Debate over county homeless heats up as temps drop

The White Plains Common Council heard suggestions Wednesday night about how to deal with the county?s homeless as temperatures drop.

There is still no county-run shelter for the homeless after a lot of back and forth. After the closing of a controversial drop-in shelter for White Plains, Westchester announced a plan to create ?warming centers? with chairs instead of beds. However, the plan was reversed and cots were allowed after vocal opposition from advocates.

White Plains Mayor Joseph Delfino assured something would be done to help the homeless. "They're not going to freeze out there. But you have to remember, this group doesn't want to come in sometimes,? Delfino says. ?But if it?s below 32 degrees, we're going to bring them in. We?re not going to let them freeze out there.?

Religious organizations in White Plains are stepping up to fill the void. The Grace Community Church is being considered as one location that could help resolve the problem.

The location of the places that could house the homeless is not without controversy either. Some are concerned about safety because sex offenders are part of the group the shelters would house.

The Common Council did not reach a formal decision Wednesday.

So far, four warming centers have opened in Westchester; two in Mount Vernon, one in New Rochelle and one in Peekskill.

Related Information:Visit Westchester.gov for a complete list of warming shelters

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