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Homeless in the Civic Center Garage
Rochester, N.Y. -- Since October the county has been able to place all but a handful of people sleeping in the garage elsewhere, but advocates say the ones left behind need different options and more time.
Paula Cipro is advocating for people in a situation she knows well. She too is homeless but chose drugs and homelessness to a shelter with rules. She had to be ready to seek help.
"It's not so scary anymore," says Cipro. "It's a lot to be with people you don't know but I'm hoping to get some help."
"They are a more complex set of folks, it's not easy to find a location for them to be able to reside," says Kelly Reed with Monroe County Social Services.
Monroe County has long been involved in outreach to people with mental health, drug, and other issues living in the garage. But since October, they have followed up over and over and each person and found one third have found another alternative. Tuesday night they were back again.
"We went out to talk to the folks in the garage to make sure they knew that the garage was going to be locked tonight and see if they had a plan," says Reed. "They all knew."
"Every time you get six in, you come back here and there are six more," says Sister Grace Miller with the House of Mercy. "The population fluctuated; there will be homeless all the time."
Advocates with the House of Mercy want more time to find a permanent solution.