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    Helping People, Changing Lives

    2019-2020 Annual Report

  • What we are all about

    Helping People, Changing Lives

    Our Mission

    Combating Poverty & Its Adverse Effects

    Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit, multi-purpose social service company, proudly operating community programs combating poverty and its adverse effects in the Hudson Valley for over 55 years.

     

    Our Mission is to mobilize and efficiently manage resources through partnerships and collaborations to help the low-income and at-risk populations achieve greater self-sufficiency.

     

    WestCOP provides services to:

    • Children
    • Seniors
    • Veterans
    • Youth
    • Homeless Population
    • Immigrant Population
    • Underemployed
    • Unemployed
    • Victims of Crimes
    Through our diverse programs:
    • Adult Education
    • Benefit Enrollment Centers
    • Community Action Programs (10 sites)
    • Employment & Training
    • Feeding Programs
    • Foster Grandparents
    • Head Start, Early Head Start, Universal Pre-Kindergarten, Babies Step Forward
    • Shelter Services
    • Support for Veterans and Families
    • Victims Assistance
    • VITA - Volunteer Tax Assistance Programs
    • Weatherization Assistance Program for Low-Income Families
    • Youth Employment Programs
  • Hope for the Future

    Changing lives - one life at a time

    Our Vision

     

    To be an agency that empowers individuals

    to live and maintain a better quality of life.

     

    During this challenging time, our goal for the immediate future is to continue providing HOPE and RESILIENCY to our community members, specifically our at-risk population -- and not leave one single individual behind.

     

    Hope to get us through this unprecedented, uncertain, and precarious time; Hope to make our present situation more bearable; Hope for an outcome that makes everyone's life better in some way; Hope that our children have enough grit and resilience to come out better at the end of this pandemic; Hope that we will be a better, more united, and stronger community.

  • A Message from

    WestCOP's Leadership

    Donnnovan Beckford

    CEO/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

    As I reflect on my third year as CEO/Executive Director of WestCOP, I can say without a doubt that our agency has faced unprecedented and monumental challenges. It is a testament to the commitment and compassion of our staff, funders, partners, board, and volunteers that we continue to address the issues our communities confront daily. With a massive increase in the number of people struggling with food insecurity, unemployment, income loss, school closures, homelessness, and more, we have had to rethink our approach to providing relief and security to our at-risk population.
     
    This year, some of our accomplishments include a new overnight emergency homeless shelter for women, a refuge for COVID positive homeless individuals, and a vastly expanded food distribution program. Our dedicated Head Start staff have had to reevaluate their entire approach to educating our youngest members of society. The WestCOP staff, partners, and volunteers have been on the frontlines every day, expanding their outreach to also include victims of violence, displaced veterans, and foster grandparents who struggle with isolation. It's been a daunting and exhausting task. But the reward of seeing the smile on a child's face reconnecting with their teacher or a mother's relief picking up bags of groceries to feed her children is worth every moment we spend in the trenches.
     

    We are incredibly thankful and fortunate to work with our extended family of generous supporters, both within WestCOP and in the community. Our success in helping people and changing lives could not be done without any of them.

    Roland L. Grant, Sr.

    BOARD CHAIRMAN

    All of us are living in challenging and uncertain times, and although it is impossible to predict the continuing impact of COVID-19, WestCOP, and the Board of Directors, are deeply committed to keeping our community healthy, safe, and thriving. We are all here to effectively deploy critical resources to those in greatest need and support our efforts and those of other nonprofits on the frontlines.

     

    You may not be fully aware that residents in Westchester County living with food insecurities have doubled since the onset of the Coronavirus, and the number of hungry children has increased by more than 40%. Homelessness and domestic violence have also significantly increased. Right now, more than ever, it is time for all of us to come together. The Board remains firm in its commitment and strongly motivated to raising and sourcing the necessary funds to support all of our efforts.

     

    As the Board Chair, I promise that each member of the Board of Directors is working diligently with WestCOP staff, partners, and volunteers to ensure that our communities remain united, strong, and resilient.

     

    We are working harder than ever by Helping People, Changing Lives,

    Rinku Bhattacharya

    CFO

    In an unprecedented year, WestCOP rose to the challenge of supporting the increased needs of our community. We juggled managing our existing complex portfolio of grants and secured other sources of support to assist with the significantly increased needs in our service areas. We are grateful to have been able to assist our community through our network of locations and services. In the six months, at the height of the pandemic, we were able to bring in over $4M of direct support and several dollars’ worth of in-kind support to provide emergency food and essentials.

     

    We added emergency support programs, opening the county’s only COVID shelter. We executed and managed additional food distributions, emergency housing assistance for Veteran’s and continued 24-7 counseling assistance for victims of domestic violence. In addition, we have secured technology tools and support for families to ensure that they can continue their learning in a safe online and supported environment. We have ramped up our financial capacity to handle the funding from the CARES act to ensure that we are able to effectively support the community through the pandemic.

  • We are on the FRONT LINES

    A Tribute to WestCOP's Dedicated and Selfless Employees and Volunteers

    A Most Challenging Time

    Helping our Communities During the Pandemic

    In March 2020 our world inexorably changed with the outbreak of COVID-19. The staff at WestCOP immediately rose to the challenge by addressing the heightened issues of school closures, food insecurities, rising unemployment, homelessness, and more. WestCOP's mission has always been to help the at-risk population and now, more than ever, that population needs our help.

     

    One of the first issues WestCOP focused on was food insecurity. With the closures of schools came the end of free breakfasts and lunches for children of low-income families. That combined with the loss of income and escalating unemployment, families in our communities were no longer able to meet their basic food needs. In collaboration with Feeding Westchester, the National Guard, and other caring partners, our CAP programs and Head Start centers began a massive food distribution, which includes:

    • pre-packed groceries
    • bagged lunches for all children
    • hot meals to anyone in need

    Local communities being served by WestCOP were also facing compounded problems, such as:

    • unprecedented issues of homelessness
    • increases in domestic violence
    • technical challenges of virtual education
    • loss of Head Start/Early Head Start programs for at-risk children
    • Foster grandparents' loss of vital stipends

    Working around the clock, our IT department set up remote workstations for the staff so that we have new/creative ways of reaching our clients. WestCOP is continually coming up with new solutions every day to help our client base and added the following to our list of 2020 Accomplishments:

    • Expanded our feeding programs in Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam Counties. We initiated emergency food pantries,  distribution centers, free hot meals, and bagged groceries including meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and pantry staples. We also deliver to disabled and senior residents.
    • Virtual learning for all of our Head Start/Early Head classrooms through Zoom lessons, private Facebook groups, and a new YouTube channel.
    • Extended outreach throughout the community with the message "We're Here to Help" for victims of domestic violence and abuse, advocacy for victims of crime, and continued support through our Helpline, online counseling, resources, and referrals.
    • The veterans' program continues their rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention program (housing is a basic need to be addressed first); but with the COVID crisis, they are now coordinating with their VA Homeless Manager to see clients within 48 hours of EHA placement.
    • A new Women's Overnight Emergency Shelter was opened in February 2020
    • A new Shelter was opened for homeless individuals who tested positive for the Coronavirus in April 2020
    • A new Community Action Program (CAP) opened in Ossining, NY
    • Staff and volunteers went out into the field to help people register for Census2020
    • Distribution of PPEs including masks, gloves, and shields
    • Distribution of diapers and baby supplies to families in need
    • Education support for elementary and middle school children

    Our staff continues to work selflessly and with a dedication to serving anyone and everyone in need for any reason.

  • We Are More Than One

    We are a Team of Dedicated Workers

    Leadership

    Executive Management

    • Donnovan Beckford, CEO/Executive Director
    • Colin Dacres, COO
    • Rinku Bhattacharya, CFO
    • Karel Amaranth, Director, VAS
    • Donna Bell, Director, FGP
    • Kiron Dawkins, Director, SSVF
    • Dirk Fields, Director, Weatherization
    • Beryl Harold, Director, Human Resources
    • Gary Reid, Director, IT

    Executive Board

    Board of Directors

    • Eddie Mae Barnes
    • Margaret Butler
    • Roland L. Grant
    • Ada Onwe
    • Kimberly Weston
    • Dr. Angela White

    Board of Directors

    Tripartite Board

    • Diane Atkins
    • Joseph DiCarlo
    • Pamela Earl
    • Alexandra Garcia
    • Valerie Gray, Esq.
    • Esther Guzman
    • Ken Jones
    • Myrna Merchant
    • Heather Miller
    • Paattria Parris
    • Michael Piazza
    • Tamika Rose
    • Kemesha Salmon
    • William Wagstaff III, Esq.
    • Bishop Joan Whittaker

    Policy Council

    Working in partnership to provide the very best for our children

    The Policy Council works with our Early Childhood programs and is comprised of parents and members of the community at large served by WestCOP. Each member is elected to serve on the Council.

     

    The Policy Council partners with WestCOP management to develop the program’s philosophy and long- and short-range program goals and objectives. Meetings are held monthly and transportation, dinner, and babysitting are provided.

     

    We are very grateful for their time, caring, and dedication to making our programs the best that they can be for our children.

     

     

     

    Advisory Board

    Providing Overall Guidance to WestCOP's CAP Programs

    Each one of WestCOP's 10 Community Action Programs has its own Advisory Board. Each board is comprised of 12 members representing a cross-section of the community, including low-income residents, elected officials, and the general community.

     

    The Advisory Board helps to identify the needs of the community, oversee strategic plans, recommend funding, and ensure that outcomes can be met.

     

    They are diligent and hard-working volunteers helping to ensure that the at-risk populations in their community achieve greater self-sufficiency.

    Volunteers

    The Magic of Volunteers

     

    Volunteerism is vital to the success of many of the WestCOP programs. Recognizing the skills they bring, compassion, and dedication are so important to our staff in reaching their goals. With more people needing services and more competition for available resources, volunteers have become a safety net as WestCOP works its way through these challenging and uncertain times.

     

    We owe our deepest heartfelt thanks to every volunteer who gives us their time, energy, expertise, and willingness to help.

     

    We can't do it without you!

  • We have an AMAZING TEAM

    of dedicated front-line essential and support staff, volunteers, and partners who work tirelessly to help our communities

    through this challenging time.

  • Our Funders

    • CSBG - NYS Department of State
    • Office of Head Start, US Dept of Health & Human Services
    • Corporation for National & Community Service Senior Corps.
    • NYS Department of Aging
    • NYS Office of Victims Services (OVS)
    • NYS Division of Criminal Justice (DCJS)
    • NYS Department of Health
    • NYS Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance
    • Westchester County Department of Aging
    • Westchester County Department of Social Services
    • Westchester County Office for Women
    • US Dept of Energy Homes & Community Renewal Program
    • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
    • US Department of Veteran Affairs
    • Local Municipalities
    • Private Foundations
    • Individual Donors

    Our Partners - a Partial List*

    • BOCES
    • Bundles of Joy
    • Child Care Council of Westchester
    • Community Fund of Bronxville, Eastchester & Tuckahoe
    • Feeding Westchester
    • Friends of WestCOP
    • Gullotta House
    • Legal Services of the Hudson Valley
    • Local School Districts
    • Local Churches
    • Manhattanville College
    • Mery College
    • National Guard
    • Pepsi
    • Rotary Clubs
    • RXR Realty
    • United Way
    • Westchester Community College
    • (914) Cares
    *If we missed your organization in the list above, please note that we appreciate ALL of our partners and would not be able to do the work we do without each and every one of our partners.
  • GROWTH & OUTCOMES

    PROGRAM OUTCOMES

    Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, WestCOP has set up new initiatives and programs to help relieve some of the stress and hardship our clients are facing.
    • Over a 350% increase in the number of bags of groceries given away during the pandemic compared to the same time period last year
    • A 10% increase over last year in the number of applications that were filled out by our clients for Social Security and Health Insurance
    • We assisted over 1,000 clients complete the CENSUS2020 forms
    • Approximately 1,400 pre-schoolers with their families received virtual learning, including zoom lessons, storytimes, and more
    • Partnered with school districts to distribute prepared bagged breakfasts and lunches to at-risk children
    • Provided over 50,000 meals to our clients
    • Provided technical services and support to families for online education
    • Donated over 23,000 diapers and 720 boxes of baby wipes to our Head Start and Early Head Start families between the months of March-May.
    • Our Veterans Program (SSVF) met 75% of their goal for the Rapid Rehousing of Veterans despite the COVID-19 restriction.
    • Our Foster Grandparent Program was put on hold in March 2020 due to school closures. The FGP still met 69% of its goal of engaging 188 seniors in the program, which is currently starting back up with the proper protections put in place
    • Even with COVID-19 restrictions in place, our Victims Assistance Program has met 100% of its goals through outreach and social media for referrals, trainings, counseling, 24/7 HelpLine, crisis intervention, and advocacy.
    • Our weatherization program surpassed its annual goal for the number of residences made more energy efficient by 104%.
    • The number of individuals that we helped to avoid eviction increased by 199% over last year.
    • The number of individuals that received Rental Assistance increased by 262% over our annual goal.
    • During the pandemic, the number of households that avoided utility shut-off increased by 110% over the prior year.
    • Over 600 Seniors received benefits throughout the year.
    • Individuals receiving TANF Benefits increased 175% over our annual goal.
    • Individuals receiving SNAP Benefits increased 419% over our annual goal.
    • We helped over 355 individuals experiencing homelessness obtain temporary, safe shelter

     

  • CARES ACT

    Helping individuals and families overcome the hardships caused by COVID-19

    CARES ACT SERVICES

    Under the CARES ACT, WestCOP is assisting individuals, who fall within the 0-200% of the poverty level, with COVID-related hardships.
    • FOOD SERVICES: Helping to combat food insecurities with food pantries, emergency food distribution, bagged groceries, and hot meal distribution
    • UTILITY ASSISTANCE for individuals who have fallen behind due to COVID-related job loss
    • RENTAL ASSISTANCE for individuals who have fallen behind in their rental payments due to COVID-related job loss
    • EMPLOYMENT HELP which includes services to help individuals who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. This includes the following:
    1. Career & Job Readiness Training
    2. Assistance with resumes and cover letters
    3. Employment Connection workshops (assistance with bus fares) for two months
    4. Employment Supplies - for items such as safety boots, interview clothing, etc.
    5. Food services due to COVID-related job loss until the individuals get back on their feet
    6. Self-Sufficiency workshops
    7. Security Guard Training - this training will take place on four consecutive Saturdays in person
    8. Included with the security guard training will be DOS fingerprinting and background checks

     

     

  • FINANCIALS

  • Connect With Us

    We value all comments, suggestions, and feedback.

    FACEBOOK

    INSTAGRAM

    VAS

    INSTAGRAM

    LINKEDIN

    (914) 592-5600

    PHONE

    (914) 592-5600

    EMAIL

    DBeckford@westcop.org

    YOUTUBE