Green Chimneys Community Based Services is the proud recipient of a grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, which is providing $95,000 in support of the Community Outreach Center for at-risk youth across Putnam County. The generous grant ensures continuity of services and activities for the youth who attend Outreach Center programs such as afterschool and weekend activities, peer groups, and counseling services, all free of charge. Keeping the Outreach Center open six days a week, offering a full range of activities, and delivering food and other needed supplies to youth and families suffering from the increased impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been among the program’s most vital services this year, along with continued outreach at schools and organizations throughout the County.
As the only nonprofit provider of support services exclusively for youth, Green Chimneys is a resource for hundreds of families each year. The Outreach Center is a well established program for ages 7-20 across Putnam County and areas just over the borders of Westchester and Dutchess Counties. “When youth begin attending the Outreach Center, our staff work closely with them and their families to identify and understand the challenges they face, and guide them in getting the services they need,” says Green Chimneys Executive Director Dr. Edward Placke. “We are grateful for the continuity enabled by this support from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. Without our outreach program – and the other community-based services we offer – the needs of the at-risk youth population in Putnam County would be unmet.”
“Our grants seek to ensure that essential health and social service providers receive the support necessary to address an unprecedented level of health-related needs across New York State,” says Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo, Chief Executive Officer of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. “Last year, so many organizations demonstrated resilience, creativity, and flexibility in serving their communities. Our grants reflect our commitment to these critical providers, which are the bedrock of a healthy and equitable future in New York.”
While the Outreach Center has always been a safe haven for kids struggling with stressors of adolescence and other challenges, the expanse of isolation felt by youth throughout the community over the past year is significant. The pandemic has only emphasized how critical positive development and essential mental health resources are for all youth. Last spring, the Community Based Services team implemented a telehealth strategy which not only allowed over 178 youth and families to continue sessions with clinicians, it brought the safe, supportive environment of the Outreach Center online and ensured kids stayed connected. An increase in calls indicated the need for in-person support, particularly among youth with social anxiety for whom remote services were not as effective, and the Center reopened in June with safety protocols in place for youth to physically return and has operated continuously since.
For more information about the Community Outreach Center and Green Chimneys’ services for Putnam youth and families, please visit www.greenchimneys.org/community-programs-services/youth-family-services
Green Chimneys is a multi-faceted nonprofit organization helping young people to maximize their full potential by providing residential, educational, clinical and recreational services, in a safe and supportive environment that nurtures connections with their families, the community, animals and nature. Founded in 1947 and headquartered on a farm and wildlife center in Brewster, NY, Green Chimneys is recognized as a worldwide leader in animal-assisted therapy and educational activities for children with special needs. Services include an accredited special education school on two campuses, residential treatment center, animal-assisted and nature-based therapeutic programs, public education and recreation programs, and community based support for underserved youth and families. www.greenchimneys.org
The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the health and well-being of the vulnerable New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of targeted communities, eliminate barriers to care, and bridge gaps in health services. The Foundation – which is named in memory of a tireless advocate for immigrants, children, and the poor – provides flexible support for new and innovative approaches that enhance health and wellness across New York State. www.cabrinihealth.org