The New York State Council of Catholic Charities Directors will hold its annual convening in Albany on Monday and Tuesday, February 8-9. More than 70 representatives from Catholic Charities agencies across the state will participate in an evening reception Monday night, followed by a day of advocacy with lawmakers on Tuesday on issues related to the state budget negotiations.
The Council has identified three main issues this year:
SUBSIDIZED CHILD CARE: The Council calls for an investment of $190 million to support 13,000 new child care subsidies ($100 million), and to fully fund the new health and safety requirements included in the federal Child Care Development Block Grant ($90 million).
SUPPORTIVE HOUSING: Homelessness in New York has nearly doubled in the last decade. The Council believes the most cost-effective strategy proven to alleviate homelessness for those with the greatest needs is supportive housing, which pairs affordable housing with on-site supportive services. It is supporting Campaign 4 NY/NY Housing to create 35,000 units of supportive housing over the next 10 years, as well as the Medicaid Redesign Team's continued effort to support additional permanent supportive housing projects across New York State.
FAIR WAGES: The Council supports an increase in the minimum wage if additional resources are added to its state contracts/state-authorized payments/state payment rates to pay the lowest paid human services employees a more livable wage and to provide increases to the remaining members of its workforce who haven't seen adequate increases in the past several years. Absent such increases, the Council cannot support an increase, as it would threaten the sustainability of programs.
The Council will present two awards at a reception on Monday, Feb. 8. The Vincenza DeFazio Award will be presented to George Horton, director of social & community development for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, for his outstanding contribution to the work of the Council of Catholic Charities Directors. The Bishop Francis J. Mugavero Award will be presented to John Carr, former executive director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, for his outstanding contributions to the work of charity and social justice.
The Catholic Conference represents New York State's Bishops in matters of public policy.