News & Resources


Recent News



Upcoming Events

No news found.

Join Our Mailing List for REGULAR Updates

News and Resources

UNH Responds to Federal Sequestration Cuts

Friday, March 01, 2013

70 West 36th Street, Fifth Floor, New York, NY 10018
tel: 212-967-0322    fax: 212-967-0792

Statement of Nancy Wackstein
Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses
On Federal Sequestration Cuts

The Federal sequestration cuts that will cost New York State at least $275 million in this year alone will have a devastating impact on communities throughout New York City and impede our economic recovery, risking another deeper, financial crisis.  These cuts will impact the neediest New Yorkers the most by cutting child care and Head Start for 6,600 children, meals on wheels for 500 homebound seniors and heat and utility subsidies for 3,000 families.  These cuts are not born of fiscal necessity- this is a manufactured crisis that will have real dire, consequences.  As providers of human services know, even temporary disruptions in services can lead to the loss of infrastructure and lasting damage to communities.   Congress must act immediately to prevent this undermining the economy of community life.  

UNH Summary of NYC's FY 14 Preliminary Budget

Friday, February 22, 2013
UNH breaks down NYC's Fiscal Year 2014 Preliminary Budget. Find out what is being cut from the following Departments:

Administration for Children’s Services (Child Care and Head Start)
Department of Education 
Department of Youth and Community Development (Services for Youth) 
Department of Youth and Community Development (Literacy and Immigrant Services) 
Department for the Aging 
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene 
Department of Homeless Services 
Department of Housing Preservation and Development 
Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator

Download it here. 

Beyond Profits

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Beyond Profits

January 30th, 2013

This week on Business Matters, we talk about what it means for businesses to go beyond profits.  What can happen when businesses decide to give back to the community?  What benefits do companies perceive may arise from philanthropic work?   How can “doing good” affect employee retention rates?  In what ways do philanthropies themselves benefit from corporate involvement?  What are the preferred ways for companies to be involved in community organizations?

We discover some surprising statistics about the amount of money, investment in volunteerism, and the number of corporations involved in giving back to their communities, and the reasons “giving back” is important to business.  We hear the interesting story of a philanthropic project offered by Hewlett Packard to economically depressed areas, noting the many benefits and some pitfalls of this corporate-community collaborative project.  Then we discuss the benefits to communities and businesses when corporations offer support to local not-for-profit organizations, including employee retention, community resiliency, and long-term interactions with consumers.  We also hear suggestions for business leaders who are interested in offering such support.

UNH Executive Director Nancy Wackstein spoke to Business Matters Radio about corporate responsibility from the perspective of non-profit organizations.

Listen to her 13 minute interview here! (bottom of the page)

Minimum wage hike could pose problem for summer jobs program

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

"While an increase in the state minimum wage represents welcome progress for the millions of low-wage workers across the state, we want to be certain that the value of the state's investment in [SYEP] is not diminished," said Kevin Douglas, a co-chair of the Campaign for Summer Jobs. "Since the vast majority of SYEP funding goes directly to participant wages, any increase in the minimum wage must be met with a commensurate increase in funding for the program, or ultimately we will be able to serve fewer youth."


Campaign for Children Holds Youth Action Day

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Over 300 young people from across New York City traveled to Albany yesterday for the Campaign for Summer Jobs’ 14th Annual Youth Action Day. Their message to top state lawmakers was straight forward.  The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) has tremendous positive impact the program has on the lives of young people.  However, every year huge numbers of youth are denied access to the program due to inadequate funding.  And, this year, even fewer youth will be able to participate unless new funds are added to Governor Cuomo's budget proposals.

Read more>>

UNH's 5th Annual Advocacy Conference: Maximizing the Unique Opportunity of NYC's 2013 Elections

Saturday, January 26, 2013
UNH thanks all of those who attended our 5th Annual Advocacy Conference: Maximizing the Unique Opportunity of NYC's 2013 Elections on January 18. The conference took place at Henry Street Settlement's Abrons Art Center. Ocynthia Williams, a parent advocate, opened the day by sharing her campaigning experiences, encouraging all in the room to continue their advocacy efforts. The conference wrapped up with informative workshops on defining advocacy and understanding the City and State Budget processes, and small group discussions on priorities in the upcoming Mayoral campaign. Below, view documents and photos from the conference.

UNH Responds to Governor Cuomo's 2013-2014 Executive Budget

Friday, January 25, 2013


70 West 36th Street, Fifth Floor, New York, NY 10018
tel: 212-967-0322    fax: 212-967-0792

Statement of Nancy Wackstein

Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses

On Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2013- 2014 Executive Budget


January 22nd, 2013

Contact:  Annetta Seecharran (212) 967-0322 x 329

United Neighborhood Houses is pleased that Governor Cuomo’s SFY 2013-14 budget makes a number of initial investments necessary to implement the progressive agenda set forth in his State of the State address last week. These investments include:

  • $20 million to extend learning time by at least 25% for students in participating schools,
  • $25 million to fund a competition for full-day pre-kindergarten, a critical component of quality education for children,
  • $1 billion over five years to preserve or create 14,300 affordable housing units, and
  • $36 million for the implementation of the recently enacted NY Safe Act, designed to reduce gun violence across the State.

In addition, we are encouraged by the Governor’s continued commitment to increase the State minimum wage to $8.75/hour as of July 1, 2013. However, we strongly encourage the Governor to take the extra step of indexing future increases to inflation to ensure workers’ wages keep pace with the inevitable increase in the cost of goods and services over time.

Despite these positive elements in the proposed State budget, the Governor’s decision to again withhold Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) for non-profit providers will continue to negatively impact our ability to serve our communities. Further, while an increase in the State minimum wage is certainly overdue and will provide welcome relief to struggling families, it is imperative that the Governor appropriately revise the State’s investments to reflect the commensurate increased costs of meeting state contract obligations. For instance, while we are pleased the Governor has continued his commitment to the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) with a $25 million investment, without an increase to reflect a higher minimum wage, we anticipate NYC providers will be forced to employ approximately 4,300 fewer youth this coming summer.

Finally, we are greatly concerned that the budget includes cumulative reductions of over $1.1 million for the Expanded In Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP) and the Community Services for the Elderly program (CSE). This funding is central to helping older adults maintain their independence and dignity in their homes as they age. Also missing from the budget is an expanded investment in high school equivalency testing, which will be necessary to meet adult learner demand as NYS phases out the GED and implements a new exam in January 2014.

We look forward to working with the Governor and legislature to ensure that adequate investments are made in key human service programs.


The Campaign for Summer Jobs Campaign for Summer Jobs Applauds State Summer Youth Employment Investment; Calls for Minimum Wage Match

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
In response to Governor Cuomo's State FY 2013-2014 Budget, the Campaign for Summer Jobs released this statement

Nancy Wackstein Responds to Governor Cuomo's State of the State Speech

Thursday, January 10, 2013

70 West 36th Street, Fifth Floor, New York, NY 10018
tel: 212-967-0322    fax: 212-967-0792

Statement of Nancy Wackstein

Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses

On Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Speech

January 9th, 2013

Contact:  Annetta Seecharran (212) 967-0322 x. 329

Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address presented a bold and positive vision for New York.  We applaud the Governor for recognizing the crucial role of communities and the non-profit agencies who serve them.  As we saw in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, non-profit agencies including settlement houses played a critical role serving the neighborhoods impacted by the storm.

We are particularly pleased that the Governor included the following items in the State of the State:

  • A robust program for full-day Pre-Kindergarten in low-income communities that will finally make the proven educational benefits of Pre-Kindergarten accessible to working families.
  • Emphasizing the value of expanded learning time which must now be seen as a component of a sound basic education.
  • House NY- a plan to address the housing crisis felt across the State through the creation of affordable housing.
  • Proposals to improve public safety by closing gun loopholes and strengthening gun safety laws as well as a call to end stop and frisk policing.
  • A proposal to increase the minimum wage so that hard working families can afford to live in New York.
  • "CORe Neighborhoods"- an initiative to promote the value of neighborhood-based service delivery.

We look forward to working with both Governor Cuomo and the State legislature to realize this vision for New York’s communities.  


Settlement Houses Are an Essential Component of the Social Safety Net

Friday, January 04, 2013

UNH was asked by IBM to participate on their “Citizen IBM” blog, and our Executive Director Nancy Wackstein posted an entry, linked below.  It focuses on the important role settlement houses play in providing a  social safety net, 100 years ago and today. 

Read the post here>>