GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The City of Gloversville is opening the doors to a new code blue shelter Friday in anticipation of bitter cold temperatures.
“Actually, the papers were just signed this morning,” Mayor Vincent DeSantis told NEWS10 Friday afternoon.
According to DeSantis, the city had been looking for a homeless shelter site since the fall, but ran into roadblocks associated with cost and operating expenses. He said it wasn’t until Tuesday that he found the former VFW building on 3rd Ave.
“We knew that the weather was cold out there. We wanted to provide this service to the community, especially to people in desperate need of shelter,” he said.
The quick turnaround followed some public pressure over the lack of a code blue shelter in the area. The Center of Hope on Bleecker St. shared frustrations with NEWS10 over the fact that they have an empty code blue shelter they can’t run because the city shut them down over commercial zoning restrictions.
DeSantis said Friday he had spoken with the Center of Hope’s Code Blue Advisory Board, who offered their help to the city’s newly leased facility.
“I was convinced from the outset that we could provide these services in a place and in a way that didn’t fly in the face of the other goals of the city,” DeSantis said, “the economic development goals, the downtown revitalization goals.”
In a statement, the Center of Hope expressed gratitude to the leadership of Gloversville for not only acknowledging the homeless population, but also putting together a temporary fix.
“We wish nothing but the best for the city in this endeavor and hope that through this shelter, many of those in need can find help,” part of the statement reads.
Volunteers set up the shelter Friday, and some supplies were donated by Fulton County Emergency Services. DeSantis said the room that was leased for the shelter can hold about 20 beds. The city is putting $170,000 of federal funding toward purchasing the whole building while they lease the portion for the shelter.
The shelter at 24 3rd Ave. opens Friday at 6 P.M. and will remain open until 8 A.M.