NORWICH – Homelessness is faceless. You may not notice it driving up and down Broad Street. But, according to local housing officials, people are sharing couches, doubling and tripling up in each other’s apartments and living in cars, chicken coops and shacks.
Catholic Charities of Chenango County estimates as many as 600 local residents are either homeless or at risk of becoming so soon. The number (from a countywide population of 51,200) was derived in July from data collected from the Chenango County Department of Social Services, Opportunities for Chenango, the Norwich Housing Authority and Catholic Charities.
Catholic Charities reported the estimate, in conjunction with other county-specific details, in order to garner the agency $1.6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds aimed at helping the homeless.
Chenango’s application was one of 25 out of a total of 66 that was selected to receive the money in what Catholic Charities Director Jane Coddington called “a highly competitive grant process.”