UTICA, N.Y. -- Oneida County and the City of Utica are working with local nonprofits to clean up Oneida Square and help the people in that area who struggle with homelessness and mental health.
Utica is using grant funding from the U.S. Department of House and Urban Development to develop drop-in centers to get people connected with mental health and drug rehabilitation services.
“One will be at the Rescue Mission, one will be at the Salvation Army. That's something that the city is gonna be supporting. And that's going to give them the opportunity during the day to be somewhere and get support,” said Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri.
The mayor says the goal is to help the people who need it while also improving the quality of life for residents and businesses in the Oneida Square area.
“We all agree the status quo is not acceptable,” Palmieri said. “While we must show compassion for those in need, we must also protect the quality of life of the residents, businesses and organizations based in Oneida Square, and throughout our community.”
The DPW will help provide the manpower and equipment to clean up Oneida Square and the surrounding area each day.
The city approved temporary funding for this initiative through April of 2022, and will meet with its community partners weekly until then to develop solutions together.