State Lawmakers Deliver Good News
By Henry Street Settlement
Above: State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou advocate at Good Companions Senior Center, February 2017. Executive Director David Garza is pictured right of Sen. Squadron, and special visitor Sen. Squadron’s young son is also pictured!
Henry Street and other human service agencies witnessed the results of concerted advocacy efforts last week with the passage of the $151 billion New York State budget.
Among the Settlement programs able to maintain or expand programs are our Good Companions Senior Center, our Boys & Girls Republic, and the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).
As The LoDown reported, in February State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou toured local senior centers, including Good Companions, to advocate against the proposed shift of $17 million dollars from senior services to child care services. That would have threatened 65 NYC senior centers, and NORC programs would have faced a loss of $700,000. While the pot of funding for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities increased, Henry Street and other agencies must still undergo a competitive process to be awarded these funds.
Good Companions which, along with other senior centers, successfully evaded a funding threat by lawmakers’ decision to use Title XX funds for senior centers. Lawmakers also restored Settlement House Funds, which provides support to settlement houses. That funding supports Henry Street’s Boys & Girls Republic. Also voted in is an expansion of the SYEP program, translating into additional summer jobs for teens and young adults in New York City.
Human service agencies, including Henry Street, advocated tirelessly along with our elected officials to save and/or expand these programs.
David Garza, Executive Director of Henry Street, said, “Our senior services are essential to maintain the health and wellness of our aging clients. We commend the legislators who voted to protect our seniors.”