Mental Health & Housing
Like other urban public libraries, BCPL serves many of our community’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged residents, including those who are struggling with mental health, homelessness, addiction, and poverty. This is work that we have done throughout the Library’s history, but over the last few years we have made it an institutional priority. As part of this initiative, we launched the BCPL Peer Support Partnership in February 2022. With generous support from the Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation and the Friends of the Broome County Public Library, we are partnering with Catholic Charities of Broome County to provide 38 hours of peer support per week in the Library’s Public Lounge. Whether connecting patrons to the services and resources they need, or just providing a cup of coffee and a friendly game of Monopoly, our peer counselors are here to draw on their own life experience and process of recovery in order to serve those in need. This is currently a pilot program which is fully funded for two years, and it will help us to plan and fund a long-term solution to proactively providing these services at the Library.