Flood Recovery Coalition Named Schenectady County Chamber 2011 Good News Award Recipient
April 26, 2012–”Devastating floods affected Schenectady County in 2011, and families have struggled to recover and rebuild their homes and lives for the past several months. About 200 homes in Duanesburg, Glenville, Rotterdam Junction, Pattersonville, Scotia, and Schenectady’s Stockade were affected by the flooding; some families lost their homes and all their possessions. Many people think that the need for help has subsided, but clearly it will not for a long time to come. For its growth, extraordinary community support and launch of a unique service, the Flood Recovery Coalition of Schenectady County has been selected for this award. The organization encompasses several nonprofit organizations: Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County, City Mission of Schenectady, Catholic Charities Senior Services in Schenectady, Schenectady Community Action Program, Cooperative Extension, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region and St. Clare’s Church.” Courtesy of Celebrating the Stories that Should Have Made Headlines . . . the Chamber of Schenectady County Good News Program
Dayhaven’s 25 Years of Service to Schenectady Seniors
Catholic Charities Housing Office:
Tobacco Cessation Champion
On March 7, 2012 staff and supporters gathered to recognize Catholic Charities Housing Office (CCHO), recipient of the Tobacco Cessation Champion Award presented by The Center for Smoking Cessation at Seton Health. CCHO implemented community-wide smoke-free policies in all of its SRO residences and Family Apartments last August, ensuring healthier environments for all who live and work in the homeless housing programs. In presenting the award, Peggy Keigley, Director of the Center for Smoking Cessation, remarked that CCHO Staff did not roll out the new policy overnight. The staff set a goal; identified the barriers; carefully considered the best interests of the agency, resident population, and staff; finally, staff prepared in partnership with Seton’s smoking cessation experts via training and support for residents during the transition.
Also addressing the audience, Bishop Hubbard talked about the confirmed dangers of first- and second-hand smoke in the present day; Catholic Charities CEO Vincent W. Colonno added, “Our residents are entitled to a smoke-free environment in their homes.” CCHO Executive Director Deborah Damm O’Brien further emphasized the importance of ensuring the safety of all CCHO residents, especially the children who live in CCHO housing, and the fact that CCHO staff are also entitled to work in a smoke free environment. She commended CCHO’s program staff for their dedicated efforts working to implement the new policy successfully. Thanks to their hard work and the cooperation of the tenants, CCHO has been able to encourage tenants to comply…and has not had to evict anyone because of their continued smoking.
New York State 2011 Respite Program of the Year
On November 17, Catholic Charities Senior Services’ Dayhaven program was recognized as New York State’s “2011 Respite Program of the Year”. The award is given by the New York State Caregiving & Respite Coalition, selecting Dayhaven from programs throughout New York State. The award was accepted by Dayhaven’s Director Carrin Swanson, along with Joan Richardson and Ricky Melendez from her staff.
Dayhaven is an adult day program located in Schenectady, specializing in the care of disabled seniors and those with cognitive and/or memory impairments, including Alzheimer’s disease. The program affords many caregivers the ability to continue working, to manage their households, and/or have time for their own hobbies, knowing that their loved one is in capable hands throughout the day, and a safe environment where their needs are taken care of. The professional and compassionate staff assists participants with personal care needs and provides nutritious snacks and meals throughout the day. And there is never a dull moment at Dayhaven. Staff and volunteers host a string of activities through the course of the day—from exercise sessions, to games, arts and crafts, karaoke, live musical entertainment and dancing. The energy of the participants is plain to see when you walk through the doors of Dayhaven. An infectious spirit of revelry permeates the room, borne out of the energetic and caring staff, as well as the hearts of the participants who are bringing their own joy into the world.
Congratulations and thank you to Carrin and her team!
Franciscan Heights Residents Respond to Flooding
Residents of Schoharie lost many things destroyed by Hurricane Irene flood waters, not the least of which were hundreds of books from the bottom two plus shelves of the Schoharie Public Library’s collection. Residents at Franciscan Heights Senior Community in Rensselaer, learning of the tragic loss, responded by donating 14 boxes of assorted books this month to help replenish the lost stock. The boxes included everything from fiction to non-fiction and children’s books, hard covers and paperbacks. The books were drawn from the Franciscan Heights community library, as well as private donations from residents at the community. Residents additionally donated six bags of linens to Catholic Charities to further assist families and individuals in the area affected by flood damage. Thank you to the residents of Franciscan Heights for this caring support to your neighbors in need!
HOPE for the Homeless . . .
On November 7th Catholic Charities Housing Office’s supporters and staff celebrated our annual Hope for the Homeless at the Brown Derby in downtown Albany. This year we honored Albany’s County Executive Mike Breslin as our Partner of HOPE, recognizing his commitment to the needs of all people in the community he serves. Mike understands the catastrphic effect of homelessness on individuals and famlies, and he understands how important it is to make an economically sustainable means possible for all members of our community to make their way–including those with limited incomes due to disabilities and the working poor. He is a true Partner in HOPE to those we serve and supporter of our mission!
Read more about Diocesan Housing, Services & Property Management in our latest newsletter
Reflections Spring 2012