Senator delivers $150,000 of grant funding to organizations

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Senator Reichlin-Melnick with IFCA staffers.

NEW CITY – Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick presented two local organizations with $150,000 worth of new grant funding, secured by him as part of this year’s state budget, to operate financial empowerment programs in Ossining and support autism resources in Rockland County.

Senator Reichlin-Melnick said “I am proud to be able to bring home this much-needed funding from Albany to support these two non-profit organizations providing critical services in our community. Both IFCA Housing Network and Jawonio are extremely well-regarded institutions with long histories of improving the lives of children and families in Rockland and Westchester counties.”

On Thursday afternoon, Senator Reichlin-Melnick toured the Ossining-based IFCA Housing Network offices and community thrift shop, which accepts donations of clothing and household items and sells them to the community at extremely affordable prices as a way of raising money to support their affordable housing and other community programs. Senator Reichlin-Melnick met with IFCA Executive Director Jackie Shaw along with board members and staff and presented them with a check for $20,000 to operate a financial empowerment program that helps teach local residents how to manage their money and take control of their future through financial freedom.

Jackie Shaw, Executive Director of IFCA Housing Network, said “Senator Reichlin-Melnick took the time to come to the IFCA office and meet with me and my staff to find out more about what we do and how he could help. After that meeting, he went to Albany to advocate for us. We are truly grateful for this grant as it will allow IFCA to continue to improve and expand the Financial Empowerment Program which has helped so many people in the community.”

On Friday morning, Senator Reichlin-Melnick visited the Jawonio facility in New City and toured the Early Intervention Services classrooms, which provide infants and toddlers ages 0-3 with critical physical and mental therapy services to help them overcome developmental delays. Just 24 hours earlier, Senator Reichlin-Melnick stood with Assemblymember Amy Paulin, parents, advocates, and Early Intervention program providers in White Plains to call on Governor Cuomo to sign Senator Reichlin-Melnick’s bill S5560a. The bill, which has passed both houses of the legislature and awaits Governor Cuomo’s signature, would require health insurance companies to pre-pay their fair share into a fund for Early Intervention services so that children who need critical services immediately can receive them without waiting months or sometimes years due to bureaucratic red-tape.

Senator Reichlin-Melnick presented Jawonio CEO Randi Rios-Castro, along with members of Jawonio’s staff and board of directors, with a check for $130,000 to support two programs that provide resources for children and families that are impacted by autism.

Staff of Jawonio with Senator Reichlin-Melnick.

Randi Rios-Castro, President and CEO of Jawonio, said “This grant of $130,000 will provide $40,000 to equip and enhance our new multi-sensory environment in our new autism suite, and an additional $90,000 to support a new Certified, BCBA Position in support of our new regional, autism training and resource center. Thank you Senator Reichlin-Melnick, for truly exemplifying what a public servant should be – we look forward to many years of this extremely important and valuable partnership for the communities we both serve.”