News Release



For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000

For Immediate Release

February 23, 1999


County Executive Approves Funds for Rhinecliff Youth


Poughkeepsie, NY - County Executive William R. Steinhaus has approved $3,500 for the Community House Teen Center located on Kelly Street in Rhinecliff in the basement of the Morton Memorial Library. The funds were made available by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services. The program provides supervised leisure time and after-school recreational activities for children through the age of 21 by offering two pool tables, a fooseball, table games, shuffle board, video equipment, arts and crafts, snacks and when appropriate, even counseling.

"We want to make sure children have access to productive recreational activities," said Steinhaus. "Too often people assume that because Rhinecliff is comparatively a quiet and peaceful place and does not have many of the problems of a larger urban city, we don't need to pay as much attention to those children. This is not true, they deserve and require just as much attention."

The Community House Teen Center has been operating since 1975 and is expecting 85 youth participants this year. It has provided a constructive way to combat the problems of drugs, alcohol and crimes which result from boredom. Program Director Sharon Rushton said, "There is a noticeable increase in the frequency of occurrences where kids get into trouble when we temporarily close the program down. The goal is to get children off the street, yet into an environment where they still have fun."

Although during the after-school session the majority of children are 5 through 10, Friday nights are teen night for those 13 and older. "There is a great need to reach out to our young people and help them avoid many of the pitfalls of modem life," said County Executive Steinhaus. "They have a greater chance of staying out of trouble if they have a supervised place to go hang out and enjoy themselves."

"Many kids who go through our program still come back to visit me after they have been away at college," said Rushton, who has been involved with the program since 1991. "It is a great feeling when they come back and thank you for helping them through a problem they were having years ago.



County Executive Press Releases