40 Thomas Street
Kingston, NY 12401
Program Director: Elizabeth Bahr and Christina Basden
Assistant Program Directors/Services: John Alexander and Salvatore Dispensa
Program Hours: 24-Hour Access
PRIMARY FUNCTIONS: Emergency shelter for up to 21 homeless men and women. Housing and services for men and women participating in daily substance abuse and/or mental health programming, who need a clean and sober living environment. The program also provides Intensive Homeless Supervision, including supervision and support to individuals at risk of requiring a higher level of care or supervision, and those involved in the criminal justice system.
ANCILLARY SERVICES: Crisis counseling; case management; information and referrals; linkages to other county and private agencies’ programming; parenting education; information on identifying domestic violence; life skills training; legal consultation referrals; educational advancement; domestic violence classes for both men and women; acupuncture, massage, and other holistic health care services delivered on premises by practitioners from Health Care is a Human Right; free haircuts; free clothing exchange; assistance in locating clean and sober housing; transportation; and after care and homelessness prevention services. The Learning Station is an accessory building providing space for classes, and allowing clients access to computers for such tasks as job and housing searches. The program provides drug testing at the request of the Probation or Parole Departments or when it appears that a resident has violated the drug policy and needs to be tested. The Shelter has worked closely for years with Detox Facilities and Rehabs, and more recently in response to the opioid crisis has worked with doctors who prescribe Suboxone. Staff of Darmstadt are trained in use and distribution of Nalaxone (Narcan).
It is becoming increasingly difficult for the agency to find affordable housing in general, and for the program to find single units, whether studios or one bedroom apartments, for the residents of Darmstadt. Part of the problem is that HUD announces Fair Market Rent, but does not factor in the cost of utilities, which are most often pushed on to the residents. As a result, the cost of the housing is often 50% or more of the resident’s income, which creates an unstable situation. In part, this situation will be helped when the Alms House project proposed by RUPCO is completed. The project targets single individuals ages 55 and older. In 2019, Darmstadt served 28 individuals that would have been eligible for that housing.
All of the sheltering programs are having difficulty attracting and retaining employees, particularly for weekend and overnight shifts. It is the intent of the agency to implement an overnight differential starting in 2020.