Friday, December 25, 2015

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Keep those who are less fortunate on your minds during the holidays

Roberts: "... most vulnerable
populations ..."

WHITE PLAINS – The holidays are a time to spend with family and think of rebirth and love of mankind, but the less fortunate must also be remembered.

One such agency that assists the disadvantaged is Community Housing Innovations, with emergency housing for families in Orange, Dutchess, Westchester and on Long Island.

While there has been new affordable housing being build in the Mid-Hudson Valley, more needs to be constructed, said the organization’s executive director, Alexander Roberts.

Part of the problem, he said, lies with municipalities.

“Basically, in most of the suburbs the local governments only allow more expensive forms of housing, which is single-family,” Roberts said.  “So, as a result, wages, which have not kept pace with the cost of housing are too low in many cases to support it. So, what happens is the most vulnerable populations, such as single mothers with children, or people that have an illness or lose their jobs, are very vulnerable to fall into homelessness, and that it why it has not improved.”

The mission of Community Housing Innovations, which has emergency housing in Newburgh, Port Jervis, Hyde Park, Poughkeepsie and Mount Vernon, is to provide shelter while the people are assisted in getting on their feet and into permanent housing.

A new initiative of the group is a partnership with Bed Bath & Beyond under which people may purchase gift cards for homeless families where CHI operates shelters and the full cost of those gift certificates would be tax deductable, Roberts said.

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