Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro will release his 2021 Executive Budget on Wednesday, but he has announced that the proposed budget includes initiatives to fight homelessness and to expand housing options for these residents.

With the upcoming release of the budget this week, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced that he wants to help the Couty's most vulnerable residents.

Molinaro said:

A home is more than just a physical space, it’s the foundation of hope, from which successful lives are created and fruitful futures are nurtured. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live in a safe and affordable home, and County has led by example with our efforts to increase those opportunities for residents. My 2021 Executive Budget builds on our successful work of recent years, provides more resources, and establishes further community collaboration to decrease County's homeless population while increasing hope for those looking to flourish

In 2019, teams gathered to reimagine how to address homelessness. The team identified areas of concern, which include how long the stays are at local shelters, the cost of placing individuals, among other things.

Following the team's findings, Dutchess County implemented several measures to reduce the homeless population in the county, provide more effective transitioning housing, as well as increase the availability of affordable housing.

During the pandemic, the County Executive issued an emergency order allowing the recently vacant temporary housing units or PODS at the County Sheriff campus to be repurposed as emergency shelters for those in need.

In 2020, Dutchess County with a 4-step action plan to combat homelessness: Establish a one-stop contact center, coordinate with partners, reduce reliance on motels, and to increase the availability of affordable housing.

The use of these PODS will continue in 2021 while a more permanent solution is developed. Molinaro's Executive Budget includes nearly $900,000 in funding, in addition to $1 million in United States Department of Housing and Urban Development grant funding to serve individuals experiencing homelessness in the PODS and provide round the clock staffing.