December 4, 2012

Last Week's Travels - Bath County, NY

Last week I traveled to Bath County, New York (a.k.a. middle of nowhere, NY) to hold a SOAR Forum.  This town is RURAL!  I am not even sure it had any stoplights.  We stayed about a half hour outside of town in Corning, NY (home of famed Corning Glassware) which is also a pretty small town in comparison.  Bath County is about a 4 hour drive from Albany; we headed out Tuesday night and checked into the only hotel in town – the Raddison.  We ended up eating dinner at the place called Gaffer’s in Corning – it was surprising delicious and I had the BEST pumpkin soup with a cinnamon base!  It was so good that I vowed I would recreate it!  (This has yet to happen, but I'll keep you posted.)  The next morning we headed over to Bath where we ate breakfast at the one local diner – Stephanie’s Family Restaurant.  We ended up eating breakfast in between a man with one eye and another with no teeth.  I shouldn’t be mean – but it just goes to show that this area is extremely economically depressed and is very much in need of my organization’s program.

After breakfast we headed to the forum which was held at the Institute for Human Services located on County Road 11!  The forum was great!  It brought together local leaders from the entire NY 501 Continuum of Care (which covers an area larger than the state of Connecticut) and throughout the day we created an action plan to implement SOAR in the region.  My trainers will have their first training in February and I will be there! 

While there I asked the head of the NY 501 CoC – “what do you do if you live/work in Bath County”; he responded “you work in factories or you work in social services, there is a lot of transplanted need in Bath and since non-profit organizations must reside in the County seat the need is either concentrated within the town limits or not easily accessible, which makes for an interesting dynamic.”  I am excited to work intensively in Bath as it sort of reminds me of where I grew up.  Berryville, VA is not nearly as economically depressed but it is rural and growing up there left me with a soft spot for small towns. 
Bath, NY - I'll be seeing you again soon (and I am definitely coming back for that pumpkin soup)! 

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