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SCO Family of Services and nonprofits call on State government to invest in facility repairs and upgrades and a cost of living adjustment for Human Services Providers

February 22, 2019 / SCO News

 Lawmakers and human services organizations call on Governor Cuomo to include $100 million for nonprofit infrastructure investments; and $140 million to address delayed cost of living adjustments in the upcoming State Budget.

 WESTBURY, NY, FEBRUARY 22, 2019 – SCO Family of Services Executive Director Keith Little was joined by members of the New York State Assembly and Senate and fellow human services providers to call for a $100 million investment in nonprofit infrastructure in the New York State budget. This funding is needed to enable nonprofit human service providers across the state to repair, reinforce, expand, and update their physical and technological infrastructures, which are critical for serving communities.

This investment is an important step in meeting the infrastructure needs of a sector that delivers essential services to vulnerable New Yorkers. Nonprofit organizations provide homeless services, after-school programs, supportive housing, job training, and mental health services that serve 2.5 million people across New York, at a value of $6.8 billion. In addition to sustaining nonprofits, these investments bolster local economies by engaging local contractors and technology professionals.
The nonprofit sector faces enormous financial difficulties. Government agencies hire nonprofits to provide these essential services but rarely cover the full costs of this programming, leading to funding gaps that are not easily filled. Needed capital improvements – projects that are vital to ensure that buildings serving New York children, families and adults in need – are neglected due to a lack of funding.

SCO’s Keith Little was joined by Senator Anna Kaplan; Assembly Member Michael Montesano; Assembly Member Charles Lavine; Assembly Member Edward Ra; Rebecca Sanin, President/CEO of Health & Welfare Council of Long Island; and Stanfort Perry, Executive Director of AHRC Nassau.

The group made their announcement at SCO’s Westbrook Preparatory School, the first residential New York State Regents junior/senior high school for students with high functioning autism. With funds from New York State and private philanthropy, the school provides direct intervention and long term planning to help students adapt, communicate and learn.

Keith Little, Executive Director, SCO Family of Services said, “SCO Family of Service is proud of the work we do to improve the lives and well-being of 60,000 children, families and communities throughout Long Island and New York City each year. We work closely with our government partners to provide high-quality services, but without adequate funding, essential infrastructure as well as workforce needs, are often overlooked. A recurring investment in nonprofit infrastructure is crucial for the continued success of our programs and the individuals we serve. Sadly, New York State’s human services workforce as a whole has not had a cost of living adjustment in 9 years.”

Senator Anna M. Kaplan said “Our non-profit human service organizations are on the ground every day providing critical, life-saving services that support New Yorkers across the state and from all backgrounds. We need to do more as a state to support our non-profit workforce and infrastructure, so that they can continue to deliver the critical programs and services our communities need.”

Assembly Member Michael Montesano said, “Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York does some especially fantastic work when it comes to assisting individuals with disabilities. As a statewide coalition of over 350 nonprofit human services providers, the amount of funding it has received is not keeping in pace with what it needs to do to continue to help people across New York. As state legislators, it is our obligation to properly fund these organizations and programs for the benefit of New Yorkers with disabilities, and all the others to whom they provide much-needed assistance. I am proud to stand with such a wonderful organization and hope we are successful as we call for investment into the human service sector.”

Assembly Member Charles Lavine said, “Coalitions like Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York are crucial advocates for human services providers across our state. I am proud to join my colleagues in the Assembly and the Senate to call attention to the need for infrastructure investment so that access to the many critical services provided is improved.”

Assembly Member Edward P. Ra said, “The dedicated men and women who change lives and brighten futures at SCO deserve better compensation for their critically important work. They’re helping people who really need it. Their commitment to connecting kids with a wide range of abilities, backgrounds and needs to safe housing, transformative services and educational programming strengthens Long Island and strengthens our communities. I’m proud to support their mission, and I’m encouraging my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do the same as we negotiate this year’s budget.”

Stanfort J. Perry, Executive Director of AHRC Nassau said, “It is critical that the New York State budget include a commitment to the investments needed in the Human Services Sector. Infrastructure funding is crucial to ensure that the people we support have access to quality services and safe spaces. The State must also continue moving toward appropriate compensation for direct support professionals (DSPs) for their hard work, level of responsibility and dedication to the people they support. We call on State leaders to invest in our workforce and secure a living wage that is commensurate with their vital support responsibilities.”

Rebecca Sanin, President/CEO of the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island said, “Investing in the health and human services sector is an investment in public safety, economic development, social mobility and all of the characteristics of quality of life that New Yorkers strive for. The health and well-being of all of our communities require a vibrant nonprofit community that works collaboratively with all stakeholders to best serve the communities in which they reside.”

About SCO Family of Services

SCO Family of Services helps New Yorkers build a strong foundation for the future. We get young children off to a good start, launch youth into adulthood, stabilize and strengthen families and unlock potential for children and adults with special needs. SCO has played a vital role delivering human services in communities throughout New York City and Long Island for more than 100 years. For more information, please visit www.sco.org

 About Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York

Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York is a Statewide coalition of more than 350 nonprofit human services providers, calling for increased State investment in the sector’s workforce and infrastructure. Working under contract with the State, human services agencies provide crucial services to uplift New Yorkers from all walks of life.  The State must ensure these organizations can continue their vital work.

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