ITHACA, N.Y. — Tompkins County Department of Social Services (DSS) along with St. John’s Community Services, are working to accommodate the needs of homeless people locally, said the county in a release Monday.
Those who typically stay at the homeless shelter are being housed in alternate locations, according to the county. The Code Blue population, which are those who are provided accommodations when it is 32 degrees or colder — as required by state law, are being served at the homeless shelter.
Staff has implemented policies to ensure residents are maintaining appropriate social distancing.
In the event the number of individuals exceeds the number the shelter can accommodate, they too will be housed in alternate locations.
The Friendship Center at 717 West Court Street is limiting services, but is still providing boxed meals for individuals, and will accommodate those individuals who do not have alternate options for warmth and other needs.
DSS staff and other community partners are conductin outreach, visiting individuals who are experiencing homelessness and providing information and education on COVID-19 and continue to offer options for sheltering and other services.
Services are still being provided but those inquiring are asked to do so by phone unless otherwise necessary. Individuals who are homeless or experiencing a housing crisis can call 607- 274-5644 for housing services or 607-274-5345 for cash assistance.
If someone does not have access to a phone, they can come to the DSS office at 320 West Martin Luther King Jr Street/ State Street, where they will be met at the door and screened. Once they are cleared to enter, they will be able to call their worker from the lobby phone and will be assisted.
Those interested in volunteering with DSS or St. John’s Community Services are asked to call 607-274-5022