The Klee Foundation has awarded $75,000 to the Friends of the Broome County Public Library to launch an initiative to assist those in need.

JoAnne Hanrahan, president of the group that supports the Binghamton library, said the program will help those who are homeless as well as those who are dealing with issues like addiction, depression or mental illness.

Hanrahan said library director Josias Bartram worked with her organization to develop a "peer support partnership" project. The grant money will fund the new program for two years.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Hanrahan said she hopes the initiative will become a permanent program "that can help our community right around the library."

The new program will operate out of a room near the entrance of the library at 185 Court Street. It's scheduled to open next Monday morning using peer counselors from Catholic Charities of Broome County.

Hanrahan said many people who visit the library are in need of assistance. Some use the library to warm up in the winter or cool off during the summer.

Hanrahan said the grant from the Klee Foundation is the largest gift the Friends of the Broome County Public Library has received.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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