Lack of supportive housing causes community problems

by Carol Thompson

Rose Anthony said she was livid when she visited one of her rental apartments recently.

Roughly two weeks ago, the landlord shown one of her apartments on Oneida Street in the City of Fulton to a woman and the woman’s Oswego County Department of Social Services caseworker.

Anthony agreed to rent to the woman and not long after, she said she was receiving complaints from other tenants.

The woman was allegedly waking neighbors in the early morning hours to use a telephone and creating other problems. Anthony said she decided to pay the tenant a visit.

“I walked in and there was piles of raw garbage in front of the door,” Anthony said.

Once inside, she said she found raw garbage all over the floors. Her tenant, she said, had no furniture other than a mattress in the middle of the living room floor.

Anthony alleges that the Oswego County Health Department would do nothing and she spoke with Bill Reed, who serves as the director of adult services at the county DSS.

Anthony said Reed was no help to her at all.

Oswego County DSS Commissioner Gregg Heffner said he had learned of the problem Monday and that it is going to be addressed as soon as possible.

The woman is developmentally disabled and, like many others, is attempting to function on her own rather than with assistance in a group home.

“Through no fault of their own, they are being put out in the community,” Heffner said. “This is what we’re running into because they are cutting beds. There are fewer beds for supportive services, especially here in Oswego County.”

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