November 7, 2023
By: Julie Kronick
Our work will continue to confront unaffordability crises with solutions that increase economic security for families.
CCC’s Annual Celebration Breakfast acts as an inspiration to propel our advocacy efforts forward and raises funds to help us do the work. This year, our Celebration Breakfast recognized continued efforts to holistically better the lives of New York’s children through an anti-poverty lens. For close to 80 years, CCC has recognized the importance of early and consistent investments in children to combat child poverty and set New York’s children and their families up for lifelong success. Specifically, in the continued wake of the pandemic’s impact on families and their economic well-being, focusing on equitable anti-poverty work further recognizes and connects the overlapping material hardships increasingly affecting more and more families with children.
These efforts likewise span the range of work of our three honorees, from housing access, to economic stability, to child well-being supports. The work of these dedicated advocates have spearheaded poverty reduction advocacy from different and critical angles. Read on to dive into how the priorities of The Bridge Project, The Family Homelessness Coalition Fellows, and Trudy B. Festinger, D.S.W.’s lifetime work all overlap with CCC’s successes and priorities.
The Bridge Project is a nonprofit running New York’s first consistent cash allowance program with the goal of impacting child poverty. The program provides new mothers with a set amount of unconditional cash on a biweekly basis for three years, supporting the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. CCC has been an advisor to The Bridge Project and fully supports universal income efforts that combat child poverty and reduce other factors of inequity, including evictions, child welfare involvement, and more. In fact, over the summer we submitted testimony on direct cash payments that recognized The Bridge Project as a model for universal basic income (UBI) and we continue to support UBI efforts. And, as mentioned earlier, the New York State Direct Cash Transfer Research Pilot is a new program influenced by UBI advocacy that will study the impact of UBI efforts on child welfare involvement. CCC is also part of The NY Can End Child Poverty Group and a Local Assets Working Group both focused on real anti-poverty advancements.
The Family Homelessness Coalition (FHC) Fellows (Kadisha Davis, Lurden Corona, Rhonda Jackson) are individuals who have lived through the challenges of housing instability who now work within the Family Homelessness Coalition to combat family homelessness and spread awareness of facts and solutions. These Fellows have a voice in the coalition’s policy matters and advocacy efforts that provide a more holistic picture of family homelessness. CCC is a co-convener of FHC and works closely with the Fellows. FHC played a large role in getting the package of CityFHEPS bills passed over the summer to help expedite exits from shelter with housing voucher and prevent evictions for vulnerable families in the first place. Expanding on this, CCC and FHC are focused on improving benefit access and retention for vulnerable families, calling back to the reality that families at risk of eviction face numerous affordability challenges.
Trudy B. Festinger, D.S.W. has dedicated her career to improving the child welfare system and impacting overall well-being for children. She has been a member of the CCC Board of Directors for over 20 years and a supporter of CCC in countless ways since 1959. Throughout her time as an advocate, professor, researcher, and scholar, her work has influenced positive change and the prioritization of services that support foster youth, the post-adoption needs of families, caseworker experience, impacted families, and more. We are incredibly proud to honor her as such an integral thread to CCC’s life and history. Connecting the dots between Trudy’s incredible career and our advocacy priorities, CCC has a long history working to ensure that New Yorkers have access to community-based supports that uplift families and CCC continues to advocate within the child welfare space to support children and youth—for instance, at the state level this past year, we helped influence the first increase in the Child Welfare Housing Subsidy amount since the late ‘80s, which often supports youth that age out of the foster care system.
CCC remains dedicated to promoting solutions to the unaffordability crises facing families across our state and city, fighting poverty and prioritizing well-being from all angles. Stay connected to our current policy work by checking out some of our recent testimonies on our website, here. In the coming months, we will have numerous ways for our community to get involved in advocacy around housing, mental health, child welfare, food security, youth justice and more through free events and opportunities to take action. Check back with our events calendar for upcoming events here and look out for more opportunities in our newsletter and via email (sign up for our e-action network here). Once live, we post all of our active take action campaigns here, too.