The Human Services Council of New York (HSC), its upstate partners, and people who rely on human services programs visited the State Capitol yesterday to deliver the initial results of the Who Cares? I Do. online petition drive and state-wide campaign to protect human services programs from the steep $400 million in funding cuts proposed by Governor Cuomo. The petition was presented to State Senator Diane Savino, Chair of the Senate Committee on Children and Families, and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Children and Families, who support the campaign.
Since the launch of the Who Cares? I Do. Campaign on February 14, over 2,300 individuals and nonprofit organizations, representing nearly three million residents from counties throughout New York State, including the Bronx, Westchester, Suffolk, Greene, Albany, Oneida, Jefferson, Rensselaer, Onondaga and Erie, have signed the petition.
In order to put a face to the great impact human services have on our communities, Wanda Wilson and Beatriz Velez, clients of Trinity Alliance and Wilbert Hawkes and Scott McDonald, former clients of Project Renewal shared their stories with the public. The moving accounts of overcoming hardships with the help of these organizations aided in the push to let government know the detriments of cutting human services funding.
Following the press conference, HSC along with staff and clients from Project Renewal and Palladia, spoke with representatives of the Senate and the Assembly to discuss budget cuts and its effect on homeless services. These representatives included: Senator Richard Gottfried, Senator Michele Titus, and Senator Patrick Gallivan