In addition to Westhab’s services to our residents and enrolled program participants, we also deliver community-based services in neighborhoods in which we pursue community development to meet critical needs and foster quality of life.
Westhab provides services that are tailored to the unique and ever changing needs of local residents. Some services we deliver include housing assistance and placements, employment readiness and job placements, life skills education, emergency food pantry, and simply serving as a residents’ advocate as they navigate the social services system to solve presenting problems. We seek to improve the quality of life in the community by providing resources free of charge and helping people realize their full potential.
Westhab provides the services listed below to fulfill the ample needs of the community.
Elm Street Community Resources Center – 103 Elm Street, Yonkers, NY. – (914) 968-7627
Westhab’s Elm Street Community Resource Center in the Nodine Hill neighborhood of southwest Yonkers is a welcoming site for information gathering, referrals, onsite services, and a wide range of programs designed to meet community members’ expressed needs. We bring neighbors together to tackle issues of importance to them as members of the Nodine Hill community. We work in concert with Westhab’s Elm Street Youth Center, just a few blocks away.
Current programs that we operate or host include:
Strengthening Families Program: Family program that fosters healthy communication
The Sharing Community’s ‘SISTAHS’: A women’s empowerment group that focuses on AIDS/HIV
S.T.E.P.S.: Food Bank of Westchester workshops focused on nutrition, self-esteem and family values
Therapeutic Services by Family Services of Westchester: On-site clinicians provide counseling
Narcotics Anonymous: Bilingual self-help group for people in recovery
Family Story Power: Led by Yonkers Partners In Education teaching the importance of literacy
Food Pantry – 103 Elm Street and 28 Pier Street, Yonkers, NY – (914) 968-7627 ext. 109
In partnership with the Food Bank of Westchester, we operate two full-service food pantries in Yonkers. Led by a team of committed advocates and volunteers (click here to volunteer), our pantries operate twice a month--the second and fourth week-- at two separate locations: 103 Elm Street, Yonkers, New York, 10701; 28 Pier Street, Yonkers, New York, 10705. Residents can receive free bags of non-perishable goods, fruits, and vegetables.
Westhab operates the Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) Program with the Municipal Housing Authority of the City of Yonkers. The ROSS program provides critically needed case management and employment services to residents of the Cottage Gardens, Schlobohm and School Street municipal housing sites in an effort to improve self-sufficiency. Recently, we have spurred increased resident participation and excitement and expanded our services to include life skills training, on-site job fairs, health fairs, and literacy training.
Highlights and Accomplishments:
Enrolled 40 residents who are actively receiving services
Placed 13 residents in full time employment above minimum wage
Enrolled 27 residents in GED training, 3 of whom have obtained their GED
Intensive Transitional Employment Program (iTEP) – (914) 968-7627 ext. 109
Westhab, in partnership with the Municipal Housing Authority of the City of Yonkers (MHACY), operates iTEP in an effort to create new opportunities for MHACY residents. The program offers MHACY resident teenagers and adults paid internships to teach the skills needed to succeed in today’s workplace. Participants also attend skill building and career development workshops. Westhab works to place all participating interns in private sector employment.
Operation CeaseFire – 103 Elm Street, Yonkers, New York – (914) 968-7627 ext. 109
In partnership with the City of Yonkers and the Yonkers Police Department, Westhab spearheads Operation CeaseFire—a national crime suppression model driven by a mission to end gang violence. Our gang-prevention professionals provide concrete alternatives for gang-affiliated young men and women looking to start a new life. Resources for CeaseFire members include one-on-one case management, employment counseling and job placement, educational advocacy, and the opportunity to move to new housing in a safe neighborhood after exiting the gang. When a CeaseFire member summons the courage and strength to leave their gang, we reward their bravery by supplying on-going services to help individuals stay out of danger.
Highlighted Community Services Projects
Yonkers National Night Out
Working with the Yonkers Police Department 3rd Precinct and over 20 Yonkers service providers, Westhab's Mayra Gonzalez led the way in planning a wonderful National Night Out event on August 7th in Lincoln Park in Yonkers. National Night Out is a Country-wide initiative to promote neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. In addition to the hundreds of community members and service providers, attendees at the event included Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner, 3rd Precinct Captain Charles Fara, City Councilman Wilson Terrero, County Legislator Virginia Perez, and U.S. Department of Justice representative Alexi Mantsios. Mayra not only led the way in planning and organizing the event... she also led the "electric slide" with all of our friends and neighbors, elected officials included, joining in. National Night Out was certainly a night to remember.
Come Meet Your Neighbor!
Yonkers, NY - On March 16th, the halls of Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church – located in the Nodine Hill neighborhood of southwest Yonkers - were bustling with children, parents, service providers, and local businesses who came together to meet, greet, and celebrate the start of Spring. “It’s important to bring the community together so residents can see all the great services that are available in Yonkers,” said Mayra Gonzalez, Westhab’s Community Services Advocate. “It’s also a great opportunity to network.”
Highlights of the event included special performances from student-musicians in the SMP Arts Academy, the Roosevelt High School Multi-Cultural Dance Group, who wowed the audience with authentic Caribbean dances, and the Elm Street Youth Center and PEAK Center dancers, who performed modern and traditional African dance, and “Step” routines. Captain Charles Fara from the Yonkers Police Department and County Legislator Virginia Perez also partook in the festivities.
Based at the Elm Street Community Resource Center, Ms. Gonzalez, who organized the event, works with local residents and stakeholders to improve the quality of life in Nodine Hill. The Center provides several services to the community, including a bi-monthly food pantry; employment and housing services; and counseling programs for families. Ms. Gonzalez can be reached at 968-7627 x 109 or Mayra.Gonzalez@Westhab.org.
Graduation Day for a SFP cycle delivered in partnership with the Yonkers YMCA 5/10/11
Families at Westhab's Elm Street Youth Center and the Elm Street Community Resource Center have completed another round of the Strengthening Families Program (SFP). Westhab has provided SFP, a nationally recognized evidence-based model, to families in the Nodine Hill neighborhood of Yonkers for three years. SFP focuses on family communication, setting limits, and parent/child relationships and has been shown to increase family functioning and decrease the likelihood of drugs/alcohol, school truancy, and juvenile delinquency among participating children. Each SFP session begins with children and parents meeting in separate rooms to discuss the day's featured topic. After one hour, both groups join together for dinner and a structured discussion about the lesson. Through Westhab's involvement in the Yonkers Juvenile Crime Enforcement Coalition, our staff have received training in two levels of the model, allowing us to provide the program for families with children ages 6-10 and for families with children ages 11-14.
The “I DESERVE” Campaign
GARBAGE PICK-UP. FAIR HOUSING. SAFER PARKS. BETTER SCHOOLS.
Their words were written on white posters in big black letters as residents chanted slogans like “Better Schools, Better Futures”.
Over sixty residents—mostly children and some community advocates—marched through the neighborhood of Nodine Hill in Yonkers this fall with posters hoisted high in the air. Their mission was to raise awareness regarding quality of life issues in Nodine Hill.
“When you look around, you can really see a lack of resources in our neighborhood,” said one attending community resident.
Children and residents were attempting to raise more awareness within the community to create positive, lasting changes. The march is part of the “I Deserve” campaign, which was launched by concerned citizens to address these problems.
A community leader shared, “We deal with issues like shootings, gang violence and garbage in the streets. People know that they deserve a better life than this. That’s exactly why we started this movement.”
Westhab’s Community Organizer supports residents in organizing the have their voiced heard and to realize community change.