Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman announced this week the planned closing of a homeless shelter located at the Hidden Cove Motel in Hampton Bays.
According to a letter received Monday, June 10, from John O’Neill, Acting Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Social Services, use of the facility will be discontinued by September 30, 2013. The decision was made in light of the adoption of IR 1233-2013 on April 30, a Suffolk County policy that aims to benefit homeless children by placing them in shelter locations near their home school districts.
“Supervisor Throne-Holst and I met with the county executive and Acting Commissioner O’Neill on Friday to explain that few, if any, of the families who have stayed in the Hidden Cove Shelter are from Southampton Town or anywhere on the East End,” said Schneiderman.
“In light of the county’s newly adopted policy to focus on minimizing the dislocation experienced by homeless children, as well as the recent opening of two large homeless shelters in Western Suffolk, it was appropriate to re-evaluate whether a facility located in an area were homelessness has a very low incidence, is still needed.”
The Hidden Cove Motel, which has 33 units in total, has accommodated more than 28 families at times, and is currently housing 20 families. As an outcome of the meeting, it was agreed that SCDSS would stop placing new families at the site, effective immediately.
Those currently living in the shelter will be transitioned to longer term housing over the next several weeks.
Throne-Holst and Schneiderman were advised that because of the new space availability in the western Suffolk shelter centers, and the ongoing efforts to transition families into more permanent housing, the Hidden Cove location may be empty as early as July, but certainly by early September.
“We appreciate SCDSS and the county executive’s office working with us on the local level to best meet the needs of sheltered families and children, while welcoming us to the table to best address and work cooperatively on these programs and constituent needs,” said Throne-Holst. “This is a very welcome change from the previous administration that kept us entirely removed from this process. This is a great example of all levels of government working productively together.”
The shelter at the Hidden Cove Motel is located in Hampton Bays and is operated by the not-for-profit agency Community Housing Innovations, Inc. It was opened in October 2011.