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County’s Agency Partner Grant Program Awards Over $700,000 to Local Non-Profits

Published: 6/30/2014

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Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has announced grants totaling $705,200 have been awarded through Dutchess County’s Agency Partner Grant Program to local non-profit agencies for outcome-based programs in areas of identified need. The funding categories for the 2014-15 grant awards are: Economic & Cultural Benefit; Health & Human Service Prevention/Intervention; and Environmental Sustainability & Services.

County Executive Molinaro said, "Our competitive funding mechanism enables us to address the needs of our community in a focused, logical, fair and inclusive way. The Agency Partner Grant Program is designed to enhance accountability and ensure a maximized return on investment for County taxpayers. The program had proven results in its inaugural year and we are pleased to continue this successful approach."

The Agency Partner Grant Program was implemented in 2013 to replace the ‘routine’ funding many non-profits had historically received in the county budget through individual line items. The program provides the ability to respond to evolving community needs through a competitive process designed to produce better outcomes and allocate scarce resources more effectively. In its inaugural year, the program addressed a variety of community needs including youth vocational assistance, poverty and homeless assistance, and senior transportation programming, all yielding positive, measurable results.

Sheila Kilpatrick, Director of Housing at Hudson River Housing, Inc. said, “We are very appreciative of the County’s support which will enable us to continue to provide safe, stable housing opportunities for Dutchess County residents in need. In the 2013-14 program year, 167 homeless adults and families transitioned out of emergency shelters to appropriate stable housing. Our Housing Navigator assists clients in overcoming barriers and increasing their ability to sustain permanent housing by providing access to financial counseling, employment, and other supports."

Dutchess County Legislature Majority Leader Angela Flesland, who serves on the Community Development Advisory Committee that reviews the grant applications, said, "The Committee received numerous, quality applications, all of which provide much needed services and resources to County residents. The funded programs will address a variety of targeted needs in our community."

Programs receiving 2014-15 Agency Partner Grant funding include:

Economic & Cultural Benefit

Children’s Media Project - $9,600 to support youth vocational assistance through employment at the Media Lab, where participants receive training and experience in media production, creating the award-winning DROP TV series and broadcasting Radio Uprising, CMP’s weekly radio broadcast.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County - $120,967 to support 4-H Youth Development programs, including the Green Teen Community Garden in Beacon and No Child Left Inside in Poughkeepsie.

Literacy Connections - $24,000 to recruit and train tutors through the Adult & Family Literacy Program and to support the Book Buddies program for school children in the County.

Northeast Community Council - $40,000 to expand the Community Partnership with Schools and Business, a work-skills training program for teenagers and young adults.

Poughkeepsie Public Library District - $20,000 to continue its digital literacy initiative through the use of the Teen Geek Squad. Members of the Teen Geek Squad are hired, trained, and deployed to all public libraries on Saturdays to assist patrons with digital literacy education.

Health & Human Service Prevention/Intervention

Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York - $25,000 to provide comprehensive and long-term case management to prevent homelessness and to supply basic needs to low-income residents.

Child Abuse Prevention Center, Inc. - $10,000 to expand the Personal Safety Program, designed to educate young children on strategies to overcome and prevent bullying.

Child Care Council of Dutchess and Putnam, Inc. - $12,050 to train School Age Child Care program staff, children, and parents on the value of healthy nutrition and physical activity.

Family Services - $14,500 to enhance their Teen Resource Activity Center Program through the implementation of two evidenced-based curricula focused on drug abuse prevention and anti-gang education.

Friends of Seniors - $30,000 to maintain and expand its senior transportation program through the employment of an additional dispatcher to coordinate non-emergency medical transportation schedules for northern Dutchess residents.

Hudson River Housing, Inc. - $47,000 to continue its Financial Fitness program in Dutchess County.

Hudson River Housing, Inc. - $48,000 to maintain a Housing Navigator program to assist homeless adults and families to find appropriate and stable housing.

Mediation Center of Dutchess County - $28,462 to support the Coalition on Elder Abuse in Dutchess County. This program will also be eligible for a similar amount of funding from New York State through the Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services (DCFS) for total support of $56,924.

Mediation Center of Dutchess County - $42,982 to continue and expand the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in Dutchess County schools.

Northeast Community Council - $27,180 to coordinate various nutrition and food service programs in the northeast part of the County. Food Access projects in Millerton and Amenia include the Farm & Food Education Program, a Summer Food Service Program, and the Share the Bounty Fresh Food Pantry.

Jessica Wallach, Coordinator of Program Development at Family Services in Poughkeepsie said, “We are thrilled to receive support from the County to further expand our Teen Resource Activity Center in the City of Poughkeepsie. In addition to providing a safe, after-school environment for youth to develop leadership skills, these funds will allow us to enhance our services through youth education focusing on drug abuse prevention and anti-gang education.”

Environmental Sustainability & Services

Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County - $107,459 to provide science-based instruction and support for Commercial Horticulture and Agriculture operations and agriculture-related enterprises throughout Dutchess County. The program will educate agricultural producers on important issues affecting their industry and identify ways in which to address them.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County - $30,000 to maintain an educational Composting and Organics Recycling program geared towards businesses, agricultural operations and County residents. This program will support one of the key goals of “Rethinking Waste,” the County’s local solid waste management plan.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County - $68,000 to support the Environment & Energy programs, including GIS education and resources for local government officials, support for local watershed protection groups and the creation of educational resources focused around low impact development.

Cornell Cooperative Extension was also allocated $110,000 in the 2014 County Budget, directed through the Dutchess County Economic Development Agency, for specific focus on agriculture business development and agri-tourism.

Ruth Moore, Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension said, “We are very pleased to continue our important partnership with Dutchess County to deliver exceptional programming in agriculture, the environment, youth development and community vitality. This year’s grant awards will enable us to work with agricultural operations to expand their businesses and enhance their marketing and agri-tourism opportunities; provide local officials with the tools they need to address environmental challenges; help reduce the waste stream through innovative recycling of organic materials; and prepare Dutchess County youth to succeed in the workplace and become leaders in their communities. Thank you to the County for this essential support.”

The Agency Partner Grant Program is administered on an April 1st to March 31st program year under the direction of the Department of Planning & Development. Applications are reviewed and submitted to the County Executive for final approval by the Community Development Advisory Committee.