BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) joined Crisis Services’ Chief Executive Officer Jessica Pirro and her staff at their Buffalo headquarters Thursday to announce more than $200,000 in funding secured for the agency in this year’s state budget. This money will help to ensure that Crisis Services is able to continue to serve as the most comprehensive crisis center in Western New York, and support the operation of its 24 Hour Crisis Hotline. In 2018, Crisis Services responded to 85,379 crisis calls, 10,489 calls from the NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline and Erie County Domestic Violence Helpline, and 2,887 addiction hotline calls.
“The programs offered by Crisis Services are second-to-none, and I’ve been proud to work with them over the years to ensure they have the resources and the support they need from New York State to truly serve Western New York’s most vulnerable,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “This funding will help guarantee the continuation of critical support services, including, but not limited to, the organization’s 24-hour crisis prevention hotline. We can rest easy knowing that those who are struggling will continue to have access to the top-quality support that they need and deserve.”
“Being a Crisis Center that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year means that we are here to respond no matter when a crisis arises,” said Crisis Services’ Chief Executive Officer Jessica Pirro. Senator Kennedy has been a tremendous advocate for our mission and by our side for many years. I am thrilled with the funding that he has secured for our agency and it comes at a crucial time in our over 50 year history as we continue to evolve to meet the needs of our community. Senator Kennedy’s funding will allow us to support our 24hr hotline and continue to expand our reach as we work to make sure those in crisis are never alone. We are grateful for the support and the partnership of Senator Kennedy’s Office.”
In 2014, Kennedy joined Crisis Services’ to fight damaging cuts proposed by the New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS), repeatedly demanding that OVS reverse their decision, and organizing a petition drive that gathered over 2,000 signatures. The following year, Kennedy announced he had secured $300,000 for the agency.
Crisis Services is the most comprehensive crisis center in upstate New York, fulfilling community needs through its variety of crisis intervention programs, ongoing support, prevention programming and community collaboration. They operate a variety of 24 hour crisis Hotlines, including serving as the local hub of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as well as an Addiction Hotline. They provide Emergency Mental Health Mobile Services and the Advocate Program for survivors of rape, domestic violence, family violence and elder abuse. The 24-hour hotline provides suicide prevention services and offers help to anyone experiencing a person, emotional, or mental health crisis.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, there is always help. The Crisis Services 24-hour hotline is available at (716) 834-3131.
Senator Timothy M. Kennedy represents the New York State Senate’s 63rd District, which is comprised of the town of Cheektowaga, the city of Lackawanna and nearly all of the city of Buffalo. More information is available at http://kennedy.nysenate.gov.