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Early Childhood

WestCOP’s Early Childhood Program's mission is to provide high quality early childhood education, health, nutrition and family services to low-income children and families in Westchester and Putnam Counties.

WestCOP’s Early Childhood Program serves almost 2,000 income-eligible children and families in helping them reach their optimal potential within 21 Head Start and Early Head Start centers throughout Westchester and Putnam Counties.

Each center offers several types of programs, which include:

    • Part-Day or Six-Hour Head Start
    • Full-Day Childcare
    • Therapeutic Classrooms
    • Universal Pre-Kindergarten
    • After-School Services

The Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide comprehensive child development services for children from birth to five years, and focus on the goals of promoting social competence and school readiness for each child.

Because Head Start believes that parents and families are a child’s first and best teacher, partnerships with families are considered an important and integral part of the Head Start experience.

Through these partnerships, parents are:

  • Encouraged to become involved in all aspects of the Head Start program
  • Empowered to become advocates for their children and themselves
  • Inspired to pursue the goals they have identified.

In addition to partnering with parents, WestCOP’s Head Start program actively collaborates with a wide range of community agencies. These collaborations serve to ensure that resources are available for the children and families as they progress towards their goals.  We engage in extensive outreach and education among low-income families in the communities we serve.

Our strategies are implemented – more specifically – through:

  • Head Start & Early Head Start, federally authorized and funded preschool and early childhood education for low-income children ages birth to five in Westchester and Putnam Counties.
  • Early Head Start Home Base, an integrated program that provides families with Early Head Start services in the home setting where the mother is pregnant or there are children under 3 years of age.
  • Pre-School Special Education, New York State approved special education, evaluation, therapy and integrated classroom programming for preschool children.
  • Universal Pre-Kindergarten, pre-kindergarten education.
  • Child Care, full year and full day classes.
  • Adult Literacy, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for both beginning and Intermediate students, particularly for parents of children attending Head Start.
  • Parent Groups, a means to give participating parents an opportunity for empowerment, self-governance and parenting education.

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Contact Information:

Director: Ellen Farrar

Email: EFarrar@westcop.org

Phone: (914) 592-5600 Ext. 112

SSVF

Support Services for Veterans and Their Families

Far too many veterans are homeless in America. The SSVF Program helps veteran households (single veterans or veterans and their families) that are currently homeless or at risk of losing their housing. It provides temporary financial assistance and many other services that create stability.

It is estimated that between 130,000 and 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night; three times that many veterans are struggling with excessive rent burdens and thus at increased risk of homelessness.

One out of every three homeless men who is sleeping in a doorway, alley or box in our cities and rural communities has put on a uniform and served this country.

By The Numbers...

40% of homeless are veterans
400000 veterans will experience homelessness this year
97% of these veterans are male
67% served 3 or more years

A disproportionate amount – approximately 40% – of homeless men are veterans, even though veterans comprise only 34% of the general adult male population. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans estimates that 400,000 veterans will experience homelessness during the course of a year and 97% of those homeless veterans will be male. A large percentage – 67% – served three or more years in the armed forces protecting our country, and 47% are Vietnam Era Vets.

The SSVF Program is a program that is within the Veteran’s Administration continuum of care and is part of a 5 year initiative to end Veteran Homelessness. The goal of the SSVF Program is to promote housing stability among very low-income Veteran families who reside in or are transitioning to permanent housing.  We understand that homeless individuals are often unemployed, unable to work, or have such low incomes that they cannot afford housing. Some homeless individuals have disabling mental health, substance abuse, or physical conditions that lead to, or complicate, their homeless situation.

Who is eligible for SSVF Services?

  • The veteran may be a single individual, or part of a family in which he/she is the head of household
  • The veteran’s discharge status must be under conditions other than dishonorable
  • The individual or family must be very low income, making less than 50% of the area median income (AMI)
  • Housing status: Currently residing in permanent housing and at risk of losing housing and becoming literally homeless without SSVF assistance; Currently homeless, scheduled to become a resident of permanent housing within 90 days pending the location of permanent housing or; Has exited permanent housing within the previous 90 days in order to seek housing that better fits with needs

How do we go about helping Veterans?

A case manager will work with each veteran or veteran family to help them access the following benefits:

  • Housing search assistance
  • Temporary financial assistance for rent, utilities, transportation, childcare, education, and other qualifying services
  • Job coaching and assistance with job search and placement
  • Assistance obtaining VA benefits
  • Assistance obtaining other public benefits
  • Coordination with other resources within the community

Contact Information

Residence of  Westchester, Rockland & Putnam

Contact:  Stephen Vaughn
Email:  svaughn@WestCOP.org
Phone: (914) 664-8680
28 East 1st St.
Mt. Vernon, NY 10550

Residents of Dutchess, Ulster, Orange & Sullivan

Contact: Tanisha Terry
Email: tterry@westcop.org
Phone: (845) 565-2892
244-250 Broadway
Newburgh, NY 12250

SSVF Manager

Contact: Kevin McGill
Email: kmcgill@westcop.org
Phone: (914) 664-8680 x 105
Phone: (845) 565-2892 x 203

SSVF Regional Coordinator

Contact: Kiron Dawkins
Email: kdawkins@westcop.org

Victims Assistance

Restoring Dignity - Advocating for Justice - Helping to Heal

At Victims Assistance Services, it is our belief that through education, advocacy, and the raising of public awareness, we can over time alter the cultural context that allows interpersonal violence to flourish, mitigate the shame-inducing stigma of victimization, and provide former victims the opportunity to regain a sense of dignity and wholeness.

Victims Assistance Services (VAS) provides free, comprehensive and compassionate services to crime victims and their families, friends and loved ones. VAS also works to end violence through community action, public policy and culture change, and through prevention education programs in schools and in other community venues.

Who is eligible for VAS services?

Any adult, teen or child affected, directly or indirectly, by domestic or dating violence, rape or sexual assault, stalking, homicide or DWI, elder abuse, child abuse, physical assault, bullying (including cyber-bullying), harassment and hate crimes, sex and/or labor trafficking, physical assault, burglary, identity theft, and other crimes.

Services Include:

  • 24-hour Emergency Hotline
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Counseling
  • Specialized Trauma Therapies
  • Safety Planning
  • Support and Therapy Groups
  • Accompaniment to Hospital Emergency Rooms
  • SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Forensic Exams
  • Accompaniment and Advocacy throughout the criminal justice process from initial police report until Victim Impact Statement and VINE registration (in the event of a successful prosecution)
  • Assistance obtaining protective orders and accessing shelter
  • Home visits to vulnerable elders
  • Prevention Education presentations
  • Assistance completing OVS (NYS Office for Victim Services) applications and requests for Emergency OVS awards (for HIV prophylactic medications)
  • Assistance with crime scene clean-up
  • Help with funeral expenses
  • Referrals to specialized legal assistance through partner agencies for victims of domestic and/or sexual violence and undocumented crime victims
  • Emergency food and travel vouchers and facilitated referrals from our Hope Chest Program

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If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime, call Victims Assistance Services…

NEW TOLL-FREE HOTLINE NUMBER: (855) 827-2255

All services are free and confidential.
Close to half of our staff is Spanish speaking and culturally informed

VAS collaborates closely with sister agencies throughout the county, including:

Victim Assistance Service Advocates are also available at the Family Justice Center, the Yonkers Family Court, and through the Children’s Advocacy Center.

Contact Information

Director: Karel Amaranth 

Email:  KAmaranth@WestCOP.org

LOCAL HOTLINE NUMBER:  (914) 345-9111
MAIN OFFICE:  (914) 345-3113
NEW TOLL-FREE HOTLINE NUMBER:  (855) 827-2255

Weatherization

Weatherization comprises a comprehensive series of energy efficiency measures that are based on sophisticated analyses of individual homes. These analyses take the whole-house approach, which maximizes energy and dollar savings.

Weatherization as defined by the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) differs in many ways from what is commonly called “weatherizing your home.” The latter involves low-cost improvements like adding weather stripping to doors and windows to save energy.

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Another distinguishing feature of weatherization is attention to an all-around safety check. Many buildings receiving attention are old and in need of repair. Weatherization service providers check energy systems to ensure occupant safety.

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Weatherization service providers look at the house as a system under the concept of "whole-house weatherization."

WestCOP’s weatherization services consist of cost-effective energy efficiency measures for existing residential and multifamily housing with low-income residents. It includes a wide variety of energy efficiency measures that encompass the building envelope, its heating and cooling systems, its electrical system, and electricity consuming appliances.

The benefits of weatherization begin with reducing the energy bills of recipients for a long period of time. Some measures, such as insulating walls or roofs, for example, can provide savings for the lifetime of a house—30 years or more. On average, the value of the weatherization improvements is 2.2 times greater than the cost.

WestCOP’s Weatherization program serves low-income families free of charge and limits the amount of money that can be spent on any single residence as determined by federal rules.

Contact Information:

Director: Dirk Fields 

Email:  DFields@WestCOP.org