Asbestos now removed, Code Blue shelter in Saratoga Springs nearly complete


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — There is a light at the end of the tunnel in the construction of a much needed Code Blue shelter in Saratoga Springs. Work had been stopped after the discovery of asbestos. But now things are moving full steam ahead.

The sound of table saws and power drills is like music to Karen Gregory’s ears.

“I mean, it’s coming to life right in front of us.”

As the director of Shelters of Saratoga, she’s happy to see work is in full swing at their new temporary code blue shelter.

Work at the former site of an auto repair shop hit a snag in October with the discovery of asbestos.

“Unexpected. But really not unexpected in a building of this age. You know, just one little detractor in the beginning.”

While asbestos abatement was being performed at the site, Gregory accepted the offer of a firefighter training facility in Ballston Spa for 35 to 40 homeless people, who needed to spend the night in a shelter.

Saratoga Springs is known for its posh side, but if you take a closer look, you’ll see evidence of homelessness around the city.

NEWS10 ABC’s Anya Tucker went to one of a few tent encampments there. No one was around, likely due to the cold weather. It’s the reason why Gregory says it gives them a good feeling knowing they offer a safe warm place to spend nights during the cold weather.

“And we don’t want hypothermia setting in or people actually dying outdoors.”

Shelters of Saratoga has suffered some pushback by residents at other proposed sites for a permanent shelter, so they settled on a two-year lease at a location on Adelphi Street. But with the asbestos removed, Gregory says the facility should now be ready by December 1.

“I just feel like we are here. It’s awesome.”

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