Schenectady Cares Program helps 13 people

WNYT Staff
Updated: October 15, 2019 09:20 AM
Created: October 15, 2019 08:43 AM

After starting in July, the Schenectady Cares Program has helped 13 people who are struggling with addiction.

The program was started by the city’s police department to help people dealing with substance abuse. The New Choices Recovery Center and Catholic Charities also work with the Schenectady Police Department on this program.


“It takes a village really to help people find recovery and engage in treatment,” said COTI Project Director at the New Choices Recovery Center, Chad Putman.

“To have the police department be an advocate and an ally in the treatment community I think is really important,” he added.

All someone who is struggling with addiction has to do is walk into the Schenectady Police Department and simply say, “I’m here for Schenectady Cares.”

“Within a half hour, often times 15 minutes, we are able to get over there and meet with the individual. Of the eight individuals that have been referred to us seven of them have engaged in some type of treatment,” explained Putman.

Putman says when they meet with the individual, they ask various questions about their substance abuse, whether or not they have insurance, and what kind of treatment they are interested in.

He says it is critical to have a place that is open 24/7 that is willing to help those who want to take the first steps toward recovery.

“When people try and get treatment and they run into a barrier often times that will throw them right back into addiction,” he added.

New Choices Recovery Center and the Schenectady Police Department say they cannot wait to help more people.

The Chatham Police Department also has a similar program that was started a few years ago. So far, they have helped more than 200 people seek recovery.

To hear more about the Schenectady Cares Program, click on Emily De Vito’s story.

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