Homelessness by the numbers

HUDSON–The Columbia County Department of Social Services (DSS) reported that as of April 23 there were 65 individuals in 53 households receiving temporary housing under its direction at 10 separate locations. Although 12 of the 53 households were lodged within 2 miles of the DSS office in the City Hudson, 55% of the 53 were lodged over 20 miles from it. The average distance households were lodged from the DSS office was 16.5 miles.

The DSS houses its clients needing homes in whatever motels it finds that have space and are willing to take its clients. It found lodging in Columbia County for little over half of the 53 households. The remaining people were placed in Rensselaer and Greene counties.

In general, the number of households needing shelter decreases as the temperature increases. But “at our highest point this winter we were housing 99 individuals” in about 72 families, said Robert Gibson, the DSS commissioner. “The average length of stay is generally between three and six months,” he said, but it varies.

Recently property owners have proposed two additional sites for temporary housing: the Galvan Civic Motel (GCM) on state Routes 9 and 23 and 51 Middle Road. Both are in the Town of Greenport and within 6 miles of the DSS office.

The GCM, currently under construction, could make up to 25 motel rooms available. The 51 Middle Road site could add up to seven mobile homes. Both owners have offered to contribute part of the county’s rent payments towards social services for the DSS clients who would be housed at the sites.

Table 1 gives the number of households staying in each facility, according to data supplied by the DSS on April 23, and road distance from inner city Hudson, according to Google Maps. Table 2 summarizes these figures by county.


Note—The DSS reported 65 total individuals, including five families comprising 17 individuals. A “family” indicates two or more individuals. Therefore, the number of solo clients was 48 (65 total minus 17 in families). There were 53 total households, a figure determined the adding the number of solo DSS tenants (the sum of the 48 solo and the 5 families. For each motel, the DSS reported the number of solos and the number of families. The table adds these numbers to report households.

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