Plans for homeless warming center moving forward

Oct. 30—WATERTOWN — Members of the Jefferson County homelessness task force are still working to open a warming center in the Salvation Army in November.

The steering committee is still working on the plan to use the Salvation Army on State Street for the warming center that would keep the unhoused warm on cold nights in the north country.

"Plans are proceeding," he said Friday.

The committee met the previous Friday to get an update of the status of the plans.

The plan was approved by the Salvation Army District but was still waiting to get an OK at the organization's territorial level, Mr. Hagemann said.

He expects that will happen since the Salvation Army has opened a warming center in Cortland during the past couple of years, so the organization knows how to put one together already. The local warming center would be patterned after that one.

A staff must still be hired, he said. The target date to open is November. The Salvation Army will be able to handle 20 cots on a nightly basis in the State Street facility.

Homeless people stay at the warming center at night but must leave

in the morning.

The warming center would use $300,000 in what's called state Blue Code funds to open, operate and pay staff.

Capt. Dominic Nicoll and Capt. Liz Nicoll of the Salvation Army could not be reached for comment.

The county committee includes representatives from the Children's Home of Jefferson County, CREDO, the county administration, the county's community services and social services departments, the North Country Family Health Center, the Northern Regional Center for Independent Living, Transitional Living Services of Northern New York, the United Way of Northern New York and the Watertown Urban Mission.

Another group of local activists had been working on establishing a warming center, but could not fulfill those plans for this winter.