County receives plans to house homeless people

HUDSON- The county Board of Supervisors has received two responses to its request for proposals to house people in need of emergency shelter.

One proposal is from Maranatha Human Services, a Poughkeepsie organization that had a different proposal before the board last year. That plan foundered when a real estate deal fell through. The other proposal is the product of a joint effort by the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties Inc. and the Galvan Foundation.

Both proposals are for full-time, 24-hour a day programs for single homeless people and include counseling, job skills acquisition and other rehabilitative services. Struggling families, who have received increased housing subsidies in the past year, have remained in private housing.

Both proposals call for live-in managers and onsite program directors and case workers to provide a range of rehabilitation services, a factor missing from the county’s current services for the homeless population. Both plans would provide food and some transportation, necessities the county currently pays for on top of housing.

The Maranatha organization presented a bid for $680,400 for its homeless housing and services facility, which has no site. The organization says it will need to obtain financing for land and construction.

Maranatha, founded in 1977 to assist individuals with problems and offer services to people with developmental disabilities, provides Medicaid services coordination. It has a branch office in Queens in addition to its headquarters in Poughkeepsie. The Maranatha website does not mention any experience in the emergency and transitional housing field.

The Galvan Foundation and Mental Health Association of Columbia Greene Counties (MHACG) proposal for $611,015 would provide 33 apartment units in a three-building structure at 620 State Street and 7th Street owned by the foundation. One of the buildings on the site once housed the Hudson Orphanage. Housing units would include 100-square-foot single bedrooms with shared bathrooms, and 350-square-foot studio apartments with their own kitchenettes and bathrooms.

According to the bid prospectus, the facility would be owned by a non-profit corporation created by the Galvin Foundation and would operate under the name Civic Hudson Emergency and Transitional Housing Corporation. The facility, which would be funded by a contract with the Columbia County Department of Social Services, could open its doors by the middle of next year, according to the proposal.

The Galvan Foundation is named for the two men who began the organization, T. Eric Galloway and Henry van Ameringen. Mr. Galloway, a lawyer and developer, owns or controls entities that hold nearly 2% of the taxable properties in Hudson. (See Page 13 for more about Mr. Galloway’s activities in Hudson.)

The Galvin Foundation, created this year, provides grants and acquires buildings of historic significance to Hudson. Its mission statement says it operates to enhance the lives the most vulnerable members of society.

The Galvan Foundation has also proposed a new police station and courtroom for its lot at 4th and Columbia streets that would include two floors with 35 units of affordable housing units. Mr. Galloway, president of the foundation, is also founding president of the non-profit Lantern Foundation, which develops affordable housing in Hudson, and the for profit Arete Management LLC, a real estate and fiscal services company, and the managing member of Galvan Partners, which preserves historic homes in Hudson.

The Mental Health Association, founded in 1958, is the largest provider of residential mental health services in Columbia County. Its transitional housing division, founded in 1978, currently runs seven emergency and transitional housing programs.

Currently 36 motel rooms booked by the county house 27 single homeless people and 8 families, a total of 59 individuals, at a cost of approximately $65 per person per day. The state reimburses the county for 29%of the costs for emergency housing for homeless people. The proposal by the association and Galvan expects to see a reduction in transportation and food costs because the location is within walking distance of both Columbia Memorial Hospital and the county Department of Social Services building on Railroad Avenue.

The county’s request for proposals for the homeless shelter came under criticism at last week’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors’ Human Services and Mental Health Committee because the proposal calls only for a two-year project. The proposal by the Mental Health Association and Galvan projects costs for seven years and states that a contract for any period of less than seven years would not be viable.

Richard Keaveney (R-Caanan) said he believes that the two-year limit is the reason that Catholic Charities and St. Catherine’s Center for Children, two organizations that had expressed interest in the opportunity, did not submit proposals.

 

Comments are closed.