For Deborah Williams and her clients, knowledge is key: “One woman feared that her conviction history was the end of the world, only to find out she did not actually have a rap sheet."
In the fall of 2010, Yrene Nivar felt a lump in her right breast. Tests revealed cancer. Yrene's first thought was: "I have to see my son graduate college."
On February 28, seven NYC mayoral candidates joined us for our "2013 Race for Mayor: What's in it for Low-income New Yorkers?" forum, co-sponsored by CSS, 32BJ SEIU, The Center for Popular Democracy, City Limits, and United NY. Brian Lehrer of WNYC moderated this lively and informative discussion.
Photo highlights: A look back at some of the remarkable people and stories of 2012.
Eleanor Rainford has been an ACES volunteer for twenty-five years. Each week, the 85-year-old former teacher helps low-income, elderly, and disabled New Yorkers access the public benefits they need. “I’ve always been interested in helping someone through a tough spot,” she says.
Last summer, volunteer mentors teamed with young reporters on an exciting writing and environmental awareness project in St. Albans, Queens.
Retired attorney Anne Davis joined RSVP's Financial Coaching Corps as one its first volunteers. Why? "I don't want people to feel alone. Many people, even in this horrendous economy, are really working hard at getting themselves into a better place."
Dominique Wright is nothing if not resilient. “No matter what comes her way, she breaks down every barrier,” says her CSS Case Manager, Andres Gomez.
Even in these tough times, more than $2 billion in public benefits goes unclaimed by eligible New Yorkers each year. In response, CSS’s Center for Benefits and Services (CBS) helps Maria Pacheco and other social service providers connect their clients to the benefits they need.
Lamar Odom graduated with high marks from a Construction Certificate program, and landed a job as a result. As someone who is formerly incarcerated, he's moving forward in his life with support from the RSVP Record Repair Counseling project.
Terrance Hines was a new high-school grad living with his aunt, working low-paying jobs, and struggling. Determined to make a change, he applied to Year Up NYC, a Workforce Advocacy and Support Initiative (WASI) partner program.
Eight year-old Keyla Isidoro was born deaf, but a Cochlear implant paid for by Medicaid enables her to hear. Yet when Keyla needed a new part for the implant, the company sent Kayla's mother a bill for $2,500.
For over a year, single mother Luz Tillery wasn't getting the food stamp assistance she needed--and was entitled to. Then CBS partner Brooklyn Workforce Innovations stepped in to correct the error, and Luz and her child received an 84% increase.
At age 19, Jessica says, "I was living on my own: I was depressed; not in school, and without my GED." Then she reached out for help.
Despite Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage, Bronx retiree Adalberto Socarras began receiving bills following a brief hospitalization. So he contacted Nora Chavez of Community Health Advocates.
After suffering injuries in a fall, 61 year old Medicaid recipient Boonyawan Sunpitaksaree was discharged from the hospital in a wheelchair she could not operate on her own. At first, she felt helpless.
Released from prison in 2008 after 14 years of incarceration, Harlem resident Richard Bonner's fierce determination has led to success at work, and the ability to provide for his family. "You have to be willing to push yourself," he says.
Photo highlights: A few of the amazing people we've met in the course of our work.
Maria Little, an insulin-dependent diabetic who works and is eligible for Medicaid, wound up in Bellevue Hospital emergency room when a Medicaid error led to a lack of medication.