Page 1

Niagara carrier

JULY 2015 V18 Issue 3

The Official Magazine of the Niagara Falls Housing Authority

HOUSIN G LLS A F

e&

o

s

pl

lit

ie

Pe

Pressing Towards the Mark of Excellence

RIT THO Y • AU

• NIAGARA

LEADING WITH EXCELLENCE SERVING WITH GRACE

P o ssi b i

NFHA DESIGNATED HIGH PERFORMER NFHA RECEIVES LEADERSHIP AWARD LINKS CELEBRATE 65 YEARS OF SERVICE


on the cover

Summer 2015

contents 2

A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

3

NFHA ANNOUCEMENT

5

COVER STORY

7

SPOTLIGHT ON RESIDENTS

The Niagara Falls Chapter The Links, Incorporated Story Page 5.

11 EMPOWERING OUR RESIDENTS 15 IN THE KNOW 27 SUCCESS STORIES 31 A WORD FROM OUR STAFF 49 CALENDAR

N I A G A R A FA L L S H O U S I N G A U T H O R I T Y

50 DIRECTORY

We Empower. We Enrich. We Build Strong Communities! Board of Commissioners Jeffrey M. Paterson, Chairman Cynthia A. Bianco, Vice Chairman Vivian M. Watkins, Secretary Rev. Kevin Dobbs, Member Carmelette M. Rotella, Member Owen T. Steed, Member Frank Soda, Member Stephanie W. Cowart, Executive Director Jason J. Cafarella, Counsel

Anonymous Tip Line You can report suspicious or criminal activity anonymously by calling the NFPD’s Anonymous Tip Line at (716) 286-4711. For emergencies (716) 285-6961 Place a work order request (716) 284-9675 Visit our website www.nfha.org Email us nfha@nfha.org

The Niagara Carrier is published quarterly by the Niagara Falls Housing Authority, 744 Tenth Street, Niagara Falls, New York 14301 If you have any articles or announcements, please contact Kelly Mariano at (716) 285-6961. Contributors: Thank you to our staff for your articles and photos. Editorial management and creative design provided by Jackson Parker Communications LLC.


How Are Great Communities Built? It Starts with People and Community Leaders Willing to Serve. S t e p h a n i e W. C o w a r t , E x e c u t i v e D i re c t o r I begin this message by expressing pride and gratitude on behalf of the NFHA’s Board and Staff. Recently we were recognized for our ongoing service to residents and the community by the Niagara Falls Chapter of the Links Incorporated during their 65th anniversary celebration. As I prepared to attend the awards luncheon, I reflected on the importance and impact of serving others. It actually should be a part of all of our DNA as members of a larger community. There is so much need, yet, the good news is that there is so much talent and individual gifts to be shared. I am proud to announce that the NFHA was recently recognized with a high performer designation. The NFHA staff and I accept the call to serve and value our network of community collaborations that help us make an impact. As an organization we are inspired by the need to help others reach their life goals. It may begin with providing quality and safe housing but we are invested in assisting residents on their journeys to establishing a stronger economic safety net. We are not just in the housing business but a business that provides hope and a powerful path equipped with helping hands and educational opportunities to build a sustainable future.

committed to sharing their time and talents. Some of the stories have been profiled in this magazine. In this issue we feature the ladies of the Niagara Falls Chapter of the Links Incorporated. Their commitment to service continues to help create empowered lives and a stronger community. We are glad you are in the service! Stephanie W. Cowart

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR GRADUATES! YOU MAKE US PROUD.

In addition, the NFHA community consist of caring and hardworking residents with rich histories who are

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

2


NFHA ANNOUNCEMENT

NFHA ANNOUNCES 2015 – 2016 BOARD APPOINTMENTS Complete Senior Care, a Managed Long-Term Care Program serving frail elders. Mr. Paterson also worked for three years as executive director of the Community Music School of Buffalo, where he established a music therapy practice for individuals with a variety of disabilities and diagnoses.

Back Row: Stephanie W. Cowart, Executive Director, Frank Soda, Board Member, Jeffrey M. Paterson, Chairman, Owen T. Steed,Board Member Front Row: Cynthia A. Bianco, Vice Chairman,Vivian M. Watkins, Secretary and Carmelette M. Rotella, Board Member *Not in photo: Rev. Kevin Dobbs, Board Member The Niagara Falls Housing Authority Board of Commissioners confirmed its 2015 – 2016 slate of officers at its annual meeting on May 12. Jeffrey M. Paterson was appointed Chairman. Paterson is the Executive Director of Niagara Cerebral Palsy. He previously served as interim executive director and director of communication and advancement for the Health Association of Niagara County, Inc. (HANCI). Reappointed as officers were Vice Chairman Cynthia A. Bianco, Superintendent of the Niagara Falls City School District; Secretary Vivian M. Watkins, Community Leader and Spallino Towers Resident.

3

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

The following Board of Commissioners will continue to serve: Jeffrey M. Paterson • Owen T. Steed, Sr., Niagara County Legislator and Community Liaison, Niagara Falls Police Department • Carmelette M. Rotella, Retired Guidance Counselor, Niagara Falls City School District • Rev. Kevin Dobbs, Pastor, Christ Redemption Tabernacle Church • Frank A. Soda, Former City Councilman and Democratic Party Chairman, Standing American Commissioner at the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission More about Paterson While at HANCI, Paterson worked to expand access to home and community based services. He played a key role in establishing

An award-winning professional communicator, Jeff is accredited in Public Relations (APR) and is a longtime faculty member in the SUNY Buffalo State Communication Department. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Canisius College and a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Christ the King Seminary. He has served on many volunteer boards and committees, and is proud to be a member of the Niagara Falls Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. He is also a pastoral musician and active volunteer at St. John de LaSalle Roman Catholic Church in Niagara Falls.


NFHA ANNOUNCEMENT

NFHA Designated High Performer Awarded a score of 94 out of 100 points by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC), the Niagara Falls Housing Authority has been designated a high performer. Nationally, housing authorities scoring 90 points or higher on the assessment are designated as “High Performers” which is an indication of excellence in the overall management and operations of a housing authority.

The Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) measures the performance of housing agencies (PHAs) that administer the Public Housing program. HUD has placed this evaluation system in place to assist in the delivery of services in public housing and enhancing trust in the public housing system among public housing agencies (PHAs), public housing residents, HUD and the general public.

The Niagara Falls Housing Authority was evaluated using four criteria: 1) The physical condition of the public housing properties, 2) Financial condition of the agency, 3) Management and operations, and 4) Capital Improvements.

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

4


COVER STORY

The Niagara Falls Chapter The Links, Incorporated Glad You’re in the Service! The Niagara Falls Housing Authority would like to thank the Niagara Falls Chapter, The Links Incorporated for recognizing the work and community impact of the Niagara Falls Housing Authority and the leadership of Executive Director Stephanie W. Cowart. On May 17, 2015, the Links hosted a Civic Awards Luncheon as part of the organization’s 65th Anniversary celebration. In addition to the NFHA, the program included recognition of a number of community leaders that were recognized for their community service as well as featuring the 65 year history of the Niagara Falls Chapter of the Links, Incorporated. The national chapter of the Links, Incorporated is an international not-for-profit corporation established in 1946. The membership consists of 14,000 professional women of color in 280 chapters located in forty one states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. A strong focus is directed to education, cultural enrichment, health, wellness and civic involvement.

Link Volunteers at NFHA’s Male Summit 2015 The Niagara Falls (NY) Chapter The Links, Incorporated, chartered on May 24, 1950 in Niagara Falls, New York, is celebrating 65 years of community service. In addition to assisting with programming at the NFHA’s Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building, the local chapter has sponsored and co-sponsored youth development programs and conferences, mentoring seminars, cultural festivals, theme luncheons and walk-a-thons for health and hunger. In the field of education, the chapter administers the Dr. & Mrs. Charles Beresford Hayes Memorial Medical Scholarship and the Mariella Gentry Memorial Scholarship Fund awarding scholarships to students entering medicine or medically related fields. The Chapter has received numerous awards and recognition for its outstanding and dedicated service to the Niagara Falls and Western New York region.

Chartered members of the Niagara Falls (NY) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated (1950) 5

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

Learn more about the Links by visiting www.linksniagarafallschapter.com.


COVER STORY

Links Welcome New President Kudos to the NFHA’s very own W. Lee Whitaker on being installed as President of the Niagara Falls Chapter, The Links, Inc. on May 2, 2015. Lee, a retired Director of Occupancy, has been a member of the Links since 1999 and has served as Chapter Treasurer, Chair of the By-Laws Committee and Member of the Services to Youth Committee. “I will work diligently to continue to expand and solidify the wonderful collaborative partnership with the Niagara Falls Housing Authority,” said W. Lee Whitaker. Lee is proud of the work of the local chapter. While serving as a member, the Chapter has developed a collaboration with the NFHA to provide innovative and quality youth and teen programing. The Niagara Falls Chapter, The Links, Inc. recent community work include educational and health initiatives. For example, in June, the Chapter’s scholarship committee awarded $6,500 to five high school seniors and four continuing education students. Also in June, the Links held a “Walking for Life” poster contest. Three students from Gaskill were awarded cash prizes and the winner received an Ipad. The poster contest was the “kick off” to the Links walk-a-thon, which will be held this September at Hyde Park. As part of the initiative, the Chapter’s Health and Human Services committee recently raised over $2,300 for breast cancer through their participation in the Relay for Life held at Reservoir State Park.

W. Lee Whitaker

W. Lee Whitaker congratulates NFHA Executive Director, Stephanie W. Cowart

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

6


SPOTLIGHT ON RESIDENTS

Congratulations! Congratulations to poetry contest finalist and Wrobel Towers resident Gwen Mallory on having one of her compositions published in a collection of poetic works entitled, “Beyond the Sea”. The book features Gwen’s poem “Haiku”. Haiku Springtime fields are ripe Pluck the harvest in summer Aroma, sweet taste

A Fishing Success Wrobel Towers resident Jimmy McLeod was shocked when he reeled in this 11 pound catfish out of Hyde Park Lake this past May. McLeod said, “In my four years of fishing here, I have never seen anything like it.”

A Letter of Thanks Several weeks ago I went to Assistant Senior Services Coordinator Sam Pulliam for help with medical insurance. I had researched on my own, but could not comprehend. It was confusing. I explained the problem and my need for help to Mr. Pulliam. He immediately went to work. He was persistent and informative and explained the “jargon” to me. He got me the information I needed to make an informed choice and he did it in record time. It is a pleasant relief to realize that there are still people who do their job with care, a smile and professionalism. Mr. Pulliam does and it shows. I must add that all of the NFHA employees that I have encountered show many of the same characteristics. They do the NFHA proud. Mattie Johnson Wrobel Towers resident

7

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015


SPOTLIGHT ON RESIDENTS

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

8


SPOTLIGHT ON RESIDENTS

Congratulations and Best Wishes to Our 2015 Graduates! Harry S. Jordan Gardens

Packard Court

Beloved Community

Marquis Alexander

Keon Hicks

Mikayla Thompson

Montico Fuentes

Jaylan Smith

Vincent Griffin LaVonte Haynes Dajanique Sanders

We wish you the best in all your future endeavors!

Congratulations and Best Wishes to Christina Williams on earning a Master’s Degree in Science and Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from Buffalo State College. Christina, who currently works with the orientation program at Erie County Community College, aspires to become a dean of students.

9

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

Congratulations and Best Wishes to Bethany Kristen Asare on earning her Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University at Buffalo’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.


SPOTLIGHT ON RESIDENTS

Congratulations and Best Wishes to Daniel Alexander Welch on his high school graduation.

Come and enjoy a free, fun-filled, family evening! Independent Health Foundation’s “Good for the Neighborhood” 2015 Schedule

T

he “Good for the Neighborhood” program features free health screenings, information on health insurance, ask the expert, free fruits and vegetables, health and wellness information, fun activities for kids, healthy cooking demonstrations and much, much, more!

WHEN: All events will be held from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 pm on the following dates: August 20, and October 22, 2015. WHERE: Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building 3001 Ninth Street, Niagara Falls

The Niagara Falls Housing Authority teamed-up with the Independent Health Foundation in 2006 to provide the Niagara Falls community with access to health information and wellness resources. The program is FREE and helps individuals and families make better healthcare choices through a variety of wellness initiatives. Come and enjoy a fun filled family evening with games, prizes, raffles, hands-on activities and refreshments!

For more information please call Nicole Bass at (716) 285-5374.

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

10


EMPOWERING OUR RESIDENTS

Scholarship Winners The Niagara Falls Housing Authority continues to encourage residents to strengthen their employment skills and career opportunities by obtaining a college degree or completing a training program. The 2015 scholarship awards are listed below: Niagara Falls Housing Authority Nathaniel Smith Memorial Scholarship and Doris W. Jones Memorial Scholarship 2015 Awardees Vincent Griffin Recipient of: Nathaniel Smith Memorial Scholarship Coming from a high school in Talladega, Alabama with a student body of just 200, Vincent Griffin was daunted by the 2,000 students at Niagara Falls High School. He was the new kid – quiet and shy. That is until the day when one of his teachers encouraged him to enroll in theater class. That class changed his life. Vincent became a theatre arts intern exploring all areas of theatre. He produced and directed numerous student productions and most recently served as a stage manager for Niagara Falls High School’s production of “The Addams Family”. Vincent’s theatre arts teacher Kate Muldoon said, “Vincent has become a very confident director and writer.

11

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

He has consistently shown me the depth and breadth of his character, not only on stage, but also off stage.” During a recent theatre conference, discussion took place about the positive effects the arts can have on people with disabilities. Vincent knew immediately that he wanted to become a theater educator to help those overcome their fears. “I realize the difference theatre has made in my life and I want to share that,” said Vincent. “I want to use my degree to help others.” Vincent will attend Potsdam College to major in theater education. Jaylan Smith Recipient of: Nathaniel Smith Memorial Scholarship and Doris W. Jones Memorial Scholarship Jaylan Smith has always taken his studies seriously. With a grade point average of 3.4, he was a member of the National Honor Society, as well as, on the Honor Roll. Throughout his high school years, he strived to balance school, work and community service. Jaylan was a member of Niagara Falls High School’s Varsity football, baseball and track teams. He is also an avid downhill skier. Jaylan serves as an usher, drummer and Children’s Church Ministry Teacher’s Aid at Dominion Life Christian Center.

Social studies teacher Dean Melson said, “Jaylan displays not only an above average ability in his academic pursuits, but he also demonstrates a high degree of personal integrity and individual leadership qualities.” Jaylan will attend Utica College to study construction management. “I have always liked to build things. I think construction management is the perfect fit for me,” said Jaylan. Mikayla Thompson Recipient of: Nathaniel Smith Memorial Scholarship and Doris W. Jones Memorial Scholarship With a grade point average of 95, Mikayla was in the top 10% of her class at Niagara Falls High School. She maintained honors or high honors throughout her four years at Niagara Falls High School and was a member of the National Honor Society. Mikayla was also a member of the Drama Club, Arts Club and was a varsity cheerleader. Mikayla’s english teacher Catherine Burke said, “Mikayla is a serious student, with maturity, insight and sophistication. She is truly a role model for her classmates.” Mikayla will attend Niagara University to major in Psychology. “I plan to use my degree to show the children in my community that they can achieve more, reach their goals and be successful.”


EMPOWERING OUR RESIDENTS

Keon Hicks Recipient of: Doris W. Jones Memorial Scholarship A recipient of Niagara Falls High School’s “Do the Right Thing Award,” Keon is very community oriented. “Community service has taught me compassion and understanding,” said Keon. “It has given me the experience for future work.” Keon volunteered at Connections, a center where youth engage in healthy and education focused after-school activities. “I did everything from sweeping and mopping to helping with homework and kid safety.” Creative and artistically talented, Keon was enrolled in advanced placement studio art classes while at NFHS. “Project after project, year after year, Keon has continued to impress me and his classmates with his soulful response to class projects, poetic mindset, fine arts skills and commitment to excellence,” said Fine Arts Teacher Robert Lynch. “Keon is articulate, genuine and a reflective students who sets an exceptionally high standard for himself, while encouraging others to excel.”

graduated with honors in the top 10%. She was a member of the Student Council, German Club and Niagara Police Athletic League. She played soccer and was a cheerleader. She volunteered for the Niagara Falls Housing Authority’s Black History Program and Angie’s Daycare. An extraordinary young woman and an all around great student, Alexis continues to impress with her diligence and work ethic. “Alexis was one of my brightest students out of 125 junior’s at Niagara Falls High School. She was always quick to answer difficult questions and very engaging in regards to classroom discussion,” said American History Teacher Michael Esposito. Alexis will attend the University at Buffalo to major in Business Administration. Antoinette Polk Recipient of: Doris W. Jones Memorial Scholarship

Antoinette excels in both academics and athletics. She maintained high honors for the past three years at Niagara Falls High School and is a member of the valedictorian class. A formidable athlete, Antoinette played on the school’s varsity volleyball, basketball and softball teams. She also played for a traveling softball team based in Florida. She is involved with the Vacation Bible Study program, youth program and serves on the “Holiday Helper” committee for Grace Community Ministries. Niagara Falls High School Chemistry Teacher Carla Parkes stated, “Toni is extremely motivated to succeed in every endeavor she undertakes. She has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I consider myself lucky to have crossed her path and know that she has left a permanent impact on me. Toni has a spark, something rare and brilliant and she is most definitely worthy of this honor.” Antoinette will attend Pennsylvania State University to study Environmental Engineering.

Keon will attend Niagara County Community College to study architecture. Alexis Mitchell Recipient of: Doris W. Jones Memorial Scholarship Out of a class of 440 students at Niagara Falls High School, Alexis

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

12


EMPOWERING OUR RESIDENTS

Because We Care … Ten “Just Say No” Tips for Youth 1. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No: Sometimes, our fear of negative reaction from our friends, or others we don’t even know, keeps us from doing what we know is right. Real simple, it may seem like “everyone is doing it,” but they are not. Don’t let someone else make your decisions for you. If someone is pressuring you to do something that’s not righ, you have the right to say no, the right not to give a reason why, and the right to just walk away. 2. Connect With Your Friends and Avoid Negative Peer Pressure: Pay attention to who you are hanging out with. If you are hanging out with a group in which the majority of kids are drinking alcohol or using drugs to get high, you may want to think about making some new friends. You may be headed toward an alcohol and drug problem if you continue to hang around others who routinely drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, abuse prescription drugs or use illegal drugs. You don’t have to go along to get along. 3. Make Connections With Your Parents or Other Adults: As you grow up, having people you can depend on, people you can talk to about life, life’s challenges and your decisions about alcohol and drugs is very important. The opportunity to benefit from someone else’s life experiences can help put things in perspective and can be invaluable.

13

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

4. Enjoy Life and Do What You Love - Don’t Add Alcohol and Drugs: Learn how to enjoy life and the people in your life, without adding alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drugs can change who you are, limit your potential and complicate your life. Too often, “I’m bored” is just an excuse. Get out and get active in school and community activities such as music, sports, arts or a part-time job. Giving back as a volunteer is a great way to gain perspective on life. 5. Follow the Family Rules about Alcohol and Drugs: As you grow up and want to assume more control over your life, having the trust and respect of your parents is very important. Don’t let alcohol and drugs come between you and your parents. Talking with Mom and Dad about alcohol and drugs can be very helpful. 6. Get Educated about Alcohol and Drugs: You cannot rely on the myths and misconceptions that are out there floating around among your friends and on the internet. Your ability to make the right decisions includes getting educated. Visit Learn About Alcohol and Learn About Drugs. As you learn, share what you are learning with your friends and your family. 7. Be a Role Model and Set a Positive Example: Don’t forget, what you do is more important than what you say! You are setting the foundation and direction for

your life; where are you headed? 8. Plan Ahead: As you make plans for the party or going out with friends you need to plan ahead. You need to protect yourself and be smart. Don’t become a victim of someone else’s alcohol or drug use. Make sure that there is someone you can call, day or night, no matter what, if you need them. And, do the same for your friends. 9. Speak Out/Speak Up/Take Control: Take responsibility for your life, your health and your safety. Speak up about what alcohol and drugs are doing to your friends, your community and encourage others to do the same. 10. Get Help!: If you or someone you know is in trouble with alcohol or drugs. Don’t wait. Get help. You are not alone. -National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.


FREE LINE DANCING CLASSES The Niagara Falls Housing Authority is offering FREE Line-Dancing classes at the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building. All ages are welcome to participate.

WHEN: Wednesdays from 5:30 pm–7:30 pm. WHERE: Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building, 3001 Ninth Street, Niagara Falls. For more information, please call (716) 285-5374.

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

14


IN THE KNOW

For the Love of Jazz James “Pappy” Martin May 27, 1933 – March 12, 2015 In his opening address to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “God has wrought many things out of oppression. He has endowed his creatures with the capacity to create—and from this capacity has flowed the sweet songs of sorrow and joy that have allowed man to cope with his environment and many different situations. Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life’s difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph.” The last time I saw “Pappy” was in 2012. He performed at the Niagara Falls Housing Authority’s 70th Anniversary Celebration, greeting guests with the smooth, warm and soulful sounds of jazz. I stopped for a minute, gave him a smile and a quick “thumbs up” as the crowd stood in awe around him. Pappy Martin grew up in the Niagara Falls Housing Authority’s Center Court community – apartment 6-A to be exact. His brother, Kenny Martin said, “Center Court was like a village. Everyone looked out for everyone. Our house was the hub of the neighborhood, everybody gathered there.”

15

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

Photo Credit: Challenger Community News Pappy often spoke about how his experiences growing up in Center Court and how they influenced his life. He talked about the feeling of unity and being embraced with a certain wisdom and grace that can’t be taught – only felt with the heart. He credited those experiences for his love of community, which fueled his desire to share what he loved – jazz. Pappy started playing the trumpet at an early age with his equally talented brother, John “Spider” Martin, who played the saxophone. He later went on to play bass and soon became a local jazz icon. Pappy traveled throughout the Northeast playing with his brother and such greats as Aretha Franklin, Ruth Brown, Johnny Griffin, Billy Taylor and Al Hibbler. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Daemen College and a Masters degree in generalist and students with disabilities from Buffalo State College. He was a dedicated youth coordinator at the West Seneca

Development Center for 25 years. He was a deeply religious man who loved God and church and especially enjoyed Thursday night bible study at True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo, New York. However, his love for community and his love of jazz was an important part of his life. He thought it was essential to being human – fueling creativity, stirring emotion and simply something that makes you feel good. Pappy wanted every child and youth to experience the power of jazz. He made a commitment to himself to bring knowledge and understanding of the art of Jazz and share it with the world. Pappy was the founder of the Love Supreme Jazz Ensemble, which has been in existence for 40 years. A visionary, Pappy went on to establish and direct the Love Supreme School of Music that offered instrumental music lessons and music theory. The school launched successful careers for many local and national artists.


IN THE KNOW Jazz continued Pappy was also a founding member of the Masten Jazz Festival that continued under his leadership and remains a summer musical highlight event for 20 years later.

We Are Proud

Over the years, Pappy received many accolades and awards for his volunteer work from community and civic organizations, including the NAACP/ACT-SO, Buffalo Urban League, Christian Science Center, Durham Memorial AME Zion Church, Shiloh Baptist Church, St. John Baptist Church, Colored Musicians Club, CAO of Buffalo, Daemen College and MOOT Center. Pappy didn’t like a lot of fanfare. He was simply a person who wanted to show the world the healing power that jazz can have on the mind, body and soul.

Positive Community Relations Begin With a Conversation The Niagara Falls Housing Authority has partnered with local pastors, police and politicians to help improve relationships between youth and law enforcement. The program, known as “Talk to a Cop”, opens dialogue and enables the police to build strong collaborative relationships with the community while addressing neighborhood issues.

Congratulations to Niagara Falls Housing Authority employee Yolanda Walker on being named to the Dean’s List for the four consecutive semesters at Niagara County Community College’s Culinary Institute. With a current grade point average of 4.0, Yolanda will graduate in the fall of 2015 with an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts and as a certified chef. She is also SERVSAFE certified. Children enrolled in the Housing Authority’s Kid’s Café’ program have been enjoying Yolanda’s culinary talents for many years now. Held in collaboration with the Livin’ Large after-school tutorial program, Kid’s Café provides a nutritionally adequate meal to children at risk of hunger. So, what do participants in the Kid’s Café’ program love the most – Yolanda’s famous baked chicken, rice pilaf and cheeseburger rice of course.

Pictured: Pastors, police and politicians walk the Beloved Community on April 18, 2015.

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

16


IN THE KNOW

Celebrating Mothers “I celebrate mothers who set positive examples and make a difference in their children’s lives –no matter the role – mother, stepmother, godmother, grandmother… I celebrate you today,” said Rev. Karen Hardaway from Trinity Baptist Church. Hardaway was the guest speaker at Niagara County Legislator Owen T. Steed’s Annual Mother’s Day Breakfast on May 9, 2015 at the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building. Steed said, “Mother’s Day is a time

to celebrate and appreciate all the work that women do and this event is just a small way to honor and pay tribute to all the wonderful mothers who do so much each and every day.”

The event was sponsored by the Niagara Falls Housing Authority, New York State Senator Robert Ortt, Mayor Paul Dyster, Norstar Development, USA, L.P. and United Healthcare.

Thank You Key Bank Pictured: Kyle Heath, Licensed Personal Banker for KeyBank presents Stephanie W. Cowart, Executive Director of the Niagara Falls Housing Authority with a check in support of the Authority’s 2015 Summer Enrichment Program. Designed for children ages 3 – 14, the Summer Enrichment Program provides individualized educational, cultural, social and recreational components geared to each individual child’s level of learning.

17

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015


IN THE KNOW

A Little Niagara Falls History

The photo, from 1910, is of the Tenth Street Fire Department and the Niagara Falls Housing Authority’s (NFHA) Administrative Offices, 744 Tenth Street. The NFHA Administrative Offices used to be a carriage house, which was used to house horses.

NFHA hosted meeting for Housing Authority Insurance Group (HAI) Group. Executive Director Stephanie W. Cowart serves on the National Board.

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

18


IN THE KNOW

Your Pharmacist and Your Health It is believed that age brings wisdom and experience. However, age can also expose us to a number of healthcare concerns. Over 50% of individuals over 65 experience high blood pressure. Additionally, the likelihood of developing diabetes, arthritis, and other age-related maladies increases. Medications can help prevent and/or control health problems associated with aging but it is important to maintain a good relationship with your medical providers. This includes not only your physicians, but your pharmacist. On May 14, 2015, Wegmans pharmacist Adam Urbanczyk conducted a workshop on medication safety at Spallino Towers. Urbanczyk spoke about the importance of vaccines. “Vaccines are proven to lessen health problems or at least the severity of what could be a real problem for older persons.” Although

19

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

pharmacies are now able to be a convenient and reliable access point to obtain your vaccines, it is essential to keep your physician informed before you receive a vaccine.

questions about your medications. Urbanczyk encouraged individuals to make an appointment with their pharmacist to help them understand what medications they are taking and for what reason.

“Medication safety includes being aware of what medications you are taking and why,” said Urbanczyk. Your pharmacist can be an invaluable partner in taking the time to help you figure out your prescription regimen. It is important that you adhere to the instructions for taking your medications, as directed by your physician. If medications are not taken as prescribed the effectiveness of the medication may be compromised. Problems can occur if individuals are worried about the cost of a medication and do not take it as frequently as prescribed. Another concern is that some individuals do not know why they are taking the medication. You should ask your pharmacist to sit down with you and answer

MEDICATION TIPS • Pharmacists can also help you come up with a plan for arranging your medications so you don’t forget to take them and how to help you avoid taking your medications twice. Sometimes a medication box can help with organizing your pills, which can be purchased at any pharmacy. • You may ask your physician about getting your prescriptions filled for 90 days instead of 30 days. If it is something you take the same dose of every day, month after month, there’s a good chance your doctor will allow it to be filled for 90 days. If your insurance company allows it, then you can save money with getting your medications filled every 90 days.


IN THE KNOW

Old Falls Street, USA, 2015 Summer Activities Free Daily, Weekly and Special Activities Featured All Summer Long Old Falls Street, USA, the historic three-block destination in Downtown Niagara Falls has released its schedule of summer activities, presented free of charge while promising “Food, Festivals and Fun…Just Footsteps from Niagara Falls!” “We are happy to feature some new activities and returning favorites which appeal to both residents and visitors alike,” said Global Spectrum’s Jason Murgia, general manager of Old Falls Street, USA. “We are building on our weekly summer activities including our free movie and concert series and adding weekly family programming each Saturday afternoon. There is really always something happening on Old Falls Street, USA, so we encourage everyone to follow our event listings on our Facebook page to keep up-to-date with everything we have planned.” Returning this year is the everpopular Flicks on Old Falls free outdoor movie series, presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. This growing series will be hosted on Thursday evenings, from July 2 through August 27, on Old Falls Street’s Middle Block (weather permitting), at 9 p.m.

programming prior to each film, beginning at 8 p.m. The Friends of the Niagara Falls Public Library will also host a used children’s book sale each week. The Thursday evening Flicks on Old Falls Free Outdoor Movie Series schedule is as follows: • July 2 – Happy Feet (D&B Karaoke – Dance floor music at 7:30 p.m.) • July 9 – Despicable Me (Hip-hop performance by Differential Flava Crew at 8 p.m.) • July 16 – The Wizard of Oz (Juggling performance by Nels Ross at 8 p.m.) • July 23 – Lego Movie (D&B Karaoke – Dance floor music at 7:30 p.m.) • July 30 – Frozen Sing-Along (D&B Karaoke – Dance floor music at 7:30 p.m.) • August 6 - Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (Wellness Activities with University Pediatric Dentistry at 8 p.m.) • August 13 – Finding Nemo (Live music by the Hill Brothers at 8 p.m.) • August 20 – The Goonies (D&B Karaoke – Dance floor music at 7:30 p.m.)

• August 27 – Toy Story (Puppetry by Janice Spagnola at 8 p.m.) Additional free Saturday evening Flicks on Old Falls movies are planned as follows: • June 27 – Annie (2014) Old Falls Street is also presenting two free Saturday “Date Night” Flicks on Old Falls movies on July 11 and Aug. 1. Date Night movies are planned to appeal to an older audience. Beer and wine vending will be available on these Date Night evenings only. • July 11 – 50 First Dates • August 1 – Dirty Dancing Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for all Flicks on Old Falls movies. Food concessions will be available.

New this year, Old Falls Street is partnering with Western New York Young Audiences and D&B Karaoke and DJ to present additional family

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

20


IN THE KNOW

Niagara Falls Housing Authority Taking a Lead in Empowering Youth Succ es s fully Tran s itioning Yout h T hrough Adole s c en ce STYA Program Assist Youth with Transition to Adolescence T h e C arrier In terv iew w ith S a mik a S u lliva n , S T YA P ro g ra m D ire cto r The STYA program has reached its one year milestone! In this article we interview the program director to highlight the uniqueness and impact of the program. What is STYA (Successfully Transitioning Youth to Adolescence)? The purpose of the initiative is to develop, enhance or expand prevention programs aimed at delaying the onset of adolescent sexual activity and decreasing the incidence of adolescent pregnancy and childbearing. This initiative strives to implement strategies to build protective factors to promote the optimal transition of youth ages 9-12 living in high-risk communities, including youth in foster care, from middle childhood to adolescence fostering a transition to a healthy, productive, connected young adulthood. A key factor in promoting this transition is improving a preteen youth’s sense that he/she has achievable life prospects and a positive outlook for the future, factors that are contingent upon delaying sexual activity. What do you believe are some of the program’s greatest accomplishments?

21

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

I believe there have been many accomplishments of STYA. However, some of the highlights over the past year include the fact that we have worked consistently with over 100 youth in the Niagara Falls Community. We have been able to expose them to a variety of information, knowledge and experiences. Students were able to learn about the city, its history and available services, as well as life experiences through service learning opportunities and exploration programs.

classes), dance camp with the Turning Point Foundation, athletic workshops with the Nike, Just Do It program, Cornell Cooperative Extension (community gardening and environmental awareness) and the Niagara Falls Heritage Area (Jr. Ranger Program), and consumer credit counseling (financial literacy) to name a few.

As we work to transition youth, we find many who request to come back in a volunteer capacity, and parent s and youth alike that have an increasing interest in participating in the program or community activities offered through the STYA program. What surprised you about the STYA journey this year? The biggest surprises this year was the consistency of the student and parent participants. Additionally, the large number of community program providers available to teach the kids about a variety of topics, including, the Northpointe Council (drug and alcohol awareness). Combative Arts international (self-defense

Students created small businesses and held a kid fest for the younger children. The children could purchase things with tickets that they earned. The students who made the largest number of sales were taken on a special field trip What’s planned for the summer? • We will have a strong focus on character building through volunteer service learning opportunities throughout the community including regular visits


IN THE KNOW

Kids playing on the playground at NorLock park

The Turning Pointe Foundation offered a free dance camp during spring break for our students. One student was given a scholarship to attend a dance camp in the summer (Andre)

to elderly living facilities, community gardening and a variety of speakers representing a variety of community agencies. • We intend to partner again with the Niagara Falls Heritage Area to further increase the youth’s knowledge and pride in their community.

This is the young man who won the dance scholarship- Andre

Looking for a Family Doctor?

• We will also be partnering with the Girl Scouts to provide workshops to our girls. • Of course we will be teaching character development through fun and educational activities. Moving forward, we will continue the momentum and continue to remind our youth that - We are STYA and We are STRONG! For more information about the program please visit the NFHA’s website at www.nfha.org.

Sathia Nathan, M.D.

Michele N. Sneed, RN, MS-ANP

We’re accepting new patients Most insurances accepted

Summit Healthplex, Suite 500 6934 Williams Road Niagara Falls/Wheatfield, NY

Phone: (716) 278-4499

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

22


23

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015


“It Sounds Like Fun”

Niagara Falls Housing Authority 2015 Summer Enrichment Program The Niagara Falls Housing Authority’s Summer Enrichment Program will be held from July 6– August 7, 2015 at the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building, 3001 Ninth Street and Packard Court Community Center, 4300 Pine Avenue. Open to children ages 3 – 14, the program offers individualized components geared to each child’s level of learning. The goal of the program is to provide children a safe, happy and healthy place to play, learn and grow. This year’s program will offer arts and crafts, music, etiquette classes, field trips, computer literacy, selfesteem building, nature hikes/walks, recreational activities, violence prevention activities and much, much, more! Applications are available at all Niagara Falls Housing Authority communities. For more information, please call (716) 285-5374.

2015 Su mme r Camp

Ju ly 8 Jul y 31, 2015 11 30 am 3 00 pm Ni ag ar a Fa l ls High School 4455 Por ter Ro ad

Niagara Falls Housing Authority Niagara Falls City School District 2015 Summer Camp for Prep and High School Students This is a unique opportunity for students in grades 6 – 11 (who reside in Niagara Falls) to learn new skills and abilities during the summer months. The camp aims to provide a safe, fun environment while providing students with physical activities, wellness skills, educational opportunities and teamwork building initiatives. The camp is 100% free and operates with approval and a permit from the Niagara County Health Department. Activities include: Athletic Conditioning, Baseball, Boys Basketball, Bowling, Dance, Ice Hockey, Swimming, Tennis and Volleyball. Lunch and transportation is provided. Applications are available at all Niagara Falls Housing Authority communities. For more information, please contact Camp Director Sue Ross at (716) 286-0754.

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

24


IN THE KNOW

Male Summit Empowers Young Men Fifteen years ago he stood in the same spot. Talking to young men and trying to make a difference in their lives. For criminal defense attorney John Elmore, a former New York State Trooper, and one-time prosecutor, he knows all too well the importance of making the right decisions at an early age. Having seen two of his childhood friends make poor decisions – one in jail and the other homeless, Elmore stated, “Maybe, if they had the opportunity to listen to what you are hearing today, maybe their lives would be different.” Elmore was the guest speaker for the Niagara Falls Housing Authority’s Annual Male Summit held on March 27, 2015 at the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building.

25

“It’s all about the choices we make,” said Elmore. “Each one of you has the potential to go to college, own a car, a home – if you make the right choices.” Building your character also has an impact upon your long term success says Elmore. “Character is much more than just what we try to display for others to see, it is who we are even when no one is watching. Good character is doing the right thing simply because, it is the right thing to do.” Elmore pointed out that your character will determine how you will respond to any given situation. Designed for males ages 12 and older, the empowering and interactive event provides workshops and hands-on activities to assist youth in becoming responsible men. Presentations were conducted by male role

Roundtable discussion

Participants give the summit a “thumbs up”

Youth are all ears

Ezra Scott, Mayor Dyster, Legislator Steed, Police Deputy Superintendent Cain and Attorney Elmore

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

models from the Niagara Falls community and addressed issues prevalent with teens in today’s society. There were seminars that introduced the young men to issues affecting our city, spirituality, selfesteem building, technology and finances. Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, Niagara Falls Police Deputy Superintendent Carlton Cain and Ezra Scott, Youth Mentor and Substitute Teacher for the Niagara Falls City School District conducted a round table discussion. Moderated by Niagara County Legislator Owen T. Steed, Sr., the group discussed the development of the new skate park, police and youth relations, after-school activities and bullying. This type of active conversation created an empowering vehicle for all participants.

Saladin Allah asks the tough questions


IN THE KNOW

Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About 2015 Let’s Talk Conference

Young women pack the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building More than 200 participants from Niagara Falls High School, Gaskill and LaSalle Preparatory Schools attended the Niagara Falls Housing Authority’s 9th Annual Let’s Talk Conference on March 12, 2015. Held at the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building, the conference was designed to empower, educate and elevate young women through hands-on workshops, motivational guest speakers and informational booths. “The goal of the Let’s Talk Conference is to empower young women from diverse backgrounds to step up as leaders in their schools, communities, and the world through creative programs that equip teen women with the confidence, resiliency and leadership skills needed to achieve their goals,” said Stephanie W. Cowart, Executive Director of the Niagara Falls Housing Authority. Workshop presenter Mercedes Holloway shared her breast cancer survival story. In July 2011 at the age of 28 she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. In June 2012,

she created For Our Daughters, an organization dedicated to educating young women about cancer and to equip them with the knowledge to make healthy choices. “Younger women do not consider themselves at risk for breast cancer,” said Holloway. “Yet, every year nearly 1,200 women under the age of 40 die from the disease.” Holloway went on to talk about risk factors such as family history, obesity, exercise and the importance of self-breast exams.

young ladies that, “It is important to know all of you are gifted and have a life purpose.” She asked the attendees to “Think how you can use your gifts.”

In another workshop, Niagara Falls Housing Authority Senior Public Housing Manager, Angela L. Smith, spoke about Dressing for Success. “It’s probably one of the most overused phrases in the job search and also one of the most underutilized by job seekers – dressing for success,” said Smith. “When looking for a job, first impressions are crucial. Remember, you are marketing a product -yourself -- to a potential employer, and the first thing the employer sees when greeting you is your attire.”

The event concluded with a panel discussion where attendees were encouraged to ask questions about issues they had concerns about. This part of the conference provided an opportunity for an honest and open discussion. The powerful exchange included everything from eating disorders and bullying to domestic violence and boyfriends.

Laura Allen, a Yahoo Inc., employee and Niagara Falls, New York resident, presented Young, Gifted and Talented. The youthful and talented Ms. Allen attended college in Atlanta, Georgia and returned to Niagara Falls for a career opportunity. The focus of her message was about purpose and self-esteem. She stressed to the

Senior Manager Angela Smith, W. Lee Whitaker and Schurron Cowart

Laura Allen speaks to the young women

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

26


SUCCESS STORIES

“The Norm is Not Enough. I Change Things” Crystal Boling-Barton a Natural Educator, Community Leader and Former NFHA Resident

Current Career: Principal of McKinley Comprehensive High School (25 years). First female appointed as Principal of a Buffalo Public School Career & Technical School. She is the Vice President of the African American Federation of School Administrators and the President of the NYS Federation of School Administrators. Education: Graduate of Niagara University (BA in English Education), Masters Degree in Educational Administration and Counseling Education, Professional Diploma in Counseling Education and Certificate of Specialized Minority Group Studies. Community Leadership: Silver Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Member and past President of the Niagara Falls Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. Barton is the recipient of numerous community leadership and professional awards.

27

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

NFHA: Resided as a child in homes at Center Court and Jordan Gardens

had successful futures. Parents had wonderful dreams and hopes for their children.”

I was inspired to be an Educator: “My mom loved reading and my parents encouraged my 12 siblings and me to embrace education.”

Why I’m compassionate about Black History: Barton is known locally for her Black history memorabilia collection. “I love history.” As a child Barton recalls being taught very limited amounts of history about Black Americans. She believed that access to career opportunities were limited. “It felt that as if a part of our history was stolen.” “History is very important. If you know your history you can know where you are going.”

Barton give credit to a few of her former teachers who provided an example and inspiration that lead to her career choice. Barton said the things that she will always remember is that these teachers were always positive, did not put students down, were caring, and were impeccable dressers. “I enjoy working with youth because I always hope a difference can be made.” I will never regret: “My youth experiences growing up in Niagara Falls and living in the NFHA community.” I am proud of my family legacy as one of the first African-American families to move to Niagara Falls from the south.” Barton’s mother and father were co-founders of the Black Family Pioneers of Niagara Falls, a group that collect histories of Blacks in Niagara Falls. “The NFHA community was caring and nurturing. I loved my childhood. We did not realize that we were poor because we were so rich in spirit. Parents focused on making sure that their children

Thoughts about my birth city, Niagara Falls, NY. “I have fond memories of growing up in Niagara Falls and I always want the best for the city. It hurts to think about what the city once was.” Barton believes that community leadership must continue by training others. Some may be surprised to know that: Barton was the first AfricanAmerican female to enlist in the ROTC at Niagara University and received an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army.

Message or words of wisdom that provide inspiration and guidance: “We must remember the promise ...If God is for us who can be against us (Romans 8:31)” “I interpret that scripture to mean


SUCCESS STORIES if I’m with you, I am more than the world against you.” “These words cause me to remember I can do all things. I do not have to be fearful.” About Obstacles: “If there is a boulder in your path – lift it and keep on moving.”

Principal Crystal Boling-Barton Receives Mayoral Proclamation for her achievements, her devotion to the education and success of young people, along with her role as an African American, educator and an outstanding woman, declaring March 12, 2013 to be Crystal Boling-Barton Day in Buffalo (Photo Credit: City of Buffalo)

Stay updated on what’s happening in our community

Like us on facebook! Search: Niagara Falls Housing Authority

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

28


Memorial’s Get Well Stay Well Program Gets Results Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center’s Get Well Stay Well program is producing very promising results. The program, which serves adults age 55 and older, celebrated its one year anniversary in May. An independent evaluator found that 60 percent of its patients who were treated for depression and 45 percent of those treated for anxiety achieved clinically significant improvements. “The outcomes of this project clearly demonstrate that the delivery of collaborative care by primary care and behavioral health providers working together in the same setting improves the well-being of patients,” Memorial President & CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said.

“We have received numerous testimonials from our patients indicating that receiving behavioral health therapy at the same place at which they receive primary care has improved their chronic conditions and has made them feel much better. Many patients have regained their independence and are now enjoying life,” she added. The project has received financial support from the New York State Office of Mental Health and the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York.

The Get Well Stay Well program provides behavioral health therapy and senior support services in an integrated primary care setting at Memorial’s Summit Family Health Center, located at the Summit Healthplex on Williams Road in Wheatfield. Improvements are measured by the percentage of patients with depression or anxiety who see their conditions decrease from either moderate to mild or from severe to moderate. The report released by an evaluation team based at the University of Colorado tracked the status of 89 unique patients who recorded 394 behavioral health visits over the last year. “The Get Well Stay Well Program is not just about numbers and percentages. It is about helping patients successfully deal with personal and family issues, grief and chronic pain,” Memorial Chief Operating Officer Sheila Kee said.

29

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

Memorial to Expand Wound Center of Niagara Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has announced plans to expand its busy Wound Center of Niagara. The center, which opened in November 2013, is a collaborative effort of the medical center and


Wound Center continued RestorixHealth and offers comprehensive care for chronic and non-healing wounds, employing a wide range of options and expertise including hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Recognized as a Wound Center of Excellence by RestorixHealth in June 2014, the Wound Center of Niagara exceeded national wound care quality benchmarks in areas including healing outcomes and safety, along with a patient satisfaction rate of 95 percent or higher. “Two months after receiving that designation, our center reached full capacity for the use of its two hyperbaric oxygen chambers,” said Sanjay Chadha,

Memorial’s vice president for service line operations. “That demand has continued unabated and it is clear the need exists for additional hyperbaric oxygen therapy capacity.” The planned $150,000 expansion will be funded by RestorixHealth and take place in the center’s current location across the street from the medical center. It will include the addition of a third hyperbaric chamber, thereby boosting the center’s hyperbaric oxygen therapy capacity by 50 percent and eliminating the existing wait list for treatment. Construction will take about four months and will commence when approval for the expansion is granted by the New York State Department of Health.

Looking for a career change? Need additional training? Looking for employment opportunities?

HELP IS AVAILABLE! CALL TODAY: (716) 285-5374

Make A Call Today to meet with Willie Dunn, the Service Coordinator for the Niagara Falls Housing Authority. As the Service Coordinator, Mr. Dunn coordinates many of the employment and job training resources that the NFHA has to offer. Whether you’re looking to complete your GED, striving to improve your skills, or looking for employment opportunities or a career change, Willie Dunn can help! Please call (716) 285-5374 to inquire about how you can get assistance with professional development, job training, and career guidance.

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

30


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

Saving $$$ On a Tight Budget Patricia L. Barone, Deputy Executive Director

I

• Put all your loose change in your savings account – it can really add up.

t is difficult to save money during our current times. Bills have to be paid and it seems like there is always an expensive emergency that arises. Here are a few tips for saving money when budgets are tight. • Keep a careful record of all your expenses for a month. You will be surprised to learn how much you are spending on such things as coffee or restaurant meals. • Limit spending for birthdays and holidays. Homemade gifts are likely to be more appreciated than costly ones. • For necessary purchases such as food, transportation, insurance, shop around to find the lowest prices.

31

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

• Avoid using high interest credit cards and payday loans. Payday loans can charge interest rates up to 500% and credit card interest rates can be up to 25%. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by paying off high cost debt. • Try really hard to build an emergency fund to avoid having to take out loans to pay for unexpected purchases. • Ask your bank or credit union to automatically transfer funds each month from your checking to savings. Even as little as $10 - $15 a month will help.

• Low and moderate income workers qualify for an earned income tax credit that can be from $1,000 to over $2,000 per year. You can contact you local taxpayer assistance center for in-person help. You can then use the money from this credit to pay down your debt.


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

Niagara Falls Housing Authority - Jordan Gardens

Modernization and Maintenance Updates N a n c y H a l e y, D i r e c t o r o f M a i n t e n a n c e a n d M o d e r n i z a t i o n

Summer is here!

notes, “the tenant shall be obligated to keep the premises, adjacent grounds and other such areas as may be assigned to the tenant’s use, in a clean, orderly, and safe condition”. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding with regard to the storage of your seasonal items.

MAINTENANCE: A very SPECIAL thank you to residents at our hirises that like to volunteer their time and assist us in our mission to keep our buildings and grounds neat and tidy. Thank you for taking the time to help. WE APPRECIATE you. YOUR LAWN MAINTENACE: We have been cutting grass since the month of May and would like to remind you that we look for your assistance to keep your yards as free as possible of all summer items (ie. bikes, wading pools, chairs, etc.). When we began cutting the grass, it was cut every other WEDNESDAY. We have since transitioned to a modified summer schedule which will take place sometime this month. We cannot make special accommodations with regard to our grass cutting service

contract. The Authority pays for a consistent, Authority wide cut and that is how we must administer this service contract. Storing Seasonable Items Just a quick reminder from the NFHA’s Insurance provider, you are responsible to properly store your seasonal items such as barbecue grills and propane tanks. These items must be safely stored away from your porches and entry doors. There should be no indoor storage of any flammable or combustible items. The NFHA’s Tenant Lease

Keeping Your Residence Looking Good We look for your assistance for immediate advisement if you see any exterior damage (roof shingles, gutters, downspouts, siding, etc.) in and around your homes. Again, the long hard winter has not been kind and has left us with some damaged areas. Just call the work order line and we will be happy to pass on this information to your site maintenance team. UPCS INSPECTIONS: The Authority

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

32


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

Modernization and Maintenance Updates

33

is required to conduct a minimum of one (1) annual inspection of all our apartments during our fiscal year - April 1 through March 31. If you have moved in after April 1, 2015, your move-in inspection meets this annual requirement. For all other residents – we must enter your apartment to complete our inspection and if necessary, maintenance work orders are generated as well. In order to reduce the amount of entries into each of your homes, we do make every effort to conduct your annual housekeeping inspection on the same date and time. We thank you for your cooperation with these mandatory inspections.

and the nature of your emergency. This information is than turned immediately over to the NFHA emergency on call staff member.

MODERNIZATION: Executive Offices Getting a Fresh Look: The Niagara Falls Housing Authority’s Executive Offices interior and exterior renovations are well underway and we are excited. The building was constructed in the late 1800’s and was in need of repair. The building will receive new roofing, cleaning, pointing and painting of the brick, new energy efficient lighting circuits and devices and a new HVAC system. The front of the building will be redesigned to allow for easier accessibility.

• Also, for your own safety and security – should you lock yourself out of your apartment, you should be prepared to show identification to the maintenance staff dispatched

AFTER HOURS - EMERGENCY: Should you have a need for emergency services after 4:30 p.m. you are required to call our emergency answering service number at 285-6961. Our answering service will ask you your name, address, phone number

that not only lists your name but your address as well.

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

• You will receive a call back to the number you provided the answering service very timely. The on call staff member will assess your call and advise you accordingly if someone will be dispatched out immediately or provide the necessary maintenance on the next working day. • You must be home to grant the maintenance staff access into your home to make the needed emergency repairs.

AIR CONDITIONER INSTALLATION: Thank you all for your prompt calls to the work order line to remind us to install your air conditioner. We will do our very best to complete all your requests in a timely fashion. When calling in your requests, please let us know if you have more than one A/C unit to install. Please be prepared to assist the work order line attendant with answering a few necessary questions such as what window and room will the a/c be installed in? • Do you have more than one A/C? • Where is your A/C stored? • Where is the platform stored? • Where do you wish to store your window screen? PLEASE UNDERSTAND – these are questions that assist our Maintenance Team. The response of “they know this” makes us smile – but we still need to get this information for the work order so we will ask you anyways – smile back at us with your understanding. All billing questions are to be directed to your Site Manager and not to the work order line.

2015 REAC:

• Please understand that the on call staff member WILL NOT send anyone out without first talking to the resident.

WE WILL VISIT SPALLINO TOWERS, WROBEL TOWERS AND THE BELOVED COMMUNITY (PHASES 1B AND II) IN 2015. Your sites are scheduled for a REAC Inspection this summer. DO NOT WAIT – Call in ANY Work Orders for your Apartment.


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

Modernization and Maintenance Updates • SPALLINO TOWERS WILL BE INSPECTED ON: MONDAY, JULY 13, 2015. • WROBEL TOWERS WILL BE INSPECTED ON: TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2015. • BELOVED COMMUNITY (PH.1B AND II) WILL BE INSPECTED ON: WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2015.

Checklist For Our Friends At Spallino And Wrobel 1. Refrigerator – Must be clean and door must close properly. No mildew buildup on the gaskets. 2. Stove Top/Oven/Hood Fan - ALL burners and oven MUST WORK. All areas must be clean and grease free. Please have stove burners and pans in place. 3. All light fixtures must work and NO empty light bulb sockets. 4. All electrical outlets and light switches must be in good working order, with cover plates in place. NO missing covers or cracked outlets. 5. Smoke detectors – All smoke detectors must be in proper working order. A “chirping” sound is an indicator that the battery needs to be replaced. 6. Call for Aid Emergency Pulls MUST be accessible. Do NOT tie cords up.

7. Bedroom, bathroom, and entry doors must be able to close completely. Please remove any obstacles stopping the doors from closing and latching. 8. There should be no cords running across the floors that may create a tripping hazard including cable wires, telephone cords, or electrical cords. 9. Bathroom – Fixtures, walls and ceilings must be free of mildew and soap scum. 10. Good Housekeeping Standards must be observed – apartment should be clean throughout. Please remove clutter or excessive storage so all of the rooms, closets and windows are accessible for the inspection.

Checklist For Our Friends At The Beloved Community 1. Refrigerator – must be totally clean and door must close properly 2. Stove Top/Oven/Hood Fan – ALL burners MUST LIGHT FULLY when turned on by knob. All pilots must be lit. All areas must be clean and grease free. Oven must light and be operable. 3. All light bulbs must work including in the basement. 4. All dryers must be vented to the outside. In addition, all appliances that are not in use must be

removed from the basement (not just unplugged and pushed aside). 5. Smoke detectors – All smoke detectors should be in proper working order. Check your smoke detector (s) by pressing the test button on the outside of the detector. A “chirping” sound is an indicator that the battery needs replacing – place a call to 284-9675 for a work order. 6. Screens and Windows – ALL SCREENS must be in good repair (not torn or damaged). SCREENS must be in the windows. WINDOWS must be clean, closed securely and able to lock. 7. Bathroom – Fixtures, walls and ceilings must be free of mildew and soap scum. In addition, two (2) bulbs must be in fixtures and bathroom exhaust fans must be in working order. 8. All sink and tub stoppers need to be seen. Make sure sink traps are not leaking, and faucets in the bathroom and kitchen shut off completely. Basement laundry tubs and faucets must be in good working order as well. 9. Window and doors in your living areas and bedrooms MUST NOT BE BLOCKED by furniture (headboards, dressers, entertainment centers, etc.) Rooms must have at least two (2) means of egress. 10. All rooms and staircases must

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

34


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

Modernization and Maintenance Updates be free and clear of any tripping hazards including cables chords running up stairs and crossing at top of stairs, in front of doorways or in hall. Cables cords should be secured out of the walking path or removed. 11. All outlets and light switches should be in good working order, with cover plates in place. If you have a cracked outlet cover, please contact the work order line immediately for repair.

17. If you have a ceiling fan that was not installed by a licensed electrician it must be removed immediately. If a licensed electrician installed your fan, proof of such installation must be submitted to the office immediately.

12. All wall repairs, such as cracks, must be reported, patched and repainted.

18. Garbage disposals and dishwashers will be tested and must be operational.

13. ALL DOORS throughout your apartment must latch when closed both inside and out. BOTH FRONT AND REAR COMBO DOORS MUST BE LEFT UNLOCKED ON THE DAY(S) OF INSPECTION.

SPRING SITE IMPROVEMENTS – GETTING READY FOR REAC: We will be very busy getting our Spring and Summer repairs under contract. We will be trimming trees, repairing/replacing our concrete sidewalks and parking lots. We are also planning to get some exterior painting accomplished. Please stay tuned for more information regarding this work. We expect to put the exterior rehab of Spallino and Wrobel Towers under contract within the next couple months. We ask for your patience and cooperation with all our contracted work scheduled in and around your homes.

14. Furnace room/Inside Pantry – Stored items should be organized neatly, no clutter on the floor in front of the hot water tank or furnace; NO COMBUSTIBLE ITEMS, INCLUDING CLEANING SUPPLIES, SHOULD BE STORED NEAR FURNANCE AND/OR HOT WATER TANK. 15. General Good Housekeeping Standards must be observed – Apartment should be clean throughout.

35

16. Yard and Garbage area must be cleaned up. Remove to the dumpster any items that are no longer needed from yards (i.e. Rusty broken BBQ grills). Stack outdoor items neatly in the rear of your unit.

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

RESIDENTS OF JORDAN GARDENS YOU RECEIVED a 96! My sincerest thanks to all of you for your patience and understanding during our HUD REAC Inspection held on March 2, 2015. Please know that your cooperation was very much appreciated. JORDAN GARDENS SITE SCORE WAS A 96! As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Maintenance/Modernization Department at 285-6961. Thank you for your help to achieve our mission of providing the best housing possible in our community. We Have A Great Maintenance Team here at the NFHA. Please remember to take the time to say “THANK YOU”.


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

Being a Good Neighbor Melissa A. Matsulavage, Director of Occupancy Taking the time to establish a good relationship with your neighbors has numerous benefits. The community will be friendlier, the neighborhood safer and will overall create a nice, comfortable living environment. Here are a few ideas on how to achieve good neighborly relationships: COMMUNICATION Whether you’re new to the community or new residents have just moved in, introduce yourself. Say hello and perhaps offer a welcoming gift (baked goods are always appreciated). Inquire about or share local information regarding restaurants, stores or community services that may be available in the area. Be friendly and engage in casual conversation. Never ask too many personal questions, but instead allow each person to share what they feel comfortable sharing. Once you get to know one another’s lifestyles and have an idea of the other’s schedule, you can remedy some problems before they begin. For example, if they work nights, they would appreciate quiet mornings. If you have small children, you may prefer

considerate of the neighbors and the surroundings.

quiet evenings. It is good to share this type of information and to be as considerate as possible. Avoid gossip at all times as it benefits no one. NOISE If you share walls with neighbors, be sure to position noisy appliances/ devices away from partition walls. Pay attention to what noise you are hearing from their apartments (going up and down stairs, television, voices, etc.) Be mindful that it is likely that they are hearing similar noise from yours. Some noise is reasonable and is expected. Share your level of comfort with your neighbor. Always alert your neighbors when you will be having a party or visitors that may result in extra noise. If you get along well with your neighbors, invite them. Be sure to ask your party guests to be

HEALTH & SAFETY Keep an eye out for any suspicious persons or activities in your community. If everyone does their part, it can help prevent crime. Try not to be too watchful of the neighbors themselves or their guests. Allowing them an adequate amount of privacy is just as essential. Keeping the area around your home or apartment clean, neat and free of debris is always appreciated by your neighbors. Hopefully, they will follow suit. If you feel that there is a health or safety issue or that someone or something is interfering with other residents’ peaceful enjoyment of their homes, you should report this to the site office or the police depending on the severity of the situation. Lease violations are the type of things that should be reported to the office, not just things that bother or irritate you (pet peeves).

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

36


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

Make Your Summer A Fun And Safe Experience Angela L. Smith, Senior Housing Manager Please adhere to the Statement of Policy, “Duties and Rights as a Tenant”:

Now that the beautiful weather is upon us, it is important that you, as parents, spend even more quality time with your children. There are a lot of fun things that you can do with your kids that will not cost a lot of money. Encourage your children to participate in other activities that will enhance lives.

37

Here are just a few ideas for fun things that they can do this summer.

10. Have family gatherings. 11. Go to an outdoor concert. 12. Learn a new skill, hobby. 13. Become a tourist in your own city.

1. Make ice cream sandwiches. 2. Make homemade popsicles. 3. See a blockbuster summer movie. 4. Go to the beach and build a sandcastle. 5. Go for a walk, jog or run in the park. 6. Volunteer and do community service at an organization. 7. Get a job. 8. Participate in a charity walk. 9. Lay out by the public pool.

As residents of the Niagara Falls Housing Authority, please be reminded that you are responsible to make sure that your children are following the rules and are safe at all times. We want your children to enjoy residing in our communities, however children should not be unsupervised or roaming around the properties.

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

“Tenant shall not permit his children or his visitors to play on other tenant’s lawns, in public halls, stairways, walks or parking areas (and in high rises to include laundry room, recreation room, library, elevators and other common areas). Young children whose behavior is likely to be objectionable, must be accompanied by a responsible adult.” I look forward to a great summer filled with fun and laughter! Enjoy the warm summer days with your children and continue to be a positive example. Have a wonderful and prosperous summer!


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

How to Beat the Heat M a r c i a E . M a s s a r o , M a n a g e r, H e n r y E . W r o b e l To w e r s Most people tolerate heat just fine and some people love it – the hotter the better.

DID YOU KNOW? Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness.

However, hot weather can be dangerous. People with certain health conditions are more vulnerable to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. As we age, the body may lose the ability to regulate our body temperature. Furthermore, there are many medications that can contribute to dehydration.

Warning Signs and Symptoms:

Heat related emergencies can be prevented. Consider the Following: • Dehydration is the root of many heat related health problems. Drink plenty of water or juice, even if you’re not thirsty. But remember to avoid alcoholic or caffeinated drinks, as they can actually contribute to dehydration. • Wear cool clothing: Dress in light-weight, light-colored, loosefitting clothing, preferably of natural fabrics like cotton. Use hats and umbrellas outside. • Use air conditioning: Keep the air conditioning on below 80 degrees F. If you don’t have air conditioning, use room fans to circulate inside air. • Cover windows: During the day, pull the curtains on all windows that are in direct sunlight. Open windows at night and use fans or cross-ventilation to circulate cooler air (an open, uncovered window during the day will simply make the inside temperature the same as outside or even hotter).

• Watch the Heat Index: When there’s a lot of moisture in their air (high humidity), the body’s ability to cool itself through sweating is impaired. The heat index factors humidity and temperature. The current heat index is usually announced on local TV and radio weather reports during periods of warm weather. • Avoid direct sun: Stay indoors during the hottest hours - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Eliminate or limit physical activity. • Light meals: Avoid hot, heavy meals and don’t use the oven. • Monitor medications: Find out if your medications increase your risk for heat stress. Ask your doctor about all the medications you take, including over-the-counter items. • Take cool showers: Lay a cool, moistened towel over the forehead or back of the neck and replace often. • Use a buddy system and check on your neighbor. Ask a neighbor to check up on you. Heat induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness.

• An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F) • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating) • Rapid, strong pulse • Throbbing headache • Dizziness • Nausea Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Warning Signs and Symptoms: • Heavy sweating • Paleness • Muscle Cramps • Tiredness • Weakness • Dizziness • Headache • Nausea or vomiting • Fainting • Skin: may be cool and moist • Pulse rate: fast and weak • Breathing: fast and shallow If you suspect someone is suffering from a heat related problem, seek immediate medical attention. For more information log onto www.cdc.gov.

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

38


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

Summer is Here!

Enjoying the Summer Include Taking Care of You and Your Home Ida P. Seright, M a n a g e r, P a ck a rd C o u rt C o mmu n ity The Packard Court Administration wants to make sure that all our residents have an enjoyable and safe summer. Our ultimate goal is to promote harmony and a peaceful atmosphere and environment for everyone. In order to live in harmony with your neighbors, there are a couple of important things we must all abide by – the lease and Statement of Policy. YOUR LEASE It is a good idea to again read over your lease and refresh yourself with its contents. When a resident takes occupancy, a tenant orientation is conducted and management goes over both the lease and statement of policy to ensure that there is a clear understanding of what is expected during residency. When the lease is signed, an agreement is made to abide by the rules and regulations. So, let’s do what we agreed to do! • Rent Payment: Always make sure your rent is paid on time, which is the first of the month. Pay the total due. Pre-payments are always welcomed and encouraged. Being a little ahead is always good. Receiving a fourteen-day notice Always make sure your rent is paid on time, which is the first of the month. Pay the total due. Pre-payments are always welcomed and encouraged. Being a little ahead is always good. Receiving a fourteen day notice after the 5th

39

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

get your deposit back when you move out. Normal wear and tear is expected, but you will be charged for any major damages due to neglect or abuse.

of the month does not grant you a grace period or extension. It simply means that you are in violation of your lease and a demand is made for payment of all monies due or proceedings could be commenced against you to terminate your lease and you could face eviction. • When unforeseen things happen: Always be honest. It is understandable that sometimes we fall on hard times or unforeseen things happen, which make it hard to pay rent timely. Call the manager and discuss arrangements for payment. • Visitors: Residents are responsible for the actions of all visitors and guests. Residents are responsible to inform visitors and guests of rules and regulations. • Maintenance: Call in needed repairs immediately. Don’t put it off until tomorrow, do it today! This will help us to keep our property in good repair. Treat your home like you own it. It will ensure that you

• Barbecue Grills & Propane grills: Barbecue and propane grills are not to be stored too closely to the building. Propane tanks are to be disconnected from grills when not in use. When in use, proper supervision is required at all times. • Lawn furniture or pool: If you have a picnic table, lawn furniture or pool for your child, they must be moved each week so that your lawn can be cut and trimmed. Allowable pool size is not to exceed 8’ in diameter and 18” deep. When pool is in use, proper supervision is required. After use, pools must be emptied daily and stored at the rear of your unit. Pools should be moved around frequently to avoid damage to lawn. Parents are reminded that children must be properly supervised at all times. The continuous use of running hoses and sprinklers are prohibited. • Vehicles: No cars are to be repaired, washed in the community, parked or driven on the grass. All vehicles must be properly registered


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF and parked in designated areas. Parking in areas “designated no parking” is subject to ticketing by the Niagara Falls Police Department. • Site Lighting & Graffiti: Contact the site office to report any lighting in need of repair or any signs of graffiti. • Community Service/Self Sufficiency Policy: Any resident, not otherwise exempt, is required to complete eight (8) hours per month community service or be actively participating in an approved selfsufficiency program. Any household member, eighteen years of age or older, is subject to the policy. • Disposal of Garbage: Now that summer is here, it is extremely important that garbage totes are taken to the pickup spot weekly. Scheduled garbage day is Fridays. All garbage is to be within the tote and not sitting on the ground.

• Criminal Activity: Any suspicious or criminal activity should be reported to the Niagara Falls Police Department or site office. Please be reminded that any criminal activity by the resident or any member of the resident’s household - visitors, guests or other persons under the resident’s control, could be cause for termination of tenancy. • Annual Maintenance/ Housekeeping Inspections: Every home will be inspected for maintenance and housekeeping. All homes are required to be within and meet standards of housekeeping. • Renter’s Insurance: Residents are encouraged to carry renter’s insurance. It is always good to have the peace of mind that you are protected in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Packard Court Administration Office The Packard Court Administration Office is open daily from 8:30 am -5:00 pm. • If you are looking for employment, scholarship opportunities, referrals or program information, all notices are posted in the office. • If you have questions or require any information, please do not hesitate to call – 285-6111. If you wish to participate or become a member of the Resident Association, please contact the site office for more information. Your input and participation is welcomed.

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

40


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

REAC Inspections M. Anne Smith, Ma n a g e r, A n th o n y S p a llin o To w e rs REAC inspections will take place at Spallino Towers on Monday, July 13, 2015. What is REAC? The Real Estate Assessment Center’s (REAC) mission is to provide and promote the effective use of accurate, timely and reliable information assessing the condition of HUD’s portfolio; to provide information to help ensure safe, decent and affordable housing; and to restore the public trust by identifying fraud, abuse and waste of HUD resources. Nearly 4 million American families live in rental housing that is owned, insured or subsidized by HUD. To ensure that these families have housing that is decent, safe, sanitary, and in good repair, REAC conducts approximately 20,000 physical inspections on properties each year. You will receive a notice in your mailbox one week prior to the inspections. Apartments selected for inspection are determined at random by the REAC inspector. IF YOU ARE NOT AT HOME AT THE TIME OF THE INSPECTION, AN “APARTMENT ENTRY” FORM WILL BE LEFT IN THE KITCHEN. REAC is a hands-on inspection therefore Housing Authority staff or the HUD inspector must physically test the operation functions in your apartment such as all windows, doors, fixed lighting, appliances, detectors, etc. REAC is an independent

41

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

organization, separate from HUD’s program offices. REAC is designed to give HUD a more comprehensive and consistent tool with which to assess its properties. As a result, HUD is better able to prioritize and direct its resources to properties that need attention. REAC is a national management center located in Washington, DC. Its main purpose is to centralize and standardize the way HUD evaluates the condition of the properties in which it has a financial interest or statutory obligation to monitor. Please take a moment to review the items listed below: HUD INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS • General Good Housekeeping Standards must be observed – apartment should be kept clean throughout. • Refrigerator: must be clean, door closes properly, light bulb works. • Stove Top/Oven/Hood Fan: ALL BURNERS MUST LIGHT FULLY when turned on by the knob. All areas must be clean and grease free. Hood fan must work, bulbs must light and filter must be in place. • Smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors: All detectors should be in proper working

order. Please call in a work order at 284-9675(WORK)to replace any necessary batteries. • Electrical outlets and switches should have proper covers in place and not be cracked, missing or damaged. GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) must trip when tested. • Screens, Windows and Doors: SCREENS must be installed and in good repair. WINDOWS must open, close securely and lock. ALL DOORS must close completely and latch properly. • Bathroom/Kitchen: All faucets/ fixtures must work and not drip, plug/stopper must work in sink/tub, tiles, walls and ceilings free of mold/ mildew and soap scum. • No blocked egress: Windows and doors MUST NOT BE BLOCKED by furniture, headboards, dressers, entertainment centers, etc. • All rooms must be clear of any tripping hazards (television, computer cables, cords, shoes on staircases, etc.) • Call-for-Aids must be no more than 6 inches from the floor, visible and operational. • All wall repair and peeling paint must be reported patched and repainted. • No combustible items can be stored in your apartment. Please call in any necessary work orders to 285-9675(WORK). Thank you for your continued pride in the Spallino Towers Community!


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

The Benefits of Being an Active Father J o n D ’ A m i c o , M a n a g e r, B e l o v e d C o m m u n i t y Fathers play a critical role in the development of their children. The latest research indicates that fathers who are actively involved in raising their children can make a positive and lasting difference in their lives. Listed below are 10 reasons why your child needs you to be an active father. Being an active father: 1. Lets your child know that you love them. Love involves more than saying the words, “I love you.” Fathers who love their children demonstrate their love by spending quality and quantity time together. Children who feel loved are more likely to develop a strong emotional bond with their father and a healthy self-esteem. 2. Provides your child with a positive role model. Children, regardless of gender, need positive male and female role models. Children tend to model behavior (positive and negative) that they witness on a consistent basis. Active fathers can promote behaviors by setting a proper example for their children. 3. Enhances your child’s self esteem. Self-esteem refers to how a person feels about himself. Children with high self-esteem tend to be happier and more confident than children with low self-esteem. Active fathers promote their children’s self-esteem by being fully involved in their lives and letting them know that they are highly valued.

in their lives are more likely to achieve academic success than children whose fathers are not actively involved.

4. Enhances your child’s intellectual development. Children who are raised with actively involved fathers tend to score higher on measures of verbal and mathematical ability, and also demonstrate greater problem solving and social skills. 5. Provides your child with someone to talk to when they have questions. Young children are full of questions. This natural curiosity helps them learn about their environment. Active fathers can be a valuable source of information for children who are seeking answers to life’s important questions. 6. Facilitates your child’s moral development. Children need a normal compass to guide them when they face difficult moral choices. Fathers, like mothers, help children to develop a sense of right and wrong that serves as a foundation for establishing moral character.

8. Provides your child with guidance and discipline. From infancy, children need proper guidance and discipline. Active fathers play an important role in teaching their children proper behavior by setting and enforcing healthy limits. 9. Provides your child with a sense of physical and emotional security. One of the major benefits that fathers can provide to their children by being actively involved is a sense of security (physical and emotional). By being actively involved in a child’s life, a father promotes a trusting relationship. The child does not have to worry about being abandoned. 10. Helps your child learn important life skills. Most of the essential life skills that children need to survive are learned within the home. Fathers have a unique opportunity to teach their children valuable skills that will enable them to grow up to be healthy and productive adults. -excerpt AgriLife Extension

7. Increases your child’s chances for academic success. Children whose fathers are actively involved

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

42


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

Flu Clinics Coming in September S t e v e H a e f n e r, S e n i o r S e r v i c e s C o o r d i n a t o r

Flu shots will be administered by Wegmans pharmacies at Spallino Towers and Wrobel Towers. This is the regular annual flu vaccine that is covered by most insurances. Both flu clinics will take place on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 Spallino Towers from 11:00 am – 1 pm and Wrobel Towers from 11:00 am – 2 pm. There will be no charge for anyone who has Medicare or an approved Medicare Advantage plan. Make sure you bring your insurance card when you come for your flu shot. If you have questions, please call Steve Haefner in Senior Services at 285-7812 or Sam Pulliam at 2869248.

43

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

Managed Care and Managed Long Term Care Services and Support Do you or a loved one need help with daily activities? Do you receive long-term care services like a home attendant, adult day care program, or nursing home care? If so, you should know that most people are now required to join Medicaid Managed Care plans in order to receive these types of services. Where can you turn if you have concerns about either your Medicaid Managed Care or your Managed Long Term Care? “ICAN,” the Independent Consumer Advocacy Network, can help. As an “ICAN”member, Neighborhood Legal Services can answer questions relating to Medicare, Medicaid, long term

care, and your managed care plan. They can also help you complain or appeal certain actions through the fair hearing process. Neighborhood Legal Services can help eligible individuals who reside in Niagara, as well as Erie, Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming counties. Their services are completely free and confidential. If you have questions or concerns about managed care or managed long term care, call Marge Gustas at 716-847-0655 extension 256.


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

Learn More to Earn More! Evelyn Buffone, Director of Finance We’ve seen lots in the news media lately about raising the minimum wage, about Walmart raising the wages of some of their employees, and about people protesting low minimum wages. The concerns are that people who work at lowpaying jobs do not make enough money to support a family. We also hear other people say things like, “people who live in public housing or who receive welfare need to get a job – then they would know what it’s like to work!” The perception is that if you have a job, you should be able to support a family with the earnings from that job. The reality is that it isn’t possible to support a family on minimum wage. In fact, a recent study by University of California Berkley shows that 56% of households receiving government assistance are headed by a working adult. The statistics are interesting: 52% of fast food workers, 48% of home care workers, and 46% of child-care workers receive some type of assistance, in the form of food stamps, earned income credit, Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (wsj.com). Unfortunately, many workers do not have enough skills to earn more money, and the companies that employ them know that.

Companies often use low-skill workers rather than upgrading and modernizing their systems and technologies. If the programs to assist these people were not available, the workers would not be able to afford to stay at lower paying positions, and the companies would have to upgrade or find themselves without help. Most of us do not have the ability to change this system – but we can change how we react to the system. If you find yourself stuck in a job that doesn’t pay you enough money to move forward so that you must rely on taxpayer assistance, consider building skills that make you more employable. There are many programs to assist you. You may find that there are programs that cover the costs of your training.

At the Niagara Falls Housing Authority our residents have many opportunities to learn more to earn more! New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is available to many, and since it is a grant, it doesn’t have to be paid back - http://www. hesc.ny.gov/pay-for-college/ apply-for-financial-aid/nys-tap. html. The federal government offers similar grants that don’t need to be paid back through its Pell grant program - http://www2. ed.gov/programs/fpg/index.html. Educational opportunities that don’t require enrolling at a traditional school include the State of New York Attain Lab, which is located in the Doris Jones Family Resource Building, at 3001 Ninth Street in Niagara Falls. The ATTAIN Lab offers a variety of courses completely for free, which will help workers leave a dead end job behind. Low paying jobs should be used as a training opportunity and a stepping stone to a better job, not a career choice. Make a change in your life for the better!

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

44


A WORD FROM OUR STAFF

What’s Going On? K h a l e e l a h S h a r e e f , D i r e c t o r, P a c k a r d C o u r t C o m m u n i t y C e n t e r

Children “When they Speak...Listen” “When they Laugh...Smile” “When they Cry...Hug” “When they Run...Reach” “When they Ask...Teach” “If they Stray...Pray” - Author unknown In 1971 Marvin Gaye wrote: “Mother, Mother there’s too many of you crying, Brother, Brother, Brother, there’s far too many of you dying. You know we’ve got to find a way to bring some lovin’ here today. Father, Father, we don’t need to escalate, you see war is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate, you know we’ve got to find a way to bring some lovin’ here today. We got to find a way to bring some understanding here today. Picket lines and picket signs don’t punish me with brutality.” To listen to this song in its entirety and to read the lyrics, it’s as if Marvin Gaye could see forty-four years into the future – to 2015. Marvin Gaye, who unfortunately died a very tragic death at the

45

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

hands of his own father, was also troubled. How do we begin to find the answers to “What’s Going On?” Over and over again, we have witnessed throughout the news and social networks, violence in homes, violence in schools, violence in the streets and violence throughout our communities. How do we begin the conversations with our children and grandchildren about feeling safe in their own communities? We must remind them that they are loved and that they are “somebody” and they can have the best life if they’re willing to put in the work. At all costs we have to “save the babies.” When we become parents and grandparents we have a huge responsibility to our offspring. We must be willing to do all we can, when we can, to give them the best start in life. Recently, a very tearful co-worker reminded me of the importance of

the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building, the Packard Court Community Center and the many other safe havens that are available to our youth. After saying “thank you” for our service, she further stated that these safe havens can bring hope to our young people and help in preventing the violent scenes that we recently saw played out in Baltimore, Maryland and many other cities throughout this country and around the world. Yes, we ask, “What’s Going On?” It is so easy to sit back and criticize, but we must ask ourselves... What have I done lately to make a positive impact in my community? Have we discussed the importance of Voter Registration and the importance of Voting with our youth in the community and offered help in educating them about the process? We have the responsibility to teach, if you don’t like the leadership... become a leader. We must be willing to “Educate to Elevate.”


Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

46


HAVE AN ADVANTAGE! The Advantage After-School Program for middle and high school students is accepting applications for the 2015-2016 school year.

L

ooking for that all around after-school program for your child? One that provides not only homework assistance and tutoring, but introduces your child to a variety of fun activities… well, we have the answer—the Advantage After-School Program! Sponsored by People and Possibilities, Inc. in collaboration with the Niagara Falls Housing Authority and the Niagara Falls City School District, the program offers cooking classes, yoga instruction,

fitness classes, dance, karate classes, self-esteem building classes, SAT Prep, volunteer opportunities and much, much, more! The Advantage After-School Program program operates October– June and is held Monday–Friday at Niagara Falls High School (3:00 pm– 6:00 pm) and at LaSalle Preparatory School (2:30 pm–5:30 pm).

School and LaSalle Preparatory School. For additional information, please contact Khaleelah Shareef at (716) 278-0228.

Applications are available at all Niagara Falls Housing Authority communities, Niagara Falls High

Thank you M&T Bank for sponsorship of the Niagara Falls Housing Authority’s 2015 educational initiatives.

Pictured: NFHA Executive Director Stephanie W. Cowart and Lori Finn, Vice President of Government Banking for M&T Bank.

47

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015


Free, Universal Pre-Kindergarten Extended Program at the Niagara Falls Housing Authority

Openings are available! ABOUT THE PROGRAM • Child must turn 4 years old on or before December 1, 2015. • It is a full-time program, Monday through Friday. • This is a literacy rich program that is designed to help young children enter school ready to learn and succeed. • Transportation is NOT provided. The child’s parent(s) are responsible to get the child to and from school. • Children must be toilet trained, unless documentation of a medical condition is presented.

LOCATIONS HOW TO APPLY: Applications may be obtained at the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building, 3001 Ninth St., Packard Court Community Center, 4300 Pine Avenue, and the Niagara Falls Board of Education, 630 66th St. For questions please call (716) 285-5374

The Niagara Falls Housing Authority operates two Universal Pre-Kindergarten programs in collaboration with the Niagara Falls City School District. Locations are as follows: • Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building, 3001 Ninth Street, Niagara Falls, NY 14305 • Harry F. Abate Elementary School, 1625 Lockport Street, Niagara Falls, NY 14305

Earn a Microsoft Office Certification! Summer Institute at the SUNY ATTAIN Lab • Earn a Microsoft Office Certification • Learn Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Access and Microsoft Technology Associate July 6 – July 30 August 10 – September 3 Call (716) 285-5374 or visit the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building 3001 9th Street, Niagara Falls, NY to register.

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

48


Calendar of Events WEDNESDAYS Free line dancing lessons 5:30 pm–7:30 pm, Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building

JULY 6 – AUGUST 7 Summer Enrichment Program Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building

JULY 6 – JULY 30 Summer Institute at the SUNY ATTAIN Lab Microsoft Word Training Monday - Thursday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building

JULY 8 – JULY 31 NFHA/Niagara Falls City School District Summer Camp for grades 6 - 11 Niagara Falls High School 11:30 am - 3:00 pm

AUGUST 10 – SEPTEMBER 2 Summer Institute at the SUNY ATTAIN Lab Microsoft Word Training Monday - Thursday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Powerpoint Training Mondays and Wednesdays 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building

AUGUST 10 -14 NFHA/Honeywell Adventures in Environmental Leadership 8:30 am–2:00 pm, Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building

OCTOBER 22 Good for the Neighborhood Program 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm, Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building

AUGUST 20 Good for the Neighborhood Program Free health screenings, information on health insurance, ask the expert, free fruits and vegetables, health and wellness information, fun activities for kids, healthy cooking demonstrations and more! 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm, Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building

Niagara Falls Housing Authority 2015 Holiday Schedule Our offices will be closed on the following dates: July

November

4 – Independence Day

September

11 – Veterans Day 26 – Thanksgiving Day

7 – Labor Day

27 – Day After Thanksgiving

October 12 – Columbus Day

49

|

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

December 25– Christmas Day

EMERGENCY SERVICES Should you have a need for emergency services, you are required to call our emergency answering service at (716) 285-6961.


Directory (716) 285-5374 General Manager: Annie Fields-Chapman Packard Court Community Center 4300 Pine Avenue Niagara Falls, NY 14301 (716) 278-0228 Director: Khaleelah Shareef Senior Services Program (located at Anthony Spallino Towers & Henry E. Wrobel Towers) (716) 285-7812 Coordinator: Steve Haefner NFHA SUNY ATTAIN LAB (Located in the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building) Site Supervisor: Joseph Brown (716) 285-5374

HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH US

Executive Offices 744 Tenth Street Niagara Falls, NY 14301 (716) 285-6961 Anthony Spallino Towers 720 Tenth Street Niagara Falls, NY 14301 (716) 285-5505 Manager: Margaret Anne Smith Henry E. Wrobel Towers 800 Niagara Avenue Niagara Falls, NY 14305 (716) 284-9129 Manager: Marcia Massaro Packard Court 4200 Pine Avenue Niagara Falls, NY 14301 (716) 285-6111 Manager: Ida Seright Beloved Community 1710 Calumet Avenue Niagara Falls, NY 14305 (716) 285-8050 Manager: Jon D’Amico Harry S. Jordan Gardens 2910 Highland Avenue Niagara Falls, NY 14305 (716) 285-5381 Senior Public Housing Manager: Angela L. Smith Doris W. Jones Family Resource Bldg. 3001 Ninth Street Niagara Falls, NY 14305

For emergencies (716) 285-6961 Place a work order request (716) 284-9675 Visit our website www.nfha.org Email us nfha@nfha.org

Anonymous Tip Line You can report suspicious or criminal activity anonymously by calling the NFPD’s Anonymous Tip Line at (716) 286-4711.

Let’s Chat 2015 Resident/Management Chat Schedule Anthony Spallino Towers Meeting to be held in the Rec. Room, 6:00 p.m. September 17, December 17

Packard Court Meeting to be held at the Packard Court Community Center, 6:00 p.m. September 17, November 19

Henry E. Wrobel Towers Meeting to be held in the Rec. Room, 6:30 p.m. September 15, December 9

Beloved Community Meeting to be held at 1710 Calumet Avenue at 6:00 p.m. July 30, October 29

Harry S. Jordan Gardens Meeting to be held at the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building, 6:00 p.m. July 23, October 22

Niagara carrier JULY 2015

|

50


We Empower. We Enrich. We Build Strong Communities.

Connect with us! KEEP IN TOUCH WITH US on facebook. WATCH OUR WEEKLY TV SHOW, “People and Possibilities” on Channel 21 (Our Schools Channel).

PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: NFHA Youth Choir performing at Links Luncheon, former resident, Douglass McCoy with LA Clipper Player, NFHA Executive Director Stephanie W. Cowart provide remarks at Links Award Luncheon, NFHA seniors enjoy a sunny day, STYA Youth participate at a Kid Biz Fest.

Niagara Carrier - Summer 2015  

Niagara Falls Housing Authority: NFHA designated a High Performer; NFHA Leadership receive award; LINKS celebrates 65 years of service

Niagara Carrier - Summer 2015  

Niagara Falls Housing Authority: NFHA designated a High Performer; NFHA Leadership receive award; LINKS celebrates 65 years of service

Advertisement