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Donations target housing insecurity, homelessness


Citizen Advocates recently donated to local organizations, which provide transitional housing and other supports in Franklin County.  Accepting donations on behalf of Community Connections of Franklin County for Barnabas House and Ruth House were Kevin Elmer, left, Homeless Specialist for Barnabas House; Ren Taylor, Homeless Specialist for Ruth House; and Darren Dumas, Program Manager of Community Services.  Presenting the donation from Citizen Advocates were Board of Directors President Martha Dishman, Interim CEO Jim Forbes, and Chief Operations Officer James Button.

Shelters in Malone, Saranac Lake receive funding

Citizen Advocates recently donated a total of $10,000 to four organizations in Franklin County committed to providing temporary or transitional housing to individuals in need.

The Barnabas House and Ruth House in Malone each received $2,500 for the services they provide to the community. In Saranac Lake, the Lakeside House received $2,500, and the Ecumenical Council of Saranac Lake received $2,500 to support Samaritan House, operated in partnership with Lakeside House.

“Homelessness and housing insecurity are among those issues that can indiscriminately affect any individuals or families, particularly those struggling with mental health and addiction,” said James Button, Chief Operations Officer of Citizen Advocates. “By providing this funding, it not only helps these organizations sustain their mission, it aligns with our shared vision for access to safe, stable housing in the community.”

Ruth House in Malone is the newest transitional housing service in the community, and is open to women and children confronting domestic violence, addiction or mental health issues.

In addition to the basic needs associated with shelter, the home offers access to other services related to employment and permanent housing.

Ruth House was established through a partnership between Community Connections of Franklin County and Shiloh Baptist Church. Community Connections is responsible for day-to-day operations.

Also operated by Community Connections, The Barnabas House in Malone provides basic needs such as shelter, food and clothing. In addition, the facility coordinates with Franklin County Social Services to help individuals transition into stable and sustainable living situations.

In Saranac Lake, Lakeside House opened its doors in October 1978, serving adults in the region experiencing serious mental illnesses by providing a Community Residence licensed by the state Office of Mental Health. They also provide Supported Housing services to individuals living independently in the community.

In 2017, Lakeside House collaborated with the Ecumenical Council of Saranac Lake to open and operate Samaritan House, an eight-bed transitional living site for persons experiencing homelessness.

The Ecumenical Council is managing the building, and collaborating with volunteers throughout the Tri-Lakes region to transform a former cure-cottage/rooming house to a warm and functioning home for people to stay while they re-connect with the community. Lakeside House provides staffing for the program to work with residents as they regain the skills and supports that allow them to move on to a home of their own.

To learn more, contact Community Connections of Franklin County at 518-521-3507, or the Lakeside House at 518-891-0815.