The Rochester City Council Tuesday voted on a $750,000 bill to build new shelters for the homeless at Peace Village, a homeless encampment sanctioned by the city.
The package, introduced by City Council President Miguel Melendez Jr, was overwhelmingly passed by a 8-1 vote and will redirect $750,000 of unspent funds from the Police Accountability Board.
The project is slated for spring/summer, 2023 and will pilot a unique style of temporary shelters couples with support services.
“In the midst of great challenges, providing a temporary solution for the unhoused became one of my priorities heading into 2023,” Melendez said.
The improvements to the site will include the purchase of 15 small shelters with two beds apiece, a community common space, two restroom facilities, and an office to be managed by PCHO (Person Centered Housing Options). Site improvements will be required prior to installation.
City Council approved $450,000 for the shelters and the remaining money will be used to cover expenses for PCHO and other organizations overseeing and maintaining the project.
Meléndez says he hopes this initial small-scale project can be used on a larger scale in the future as a model for providing temporary housing, wrap-around services and other needed assistance to give the unhoused community an opportunity to ultimately transition to long-term, permanent stability.
“It is my hope that my partners in Monroe County government will also assist with the necessary services to help transition individuals into permanent housing and stability over time. In the meantime, we will collaborate with PCHO and other community partners to ensure various services are available at the site on a regular basis.”