“Imagine if the government decided to build a 10-mile road, but told potential contractors that it would only pay for 9 miles – and the contractor had to secure donations from private citizens to cover the rest.” David Nocenti, Executive Director of Union Settlement, argues that “New York City is beginning to make exactly this kind of demand – not to for-profit road contractors, but to nonprofit agencies that help poor families stay employed, put food on their tables and educate their children.” Read more in Nocenti’s guest editorial in the Daily News.
Monthly Archives: August 2011
Daily News Columnist Albor Ruiz takes a look at growing hunger in New York City and the challenges facing the Food Bank For New York City as it struggles to meet the rising need.
New Yorkers who stocked up on food supplies in anticipation of Hurricane Irene are being urged to donate those extra items to local food pantries and soup kitchens.
“Find the closest food pantry or soup kitchen to donate your surplus goods,” Food Bank For New York City tweeted this morning. Click here to get a list.
City Harvest is urging business that were impacted by the storm and have 50+ lbs of food to donate, please call 917-351-8711 to schedule a pick-up!
Food Bank For NYC is also advising individuals and families who lost food purchased with food stamp benefit due to Irene that they can have the monetary value of that food replaced. To request replacement benefits, losses must be reported at a local food stamp center within ten days of the loss, and follow up by completing request form (ldss-2291) within 10 days of your reporting the loss. Call the Food Bank For New York City 212.894.8060 for assistance or click on these following links for information and to download the form.
Local nonprofit human service providers appeared to be taking the impact of Hurricane (aka “Tropical Storm”) Irene in stride. A number of local executive directors reported power outages, some minor flooding and a number of evacuations, many of which were done in advance as precautionary measures. Executives praised their staff as “invisible first responders” and noted that they deal with emergencies such as these more frequently than most people realize.
“I’m relieved to report that all efforts were precautionary, e.g. providing extra meals on Friday instead of Sunday, evacuation of clients, etc., and there was only minor impact on actual programming,” said Rabbi Moshe Wiener, Executive Director at Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island.
“My staff was outstanding in planning and responding to the storm and talking with our families about their preparedness,” said Jerry McCaffery, President and CEO at MercyFirst. “We have several group homes on Long Island in low lying areas that we evacuated in advance and moved all those residents and staff to our Sysosset Campus. We have back-up generators, 24/7 medical care and food service so it is well prepared for emergencies like this. We have lots of clean up to do with some flooding and trees going down and we still have two group homes without power. We expect that power will be restored and everything goes back to normal by the end of our day today.” (McCaffery reported in by fax because his internet went down this morning.)
“Our Mt. Kisco Group Home is without electricity but we moved the young men onto our Campus,” says Claude Meyers, CEO at Abbott House. “Our Gesner IRA has been experiencing on and off power outage but we are on top of it.”
“Actually very little to report,” said Alan Mucatel, Executive Director of Leake and Watts. “Some minor flooding in a few campus and community properties and a tree down on campus. No significant damage or electrical outages. With our school and pre-school programs not yet in session, fewer youth on campus as they are on home visits, and pre-planning for supplies and staffing in residential settings, we are fine. We’ve had far greater challenges during other situations such as the snow storm last winter or the tornado that touched down in the Bronx a year or so ago. Our facilities staff and senior management followed our preparatory plans.”
“Our Staff stepped up as always working straight through multiple shifts, handling power outages, fallen trees, water and leaks, mandatory evacuations, communications with client families,” says Gail Naywith, CEO at SCO Family of Services. “Our Staff are the invisible first responders – on the frontline keeping our clients and consumers safe and well cared for in emergencies like Hurricane Irene and every day.”
“Staff continued to be dedicated and do whatever it took from double and triple shifting to spending hours convincing individuals to relocate out of zone a shelters and apartments,” says Paul Levine, CEO and Executive Vice President at the Jewish Board of Children and Family Services. “Then moving scores of people to safe places staff had arranged. All the clients were either people with long histories of mental illness or families who were victims of domestic violence. Our staff do this whenever it’s needed which is more frequent than anyone else knows.”
How is your agency coping with the effects of the storm? Post your comments below.
A program that paid the poor to improve their parenting achieved mixed results citywide, but it’s now going to be tried again on a smaller and more focused scale in The Bronx. A new three-year cash-rewards program is being started this month with $23 million in federal funds, half going to 600 new families in The Bronx. Read more in the New York Post.
Indicted former Bronx Sen. Pedro Espada won a temporary reprieve blocking the state from closing his Soundview Health Care Network. In a court hearing yesterday, Bronx Supreme Court Judge Stanley Green issued a stay on any state action until the merits of Espada’s legal challenge — which was filed Tuesday — are heard on Sept. 19. Read more in the New York Post.
The case of Judith Leekin, a former foster mother who was cited for scalding a boy in her care and then used four aliases to adopt and abuse 11 children, is examined in The New York Times.
A New York State task force on Thursday began sending letters to hundreds of nonprofit organizations that receive state money demanding details about how much they pay their executives and board members. The information will be compiled electronically and could shine a light on executives who take home an outsize share of their organization’s revenue. The findings could also lead to public hearings, a report and proposals for reform, said Benjamin M. Lawsky, the superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services and chairman of the task force. Read more in The New York Times and the Albany Times-Union.
Governor Cuomo’s special Task Force looking into issues of excessive executive compensation swung into action yesterday, indicating that it will be seeking detailed information from agencies about compensation for their executives and board members. An initial round of data requests is going to approximately 600 agencies which provide developmental disabilities services as well as mental health and substance abuse services.
In order to set a proper tone, the letters request not only extensive information on policies and practice regarding compensation and benefits but go on to ask nonprofit boards the following:
- Do you believe that recoupment and/or claw-back of executive and/or board compensation is necessary?
- What is your view regarding recoupment and/or claw-back of executive and/or board compensation?
- Given current economic conditions and information, is the board or management considering any recoupment and/or claw-back for past salary and/or benefits?
- What justifies you being a not-for-profit?
Agencies are being instructed to provide the material by September 15th.
“Our task force is conducting a top-to-bottom review, not only to audit current compensation levels, but also make recommendations for future rules to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to serve and support the people of this state, not pay for excessive salaries and compensation,” wrote Benjamin Lawsky, Superintendent of the NYS Department of Financial Services and Chair of the Task Force. “Not-for-profits that provide services to the poor and the needy have a special obligation to the taxpayers that support them.”
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn yesterday slammed the opening of a Chelsea shelter for mentally ill homeless people that has started taking clients before a court could decide whether the project complies with city laws. The Bowery Residents Committee received state approval for the 200-bed Jack R. Ryan Center, on West 25th Street — just one part of a facility that will eventually shelter 328 homeless men and women, most suffering from alcoholism, drug dependence or mental illness. Read more in the New York Post.