Interfaith shelter services sees more homeless
The Emergency Shelter Partnership has seen a sharp increase in participation this season. The program, which serves the homeless of northern Westchester is accommodating an average of 22 guests per night, up from about 12 last winter.
Shelter officials said the economic downturn is not only driving that growth but bringing in a diverse population from those they typically serve. While the majority of participants continue to be Hispanic day laborers, the program is now seeing white men, black men and women availing themselves of the service.
The Emergency Shelter Partnership is made up of more than a dozen congregations throughout northern Westchester, including Katonah, Chappaqua and Bedford, who provide food and a place to sleep from November to April.
The partnership was borne out of a concern that community and religious leaders saw in the winter of 2004 when reports surfaced of homeless men freezing in the woods, some dying of exposure.
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