Giving Thanks Under the Mask

Thanksgiving has always been my family’s favorite holiday. My parents usually host 20 or more family and friends for an incredible day of feasting, football, and fellowship. This year, our tradition will be broken for the first time in my life. It has been a tough year all around. My parents have only held my […]

Mixed. Peach. Black.

My wife is dancing playfully with our two girls—ages two and four. “Show me that Black girl magic,” she says, and the girls twirl and jump excitedly. This is a normal day in the life of the Nightingale household, even though the skin tone of the kids looks a lot like daddy’s. The importance of […]

Defining Essential in the New COVID-19 Reality

I hope that everyone reading this is well, taking proper precautions, and staying safe. Our world has changed dramatically in the last two weeks, and we’ve learned a lot very quickly. We’ve begun using terms like social distancing and self quarantining. We’ve had to examine what is really essential in our lives. Today, New York […]

In My Backyard

Westchester County is blessed with great schools, transportation, business opportunities, and family amenities. But where is anyone to live? The low and moderate-income workforce that fuels Westchester’s economy—from the busboys clearing tables all the way to the teachers charged with educating our children—often live in counties to our north, New Jersey, Connecticut, and elsewhere and […]

Seeing the Good

The communities and people that Westhab serves often get a lot of negative labels: distressed, at-risk, high-need. The outward signs of poverty can be evident and do represent very real challenges. But that isn’t the whole picture. All communities have strengths and weaknesses. In poor communities, we choose to focus our lenses on the negative. […]

Getting Vetted

I started interning at Westhab as a college student while home from school in the summer. I worked with children in our family shelters. I loved it. I quickly learned that I wasn’t just different from the majority of the clients we served, I was also different in many ways from the majority of my co-workers. I was universally […]

A Long Commute

New York City and the larger metropolitan area have always been heralded for diversity. Take a ride on a New York City subway, and it’s likely you will hear more than one language and see people of various ages, races, ethnicities, and income brackets. But as Manhattan has gotten “cleaned up”—transforming “seedy” neighborhoods into more […]

What’s Your Zip Code

We’ve all been asked this question casually at the check-out or the gas pump. But the truth is, you can tell far too much about someone from the five numbers at the end of their address. There are some famous ones like 90210, but most are only understood locally. There is fantastic power in those […]