Know Your Rights Fair
In Crown Heights, Met Council held Know Your Rights Fair to inform residents of the rights and programs afforded by Federal, State, City governments and the non-profit community. The event brought community leaders and experts from a wide range of services, including: legal, public benefits and housing. In addition, clients received a free pre-packaged dinner.
“When clients first come to us, they so rarely know that they are eligible for public benefits or what to do at a fair hearing trial. These unknowns can be the difference between crisis and stability,” said David M. Frankel, Met Council’s CEO and Executive Director. “Every day, Met Council case workers empower our clients to confront their crisis. In conjunction with our partner agencies and local elected officials, through our Know Your Rights Fair and other community outreach efforts, we seek to prevent those crisis moments, leverage government programs and bring together a diverse group of CBOs to reach the Brooklyn community.”
Nearly 40 percent of Crown Heights residents live in poverty, and 27 percent are food insecure — significantly higher rates than in other New York City neighborhoods. Of all those in poverty, 17 percent are children. By increasing residents’ access to information about a variety of benefits that can have a direct impact on their daily lives, Know Your Rights helps people in their fight against poverty.
Met Council Sandy Recovery Work Honored At Citywide Interfaith Federation Of Disaster Human Service Providers
New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) honored Met Council’s Disaster Case Manager, Khadijat Oluwo, with its Partner of the Year Award. Khadijat secured the most funds in 2014 for Queens victims of Superstorm Sandy from the NYDIS Unmet Needs Roundtable, demonstrating her dedication and advocacy for the ongoing needs of Hurricane Sandy survivors. Since Hurricane Sandy, the NYC Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable, administered by NYDIS, which serves to bring together disaster case managers and donors to provide customized assistance (financial, in-kind or referrals) to any eligible survivor household of a federal disaster, has distributed $8.4 million in services and goods to 1,695 households.
“Since the recovery began, Khadijat has demonstrated her unwavering commitment to serving storm victims,” said Met Council CEO and Executive Director David M. Frankel. “Her ability not only to achieve realistic goals, but also to provide her clients with hope is inspiring.”
Met Council Testified At City Hall On The 70th Anniversary Of The Liberation Of The Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps
Met Council’s Public Affairs Manager, Rena Resnick, testified before the New York City Council in support of the Council’s preconsidered resolution to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps.
Rena testified that as we gather to commemorate this solemn event, we also must remember that those who were liberated from Auschwitz-Birkenau, and indeed all those who have survived the Holocaust to this day, still need our help. As survivors age they require additional care and culturally sensitive attention. For many of our clients, the loss of their spouse or the transition into a nursing home can be extremely traumatic and an unwelcomed reminder of the loss and institutionalization during the Holocaust.
Feeding Our Neighbors
As part of a community wide volunteer day, hundreds of young professionals, families and seniors took action against hunger in New York City. Volunteers from Met Council, UJA-Federation of New York, Engage and Repair the World learned about the prevalence of hunger in the City and participated in various projects to feed our neighbors. The day’s activities included: prepping dinner for low-income families, assembling child-friendly snacks and creating re-usable grocery bags.
Feeding Our Neighbors: An Interfaith Response began in 2012 and is a joint effort to raise food and funds to replenish food pantries and soup kitchens that feed hungry neighbors. Together, Catholic Charities, UJA-Federation, and the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies hope to maximize their combined efforts to distribute 1 million meals to feed the hungry across New York.
UJA-Federation Of NY Staff Day Of Service
Staff from UJA-Federation of NY joined Met Council for a day of learning and action. The volunteers participated in a SNAP (supplemental nutritional assistance program, formerly known as Food Stamps) budget simulation to demonstrate some of the challenges hungry New Yorkers face.
There are 1.3 million food insecure New Yorkers; one in five are children. For many of our clients, the high cost of kosher food presents a unique challenge: on average, a kosher meal is 30% more expensive. While, statewide, most families run out of SNAP benefits by the third week each month, a family that keeps kosher runs out by the second week.
Following the project, the volunteers assembled nutritious meals that were distributed to clients in the Lower East Side.
Met Council Client Featured In The New York Times
The last 11 years have been harsh and humbling for Maria Maley, and whatever years remain to her seem certain to be the same.
“I’m not deluding myself,” Ms. Maley, 52, said. “This is what it is. This is what it’s always going to be. I’m always going to be a single parent struggling. My daughter is always going to be sick. I’m always going to be in this situation.”
Her declaration is made without contempt or self-pity; it is a clinical recitation — an acceptance — of her life, which has only bolstered her love for her daughters, Nicole, 17, and Danielle, 11.
Danielle has severe autism and can do very little for herself. She has to be bathed, dressed and groomed, and can barely communicate, often speaking in single-word statements.