Middletown, NY...Earlier today, Senator Jen Metzger (SD-42) held a press conference at Middletown City Hall to elevate the work of Safe Homes of Orange County and Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV), and to present checks to both organizations symbolizing the funding she secured in this year’s State budget negotiations.
Senator Metzger also arranged for representatives from Safe Homes and LSHV to facilitate an information session for her constituent services staff, along with staff members from the offices of Senator James Skoufis (SD-39) and Assemblymember Gunther (AD-100). The information session, held just prior to the press conference, was intended to help personnel better understand the available local resources to serve victims and survivors of domestic violence.
In the 2019 legislative session, the Senator was able to secure $60,000 through the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) for Safe Homes of Orange County to support their vital services in Orange and Sullivan counties to victims of domestic violence. Additionally, Metzger secured $24,000 for Legal Services of the Hudson Valley for legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, whose cases account for a third of the organization's caseload.
In recent years, Middletown law enforcement has been building a closer relationship with Safe Homes of Orange County--one that Safe Homes is glad to see fortified by Senator Metzger’s supplemental funding. “It’s about building relationships internally and bringing what we both offer to the table and utilizing all of our skills, training, and expertise to help create a safer community,” said Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier, Executive Director of Safe Homes of Orange County.
“Unfortunately, traditional policing methods have not been found to be particularly effective in addressing domestic violence-related crimes, said Mayor Joe DeStefano. “It was therefore clear that this problem requires a more innovative and comprehensive approach.”
“To maintain and enhance services,” said DeStefano moments later, “we need our State partners to step up with funding, and that’s exactly what Senator Metzger’s done today and on previous occasions, both with State funding and with funding through her office.”
“Identifying people in relationships who are at high risk and getting them the services and support they desperately need to break the cycle of violence will help reduce the number of domestic violence-related assaults in our communities and save lives,” said Senator Metzger. “I applaud the partnership between the Middletown Police Department and Safe Homes to provide assistance and support to victims on an on-going basis, as well as similar efforts that are being undertaken in the City of Port Jervis."