Courteney Heller tells Jonah Triebwasser and Kathy Kruger about River Haven Shelter, emergency housing and support services for runaway and homeless boys and girls ages 10 through 17 in Dutchess County. The shelter, in one form or another, has existed in Poughkeepsie since 1984, and currently can house12 youth at a time (about 100 a year), two to a room. A vegetable garden not only supplies fresh food for the table but is one of several ways that counselors help these preteens and teens reintegrate with their family—if they have one—and society. They also perform community service and continue to attend school while in the shelter. Each evening Ms. Heller prepares a family meal for the residents, which they consume together as they talk about their days. The shelter is part of Hudson Valley Housing, which has various programs to aid the homeless.
Michael Christophides, Chief Inspector and Laboratory Director of Granit Inspection Group, joins co-host Sarah O’Connell and guest co-host and physicist David Kruger to describe the hazards of the gas radon, which can accumulate in buildings or in well water. Radon is an odorless radioactive gas that is released from rocks of all kinds, but especially from granite or dark shales found in the Hudson Valley. Radon in the air is the second leading cause of lung cancer (and adds to the risk of cancer in smokers), while radon in water can increase the risk of stomach cancer and may also be released into the air. Testing is the only way that you can tell whether or not radon is present in dangerous levels. Mr. Christophides recommends testing every two years, since levels can change based on seismic activity, changes in structures, or other factors. If a test reveals excess radon, remediation usually consists of suctioning air away before it can enter the house.
RadioRotary interviews Maggie Kwet, the Aging Information Services Specialist at the Dutchess County Office of the Aging, on the many services provided for seniors in the County, which deal with health, the law, transportation, home care, food, energy and heating, grandparenting, and more. The Office of the Aging (845-486-2555) conducts group and individual help with Medicare. It offers programs to improve movement and health for seniors such as “A Matter of Balance” and regular exercise groups. Legal services include living wills, health-care proxies, and advice on bankruptcies. Nearly every problem confronting a senior has a friendly staffer of the Office for the Aging ready to help solve.
RadioRotary interviews recovering addict Cara Mia Bacchiochi about her street ministry called Hope on a Mission HOAM, a volunteer effort to help women who are homeless because of addiction to drugs or alcohol. Working in the city of Poughkeepsie, Bacchiochi and volunteer helpers distribute water and such personal care items as baby wipes to homeless women on a weekly basis. As with other parts of the United States, Poughkeepsie is undergoing a wave of addiction spurred by the introduction of powerful opiate pain relievers and the availability of cheap heroin. In the late 1980s, Bacchiochi was herself an addict, but in 1990 she entered recovery programs. With the help of her church, she hope someday to open a storefront that would make it easier to carry out her mission. In the meantime, Hope on a Mission HOAM could use help in the form of donations and volunteers. See its Facebook page for information on how to help.