Opinion

As you've probably seen on the news in recent days and/or read about in Newsday, Nassau County has notified 48 not-for-profit agencies that their contracts with the county will terminate effective March 31, 2009. The letters suggest that if Health & Human Service funded organizations and their constituents advocate for passage of three pieces of state legislation (cigarette tax, red light cameras, and a traffic & parking violations reform bill) this will bring additional revenue into the county and perhaps (no guarantee) result in the restoration of funding to some if not all programs.

For us at the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC, the potential impact of this loss of funding is devastating. Our youth board contract pays the salaries of all Manhasset/Great Neck EOC youth staff (youth director, program coordinator, recreation aide), the executive director's salary, and expenses related to building maintenance and program operations-utilities, phone bills, office and classroom supplies, trips and activities for the children, etc. Unless something dramatic happens to restore at least partial funding between now and March 31, we will have no choice but to lay off staff and eliminate programs. Head Start and the Adventures in Learning after school program will still be here, but neither can replace what the county has taken away.

We need your help now more than ever. Please join us in urging our state and county legislators to find a way to restore these funds by March 31. Surely the costs associated with housing at-risk youth in psychiatric facilities and detention centers is greater than the costs of providing support for them and their families within the community.

Please call me at (516) 627-6385 ext. 204 if you have any questions or need additional information. Thank you, in advance, for your support.

Stephanie Chenault

Executive Director

Manhasset/Great Neck EOC


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