In Schenectady, city police Sgt. Nick Mannix and Lt. Ryan Macherone, seeing a need to help the homeless rather than punish them, worked with community agencies over the winter to provide supplies for those living in a homeless encampment off of Lomasney Avenue until they could find housing. The officers could have taken the more conventional route by simply ordering the dozen or so people living in the camp to disperse. But they took a more humanitarian approach to the problem, enlisting the local agencies to bring meals and other supplies and eventually to help eliminate the need for them to live in the wooded area at all. Among the groups assisting with the effort were Bethesda House of Schenectady, Catholic Charities, New Choices Recovery Center, Schenectady County Health Services, City Mission, Schenectady Community Action Program and Mohawk Opportunities.
In Hudson Falls, about 60 volunteers recently helped fill a need for food for students and local families during school spring break by hosting a food distribution event at Hudson Falls High School. The event was organized by Catholic Charities, the AFL-CIO-Capital District Area Labor Federation Chapter, CDPHP and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. Volunteers distributed about 16,000 pounds of food – enough to feed about 500 families – for those in need. The items included milk, eggs, salad, pizza and fruits and vegetables. Volunteers loaded food in families’ vehicles following covid protocols.
In Schenectady County, government officials, health officials, volunteers and others are working to stop the spread of the coronavirus by distributing vaccines at the fifth highest level of any of the 62 counties in the state. Through Friday, nearly half of all county residents had received at least one dose of a vaccine and 33% have been fully vaccinated. Both figures are well above the state average. For information on how to schedule a vaccination, visit: https://www.schenectadycounty.com/
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High Notes is a Monday feature of The Gazette Opinion section spotlighting the good being done in our communities by individuals, organizations, schools and colleges, and businesses. If you know of anyone who should be celebrated, send your suggestions for High Notes to Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected]