Updated 10/09/2012 06:13 PM
Plans in place to open "Patty's Place" in Schenectady
Plans are in place to open up a drop in center to address prostitution in Schenectady. A group of community leaders hope to have the doors open by November. Our Beth Croughan has more.
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- "There's a lot of them and if there's one, that's alarming. It's obviously a quality of life issue, as well as a criminal issue that needs to be addressed," said Schenectady Police Spokesman Lt. Mark McCracken.
McCracken said police regularly make arrests for prostitution. But a group of community leaders are looking to help address the problem.
"We've already seen with the women that we've been working with in the conversation process, that people are more able to turn their lives around when they feel that someone is listening to them and cares about them," said First Reformed Church Assoc. Minister Stacey Midge.
During the past year, Reverend Midge said she's been working with a group to develop a drop in center for sex workers. "Patty's Place" would give them a place to shower, eat and find support.
"Support to move off of the streets and begin different lives when they're ready to do so," she explained.
Midge said the location will be kept secret for security reasons, but it will be in the Hamilton Hill neighborhood.
"It will make the neighborhood worse. It will make the neighborhood worse," said Hamilton Hill Neighborhood Association President Marva Isaacs.
The President of the Neighborhood Association is concerned about quality of life and doesn't support the center opening in her community. But Reverend Midge thinks it can only help.
"It's is happening all around Schenectady. These are real people who have very difficult and complex lives and doing a small amount of work, can yield huge amount of change in their lives," she said.
An informational meeting is being held Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the State Street Presbyterian Church. Donations and volunteers are needed.