SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – A park bench that sits in the middle of Clinton Square in downtown Syracuse might be seen by many as place to rest after a long day. Yet to some, that same bench could be their place of rest at night.
Since the COVID 19 pandemic, the homelessness rate has increased in Syracuse, with housing rates rising even more. Director of the Housing and Homeless Coalition of Central New York Megan Stuart mentioned that the HHC’s mission provides immediate help for families in need.
“We’re a coalition of about thirty plus organizations that come together to coordinate services, create service networks,” Stuart said. “To really serve people who are experiencing both sheltered and unsheltered homelessness to get them back into safe, permanent housing as quickly as possible.”
Since 2021, the Housing and Homeless Coalition has reported a general spike in homelessness with the most alarming statistic being the increase of the family rate.
“Over the past few years, we’ve seen an over 60 percent increase in families experiencing homelessness,” Stuart said. “And that’s families with young children, so children under 18.”
For those looking to do their part, one way to give back is by donating your old or used clothes into donation bins. Stuart stated that there is one way to give back that would stand out above the rest.
“Having a voice for affordable housing development in the region,” Stuart said. “So, you see a lot of folks who don’t want affordable housing in their neighborhoods, but we need people who are supportive of that to voice their support.”