Mayor Rob Rolison has announced that an addition monies ill be allocated to community organizations through the city’s Youth Activities & Opportunities Grant program.
The city created this program in 2018 and the funds enable local nonprofits to support clubs and leagues, the arts, job-skills programs and other initiatives.
The Mayor said the additional money for this program will come the city’s American Rescue Plan funds approved by the federal government earlier this year. The city has received nearly $10 million as its first installment, and some of those funds will be used as revenue replacement to offset lost revenues attributable to the pandemic.
“We believe, when it comes to serving our youth, there is no time to wait,” said Mayor Rolison. “This grant program has proven successful, and we want to allocate taxpayer dollars where they will do the most good now.”
Bolstering the grant program is one in a series of steps the mayor has taken to address youth-related issues in the city, including forming the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet, paving the way for the dormant and former YMCA site to be converted into a youth center and moving to create a Division of Youth Services to nurture and focus on child development in the city.
The Youth Division will include a division head, a shared part-time administrative assistant with the development director, and a bilingual family engagement staff member shared with the Poughkeepsie City School District.
Last year, the Mayor worked with Poughkeepsie City School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser to form the Children’s Cabinet to bring together key stakeholders to better collaborate and coordinate youth supports and services.
Mayor Rolison also has struck a deal with Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro that received approval by both the City Common Council and Dutchess County Legislature to have the County take ownership of the former YMCA on Montgomery Street to build a new Youth Opportunity Union at the site.
“We will continue to position the city to be a leader on youth issues,” said Mayor Rolison. “We are seeing the toll this pandemic is taking on families and the community, and we must invest where we can to alleviate what, in some cases, is a crisis situation.”
Numerous organizations have benefited from the youth grant program. Among them are the City of Poughkeepsie Youth Baseball, Basketball and Football leagues; The Art Effect; Bardavon 1869 Opera House; Barrett Art Center; The Black and Latino Coalition; Cocoon Theatre; Community Matters 2; Family Services, Inc.; Hudson River Housing; Mental Health America Dutchess County; Mid-Hudson Aquatics; Mid-Hudson Heritage Center; Mid-Hudson Civic Center Skate Program; National Black Child Development Institute; Nubian Directions II, Inc.; REAL Skills Network; Rebuilding Our Children and Community, Inc. and others.