.

    As far as rejecting people, the contract says they can reject someone who they can not meet the needs of, for example a person who is mentally ill and in need of hospitalization, overtly hostile, or who has physical problems that would require medical care, and certain felons and sex offenders. Also it says they can remove someone who is problematic. Having personally managed a group home for artists (who do not have the challenges of many of the homeless), I can tell you, there is no way you can manage a group residence without the power to regulate who comes in and who must leave. Without that regulatory authority, the facility would not be able to function.

    It is easy to sit back and join the chorus of critics, but lets be fair. It is the responsibility of a civilized society to house the homeless and care for the poor. If the government is unable or unwilling to do it, then this option and others like it seem to be the likely alternative. Certainly publicly managed low income housing in Hudson has been grossly mismanaged for decades, if nothing else, this is worth a try and should be supported.


  6. "Certainly publicly managed low income housing in Hudson has been grossly mismanaged for decades. . . "

    That mismanagement didn't happen in the dark of night. And we aren't talking about a city the size of Philly or Boston. We're talking Hudson.

    So where were the elected officials, "for decades" several of whom went onto to county level elected positions? And what specifically, do you think were their responsibilities to those Hudson citizens in need, and to Hudson taxpayers?