SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Community leaders in Schenectady are hoping to bring attention to homelessness in the region as they celebrate the renovation of a youth shelter there.
Officials joined leaders of SAFE Incorporated to reveal the newly renovated SAFE House shelter. The new 12-bed facility provides a housing option for young people between 16 and 21 who have nowhere else to go.
The ribbon cutting also helped to kick off Homeless Awareness Month. Advocates say homeless youth become vulnerable to exploitation at a critical time in their lives.
"Most of these young people came from homes where they were either physically, emotionally or sexually abused. Once on the street, they become the victims of the street people and they struggle with difficult circumstances," said Delores Edmonds-McIntosh, SAFE Inc. Executive Director.
Though they're happy with the 12-bed shelter, SAFE Incorporated serves up to 180 teens each year. Leaders say that figure gives a better idea of the magnitude of the need in the city.