Emergency Housing for the Homeless

submitted by Claudia Ansorge

15 cots and mattresses are available to set up for sleeping in the dining and nursery rooms downstairs at the Meeting House.

In 1982, Hudson River Housing (HRH) was incorporated with a focus on providing resident services for the homeless in the Hudson Valley, opening pathways out of homelessness through emergency, transitional, and permanent housing. To the question “Are you homeless and in need of housing tonight?” HRH is committed to the answer by furnishing overnight emergency housing 365 days a year for all people of all ages and incomes to live in the Hudson Valley. HRH partners with the Dutchess County community to secure safe, welcoming facilities. In November 2019, The Friends Poughkeepsie Meeting House became one of them.

Fred Doneit initiated the outreach after learning about it through a friend at Christ Episcopal Church Poughkeepsie, an HRH affiliated homeless shelter. Once inspected and approved, the Meeting House was opened to women and men ages 18+ for overnight stays. Families are housed at other locations.

An HRH staff person is on-site each evening. Dinner, shower, and laundry facilities are available elsewhere. Breakfast and bus passes are provided in the morning.

A New York State ordinance, “Code Blue,” requires all homeless services/facilities to accommodate anyone seeking shelter when the temperatures fall below 32 degrees. It normally takes place from November 15 to April 30 each year, depending on the temperatures.