Jefferson County to create job to oversee homeless-related issues

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 5:31 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - As homelessness continues to be an issue throughout Jefferson County, a new job will be created.

In recent steering committee meetings, county officials have proposed the creation of a “director of housing” within the Department of Social Services.

The position will oversee all homeless-related issues in the county and be in charge of working with the media, spearheading the creation of a permanent homeless shelter, and working with local non-profits.

County Administrator Bob Hagemann says the situation at the Butler Pavilion last fall motivated officials to alter their approach.

“The physical presence at the pavilion certainly was eye-opening to the general public. It was stuff that we were very aware of. It was also very clear nothing was going away. We need to take more innovative approaches to addressing homelessness,” he said.

County officials are setting up how to budget for the job and then look for the right candidate.