Wallkill police officer's kind gesture to the homeless highlights need for additional services

Posted: Updated:

One small gesture from a Hudson Valley police officer is illuminating the need for more resources for the homeless.

Pictures of Wallkill police officer Julia Ashworth giving out food and clothes to a homeless person have made the rounds online. But the photos have also brought attention to a larger concern in Orange County and statewide.

"Nobody wakes up in the morning and says 'I want to be homeless' but happenstance happens and we're here with everyone else in Orange County to lift people up," says Gary Texter, the outreach director at Honor Homeless Shelter in Middletown.

Last year, Honor helped nearly 800 people in need of housing through three shelter programs. But around 500 people are on the streets of the county on any given night, according to a 2019 count.

"We're collaborating with so many community resources. We're getting folks into permanent housing. What I have seen, there is a higher trend in the families that have been residing here," says Honor Residential Services Director Shantel Hayes.

 

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."