WCA Responds to Governor Hochul’s 2022 State of the State for New York

Many aspects of Governor Kathy Hochul’s historic 2022 State of the State address delivered on January 4th highlighted aspects of her administration’s plan for New York State that WCA finds encouraging.   This plan has the potential to address all of our focus issues and fundamental needs of children and youth in Westchester County including:

Child & Youth Homelessness

  • Address homelessness at its root including poverty, discrimination, lack of affordable housing
  • 5-year plan to create 100,000 affordable units could help Westchester address our need for 11,705 affordable housing units
  • 10,000 supportive housing units coupled with mental health and social supports for runaway youth
  • Eviction prevention legal assistance could provide preventative services to housing unstable families
  • Support populations at risk of homelessness and consider those in overcrowded homes

Digital Access

  • $1 billion investment into affordable broadband services could help bridge the digital divide and increase access to adequate internet services to all children and families
  • Providing supportive and technical assistance services to students and families along with broadband will help to address other aspects of digital access

Home Visiting

  • Opportunities to increase resources and availability of home visiting services to eligible families through plans to rebuild the healthcare economy
  • Home visiting is a cost-effective, proven strategy that can improve health equity, improve access to prenatal and postnatal care, expand access to midwifery services, provide mental and behavioral support, and integrate these services into pediatric primary care

Child Mental Health

  • Provide mental health supports in and out-of-school settings to ensure broader access to ensure social and emotional wellness resources
  • Rebuild the academic and school mental health supports with increased grant funding for high-need districts and pilot programs to create positive school climates is promising

Youth Justice

  • The “Jail to Jobs” program aimed at improving re-entry into society and reducing recidivism through vocational training and job placement support has the potential to help many teenagers and young adults involved in the justice system
  • Access to housing has been a significant barrier to re-entry for many justice-involved youth so a pilot transitional housing program is promising

Stay tuned for our review of the detailed budget that is set to be released on January 18th and updates about our agenda for the 2022-3 New York State Budget.

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