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Sonny and Julie Bonacio, RISE Collaborate on Saratoga Springs Low-Barrier Homeless Shelter

It’s no secret that Saratoga Springs struggles with finding shelter for its unhoused population. This past June, Sonny and Julie set out to do something about it. Sonny enlisted Meg Kelly, former Mayor and currently a Project Manager with Bonacio Development, who brought in RISE Healthy Housing and Support Services, specifically Executive Director Sybil Newell and Associate Executive Director Lindsey Connors.

Sonny told John Kaufmann of Saratoga Springs Politics, “The encampment of homeless people at the city’s garage just seemed to be going from bad to worse. Everybody was talking about the problem of homelessness and the situation in the garage, but nothing concrete seemed to be being done about it. Julie and I decided, ok, let’s make something happen.”

The former site of Code Blue at 4 Adelphi Street was chosen for a temporary 24/7 low-barrier shelter to serve thirty people. Sonny and Julie waived the rent on the facility for two years. With the help and resources of RISE, Bonacio Construction, and volunteers, the space was updated to include fencing, an outdoor area with picnic tables and a basketball court, a counseling office, a laundry, a common area, new HVAC including a hot water heater and AC unit, an expanded dining area, lockers, security cameras, fresh paint, and furniture, which Steve Sullivan, the owner of the Olde Bryan Inn Restaurant, donated.

Six months later, the shelter continues to help the city. In December, RISE was awarded $387,000 from the Saratoga Springs City Council to continue the shelter’s operations into 2024. Click here to learn about the shelter from RISE.

Read more about this story from the following outlets:

Saratoga Springs Politics
Saratoga Today Newspaper
The Saratogian
The Times Union

(Photo by RISE Healthy Housing and Support Services)