3 locations proposed to house Lewis County’s homeless population

Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 5:43 PM EST
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LOWVILLE, New York (WWNY) - Lewis County lawmakers have been presented with 3 possible locations to house the county’s homeless population.

The Health and Human Services Committee met Tuesday.

Members aim to find a place to put people in Lewis County who can’t always find affordable housing on their own.

“What we’re talking about is an investment in public housing in Lewis County. We’re a small community; there’s no that reason we can’t take of our own,” said Ryan Piche, county manager.

“In Lewis County, these are names of people we know. They’re not coming in on a bus from New York City. They’re people that were born here and raised here,” said Jennifer Jones, commissioner, Lewis County Department of Social Services.

After a housing feasibility study was completed by the county and GYMO Architecture, the choices presented included the old Andover house, the former Glenfield Elementary building, and a county-owned lot on Stowe Street.

Piche says the Stowe Street site has been identified as the front-runner because of its location near the Social Services and Public Safety buildings.

“It’s removed from the really residential core of the community, but it’s walkable and still close to services,” he said.

The Stowe Street site would also allow for both long-term and short-term housing options for Lewis County.

“The total of 20 units would be the 16 permanent and the four temporary,” said Scott Soules, architect/partner, GYMO.

“We’re looking at a project that could benefit folks in our community, folks that need help the most but hopefully at a cost that won’t be burdensome on local taxpayers,” said Piche.

The construction cost for the proposed Stowe Street location is estimated at around $13 million. Piche says the county will look to find funding from grants and state aid, not Lewis County funds.