United Way of the Mohawk Valley Provides Supplies for Homeless to Local Housing & Homeless Coalition

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. – United Way of the Mohawk Valley (United Way MV) provided the Mohawk Valley Housing and Homeless Coalition with 125 reusable bags packed with critical supplies for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

The Mohawk Valley Housing Coalition is the HUD-funded Continuum of Care for Oneida and Madison counties, made up of more than 20 local agencies, whose mission is to prevent and end homelessness in the Mohawk Valley.

United Way MV partnered with sponsor M&T Bank, to purchase necessities such as toothpaste, deodorant, gloves, socks and more. Employees from M&T Bank volunteers with United Way MV to pack each reusable bag with these essential items.

The bags were distributed during the annual “Point-In-Time” (PIT) count of unhoused individuals within Oneida and Madison counties conducted by the Mohawk Valley Housing and Homeless Coalition. This count is conducted annually and provides a snapshot of how many people are experiencing homelessness in Oneida and Madison counties on a single night in January.

Identifying our community’s unhoused population on this day is done through efforts performed by the Department of Social Services, emergency shelters, drop-in centers, soup kitchens, and the coalition’s street outreach teams. The coalition’s outreach teams’ mission is to reach those often overlooked, like families, and veterans, focusing on areas where people experiencing homelessness are known to congregate.

The data from the count is used to measure the extent of homelessness locally, identify trends of homelessness, and the characteristics of those experiencing homelessness during the cold winter months when the Mohawk Valley Housing and Homeless Coalition is maximizing resources to serve people's needs. Thus, the timing of the data captured provides the coalition with a more precise picture of who is unable to access emergency shelter, or other crisis response assistance locally.

Locally, the count helps Mohawk Valley Housing and Homeless Coalition organizations to plan services and programs, appropriately address local needs, measure progress in decreasing homelessness, identify strengths and gaps in the current homelessness assistance system, establish annual funding priorities, and target resources to populations overrepresented in the count. 

The Mohawk Valley Housing and Homeless Coalition planning team coordinates and implements the count annually, with the support of the local continuum of care partners.  Local count partners include United Way of the Mohawk Valley, Rescue Mission of Utica, ICAN, Emmaus House, Johnson Park Center, Community Action Partnership for Madison County, YWCA Mohawk Valley, Veteran's Outreach Center, Oneida County Department of Social Services, Madison County Department of Social Services, Karing Kitchen, Mohawk Valley Community Action, The Morrow Center, Utica Municipal Housing Authority, and Soldier On.

United Way of the Mohawk Valley is a Board Member Agency of the Mohawk Valley Housing and Homeless Coalition. The organization also functions as the coalition’s collaborative applicant for funding and manages the local coordinated entry system, which is designed to quickly identify people experiencing homelessness, prevent homelessness whenever possible, appropriately assess the needs of people who request help, and connect them to housing and services that meet their needs.

For more information on housing and homelessness in the Mohawk Valley, and more ways to help, head to: www.mvhomeless.org/ 

PHOTOS: unitedwaymv.org/outreachkits

About United Way of the Mohawk Valley
Since 1921, United Way of the Mohawk Valley (United Way MV) has been a human service leader helping thousands of local individuals and families by bringing people and organizations together to solve our community’s challenges. As one of the area’s top funders, dozens of programs rely on United Way MV funding each year.
United Way MV is a leader in innovation through projects and initiatives addressing crucial community issues in the impact areas of health, education, and financial stability. For information about United Way of the Mohawk Valley, to donate or to get involved visit www.unitedwaymv.org, or call 315.733.4691