The Bethesda Episcopal Church in Saratoga is forming a nonprofit organization called the Mercy House of Saratoga to help the homeless and others in need.
A new 4 story building will be built right next to the Bethesda church. Construction is expected to begin by the end of this year.
The church is partering with 4 other agencies to help not only the homeless , but victims of domestic violence, those struggling with alcohol and substance abuse, and track backstretch workers in recovery.
“Saratoga, Washington and Hamilton counties there’s several hundred people who are homeless or are at risk of being homeless on an ongoing basis and it pretty much stayed stable at that level. It’s hard to take a huge bite out of it without restructuring the whole economy, but what we are going to do is solve a great share of it that is right in the center of Saratoga county,” said Gordon Boyd, President of the Mercy House of Saratoga.
Mercy House’s partnering agencies will be assigning people to stay there.
“We have about 18 apartments,” explained Boyd. “One bedroom, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartments. And we have one floor that is set up for the backstretch workers. It’s shared like a dormitory with shared bathrooms.”
The first floor will be used as a parish house for the church.
For the people that will be staying there, services will be offered to help them find jobs.
“We’ll have a cafe program in there, that will help people who are trying to get employment ready. Maybe go to work in the hotels near by. We are near a bus line, the jobs— the price chopper everything is right here,” Boyd stated.
The building is anticipated to be completed next year, and is being paid in part by the church and donations from the community. The project is expected to cost $9 million dollars.
“We are pursuing it as a religious mission and we expect to be successful,” said Boyd.