Listed below is a letter from the #3for5 Campaign (comprised of over twenty five statewide human services organizations) to Governor Cuomo urging support for additional funding for the human service sector during the coronavirus.

Despite this pandemic, the  human service sector has been fearless in insuring support, safety and housing for countless New Yorkers. We strongly support the Governor’s leadership in recognizing the reality of the coronavirus and providing a very candid and sober message to all New Yorkers.

We all understand that these are times of great consequence for all New Yorkers but the human service sector, whether in mental health, housing, developmental disabilities, child welfare, nutrition, addictions disorders, aging, homeless services and domestic violence programs, will always step forward to serve as the safety net for all New Yorkers. We desperately need funding to be able to continue our mission driven work.

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

March 24, 2020

Dear Governor Cuomo:

You have been an inspirational leader during this crisis and your call for unity in the face of adversity resonates across the human services field. The New York State Legislature has also shown strong leadership in responding to this crisis. The #3for5 campaign started last year out of necessity to provide every statewide and regional human services agency the opportunity to speak with one unified voice for a sector that has been historically underfunded. The common bond that each of our human services agencies share is service to individuals of our great State. At no time has that ever been more clear or more urgent then during the coronavirus outbreak.

The doors of our programs always stay open. Whether a New Yorker needs a community mental health agency, an addiction and substance use agency, a developmental disability provider, supportive housing residences, health homes, shelter programs, aging programs, nutrition services, child welfare services or a domestic violence shelter, the human services agencies are there to provide those essential services such as shelter, food and safety.

Collectively, human services agencies and the communities they serve face an unprecedented emergency. The sustainability of our response and ability to continue to serve people, under perilous conditions defines the mission driven nature of our sector. As was demonstrated by disaster responses of the past including 9/11, the 2008 recession and Hurricane Sandy, we work collectively to achieve results necessary to support the members of our community.

The coronavirus outbreak is a crisis that none of us have ever witnessed. Resources are strained like never before as staff are working double and triple shifts. Clinical and care management staff need a broad array of technologies to maintain daily contact with those in greatest need and distress.  Understaffing, technology and communication upgrades, future sick leave and unexpected child care costs are prime examples of the pressure of our employers and agency infrastructure.

What We Need?

The entire human services sector needs an immediate infusion of funding to keep operations running to respond to this crisis.

We need your support through this emergency to rapidly ramp up funding so the human services agencies across New York State can provide urgently needed support, making especially effective and efficient use of the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to combat the Coronavirus.

Thank you for your support during these times of great uncertainty.

Please feel free to reach out to Glenn Liebman at the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. at gliebman@mhanys.org with any questions.

Sincerely,

#3for5 Campaign Members

(Comprised of over twenty five statewide human service organizations)