16 Rock City Road
Woodstock, NY 12498
(845) 679-2485 / 338-2370
Team Leader: Tamara Cooper
Program Director: Sue Carroll
Program Hours: Crisis Hotline – 24 hrs. /365 days
Walk-ins – 9:30am to 9:30pm; 24 hours in emergencies
Textmeback Textline – 7 days a week, 5:00am to 1:00am
PRIMARY FUNCTIONS: Crisis intervention; emergency short-term counseling; information and referral; case management; care coordination; emergency food; access to emergency housing; after hours, weekend and holiday coverage for many county, state and local agencies; emergency textline for crisis and information and referrals; emergency resources in situations such as homelessness, lack of fuel or utilities, lack of food, or emergency transportation for the Ulster County Department of Social Services; facilitation of the evidence based suicide prevention programs SafeTALK and ASIST and evidence based counseling programs, Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid. This hotline also serves as the 24-hour access point for Family’s Domestic Violence, Homeless, and Runaway and Homeless Youth shelters.
Food closet; free store (clothing, furniture and household items); public rest room; free public telephone for local calls and long distance in emergencies; message services; client advocacy; employment file; motel placements for individuals and families unable to be served by Family’s shelters; volunteer transportation; community bulletin boards; and host- site for other community programs and initiatives. The program provides food and gifts to families and individuals during the major holidays. Local schools and courts use the program as a placement for community service and it serves as a placement for interns from local colleges and graduate schools. Program staff are active in the town’s Emergency Management Committee and the program had a generator donated by Ulster County Mental Health Department that enables it to provide ongoing assistance during emergencies. Refrigeration for medications, electricity to charge cell phones and computers and space to get warm or cool off are all available to the community. Also offered is assistance to residents in applying for benefits on- line. As applying for services on-line has become more common, our staff is trained to assist clients in accessing resources via the internet. A new addition to this is our expanded supportive case management. We have begun a collaboration with RCAL in which a case manager comes to our program once a month to assist clients with applying for benefits in a setting where they feel safe and is more easily accessible for those who are unable to access transportation. Finally, the program plays an integral part in the delivery of mental and physical health services in the county by operating as the on-call resource for Ulster County Mental Health, Astor Family Services, Family Services of the Hudson Valley, Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Services, the Institute for Family Health and the Ulster County Health Home. The program operates the answering service for several AA districts.
PANDEMIC RESPONSE: Family of Woodstock continues to be a vital part of the community as the pandemic rages on across the county, state, country and the world. Our operating philosophy has been to emphasize our resilience through being adaptable and flexible and pivoting quickly to new ways of delivering services in response to emerging situations. As the vaccines were made available to various sections of the population, we worked with local clinics to register those who did not have access to technology or were anxious about the process. In June, we re-opened our building to walk in clients on a limited basis, while maintaining onsite procedures that support psychological and physical safety for our volunteers, interns, paid staff and clients as we continue answering both the phones and the text line, as well as operating an active food pantry. Our FOWCS committee continued to meet with clients by phone and to accept new clients. Walk up clients could access food bags, supportive and crisis counseling, supportive case management and shop our free store by scheduled appointment, or as available. Clients and the community can access our onsite staff via the phones installed outside our 2 main entry ways.
Hotline staff continue to use virtual technologies to ensure coverage at this time. Our virtual team operates smoothly with those working onsite. We have improved our system of cooperation between the onsite and virtual teams through increased technological proficiency.
As it became apparent that our agency training and weekly meetings would need to be conducted virtually, our staff pivoted to an online format. Our virtual training sessions for interns, volunteers and agency staff are going well. We are working to ensure that training is able to be delivered in safe ways. Our continued use of this virtual system has allowed us to bring on new staff, volunteers and interns.
Along with several community partners, we continued our traditional Thanksgiving meal by offering a holiday food basket to those who wished to cook and a complete meal delivered to the homes of those who requested it. Our holiday gift drive consisted of prioritizing gift cards for local families.
There will continue to be new and ongoing challenges for the year 2022. We will continue to assess the safety of our staff, volunteers, interns and community as we deliver much needed services in the safest way possible. We look forward to expanding our onsite services when we can and will continue to increase our flexibility in response to community needs until then.
Family of Woodstock plays an important role in 2 new collaborations.
Family of Woodstock, joining with the Town of Woodstock’s Housing Committee and the Office for the Aging, has created a new program, HomeShare Woodstock. It seeks to address the shortage of affordable housing in our community. This innovative program matches qualified home owners with additional living space with home seekers looking for safe rental opportunities in or near Woodstock. The mission statement for HomeShare Woodstock is the following: Connecting home owners and home seekers to create affordable, satisfying housing opportunities, allowing people to continue to call Woodstock their home.
We also have an important role in Ulster County’s HEAL Program, aimed at providing supports to those who are challenged by opioid addiction. Partnering with the UC Sherriff’s Oracle Team, Samadhi, Ulster County Departments of Health and Mental Health, and other community programs, the hotline oversees emergency housing for those individuals who are preparing to go into detox or recovery treatment. In 2021, 90 people were served through this county-wide collaboration, of which 92% made it to treatment. This motel placement is an expansion of Family of Woodstock’s existing program to place homeless individuals in emergency shelter and motels overnight, weekends and holidays under a contract of the Ulster County Department of Social Services. Placements are made for the HEAL program, a program targeting individuals who are awaiting access to detox and rehab for opioid addiction. The program also places families during the time when the Warming Center is open under the Code Blue program, and individual and families who are without housing and are unable to access UCDSS.