FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 31, 2017

IN RESPONSE TO EXECUTIVE BUDGET, NEW YORK NONPROFITS GATHER TO CALL FOR
STATE INVESTMENT IN HUMAN SERVICES

Coalition Launches Campaign to Show the Human Impact of Continual
Underfunding in the Region

ALBANY, NY – A coalition of human services nonprofits from across New York
State were joined by Assemblymembers Fahy, Gunther, Hevesi, and Rosenthal,
as well as Senators Amedore and Hamilton, to call on Governor Cuomo and the
legislature to strengthen the nonprofit human services sector through smart
and efficient investment and systemic changes. The Executive Budget, while
acknowledging the importance of human services, provided little in the way
of strengthening the organizations and the sector responsible for
supporting and lifting families out of poverty.

The Coalition, which is comprised of nearly 350 organizations across New
York State, is part of the statewide Restore Opportunity Now campaign,
which seeks to address sector health issues like fully funded contracts,
competitive salaries and benefits for nonprofits needed to recruit and
retain high quality staff, and program funding to meet the growing needs of
New Yorkers.

The advocacy campaign amplifies a recent report highlighting the need for
human services in New York communities. In many cities, child poverty
exceeds 50 percent, and food security and housing continue to be pressing
issues. Despite these statistics, spending in the human services sector in
New York has decreased by an average of 1.3 percent per year since 2011.

Human services are the State’s first line of defense in combating pressing
issues like poverty, but rising costs coupled with ever present needs and
lack of investment have undermined the health of the sector, which is now
at a breaking point. Fifty-eight percent of providers in the state in 2014
reported that they were not meeting the need in their communities. Only 7
percent reported that their State contracts covered the full cost of
providing services. Recruitment and retention of qualified staff is also a
major challenge, due to low levels of compensation, often set by
government.

The Coalition is calling on the governor and legislature to take the first
steps this budget session to strengthen the sector by funding the minimum
wage for direct human services contracts and Medicaid reimbursements,
implementing an funding a 15% floor for indirect, and continuing investment
in the Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Improvement Program. These steps
would ensure that human services providers continue to deliver essential
services efficiently and effectively.

Coalition members will also participate in an advocacy day today, meeting
with more than 20 Assemblymembers and Senators.

“Our investments in human services aid vulnerable populations, help uplift
communities, and extend ladders of opportunity to the next generation of
New York leaders. We must boost our investment in this critical sector
because nurturing healthy human services makes for healthier, higher
quality of life communities for all New Yorkers,” said Senator Jesse
Hamilton (D).

“As we stare down the barrel of a Trump Administration, it is imperative
that New York invest in the future of children and families by fully
funding non-profit organizations across the State,” said Assemblymember
Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF). “Non-profits often act as a safety net in many
communities where residents struggle with homelessness and poverty. We must
do everything possible to insulate New Yorkers from the coming cuts at the
federal level, and funding the State’s non-profits will go a long way in
protecting the most vulnerable over the next four years.”

“Like New Yorkers across the State, we are very excited about many of the
initiatives put forward by the Governor in the State of the State. There
are over 800,000 hardworking New Yorkers in the not for profit sector who
will be involved in the implementation of many of these new initiatives
including people in the mental health workforce. We need the continued
support of the Governor and the Legislature to help keep funding whole for
this workforce by supporting salary and benefits that allow nonprofits to
recruit and retain a high quality staff,” said Glenn Liebman, CEO of Mental
Health Association in NYS.

“We are here to advocate for investment in some of the most important
people in New York state,” said William T. Gettman, Jr., CEO, Northern
Rivers Family of Services. “Our not-for-profit human services workers are
responsible for helping the children of today grow into the leaders of
tomorrow who will help keep New York a great place to live, work, invest
and raise families.”

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Contact:

Antoinette Isable-Jones
aijones@fpwa.org / (212)801-1316

Charlotte Hough
chough@mercuryllc.com / (212)681.1380

 

Glenn Liebman, CEO
Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc.