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Seneca Falls backpack for individuals in need

Town of Seneca Falls Council Woman Kaitlyn Laskoski partnered with Chief Peenstra from the Seneca Falls Police Department and Commissioner Tracy VanVleck from the Seneca County Department of Social Services to assist homeless/displaced individuals. This initiative was the idea of Council Woman Laskoski when she became aware of the lack of resources readily available to people in need due to the vicinity, hours, and transportation of county resources. 

Due to Laskoski’s efforts, Seneca Falls Police Department members will now have backpacks containing various hygiene, canned food, and nonperishable food items. The backpack will also have bus tickets to assist them in following up with the Department of Social Services that coming Monday. Informational packets with a list of services are distributed to individuals as a resource. Everyone involved in this pilot program plans to have this service available to all Law Enforcement Officers in the County if their department wishes to participate.  

“This collaborative effort was very much needed as we continue to meet the needs of our residents to best assist them in getting back on their feet and returning to some level of normalcy. By providing even the most essential needs and linking them to critical resources that many may not be familiar with that exist within our very own community,” says Council Woman Laskoski.  

“We are thrilled to work with Council Woman Kaitlyn Laskoski and the Seneca County Department of Social Services on bridging the gap between services that are already being provided to those in need during the week but might otherwise need to wait for those same services in the middle of the night or on the weekend,” says Chief Peenstra.  

“Seneca County Division of Human Services is grateful to our law enforcement and town council partners for reaching out to Principal Social Welfare Examiner Samantha Lotz, offering assistance with our homeless population in the times that our offices may not be staffed or fully open. With Ms. Lotz’s understanding of this population’s needs, she assisted our partners in developing a plan for local law enforcement officers to have readily available resources to give to individuals they may encounter in these situations. It truly takes a community effort to help our residents in need get the services and resources that are available to them. We continue to be grateful to the efforts of our partners and their willingness to go above their normal duties to help in assisting us with our community members.” says Human Services Commissioner Tracy VanVleck.