Senate Social Services Committee Includes Core Values in Budget Resolution

Daniel L. Squadron

March 23, 2010

Programs Will Help New Yorkers During Economic Crisis

Investments in Job Creation, Family Health,
and Homeless Prevention

New York, NY—State Senator Daniel Squadron, chair of the Senate Social Services Committee, protected vital social services programs that he and Senate Children and Families Chair Velmanette Montgomery have strongly advocated for, and that have been included in the budget resolution.  The resolution, sponsored by Democratic Conference Chair John Sampson and passed yesterday by the State Senate, comes amid record unemployment and increasing homelessness, and includes significant investments in combating these problems.

Senator Squadron said, “This is a tough budget resolution in a bad economic time, but we are prioritizing programs to help the most vulnerable New Yorkers find work, stay in their homes and strengthen their families.  I am pleased that even with the challenges we face, the Senate majority is fighting for these core values.”

Senator Montgomery said, “The Senate's Budget Resolution recognizes that the time is long overdue for real reform of our juvenile justice system.  I am pleased to have worked in collaboration with my colleague, Senator Daniel Squadron, to ensure the inclusion of funding in the Resolution for a number of reform measures that are expected to save the State approximately $6 million in FY 2010-11 and tens of millions more in years to come.  The current system is broken and it is breaking our children in mind, body and spirit.  The reform proposals seek to heal, not harm, by continuing to shift New York away from the correctional approach to a therapeutic, rehabilitative model.  We want to help produce positive outcomes for our young people and this cannot be accomplished without rightsizing and rethinking the system -- and supporting it with dollars and sense.”

Critical Program Restorations

These restorations will largely use Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) dollars, federal funding which is meant to provide assistance and work opportunities for low-income families.  This means that there is a minimal investment of state dollars required.   

Housing and Homeless Prevention

• Homeless Shelter Alignment: $35.8 million
The resolution restores the State’s reimbursement to New York City for adult homeless shelters, ensuring that individuals are not denied access to shelter simply because they do not receive public assistance and that homeless adults and families will not be required to pay “rent” for shelter.

• Homeless Intervention Program, Supplemental Homeless Intervention Program, and Emergency Homeless: $7.9 million
These programs help prevent homelessness by keeping people in their homes.  Recipients receive services to prevent eviction, as well as follow-up to make sure they can stay in long-term housing.  In addition, restoration will provide emergency services to the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless. 

• Supportive Housing for Families and Young Adults and Single Room Occupancy: $6.9 million
These programs are cost-effective ways to prevent homelessness in high-risk populations and provide important supportive services to people at risk of homelessness.

Jobs, Wage Subsidies, and Employment Programs 

With a record high unemployment rate in New York City, the budget resolution provides funding for job training and wage subsidy programs that create thousands of new jobs and assist low-income workers in achieving self-sufficiency.

• Summer Youth Employment: $35 million
The Summer Youth Employment Program provides young people with summer employment and educational opportunities.  In 2009, the program enrolled 52,255 participants and placed them at 8,688 worksites.  Participants work at life-skills building jobs such as at summer camps, day care centers, government agencies, and nonprofits.

• Job Creation and Wage Subsidies Programs: $60 million
The Senate’s budget resolution restores funding to programs that create thousands of jobs and provide wage subsidies.  These programs assist New Yorkers in moving out of poverty and into careers in emerging sectors, including energy efficiency and environmental conservation jobs and health care jobs.  These programs also allow New York to tap into additional federal stimulus dollars. 

Other Programs

• Home Visiting Programs: $12.6 million
These programs invest in family health by pairing registered nurses, or other trained professionals, with young families, new parents and high-risk expectant mothers.  They have been shown to reduce child neglect and abuse, improve children’s behavior and school performance, and lead to significant long-term savings.
• Settlement Houses: $5.1 million
Settlement Houses provide a neighborhood-based approach by providing cradle-to-grave services, such as job training and employment programs, early childhood education, afterschool youth programs, English-as-a-Second Language and literacy programs, and citizenship instruction and legal counseling. 
• The Citizenship Initiative: $1 million
The Citizenship Initiative offers legal services, technical assistance, and a hotline for individuals seeking information about obtaining citizenship, serving a population that is otherwise without access to these much needed services.