Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) announced that the House Appropriations Committee included an increase in funding for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) to $750 million in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee Appropriations bill. Read Congresswoman Stefanik’s letter to the Committee calling for this increase here.

“I thank Chairman Cole and my colleagues on the Committee for agreeing to this important request to help Community Action Agencies across our district continue their critical work,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “These agencies work to tackle issues ranging from poverty to combating the heroin and opioid epidemic and we must prioritize their funding. I will continue working throughout the appropriations process to ensure this funding is passed and signed into law.”

Bruce Garcia, CEO, Joint Council for Economic Opportunity of Clinton and Franklin Counties, Inc. “JCEO”: “On behalf of JCEO, I want to thank Congresswoman Stefanik for her efforts to increase funding to Community Action Agencies.  JCEO, as the community action agency serving both Clinton and Franklin counties, will be able to use the funds to better stock our food pantries, to assist low-income working families through emergency situations and help keep Senior citizens in their homes.”

Alan Jones, Executive Director and CEO, Adirondack Community Action Programs, Inc. “ACAP”: "Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) funding provides core services for our most vulnerable and does so in a way that removes barriers and promotes self-sufficiency. Our program coordinates with all other service providers so as not to duplicate services. This funding is imperative to our local community, as it has the flexibility to meet ever changing needs and allows us to meet those emerging needs in a timely cost/benefit manner.  Emergency services are at the core of the work and includes, but is not limited to: income qualified (eviction prevention; utility shut offs; lack of heat; food shelves; etc.) In addition, wrap around services are provided to promote independence and reduce the need for reoccurring support."

Felicia Dumas, Executive Director, St. Lawrence County Community Development Program: "The continuation and increase of the Community Services Block Grant funding is integral to our North Country communities. At St. Lawrence County Community Development Program (CDP) we utilize that funding to support neighborhood centers in Massena, Ogdensburg, Gouverneur, Canton, Potsdam, South Colton, Parishville, and Pierrepont. These centers assist members of their communities and surrounding towns with food, emergency assistance, and family development. Our Center Directors work on goal setting with participants, often to include employment or educational goals. They provide job training to volunteers and community members who work at the centers. Our Neighborhood Centers also partner with other agencies to provide budgeting and nutrition workshops. In Ogdensburg, the Center Director has partnered with American Red Cross to install smoke alarms for community members. Our Neighborhood Centers would not be able to provide these necessary services without CSBG funding and the support of our local communities."