Acting Assistant Secretary George Sheldon Visits Region II Grantees

On December 19 and 20, Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families George Sheldon and Region II staff made site visits to a number of ACF grantees in New York City. AAS Sheldon was joined by Director of Regional Operations Diann Dawson, Regional Administrator Joyce Thomas, and HHS Regional Director Jaime Torres.

On Monday, the group visited Safe Horizon's Streetwork Project in Harlem, NY. Safe Horizon provides services for victims of domestic violence, child abuse, rape and sexual assault, homeless youth and families of homicide victims, with a wide range of comprehensive support. Through a grant from ACF's Office of Refugee Resettlement, Safe Horizon also provides services to victims of human trafficking through the Rescue and Restore grant program. In the afternoon, ACF representatives met with staff from the Puerto Rican Family Institute, and visited a Head Start center in the Bronx that is operated by PRFI.

The ACF delegation began their second day of site visits at Hostos Community College in Bronx, NY. Hostos was recently awarded a Health Professions Opportunities Grant (HPOG) through ACF's Office of Family Assistance. The HPOG grant program supports demonstration projects that are designed to provide low-income parents with the opportunity to obtain education and training for occupations in the health care field. AAS Sheldon and ACF staff had the opportunity to discuss the impact of this program with students in the program. Many of these students viewed their education as a critical step to achieving economic success for themselves and their families.

On Tuesday afternoon, ACF representatives visited Grace Dodge High School in Bronx, NY. Grace Dodge is the site of a project funded through ACF's Promoting Responsible Fatherhood grant. In this case, the grant recipient was the Puerto Rican Family Institute and the project is operated by the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families. The project works with high schoolers who are fathers or father-figures, and teaches about responsible parenting, healthy relationships, and more, as well as connecting these young men to internship opportunities. Program participants shared stories of the exepriences in the program, and how it helped them take responisbility for themselves and their children.