FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2017
Contact: Charles Blackstone (firstname.lastname@example.org, o: 929-221-6276)
DSS COMMISSIONER BANKS AND PUBLIC TELEVISION STATION WNET COMMEMORATE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF EDUCATIONAL CHILD WAIT SPACE COLLABORATION
More than 2,500 children from more than 1,600 families served at PATH’s Child Wait Space in first year
NEW YORK—Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks today commemorated the first anniversary of the launch of a new educational space for children at PATH, the Department of Homeless Services’ Bronx intake center that provides services to all New York City families with children who are applying for shelter. Last year, the Department of Homeless Services and WNET, America’s flagship PBS station, partnered to open the new Child Wait Space in order to provide a welcoming environment where children could learn and play while their parents access services at PATH.
"The upgrades to the Child Wait Space at PATH, including new educational and arts programming, are a testament to what we can do through collaboration to improve the experience for families with children facing homelessness," said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. "Creating and enhancing supportive resources like this offers families a measure of stability during challenging times—and by expanding our partnerships, we’re continuing to bring new opportunities for children to learn and play to this space."
"We are delighted WNET's partnership has made a difference for over 2,500 children from more than 1,600 families who have enjoyed the Wait Space at PATH," said Carole Wacey, Vice President of Education, WNET. "Through our partnership with the Department of Homeless Services, we continue our commitment to support New York City parents and their children."
Homelessness today is driven by years of wages not keeping up with the cost of housing. Families with children comprise nearly 70 percent of the Department of Homeless Services shelter census—and more than one-third of those households have earned income, underscoring the economic factors shaping homelessness. But in partnership with organizations like WNET, DHS is turning the tide.
Reviews are in—parents praise PATH’s Child Wait Space:
Parents and children alike have praised the Wait Space as a meaningful and significant resource for them to have during challenging times. "I was able to handle everything that I needed without the added stress of having my child with me," one parent states. Another says of her daughter's experience in the Wait Space, "Homelessness brings insecurity and other issues, and I’m grateful she missed hearing some of the content discussed."
About DHS' PATH Intake Center: The PATH (Prevention and Temporary Housing) intake center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and provides comprehensive, wraparound services to families with children in need. The Department of Homeless Services’ Division of Family Services provides temporary emergency shelter to homeless families with children younger than 21 years of age and pregnant women through this intake facility in the Bronx.