West Carthage mayor, county to discuss homeless issue

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 2:35 PM EST
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WEST CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - West Carthage Mayor Scott Burto says a meeting is now in the works between him and Jefferson County to address what’s happening at a hotel in his village with hopes of finding a long term solution to helping those who find themselves homeless.

Burto said Thursday that police and fire calls to the Pleasant Night Inn went from 14 in all of 2020 to 108 so far this year - most of those after the Department of Social Services started placing people who need assistance there.

Burto hopes he can convince the county that it needs a “mental health response team.”

“Why don’t we have a mental health response team where instead of sending out the police and troopers who are not trained in mental health to deescalate and assess a situation, why don’t we have a mental health response team that can respond,” he said.

Burto isn’t against the hotel being used to help people. However, he stresses his village police and fire departments are not trained to handle the calls and many times they can walk into a dangerous situation.

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