CAP, li­braries help the home­less

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Local News - By The Oneida Dis­patch news­room@onei­dadis­patch.com @Onei­daDis­patch on Twit­ter

With cold weather ap­proach­ing soon, the Com­mu­nity Ac­tion Part­ner­ship for Madi­son County has part­nered with lo­cal li­braries and the Of­fice for the Ag­ing to es­tab­lish warm­ing sites for the home­less.

CAP of­fi­cials ad­vise home­less in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies to seek shel­ter at a warm­ing cen­ter lo­cated at ei­ther the Hamil­ton Li­brary, Cazen­ovia Li­brary, Sul­li­van Free Li­brary, Chittenango Li­brary, Bridge­port Li­brary, Canas­tota Li­brary or the Of­fice for the Ag­ing when a Code Blue is de­clared.

Three years ago, through an ex­ec­u­tive or­der signed by Gov. An­drew Cuomo, the state de­clared a county must make sure any­one in need of as­sis­tance has shel­ter when win­ter weather hits. This in­cludes tem­per­a­tures that reach freez­ing or lower, wind chill be­low zero de­grees, ice storms, freez­ing rain or more than 6 inches of snow.

Each warm­ing site has a sign in their en­try­way that iden­ti­fies their lo­ca­tion as such. CAP equips each lo­ca­tion with de­tailed re­source fold­ers, re­fresh­ments and “go bags” to pro­vide those who iden­tify as home­less with nec­es­sary sup­plies for hy­giene, warmth and well­ness.

CAP of­fi­cials said in nine months, the or­ga­ni­za­tion has re-

ceived 695 calls for hous­ing and home­less­ness is­sues in the com­mu­nity.

CAP of­fi­cials said in just one week af­ter open­ing, they have re­ceived a lot of pos­i­tive feed­back from the newly estab­lished warm­ing sites.

“The li­brary is very pleased to be a part of the Code Blue ini­tia­tive,” Cazen­ovia Pub­lic Li­brary Di­rec­tor Betsy Kennedy said. “For many peo­ple, the li­brary rep­re­sents a safe place and a place that has the an­swers to their ques­tions. We ap­pre­ci­ate Com- mu­nity Ac­tion Part­ner­ship giv­ing us the tools to as­sist peo­ple when they need it most.”

Warm­ing sites will con­tinue to op­er­ate un­til March 31, 2019.

Or­ga­ni­za­tions look­ing to get in­volved in be­ing part of the Code Blue ini­tia­tive can con­tact San­dra Bain at 315697-3588 ext. 14.

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