Westhab provides a range of services to address the needs of families living at our Coachman Family Center homeless shelter, and in scattered site apartment housing, as well as those who visit our community resource centers in Yonkers and Mount Vernon. We employ a Normative Communities approach in our family programming: Peer support from the very beginning helps new families understand and adopt positive social norms which optimizes the benefits they gain from our continuum of services. Individualized service plans are designed to help families break the cycle of poverty. They may include: advocacy and benefits assistance; crisis counseling and referrals; life skills training; education and career counseling; youth services; support for victims of domestic violence; assistance in finding affordable, permanent housing; and retention counseling to promote stability once families move out of shelter housing.
Westhab’s supportive services for families are integral to our mission. The provision of good affordable housing in conjunction with training in a variety of life skills helps clients all along our continuum of care. Some start as shelter residents, some as apartment dwellers. At the end of the continuum, we help to preserve tenancy and prevent homelessness for those in independent permanent housing.
Reader's Digest Delivers Holiday Cheer to Westhab Youth
As has become an annual tradition for over a decade now, Reader's Digest hosted young people from the Coachman Family Center for a festive and fun-filled Holiday Party. This year's event took place on December 12th at the Reader's Digest offices in White Plains and included holiday arts & crafts, 'wii' competitions, and of course... Santa himself for an early visit.
The children left full of pizza and candy, carrying bags full of brand new toys, and with the knowledge that there are people out there who truly, truly care. Our heartfelt appreciation to Reader's Digest for all that you do.
“Warm Hearts and Bodies” Annual Coat Drive
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Pi Iota Omega Chapter hosted its Annual Coat Drive on November 14, 2012 at Westhab's Coachman Family Center (CFC) in White Plains, NY. This year's Coat Drive was timely, given the devastation of Super Storm Sandy. Many families were impacted by the storm and were in need of warm coats and clothing.
Answering the call to warm hearts and bodies, members of Pi Iota Omega donated 85 winter coats and other outer wear to needy children and adults who currently reside at the CFC. Prior to the date of the actual distribution of new coats, parents were given an opportunity to provide the children's names, ages and coat sizes in order for the coats to be purchased specifically for their children.
When the excited children entered the recreation room, they were amazed to see rows and rows of large white personalized shopping bags. Members of Pi Iota Omega greeted each child and presented them with their coat, which had been selected "just for them".
Additional coats, warm pants, gloves, hats and sweaters were also donated to adults and other family members residing at the Coachman Family Center. From the excitement in the room and the expressions of thanks communicated by the children and adults, it was evident that many hearts were filled with joy and many would keep warm throughout this winter season.
Westhab and our clients remain grateful to Pi Iota Omega, which has provided continuous service to Coachman residents and others residing in communities throughout Westchester County.
Westhabbers Storm the Hill
As part of their participation in the National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference in Washington D.C., Westhab staff members Richard Nightingale and Ricardo Torres spent July 18th on Capitol Hill meeting with the offices of Congressman Eliot Engel, Congressman Jose Serrano, Congresswoman Nita Lowey, and Congresswoman Nan Hayworth. They stressed the importance of McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants to provide supportive housing and services and HOME funds to build new affordable housing, both of which have been critical tools to Westhab in our contribution to Westchester's 70% reduction in homelessness over the past decade.
The Conference was attended by 1,500 leaders in the field from across the Country, including a keynote address from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, remarks from Barbara Poppe, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, and workshops led by top representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).