Rally held in Rochester to increase funding for mental health housing

Feb 28, 2019

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

A rally was held outside the Regional Office of the Governor in Rochester in an effort to increase funding for mental health housing programs.

Doug Cooper is the Executive Director of the Association for Community Living, a statewide group that represents programs funded by office of mental health.

Cooper and about a dozen other people were outside on the corner of Liberty Pole Way and Andrews Street advocating to get more funding for mental health housing programs.

"Its individuals who have in some instances they were hospitalized. They’re now out in the community, they’re working on their recovery and having safe, affordable housing is paramount to being a successful member of the community."

Cooper says they are thankful for the $10 million that is the Governors Justice Agenda includes for this housing now, but that it’s not enough due to inflation.

"As they develop housing, unfortunately they haven’t been given any increases over the years to keep up with inflation. So we have programs that are anywhere from 40 to 75% inflation if you compare to the last 25 years."

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Cooper says they will be holding rallies every Thursday morning outside the regional office though at least when the New York state budget is passed

The Rochester event is part of a statewide effort with rallies also happening in Syracuse, Buffalo, Long Island and New York City.