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Shelters of Saratoga issues call for supplies

Shelters of Saratoga issues call for supplies

The organization is looking for food, supply and clothing donations for its year-round shelter and outreach program
Shelters of Saratoga issues call for supplies
Shelters of Saratoga Outreach Coordinator Erica Mason gathers items for a homeless man in Saratoga Springs on May 7.
Photographer: Erica Miller/Daily Gazette Photographer

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Shelters of Saratoga is in need of food, personal care and other supplies for its outreach program and the 33 people who reside in the homeless shelter. 

The Walworth Street organization is asking for non-perishable canned goods, sugar, powdered creamer and drink mixes, coffee, condiments, cooking oil, cereal, gallon storage bags, dishwasher and laundry detergent, men's and women's deodorant, liquid hand soap, boxers and women's underwear (sizes medium - XL), and new clothing, including men's and women's T-shirts (sizes medium - XL). 

Rosemary Riedhammer, director of development and marketing for Shelters of Saratoga, said the organization receives the most donations during the fall and winter. 

"Many people host food and supply drives [in the fall and winter months], so we have a surplus of supplies," she said. "During the summer months, we're not necessarily at the center of people's minds, so the frequency of donations lessens, but our needs don't change."

Reidhammer said the shelter assesses its needs on a quarterly basis. 

"We've been seeing less donation traffic, and our needs are increasing," she said. 

Outreach Coordinator Erica Mason visits nearly a dozen hotels and at least three homeless encampments throughout the city every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to hand out food and supplies. 

Since Shelters of Saratoga's Code Blue shelter — an emergency shelter that operates when temperatures dip below 32 degrees — has closed for the season, many of the city's homeless live in encampments throughout the city. 

"The amount of people Erica serves is higher in numbers than those staying at the shelter," Reidhammer said. "Her needs tend to be greater for food and water, especially for those who don't have access to potable water."

Shelters of Saratoga is looking to build a new Code Blue shelter behind its Walworth Street headquarters. 

In May, the Franklin Street residents who oppose the Shelters of Saratoga's proposed Code Blue shelter filed a second legal action. 

The group of 22 neighbors are challenging an April 19 decision by the Saratoga Springs Planning Board, which allowed Shelters of Saratoga to build a Code Blue shelter next to its Walworth Street headquarters. 

Last July, the neighbors filed a lawsuit to challenge the Planning Board's previous approval of the project and the Zoning Board's June 2017 dismissal of the neighbors' lawsuit.

Shelters of Saratoga's year-round Walworth Street shelter is almost always at capacity; it can accommodate 33 people, according to Reidhammer.  

"They're not limited to the amount of time they can stay," she said. "It depends on their needs. Some people stay one week. Some people stay a year."

Donations will be handed out to those at the shelter or put on Mason's outreach van for delivery, Reidhammer said. 

"We're always in need of non-perishable food, and water is seasonal," she said. "We appreciate the community support and hope people will continue to support us." 

Donations can be made daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Shelters of Saratoga, 14 Walworth St. 

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