News Release


For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
Telephone:  (845) 486-2000
, FAX: (845) 486-2021,

September 20, 2001


County Executive Directs $175,000 to Assist YWCA Programs

Poughkeepsie...Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced the signing of an agreement for $150,000 with the YWCA that will assist in the implementation and operation of their LEADERS Program for eligible disadvantaged young adults.  At the same time, Steinhaus announced an amendment agreement with the YWCA to aid the Life Skills Component for Non-Residential Services at Grace Smith House.  Grant money for the programs was directed through the County Department of Social Services. 

According to the County Executive, “The purpose of the LEADERS Program is to end the dependence of needy youth on government benefits by means of education and training methods through several agencies.  Up to 10 eligible young adults will be encouraged to complete their high school education, receive on and off-site construction training and experience, and the opportunity to enter apprenticeship programs and obtain employment in living-wage jobs.  It is hoped that as they rehabilitate or construct housing for homeless and low/very-low income families, they will achieve a sense of community and accomplishment.” 

The LEADER’S Program targets 16-24 year-olds.  The contractor (YWCA) will interview each applicant, and an Individual Educational Plan will be created for each participant based upon the assessment and the academic testing conducted.  The program includes:  GED (General Equivalency Diploma) instruction tailored to the Individual Plans; driver education; employment information (writing resumes and cover letters, completing applications, interview skills and techniques) and life-skills training, including substance abuse, stress management, domestic violence, communication, parenting, job seeking and retention skills, career exploration, decision making, nutrition, housing and money management and AIDS awareness.  This vocational instruction at a worksite and in the classroom will establish essential work attitudes and habits and will result in the additional benefit of rehabilitating low-income housing. 

Mr. Steinhaus commented, “The goal of the LEADERS Program is to build the participants’ self-respect and self-esteem through measured achievement and success and encourage a commitment to accepting responsibility for their lives.  The actual on-site training will provide an invaluable experience to the participants, as construction professionals instruct them in skills such as demolition, proper use and maintenance of tools, worksite safety, framing, painting, plumbing, and roofing.  The rehabilitation of an abandoned or run-down housing facility, which makes affordable housing a reality for community residents, will develop the participants’ commitment to and increase involvement in volunteer service projects resulting in a sense of pride, leadership and civic responsibility.” 

Domestic Violence Survivors to be Helped

The County Executive also announced the signing of an agreement with the YWCA.   Added to the contract will be $25,000 to provide for the Wings Program for low-income domestic violence victims sponsored by the YWCA and Grace Smith House.  Steinhaus explained, “This project is a 15-week, skill-based workshop series for survivors of domestic violence.  It is developed to educate and assist survivors in managing choice and change in their personal and professional lives.” 

Through a series of workshops, the participants will be schooled in such things as developing a sense of self, financial and personal goals, life skills and problem solving, making career decisions, developing a resume and being interviewed, taking advantage of community resources.  

Information about the Wings Program may be obtained by calling the YWCA Battered Women’s Services at 845/485-5550 or Grace Smith House at 845/452-0908.


2001 Press Releases