April 28, 2013

Grant supports housing for homeless


---- — SARANAC LAKE — The Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $900,000 to the Continua of Care housing coalitions in Franklin, Essex, Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties.

The funds will support efforts already under way to prevent homelessness, with most of the money — $748,795 — going to the Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, according to Erica Retrosi, project specialist for the North Country Behavioral Healthcare Network, which coordinated and completed the grant applications.

About $50,000 will be spent in Franklin and Essex counties, she said, “primarily ... for housing services through Franklin County Community Housing Council.”

“NCBHN is thrilled to have fulfilled its role in the application assembly and submission in order to help make continuation of this essential funding possible,” Barry Brogan, network executive director, said in a news release.

The HUD funds will be used for emergency, transitional and permanent supportive housing for the homeless and for prevention efforts.


Behavioral Healthcare Network is waiting to hear about $482,000 in funding that would further address housing issues in Franklin, Essex, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

Lakeside House, a residential facility for adults with mental illness, has applied for some of that money to establish new transitional housing, Retrosi said.

And the grant funds would “also be used to maintain preexisting housing services (elsewhere),” she said.

“We are optimistic that the North Country will also fare well in that round of funding,” Brogan said.

Awards are expected to be announced in May or June, Retrosi said.

North Country Behavioral Healthcare Network, based in Saranac Lake, is a 19-member coalition committed to strengthening behavioral health-care services in northern New York.