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Politics and Government

Utica breaks ground on housing for homeless veterans

Central New York Veterans Outreach Center

New York state is helping build new housing units for homeless veterans in Utica.

Officials involved with the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center broke ground on the $3.2 million project last week. The funding will create 10 permanent and seven temporary housing units for homeless veterans in the center's headquarters, which is a former YMCA that already has older individual units in the upper portion of the building.

Jennifer Martin is the program director of the center, which serves dozens of homeless veterans each year in Oneida, Jefferson, Lewis, Herkimer, St. Lawrence, Otsego and Madison counties. Martin says the new housing units are greatly needed in central New York.

"Finding housing for homeless veterans around the area with rent that is reasonable is difficult," Martin said. "So having a place where they can go and get into easily is going to help us as case managers house our clients quickly and reduce the homeless numbers in the streets and the shelters."

In addition to offering housing, the center also provides services to homeless veterans, like finding work and accessing benefits available through the VA. 

The new units are expected to open next year.