Brindisi: National Guard Should Step in & Give Locals Access to Upstate Armories if State Expects Communities to Meet Sudden Mandate on Housing Homeless
Assemblyman says mandate will be harder to meet in upstate where temperatures are colder for longer & shelters are regularly full

New mandate is now official & kicks in when temps dip below 32? but many upstate localities are worried about complying; Brindisi says if state worked with localities on plan to open up upstate armories, meeting new homeless housing mandate would be easier

Cash-strapped communities & already full shelters have left many upstate communities wondering how they'll meet the mark; Brindisi's plan could provide the relief upstate requires to meet new charge & shelter those in need during coldest of days

Following governor's emergency declaration requiring local governments to shelter the homeless, Brindisi asks the National Guard to help communities provide emergency shelter

Brindisi: The National Guard has a long history of aiding the public in emergencies, and can play a role in this new mandate by state

January 6, 2016

Utica - Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica announced today that he has written to New York's Adjutant General Major General Patrick Murphy, requesting New York State's system of military armories as temporary housing during cold weather to help localities and social service agencies shelter the homeless.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an Emergency Declaration requiring local governments to find shelter for the homeless whenever temperatures are at or below 32 degrees.

"The National Guard has a long history of aiding the public in emergencies. The recent increase in the number of homeless New Yorkers strains the resources of local governments, social service agencies, and the many not for profits that assist people without housing. The state's Armories can help solve this problem by providing safe shelter during the cold winter months," Brindisi said.

The following is the text of Assemblyman Brindisi's letter to Major General Murphy:

Dear Major General Murphy:

I am writing to you today to respectfully request your assistance regarding Governor Andrew Cuomo's Emergency Declaration that now requires local governments to house their homeless population in shelters at any time when the temperature is at or below 32 degrees.

I am asking you to consider offering New York State's system of military armories available as emergency shelters for the homeless whenever temperatures are at or below freezing. This would greatly ease the burden on localities, which because of the sudden executive order by the State of New York are now required to provide shelter to the homeless in cold weather. I believe New York's armories would provide the safe and temporary housing required for local communities to meet the demand of this new mandate, while keeping homeless individuals out of the cold.

In addition, this would greatly help some of the overburdened agencies that currently house the homeless. In my area, two rescue missions serve as the primary shelters for the homeless. One spokesman for the Utica Rescue Mission told a local television station yesterday that they currently are at 125 percent capacity. Many regions of New York are experiencing a rise in homelessness, and making the Armories readily available during cold weather would be a big help for local governments, social service agencies, and not for profit agencies that help address this issue and work to end homelessness on the local level.

If you would like to discuss this proposal or have any questions, please feel free to call me. I thank you for your interest in this very important matter.


Anthony Brindisi
Member of Assembly