Westhab serves over 1,200 at-risk youth with over 50 programs. All were designed with age-appropriate curricula, methods, and goals to meet participants’ unique and myriad needs and to prevent a next generation of poverty and homelessness. We foster positive change by seizing every teaching opportunity, maintaining high expectations, and building upon each young person’s strengths. We empower young people by cultivating skills and confidence and challenge them by requiring accountability. Our programs are enhanced by more than 30 diverse service-provider partners, from early childhood speech and language therapists; to conflict resolution specialists for adolescents; to professional arts organizations.
Westhab Youth Services support homeless and at-risk youth in Westchester County providing a host of enrichment and educational activities at our sites listed below.
Coachman Family Center – 123 E. Post Road, White Plains, NY. (914) 949-1000 ext. 128 Youth services have long been a vital part of the programming at our Coachman Family Center. In recent years, families who had moved out of the shelter were traveling back to it, in the hope that their children might continue to participate in its youth programs and maintain the relationships they had formed with our youth counselors. What seemed to be a victory for the family – moving out of a homeless shelter – was a loss for the children, as the neighborhoods they moved to lacked quality youth services. Thus we decided to bring our programs to communities in need.
Elm Street Youth Center – 85 Linden Street, Yonkers, NY. (914) 966-0647
Cobbling together small grants from banks, foundations and individuals (click here to donate), we launched the Elm Street Youth Center in 2006 in the high-need Nodine Hill neighborhood of southwest Yonkers. The Center currently serves more than 250 school-age youth from Kindergarten to young adults. Interested in volunteering?Send us an email! Be it homework help, mentoring, arts and crafts, or just playing a board game, we work with high school and college students as well as adults looking to give back to the community.
P.E.A.K. Center – 49 E. 3rd Street, Mount Vernon, NY. (914) 667-0638 ext. 26
Our P.E.A.K. (Promoting Excellence and Achievement in Kids) Center opened in 2008 on the south side of Mount Vernon. It serves more than 200 young people, from school-age youth to young adults. Interested in volunteering?Send us an email! Be it homework help, mentoring, arts and crafts, or just playing a board game, we work with high school and college students as well as adults looking to give back to the community.
ACHIEVE – 49 E Third Street, Mount Vernon, NY. (914) 667-0638 ext. 26, Orvil Matthews
The Achieve program provides guidance and job placement for in-school and out-of-school young adults. Launched in 2008, Achieve is an intensive case management program that meets the unique needs of targeted young people in southern Westchester by delivering a host of supportive services.
PEAK Center Highlight Video
Youth attending Westhab's Promoting Excellence & Achievement in Kids (PEAK) Center in Mount Vernon recently created a highlight video capturing all of the great events and activities taking place at the PEAK. Students in the PEAK's video production program were tutored in the video-making process by Matt Pungello, an artist-resident from ArtsWestchester who has served at Westhab for several years. ArtsWestchester provides several enriching artistic programs for PEAK youth to participate in and continues to serve as a valued partner.
Elm Street Youth Center Holocaust Remembrance Day
Teens from J-Teen Leadership and Westhab's Elm Street Youth Center came together Sunday, April 7th in the Nodine hill neighborhood of Yonkers to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day. The two groups beautified a vacant lot, picked up trash and painted a mural welcoming visitors to Nodine Hill, where Westhab provides several programs for the community. The event was a culmination of a cross-cultural immersion initiative between teen groups through which teens gained greater cultural understanding of their peers living in different parts of Westchester. Funding for the event was generously provided by UJA Federation of New York. To read more, visit the following sites:
In collaboration with Children's Village, our new transitional young adult housing program, "Stepping Stones", officially opened on March 19th with a ribbon cutting and ceremony. Thank you to our partners at the Westchester County Continuum of Care, HUD, and the City of Yonkers for helping Westhab and Children's Village create this new resource for young adults in Westchester.
Click here to read the New York Nonprofit Press article.
Elm Street Warriors Banquet
On November 30th, the Elm Street Warriors Baseball Club celebrated another successful season at it's End of The Year Banquet. Coach Raymond Reid (Mr. Ray), who also serves as the Elm Street Youth Center Site Coordinator, recognized players, parents, and partners, all of whom made 2012 our most successful season yet.
The Warriors are a developmental baseball team composed of grade school children living in high-risk neighborhoods in southwest Yonkers. Highlight of the 2012 season was the fall tournament hosted by Westhab, in which the Warriors played several teams from the New York metro area.
Players continue to improve their skills, attitudes and competencies as they learn the great game of baseball. "[baseball] has taught me to never give up. I'm thankful for Mr. Ray and the coaches and my parents for letting me play," said Jason Villanueva, winner of the team's Most Improved Player award. Other winners included Christian Serrano- Sportsmanship Award, and Shaun Harris - Gold Glove Award winner.
While there were individual awards given, Mr. Ray made it clear that this team is not about individualism. "We grow together, we win together, and we lose together. The kids continue to mature and conduct themselves with respect and dignity and I couldn't be more proud of them," said Mr. Ray.
Also recognized at the banquet were Danny Bernstein, founder of Backyard Sports - an organization dedicated to providing sports coaches to organizations and communities in need; Andrew Goldberg, a volunteer coach from Backyard Sports who coached the Warriors during the season; and Kelvin McAllister, founder and Head Coach of the Uptown Inner City League - a developmental organization providing the game of baseball to children in Harlem.
Westhab is grateful to the parents, coaches, partners, and most of all, to the players who keep getting better! Special thanks to the Finish Line Youth Foundation, whose financial contributions enable Westhab to provide essential team sports to program participants.
Kids X-Press Magazine Honors Two Amazing Westhab Youth
On November 8th, two Westhab Elm Street Youth Center participants, Nicole and Jaher, were awarded the Youth Awards for Creative Artistic Expression at the Kids X-Press celebration at Pepe Infiniti in White Plains. They received additional commendation from the County Board of Legislators who were on-hand. These two inspiring young people gave heartfelt acceptance speeches outlying their involvement with Kids X-Press and how creative expression has become an important outlet for them. Westhab has partnered with Kids X-Press for a decade, improving young people's literacy skills through writing, illustrating, and publishing original kid-focused magazines... and having a lot of fun in the process.