The UNH Blog

December at UNH

Monday, December 10, 2018

As we prepare to enter 2019 and our 100th year as the voice of the settlement house movement, we thank you for your commitment to UNH and reflect on 2018.

This past year has not been an easy one, as we grapple with issues of vanishing and deteriorating affordable housing, fear and confusion among immigrants, and inadequate resources for the nonprofits working so hard to address these issues and more. 

 

Yet it was also a year where New Yorkers demonstrated their strengths. We showed up to the polls, we advocated in the streets and at City Hall, and worked with our City and State representatives to find solutions to the problems plaguing our City. Our voice matters, and New Yorkers have proven that.  

We also expanded our membership to include two new settlement houses in New York City – Red Hook Initiative, and Korean Community Services – and for the first time in UNH history, two affiliate members outside NYC – Trinity Alliance of the Capital District and Syracuse Northeast Community Centergrowing our network to 42 members who together reach 765,000 New Yorkers. As our network grew, we also expanded our professional development opportunities, starting three new peer learning groups in the areas of civic engagement, neighborhood affordability, and college preparation. 

 

None of this important work and exciting growth could happen without the committed partnership of our members, funders, and collaborators. We look forward to continued progress together during our exciting centennial year.

 

Best,

Susan Stamler

Executive Director, United Neighborhood Houses

Celebrating Intergenerational Month

Friday, September 28, 2018

By: Katie Cardwell, Community Organizer & Trainer

When United Neighborhood Houses commits to promoting and supporting intergenerational work, I understand on a personal and professional level why it is important.

At the end of first grade my family moved from the neighborhood I was born in to a completely new space. It was the same town, but for a seven-year-old it was a huge change. It meant a new school come September and a menagerie of new, unfamiliar settings. However, what made this transition distinct was less the loss of what I knew and more about what I gained.

Across the street in a large house with a sprawling yard lived a woman named Eileen. Her home put our small rental to shame, but little did I know at the time that her home would become mine. She was an older adult working well past retirement age, caring for her husband with early signs of dementia, and acting as a safe-haven for her adult children and grandchildren.

Despite these circumstances, which I only fully recognized in retrospect, she became my friend. When autumn approached and the leaves turned and fell, she would hire me to rake the front yard. When the holidays came around we would swap baked goods. Whenever my parents were unavailable and I needed a place to stay for a few hours, she was there.

Being seven, then eight, then nine, and onward, the lines between “her” property and “my” property blurred and disappeared. I was as welcome in her home as any member of her own family. I got to know her older grandchildren who were kind enough to entertain a child much younger than any of them.

She was a confidant when I needed it, a supervisor when I wanted to do yard and house work and earn a few dollars, and a mentor. I learned a lot just from observing how she treated and loved her children when they struggled and from listening to her friends and their jovial conversations while I hung out nearby.

I don’t know what my move would have looked like if Eileen hadn’t lived across the street. She certainly became a pivotal influence in my life and someone whose love meant the world to me when I needed it.

I moved out of the neighborhood in 8th grade and did not see Eileen again until I was preparing to transfer to an out-of-state university. A fully-fledged adult, I showed up on her doorstep uncertain if she would remember me. Apparently, all it took was a smile from me for her to recognize me.

We sat around her kitchen table and talked for the better part of an hour. I thanked her for the love she showed to me as a child and she thanked me for letting her be a part of my childhood. She shared stories, things I had forgotten, and told me she knew I would go on to do good things and she was proud to be a part of my journey.

Since September is Intergenerational Month, I want to take a moment to highlight the work that UNH is facilitating to create more relationships like the one I had with Eileen; relationships that will carry children through adolescence, into young adulthood, and likely beyond. Relationships that will also provide a way for older adults to give back and find meaning, to leave their print on the next generation and feel empowered.

In my short time as staff at UNH I have seen this commitment play out across our member settlement houses in several ways. We are currently organizing an intergenerational program up in the Bronx with East Side House Settlement to connect older adults with pre-school classrooms and children around literacy and Kindergarten preparedness with a national program called Jumpstart.

In Brooklyn, East New York Farms, United Community Centers, and the Pink Houses Community Center have come together to promote an intergenerational farm. High school interns are paid to work on the farm alongside older adult volunteers who provide oversight and act as role models. Through this experience they come away with additional adult perspectives and valuable work experience.

Over in Queens, at Sunnyside Community Services and back in Brooklyn in Williamsburg through St. Nicks Alliance, UNH has facilitated intergenerational storytelling. The Gen2Gen programs aim to create spaces for older adults, youth, children, and other community members to talk about and work on issues that are important to them.

All this work aims to not only bring people into a room together, but to create and promote bi-directional relationships between older adults and younger people. My relationship with Eileen was bolstered by the fact she seemed to delight in me as much as I delighted in her. We had a relationship that went beyond mere transactions or pleasantries.

Older people have a lot to offer their communities, and younger people benefit from additional adult influences in their lives outside of their family. In the same way, older adults benefit from having relationships with young people long after their own children – if they had any – may be grown. At the very heart of intergenerational work is the desire to continue to build strong communities where neighbors know and care about each other, regardless of age.

We are stronger together, and that’s why intergenerational work is so important and why I’m excited to celebrate it and the work we and our Settlement House members are doing.

Summer Youth Employment Program in Action

Tuesday, August 21, 2018



This past week we said farewell to our amazing summer interns, Fahmida and Anita. 
Through our leadership in the Campaign for Summer Jobs, which advocates for the Summer Youth Employment Program (S
YEP), a six week paid work experience for 14-24 year olds, we were able to have two participants placed at UNH by our member organizations St. Nicks Alliance and Chinese-American Planning Council.  

Throughout the summer Fahmida and Anita worked in the Policy and Advocacy department learning about the UNH portfolio.  Additionally, they joined UNH staff in meetings, helped crunch numbers on some of our data projects, and supported our Civic Engagement Forum.   

Below are their takes on their time at UNH: 

Famida: 
One of my first memories as a child was playing with my toy stethoscope and otoscope from the dollar store. It was all fun and games when I would press the stethoscope and otoscope against places where it did not belong. I was a wild creature, so it was my mom’s last resort to restrain my hyperactivity. Fortunately for my mom, it worked. Now that I am a second-year pre-med student at Barnard College, my mom likes to take credit for fueling my desire in healthcare, and rightly so.

Perhaps, my passion for medicine came out of mundane experiences like role playing, or my inherent desire to make my mom better as she was ill so often. However, I do believe that desire was mainly cemented by the invaluable experiences I gained from my jobs and internships throughout the years.

When I was fifteen, I landed my first job at a local pediatric clinic, where I worked alongside my favorite pediatrician, Dr. Krauss. I had known him for eleven years, so the opportunity had presented itself during one of my routine checkups. I did not hesitate and immediately took him up for the offer. I shadowed him and did a lot of translating as the clinic was located in a predominantly Bengali community.  I worked at the clinic for a little over a year, but in that time I had acquired a life-long mentor, problem-solving skills and patience, all of which I would continue to utilize in all my future job experiences. Although it had cemented my desire in healthcare, specifically pediatrics, it had fueled new interests: my love for kids and giving back to the community. I quickly learned the importance of having a job and about financial responsibility. Had it not been for my first job, I would not have my newfound interest in childcare.

I had worked as a teaching assistant in a few education non-profits before I landed my official job at Educational Alliance through the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity, but I won’t say it was an easy feat. Each day was an obstacle course and I quickly learned that kids are predictably unpredictable. Despite this, I loved sharing my knowledge and my experience with fifteen other small humans, who were just as excited about learning as I was. The job had pushed me out of my comfort zone and I learned a lot about being an educator through the wonderful conversations I had with my supervisor during the students’ nap time. It was during those conversations that I had come to learn more about Educational Alliance and early childhood programs throughout the city. My own experiences in under-funded schools coupled with conversations I had engaged in about schooling in the city made me realize that I wanted to do more. I continued to work with kids each summer for the next four years until 2018.

When I got another chance to work through the Summer Youth Employment Program, I knew I wanted to switch things up. United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) was exactly what I was looking for. A non-profit, UNH’s mission to expand the availability of good, affordable child care, after-school and summer enrichment programs like SYEP aligned with my interests. Advocating for issues that were personal to me was important and I was able to do just that as a policy and advocacy intern for UNH. As an intern, I had the privilege to work alongside Gregory Brender as well as sit in various meetings with the staff and youth services providers. As a STEM major, issues surrounding policy and advocacy were very foreign to me. However, I am thankful for the exposure as it taught me a lot about professionalism and gave me insight into how different organizations work together to produce results. In the office, I worked on numerous research projects, a lot of which included compiling data on SYEP in different counties throughout New York State, crunching numbers for data analysis projects and reading up on studies about early education.

My experience at UNH has been very insightful and that is an understatement. What I realized through conversations and my time here at UNH is that it is okay to be unsure. I would not have imagined a few years ago that I would be working with kids and then at UNH. Having jobs throughout my high school career helped me discover those passions and as cliché as it sounds it has shaped me into the person that I have become today. It is for this very reason that I strongly believe in UNH’s efforts for advocating for the Summer Youth Employment Program, so that it can reach more of the city’s youth and young adults throughout NYS like it did with me. In January of 2019, during Youth Action Day, I hope lawmakers can also see the tremendous impact SYEP has on the city’s youth.


Anita:
(pictured at our annual FUN DAY!) 

 


I’m Anita Kwok, an upcoming freshman at Fordham University at Lincoln Center. I am a Policy and Advocacy intern here at UNH. I came to UNH through the Summer Youth Employment Program/In School Youth Program at the Chinese-American Planning Council in Queens. I decided to be placed at United Neighborhood Houses because advocacy is what I love to do most. I plan to do this for my career and that is what UNH is all about.

In my six weeks here, I have worked on various campaigns and projects; contacted and scheduled meetings with various Council members, Senators, and Assembly members; collected and calculated various datum; designed certificates; and attended Advocacy Institute trainings, the Civic Engagement Forum, and various meetings. Those events have allowed me to gain insight on the world of policy and advocacy. Having my own UNH email was also very exciting.

I learned so much this summer, but the biggest thing I learned is that I still have a long way to go and so much more to learn on this advocacy path. Interning at UNH was a rewarding and gratifying experience and I am sad to have it end.


Democracy: Is it in Danger?

Monday, August 13, 2018


A Message from UNH Executive Director, Susan Stamler 

Recently, I traveled with a delegation of about a dozen of my New York City settlement house colleagues to the International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers conference in Helsinki, Finland. The theme of this conference was 
Democracy: Is it in Danger?, and it has inspired my thinking even more than usual about the role UNH and settlement houses play in promoting social change and democracy. Also, about how important it is for us to dedicate even more of our energy towards building an open and democratic society that guarantees, teaches, and encourages active participation, provides access to information, protects a free press, and strengthens communities. Democracy needs exercise to grow. UNH and our members have the stamina, brains, and heart to make that possible. Keep reading to learn more about how UNH is empowering New Yorkers to take part in decisions that affect their communities. 


2018 Settlement House Day Recap  
On April 17, 250 settlement house staff attended UNH’s Settlement House Day! This full day of professional development workshops and panel discussions – offered exclusively for settlement house staff – has become a highly anticipated annual event. Session topics were suggested and led by settlement house staff and included tips for how to use social media to promote programming, building cultural competency for diverse programs, and ways to incorporate civic engagement into everyday activities. The event was so successful – the evaluation showed that 95% of participants think attending Settlement House Day will help them in their work – that we are looking into a bigger space for next year.


UNH is Expanding 

Welcoming New UNH Members
UNH recently welcomed three new settlement house members: Red Hook Initiative in Brooklyn, and the first members from outside New York City in UNH’s 99-year history, Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region in Albany and Syracuse Northeast Community Center. Membership in UNH is considered for organizations that demonstrate commitment to the settlement house model, which means they are embedded in their community, serve multiple generations, offer a variety of programs, and focus on community building and reciprocity.  These new members are committed to actively participating in, benefiting from, and contributing to UNH's advocacy efforts, customized professional development and peer learning opportunities, and technical assistance support.  This increased membership allows us to expand our reach -- UNH members now touch the lives of more than 765,000 New Yorkers of all ages.  We are thrilled to have these three vital and important community-based organizations join the UNH family, which is enriched by their staff and communities. 

New Work Around Neighborhood Affordability 
UNH has hired a new Policy Analyst to expand our efforts to promote and preserve neighborhood affordability. The cost of living in New York City has grown out of reach for too many people. Increasing gentrification and a yawning income gap threatening the fabric of our communities, and our members have seen their neighborhoods changing swiftly. We have hired a new Policy Analyst who will focus on educating our network about the processes that lead to gentrification and skyrocketing rents, and developing a platform that ties together economic and workforce development and affordable housing. From emphasizing the importance of settlement houses partnering with NYCHA to exploring ways land use can benefit low-income New Yorkers, our holistic approach will take aim at some of the root causes of displacement. Check out the first education tool developed as part of this new portfolio of work, which details the New York City Rezoning process and identifies opportunities for engaging and affecting that process to help our members ensure their constituents are represented in the City’s plans. Advocacy in Action

Advocacy Wins in Settlement House and New York City Families
In Albany and at City Hall, UNH advocates for programs that help individuals, children, families, and older adults, and that make our neighborhoods better places to live. We mobilize settlement houses and their communities to speak out for these programs on the steps of City Hall, in marches at all five Borough Halls, and in meetings with legislators in their districts and in Albany. This year’s effort resulted in 22,800 middle school youth being able to attend summer camp, paid summer jobs for 75,000 teens, $12 million in funding restored for adult literacy, and increased funding for critical services in Naturally Occurring Retirement Community programs. We also succeeded in securing long overdue wage increases in state contracts for staff in vital human services organizations. For more information on the results of this year’s City and State budget negotiations, click here for our Budget Snapshots. 

Taking Action: Census 2020
The Census is a Constitutionally-mandated count of the population in the United States, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. A proposal is under consideration by the federal government to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census that will likely strike fear in our country’s immigrant communities causing them not to respond to it and to be grossly underrepresented in the new Census count. The ramifications can lead to billions of dollars in lost federal funding and the potential loss of a Congressional seat, diminishing New York’s voice in Congress. UNH strongly opposes the inclusion of this question and as part of the New York Counts 2020 coalition, works to educate communities about the importance of full participation in the census, and to fight for the removal of this question.

For opportunities to take action, please contact UNH Civic Engagement Associate Lena Cohen.


2018 Settlement House Day

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

2018 Settlement House Day

On April 17, 250 settlement house staff attended UNH’s Settlement House Day! This full day of professional development workshops and panel discussions – offered exclusively for settlement house staff – has become a highly anticipated annual event. Session topics were suggested and led by settlement house staff and included tips for how staff can use social media to promote their programs, building staff cultural competency for diverse programs, and ways to incorporate civic engagement into everyday activities. The event was so successful – the evaluation showed that 95% of participants think attending Settlement House Day will help them in their work – that we are looking into a bigger space for next year’s Settlement House Day.

UNH is Expanding

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

New Work Around Neighborhood Affordability

UNH has hired a new Policy Analyst to expand our efforts to promote and preserve neighborhood affordability. The cost of living in New York City has grown out of reach for too many people. Increasing gentrification and a yawning income gap threatening the fabric of our communities, and our members have seen their neighborhoods changing swiftly. We have hired a new Policy Analyst who will focus on educating our network about the processes that lead to gentrification and skyrocketing rents, and developing a platform that ties together economic and workforce development and affordable housing. From emphasizing the importance of settlement houses partnering with NYCHA to exploring ways land use can benefit low-income New Yorkers, our holistic approach will take aim at some of the root causes of displacement. Check out the first education tool developed as part of this new portfolio of work, which details the New York City Rezoning process and identifies opportunities for engaging and affecting that process to help our members ensure their constituents are represented in the City’s plans.

Welcoming New UNH Members

Membership in UNH is considered for organizations that demonstrate commitment to the settlement house model, which means they are embedded in their community, serve multiple generations, offer a variety of programs, and focus on community building and reciprocity. These new members are committed to actively participating in, benefiting from, and contributing to UNH’s advocacy efforts, customized professional development and peer learning opportunities, and technical assistance support. This increased membership allows us to expand our reach – UNH members now touch the lives of more than 765,000 New Yorkers of all ages. We are thrilled to have these three vital and important community-based organizations join the UNH family, which is enriched by their staff and communities.

UNH Intern Reflects on SYEP Experience

Monday, February 05, 2018
by Vincent Li, UNH Intern

My experience with SYEP was so much more than just a first job and a paycheck. It was a way for me to understand the importance of responsibility and self-confidence while making connections with lifelong mentors and companions along the way.

When I was 16 years old, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work as a camp counselor for Chinese-American Planning Council, a UNH member organization, over the summer break. I still remember receiving the news that I was selected for the SYEP program to work. I recall being so excited that I called every single one of my family members to tell them that I was treating them all to lunch with the money that I earned from my first job. At the same time, I was disappointed because I heard that my peers did not get selected for SYEP by the lottery system. It is definitely unfortunate that nearly half of the applicants for SYEP are denied summer jobs and the opportunity to develop new skills because of the shortage in slots due to limited funding.

As a communications intern for United Neighborhood Houses, I had the opportunity go back to CPC to meet with several young adults during their preparation for Youth Action Day. During the training sessions, we all spoke and exchanged our stories and experiences about SYEP. Most of the participants shared their experiences about how they have been applying for SYEP for years but have never gotten selected by the program once. The participants that had a summer job shared that their experience with SYEP was meaningful and important for their personal development and growth. I truly believe in the efforts for advocating for the Summer Youth Employment Program to reach a broader availability for the city’s youth and young adults.

On January 30
, there was a great gathering of young adults from all over the City at Youth Action Day in Albany to support and campaign for summer employment. More than 300 young adults spoke to their state representatives about the necessity and benefits of SYEP. I hope that the lawmakers heard their message, because SYEP helped me discover my career path and it can help others, too.

 

 

UNH Executive Director Susan Stamler Responds to Mayor’s Proposed Budget

Friday, February 02, 2018

UNH Executive Director Susan Stamler Responds to Mayor’s Proposed Budget

Expansion of 3K admirable, but cutting services for students, immigrants, and seniors sends the City in the wrong direction

As Mayor de Blasio remarked in his announcement of the $88.6 billion preliminary budget, New York City represents opportunity and diversity. While we are encouraged by the expansion of the 3-K for All program, it was startling to hear the Mayor talk about the advantages of living in a fair city that benefits from a diverse population while cutting funding for those very same people.

During the budget announcement, the Mayor showed that the population of immigrants in New York City is at its highest level in more than a century, and demonstrated that immigrants “underpin our economic success.” It is therefore astonishing that the proposed budget fails to restore $12m in funding from adult literacy programs. These classes are vital to the long-term economic and social stability of immigrants in our City, many of whom are directed to learn English but will no longer have the possibility to do so. This funding must be restored for New York City to be a place of opportunity for all.

We appreciate the Mayor’s expansion of 3K and the recognition that early education should be a right for all. As the Mayor said, is important for New York to give “more kids the start only some can afford.” But while early education is the start of a child’s learning, the path to success must include summer camp and after-school programs, and the preliminary budget eliminates the chance for 34,000 middle school students to attend summer camp. Research shows children who don’t have access to summer programs experience educational and nutritional setbacks which widen the achievement gap. This isn’t the way to provide a fair start for all New York City’s children, and this funding must be restored in the enacted budget.

Mayor de Blasio showed in his budget announcement that New York City’s population is on the rise and is now at more than 8.5 million people. 31% of those people are over the age of 50. We look forward to working to ensure $8.72m is restored in the adopted budget for older adult services. This funding is vital for our older family members and neighbors so they can age in their homes, avoid hospitals and nursing homes, and continue to live fulfilling lives.

Finally, the Mayor spoke at length about making New York City the “Fairest Big City in America.” As long as early childhood educators at community-based organizations make less money than their similarly-qualified counterparts in public schools, we cannot consider our city “fair.” Even as these teachers and staff members care for and educate our children, they are often relying upon government assistance to take care of their own families. This inequity is inexcusable, and must be addressed.

We can truly make New York City fair, create the opportunities new residents are looking for, and support all our neighbors. To do so, it is imperative the City dedicates the funding to essential services for all populations.

Looking ahead to Youth Action Day

Monday, January 29, 2018

by Caitlin Praimnath, UNH intern

When I was 14 years old, I had my first job. I was a babysitter for a family friend who was in need of someone to look after her two children while she went to work for the summer. Being my first job, I was excited to have something to do during the summer and to finally have some money of my own. That experience allowed me to be referred to other parents in my community who were in need of a babysitter. In that single summer, I learned problem solving, creativity and patience, all skills that probably would have taken me much longer to learn than 3 months. Those opportunities allowed me to have job experiences that taught me valuable skills that I could take with me to future jobs and memories that would last a lifetime. From my first job as a babysitter, I quickly saw the importance of having a summer job. It gave me the opportunity to make money of my own, contribute to my community and carve out my future.

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to attend a Youth Action Day training at Queens Community House. I was accompanied by Gregory Brender and Latoya Leslie who both led the training. As someone who has never attended Youth Action Day in Albany or had any prior experience with the Summer Youth Employment Program, which gives NYC teens the opportunities I had at 14, I was very interested to learn more about the purpose of Youth Action Day, the potential opportunities for young people my age and what takes place at a training event.

When I arrived, I could not help but notice the amount of teens there were. I was impressed to see there was approximately 25 students sitting around a table on a school night in the late afternoon dedicated to learning what to expect on Youth Action Day and how they could contribute. To start off the training, each student had the chance to share if they ever had a summer job and why they felt having a summer job was important. I noticed many students had great reasons to share why they felt summer jobs were crucial and presented many opportunities yet not many of them ever had one. Similar to my experience, one student mentioned that having a summer job allowed them to put experience on their resume while another mentioned the responsibility they would have by making their own money. As the training continued, the clearer it became that this was the aim of Youth Action Day. An amazing goal to get more summer jobs available for people like me so that those who have not had a job, have the opportunity to do so and gain valuable skills.

As the training continued, Gregory and Latoya explained what advocacy is and how the students could effectively do this in Albany. These students were passionate not only about obtaining additional jobs for SYEP but also the ways in which they could contribute and advocate for this cause in Albany. It was a great experience to see students excited about going to Albany to advocate for a cause that they were passionate about. The training did an excellent job at explaining why Youth Action Day is an important event to be a part of and how young people just like me could help make an impact and benefit from it. Overall, the training was a great way for these teens to learn how they too could advocate for summer jobs, what they could expect while there and get them excited to head to Albany for Youth Action Day and see change happen.

If interested in this amazing opportunity, Youth Action Day is on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 with several bus departure locations throughout NYC. 

UNH Responds to Cuomo's Executive Budget

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Over the last year much has been made of Governor Cuomo’s forceful rhetoric in support of New Yorkers in the wake of destructive federal budgetary and policy decisions. And while the Governor deserves credit for articulating the values of diversity and inclusivity that New York stands for, we are disappointed that his FY2019 Executive Budget does not go far enough in equipping the nonprofit human services sector to support the very New Yorkers at risk under this federal administration. 

To be sure, there are a number of positive developments in the Governor’s budget proposal, including a funding restoration in child care, a net expansion in after school, and support for youth employment. Yet in all of these areas demand far outpaces the Governor’s spending plan and additional resources are needed to support New York’s working families. Further, these investments are tempered by cuts in a number of areas and inaction in others, including:

Adult Literacy Education — For the second year in a row, the Governor’s budget proposes cutting $1 million in State funding out of a budget of just over $7 million for English language classes. At a time when immigrants are being subjected to intense scrutiny, abuse, and deportation, it is not enough to offer legal support and words of support. Without English proficiency, immigrants can become linguistically isolated and subject to misinformation and exploitation. Further, a lack of English proficiency also keeps immigrants locked into low-wage jobs, hurting not only their families, but also depressing the competiveness of the State labor force. Basic literacy and numeracy skills are an absolute prerequisite to success in our society, and it makes no sense to rob immigrant communities of this lifeline to self-empowerment. UNH calls on the Governor to correct this injustice in his amended budget, and in fact increase the state’s investment to $15.3m to offset federal rules that are slated to make it more difficult for undocumented New Yorkers to access federally funded English classes.

Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities – Following a year in which the legislature worked with the Governor to update and strengthen the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) model to better serve the State’s older adults, we are very disappointed that the Governor has now proposed slashing funding by a third from $6 million to $4 million. As New Yorkers continue to live longer, it is essential that the State invest in the NORC model not only to allow these individuals to age with dignity in their homes, but also to contain costs in the health care system, where many older adults will wind up with acute issues that could have been prevented through proactive services. UNH calls on the Governor to restore this funding in his budget amendments and work the State Office for the Aging to create a plan for NORC support and expansion into the future.

Nonprofit Stability – The nonprofit human services sector is an essential partner to the State in delivering high-quality programs to millions of children, youth, immigrants, older adults, and New Yorkers of all backgrounds every year. Yet the Governor’s budget proposal once again fails to adequately account for the cost of the services it wants delivered. Too often the nonprofit sector is expected to do more with less, and the employees of these nonprofits — most often women of color — bear the brunt of this burden in the form of low wages. As part of the Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York coalition, UNH called on the Governor to fully fund contract costs associated with the increasing minimum wage, invest in the decaying infrastructure of child care centers, senior centers, and other community spaces, and implement long-forgone cost of living adjustments needed to support increased payroll, space, utility and other costs. We are deeply disappointed that the Governor has chosen to not address any of these concerns and call on him to make these investments in his amended budget.

It is clear that the year ahead will be a challenging one for New York. Yet it is essential that the Governor not lose sight that at the end of the day, the children, youth, immigrants, older adults and all other New Yorkers supported by the human services sector need him to back his rhetoric with real investments that safeguard their health, safety, and opportunity.