JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — Jamestown residents took to the street in protest, seeking to hold local lawmakers accountable for what they’re calling the lack of support for the city’s homeless.
The group, Patriots for Chautauqua County, gathered outside of Jamestown City Hall on Friday.
Just weeks ago the second of two “Code Blue” emergency shelters opened at half capacity, after a month’s delay. One organizer and protestor, Seth Viticus, tells us more should be done.
“What is he doing more than just opening up a shelter,“ explained Viticus. “This was started what, Fall?”
The group protested outside city hall for most of the morning, with supplies in tow, for anyone who needed them, like Tylor Launier, who is homeless, currently staying at the UCAN City Mission.
“In Jamestown, if you know, it’s not a very desired place to be living, especially homeless, right now,“ said Launier. “The lower class tend not to be looked at by the higher class. And just seeing people like this doing it out of their kind heart, it makes me think that there’s still hope in life.”
Protestors demand a more permanent housing solution.
“Once you’re in that survival mode, you’re not thinking about getting a job,“ explained Viticus. “You’re thinking about staying warm, you’re worrying about where you’re getting your next meal from. So the first thing would be, get temporary housing.”
For some, they hope that lawmakers will rethink what to do next.
“In my opinion, as a 23-year-old homeless man, I would like to think that this gives the city a standpoint,“ said Launier. “Just a little standpoint of what the average homeless person would be going through.”
The group believes that if they apply enough pressure to lawmakers, the funding to help would eventually become available, whether that’s from tax dollars or donations.
Anyone who would like to help the Patriots for Chautauqua County group are asked to visit their Facebook page for more information.