(Patchogue, NY-September 9, 2014) At the end of August, Suffolk County hosted its seventh Stand Up for the Homeless event at St. Joseph’s college in Patchogue. The purpose of this event is to ensure that those who are in need can gain access to services, resources and items offered by county, state, federal and private entities. This year over 57 vendors participated in the event providing resources which included: financial counseling, employment opportunities, health resources, housing help, and educational opportunities.
“In a perfect world we would hope that we would not have to host events like this and have more than 850 people attending to access services and resources,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “However, the stark reality is that there are residents in need and we must do what we can to assist those residents in accessing services. I thank the collaborating agencies and organizations for donating their time and resources to this event in the effort to ensure those in need receive the services they require. Thank you to St. Joseph’s College, Saint Vincent de Paul Society, the Patchogue Rotary Club, the Patchogue Lions Club, St. Sylvester outreach and Servisair.
This year collaborators and agencies attending the event provided more than 250 backpacks for school age children, 1,000 new toys to non-school age youth, 1,000 diapers provided to families with infants, 12,000 pounds of clothing, and 6 pallets of non-perishable food items. In addition, free haircuts were provided as well as dental and health screenings and transportation was provided to the event by Servisair.
“The mission of the Suffolk County Department of Social Services is to provide financial assistance and support services to eligible Suffolk County residents in a cost effective and efficient manner, simultaneously protecting the vulnerable while encouraging their independence and self-sufficiency,” said Suffolk County Department of Social Services Commissioner John F. O’Neill. “While we are able to assist many of our homeless clients through our Client Benefit programs, the Stand Up for the Homeless event is intended to educate and serve the ineligible or recalcitrant visible homeless with informational referrals, community based resources, and items utilized while homeless. The Department of Social Services is proud to be beside County Executive Bellone, St. Joseph’s College and our community based partners in presenting this annual event.”