Albany Will Hold Summit on Homelessness

Nov 4, 2013

The city of Albany has been coping with more people panhandling lately-- but the number of people who are homeless there remains steady.


In 2006, Albany closed a homeless camp in one of its parks. Since then, homeless advocates have been meeting annually to discuss services for those who are in need.

Marilyn Smith is spokeswoman for the City of Albany. She says they're hoping more members of the general public will attend Wednesday's summit.

Smith: "Maybe there's something that we haven't thought of. There maybe other ways to solve what appear to be intractable problems. So we're hoping we can get some new ideas this time."

There's been concern recently about more people asking for money on Albany's streets. Smith says there've been changes to city laws to discourage panhandling. In September, advocates  conducted a survey of homeless people.

Smith: "To find out what their circumstances were and if they were panhandling, why were they panhandling? How much money did they get what did they spend it on? How can we help you not have to do that in order to get those things?"

The results of the survey will be presented at the Albany Community Summit on Homelessness. It's Wednesday from 9 to noon at Albany City Hall.