In an unprecedented show of support, advocates from across the entire human services community are coming together to support one unified ask in this year’s budget—-a 3% increase in funding for the sector every year for the next five years. The name of our campaign is 3-for-5.

This morning at eleven o’clock on the third floor of the Capitol, our organizations are holding a joint press conference to show our support.  Listed below is the press release and attached is a Fact Sheet laying out, not only the importance of the human services community, but also why many agencies are facing financial crisis.

 

Contacts

MHANYS – Glenn Liebman, (518) 360-7916
Human Services Council – Jennifer Barden, jennifer@risaheller.com, (646) 676-4486

Non-Profit Human Services Agencies Join Together to Urge Long Term Funding Support to Ensure Adequate Availability of Life Preserving Services

In a demonstration of unprecedented unanimity, over thirty statewide non-profit Human Services organizations that provide services to over one million vulnerable New Yorkers are asking State decision makers to provide a long term – and long overdue – investment to ensure the sustainability of these essential programs.

This coordinated effort involves community-based providers of supports and services for mental health, substance use, developmental disabilities, child welfare, foster care, aging, domestic violence, homelessness, food pantries and others. They are requesting a three-percent funding increase every year for the next five years, aptly named the 3For5 Campaign.

Existing law provides for an annual increase for these providers. Unfortunately, for the last decade, the funding increases for these service providers were not included in the New York State Budget. This has resulted in a loss of $1 billion in promised financial support. Not surprisingly, this has severely compromised these agencies’ operations — the number and quality of services is declining, many agencies have had to institute waiting lists for care, facilities are deteriorating, and agencies are unable to offer competitive, living wages to attract and retain the skilled staff necessary to deliver quality care and support. These fiscal realities are contributing to increased homelessness, increased hospitalizations, and ultimately greater cost to taxpayers. These agencies are the safety net for New Yorkers in greatest need. While these agencies’ missions prevent them from turning away people in need, many are now fiscally unstable and in danger of closing due to inadequate funding.

The importance of these agencies cannot be overstated. Individuals rely on them to fulfill their dreams of independence and families rely on them to provide their loved ones with the quality care they need to keep them safe and thriving. Communities rely on them as economic engines and employers and taxpayers rely on them to support New Yorkers in their home communities, off the streets, and out of expensive institutional settings and emergency rooms.  This investment is a cost-effective win-win for all New Yorkers.

New York State has a Constitutional requirement to provide support for its most vulnerable citizens, and these non-profit providers are the means by which the State fulfills this ethical and legal obligation. Providers need an immediate investment to be able to continue to do this.

This is also an issue of social justice, as over 80% of the human services staff are women and over 45% are women of color.

These agencies, united in this important request, urge Governor Cuomo to include a 3 percent funding increase for the non-profit Human Services field in this year’s Executive Budget and to commit to ongoing investment for these essential programs.

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“Underfunding agencies affects New York’s children and families, both the people served by and the people employed in human services. Our agencies strengthen families and work to maximize every child’s potential and that requires a dedicated professional workforce.  When agencies can’t pay them appropriately these staff are forced to move on, and the families and children encounter delays setbacks as they start new relationships with new workers.” – Jim Purcell, President & CEO, Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA)

“New York State partners with nonprofits to provide comprehensive human services to millions of individuals and families each year, employ hundreds of thousands of people, and strengthen our communities. Yet the State continues to strip the sector of its limited funding, leaving wages stagnant and jeopardizing the fiscal health of the sector. The State cannot continue to ask nonprofits to do more with less. We urge our government partners to make this long-term and long overdue investment in the institutions that help New York thrive.” – Michelle Jackson, Deputy Executive Director, Human Services Council

“It is unprecedented for the entire human service sector to come together with one voice but times of crisis call for a unified voice. The reason we have come together is because the lack of investment in this sector will greatly impact the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers we work with every day. We all take our mission seriously but without needed funding, we are greatly concerned about continuing to insure the safety, support and independence of those in greatest need. We urge the Governor to support a three percent increase in funding every year for the next five years for the human services sector: 3For5.” Glenn Liebman, CEO, Mental Health Association in New York State

“NAMI-NYS is grateful for the opportunity to care for the dedicated workforce which cares for people living with psychiatric disorders. The delivery of services that advance recovery of mental illness is impossible without sustaining a skilled and compassionate human services workforce. We urge New York State to make the necessary investments for these agencies and caregivers.”-  Wendy Burch, Executive Director, NAMI-NYS

“While we thank the State for their investments in the workforce over the past several years, we must now shift our attention to the overall fiscal health of service provider organizations.  Flexible resources to shore up these vital community-based organizations will allow them to stabilize their operations – including continued investments in workforce – and be planful to ensure their sustainability.” – Michael Seereiter, President & CEO, New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation

“The not-for-profit providers are helping the state fulfill their constitutional duty to provide a lifetime of support and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the most cost efficient and appropriate setting. This funding commitment is critical to ensure the viability and stability of these providers.” – Yvette Watts, Executive Director of New York Association of Emerging and Multicultural Providers and New York Disability Advocates Spokesperson

“Continued access to effective human services begins with investment in the organizations that provide them. These agencies deserve adequate reimbursement that covers operational costs and allows them to recruit and retain staff. They must be able to keep their focus on client care rather than on how to keep the lights on.” – Lauri Cole, Executive Director, New York State Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

 “Human services agencies provide the safety net and quality of life services that support and promote new business and economic development. A strong non profit sector is an economic engine that benefits all New Yorkers.” William Gettman, CEO, Northern Rivers Family of Services

“The people who work in supportive housing have some of the toughest jobs there are — helping people who’ve experienced homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse reclaim their lives – yet many of these workers barely make a living wage due to underfunded state-funded contracts.  The Supportive Housing Network of New York strongly urges the Governor to begin to address this disparity by supporting 3for5.” – Supportive Housing Network of New York

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