WHO

For many years, the Nassau County Department of Social Services, has been placing homeless families with children, among single homeless individuals in three rundown motels located in Jericho. There are currently 30 families living in the motels with thirteen children enrolled in the Jericho school district. These motels are unsupervised, unregulated, do not offer any services, and

have no certifications of any kind. It was discovered that families were living in inhumane, impoverished conditions of neglect with no access to a hot meal. Room doors that lead directly to the outside, pose an additional threat to the safety of these families and their children. This "motel system" is an outdated approach to homelessness that has been failing these families and our community for years.

WHAT

In July, a non-profit organization called Community Housing Innovations (CHI) took over the lease at the former Hampton Inn on Jericho Turnpike to establish the Jericho Family Support Center. This facility is located just a few blocks away from the motels and is only for families with children. It will restore their dignity and give them stability. They will have security with 24-hour staff, 100 security cameras, three hot meals a day and childcare services. The CHI system at the JFSC will provide services that will help these families transition into permanent housing 15-18 months faster than the motel system and costs $40k-$60k less. 

This facility was reviewed by the New York State and was found to be suitable for the transitional housing plan proposed by CHI. With 80 rooms, the JFSC can accommodate 80 families and only 19 children have chosen to attend school in Jericho. 
When complete, it will be the first facility in Nassau County to receive NY State certification required as of Jan 2020. 

WHY

There is a small faction of our school district community suing to block the Jericho Family Support Center from opening to keep these children out of our schools. They call themselves “Concerned Jericho Parents." They want to ensure these families and children remain in the rundown Jericho motels and deny them dignity, warm meals, stability, safety, and security. 
This group has frightened some of our community into believing the JFSC poses some sort of threat to our community that has no basis in reality         

In fact, it will improve our community by ultimately shutting down the shelter motels (see hearing video 3 below). Protests by this group has tarnished our community image as elitists who lack empathy and compassion. By actively supporting it we can not only repair our image, but we show the world that we proudly stand up for values of decency, compassion, and dignity for humanity; the values our children are taught in schools in Jericho. In elementary school our kids learn to be “Bucket Fillers” and in middle school they learn how to stand up and not stand by while someone is being bullied. These families are facing tough times and now they are being bullied and they need our support. Their children need safety, security, stability. Now is the time for us to stand up and unite as a community in kindness and represent to the world who Jericho really is. Jericho is kind. Do not let the angry voices of the incompassionate few misrepresent us or divide us. Let’s let these families know that we are a kind community and we are rooting for their success and the success of their kids. Let’s proudly support the Jericho Family Support Center. 
When facing anger and fear, kindness is your strongest weapon. Love always wins.

Whenever there is a HUMAN IN NEED,

There is an OPPORTUNITY for KINDNESS to make a DIFFERENCE

                                                                                                                                                                                                     -Kevin Heath
GET THE FACTS HERE

Nassau County Legislature held a hearing regarding the application procedure related to the

Jericho Family Support Center on September 9, 2020 at 10am

Hearing Part 1

Legistlator Arnie Drucker makes statement - Criticizes the process of how community was notified but recognizes the value of the JFSC and fully supports it.

Nassau County Department of Social Services, Commissioner Nancy Nunziata and Doug Russell (in charge of percurment and quality management) provide information about

- homeless population data and statistics

- role of NC DSS and NYS

- overview of State policy for shelter selection, compliance and certification

- Jericho Family Support Center & CHI

- MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between CHI and NC 2017 - present

- All homeless facilities must be certified by 2023

- Motel system vs CHI system at JFSC

- cost analysis

- Motel system costs $104k per family.

- CHI system costs $40k - 60k per family.

- CHI system is more cost effective and helps families move into permanent housing faster because of the many services they offer.

- CHI services include case management, employment services, vocational training, job readiness, resume writing, child care and many more

- Motel system offers no services so families stay in the DSS systmem 15-18 months longer while they struggle to get back on their feet.

- Motel system only offers shelter. 

- Plan for the pool and daycare center

- Any new facility starting Jan 2020 thru Jan 2023 must meet the new rigorous requirements of NYS certification.  All homeless facilities must be certified by Jan 2023 

- County does not select location. Providers like CHI always approach the county

- CHI only needed an amendment to 2017 MOU

- CHI has always been one of the best providers in the county for the last 12 years. 

- CHI has a similar facility in Commack. 

- CHI has excellent track record in Suffolk County

- Any amount paid for homeless facilities whether 104k for motels or 40k for JFSC

is fully reimbursed by the state and is already allocated for in annual budget

- DSS State confidentiality mandate  reviewed again

Hearing Part 2

Rose Walker Committee Chair statement. - empathizes with families living in motels; goes over the shortcomings of motel system.

- CHI system is much better to help these families

- reviews communication with community process and per night cost $225

- paid for by NYS; no cost to county or Jericho 

- What school district knew and when they knew it.

- 104 families were elegible but facility on holds 80 families

- families of 19 children opted to attend Jericho schools

- McKinney-Vento act explained. School district of origin remains financially responsible for children placed in Jericho school district, including busing.

- No additional costs to Jericho

- children must go to new school district after the completion of the current school year if the move to permanent housing in another town.

- Town of Oyster Bay does not get notification

- No other towns were ever notified of a shelter being place JFSC procedure is no different

- Bound by confidentiality Social Services Law Sec. 136; prohibits and communication or disclosure of any information regarding these projects

- Safety of JFSC facility addressed. State decides if facility is safe. 

- Commissioner received notice that NYS is ready to pre-certify JFSC according to part 900 regulations

- Exact process of certification explained

- Many other shelters will not be able to meet certification requirements

- Nassau County Department of Social Services, Deputy Commissioner Lorraine Baum explains why the Hampton Inn is a fantastic site.

-JFSC will be first NYS certified facility in NC

Hearing Part 3

- No community is ever notified of a shelter placement

- NC plays no role in licensing of homeless facilities

- State is responsible for approval of homeless facilities regarding location, safety, services provided, inspection of location

- County gets involved only after approved by NYS

- DSS cannot announce that any address will be a public assistance facility because it violates client confidentiality

- children will all be allowed to complete school year in Jericho regardless of when the move into permanent housing. They must go to new school district in the following Sept. unless they will be a senior.

- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) explained. 

- All homeless shelter costs are paid for by NYS on a per family basis. If family remains in System for 5 years, NC has to pay 

- Homeless families also contribute money towards their housing and benifits based on their ability

- MOU revisited for further clarification. MOU was not amended before purchase of Hampton Inn

- CHI track record and success rate explained by Lorainne Baum Deputy in charge of OTDA process and compliance

- New strict requirements for all shelters in NYS

- Addiction and criminality are not the challenges for families. The challenges for families are usually financial, employment and childcare.

- Covid testing is the responsibility of the provider (CHI)

- Larger families will be placed in adjoining rooms

- Construction needed at the Hampton Inn is determined by NYS, developer and CHI not NC DSS

- Safety of shelters, inspection, compliance and communication

- Shelter Placement Online Tracking (SPOT) system used for safety and communication with shelters

- State inspections once a year or more if necessary

- JFSC will be largest shelter in NC which will replace some of the smaller locations

- Laura Curran does support the JFSC

Voices of the People
Hearing Part 4

The motel system costs $104k per family.

CHI system costs $40k - 60k per family.

CHI system is more cost effective because it gets families out of the DSS shelter system and into permanent housing 15-18 months faster. This saves the state $44k - $64k per family.

NYS determines savings on a per family basis, not an annual basis.

Hearing Part 5

The motel system costs $104k per family.

CHI system costs $40k - 60k per family.

CHI system is more cost effective because it gets families out of the DSS shelter system and into permanent housing 15-18 months faster. This saves the state $44k - $64k per family.

NYS determines savings on a per family basis, not an annual basis.

 "Kindness is choosing Love over hate,

Light over darkness, Compassion over judgement"

                                                                                                       -RAKtivist

Join the Jericho

Kindness

Coalition 

Open to all members of the Jericho Community and School District who would like to show support for the Jericho Family Support Center