We are dismayed that New York State has once again failed to include in the FY’ 18 budget critical investments in the human services nonprofit sector, despite the sector being woefully underfunded to the detriment of agency staff and the clients they serve. While the Governor determined to fund $55 million in minimum wage increases and salary adjustments for nonprofit direct care workers, no such funding was provided for the remainder of State contracted human services providers. Like direct care workers, the providers of childcare, afterschool, senior services, and other critical human services are deeply committed to the people and communities they serve, yet they are undervalued, underpaid and, again, overlooked. The continued lack of adequate State funding to cover the minimum wage increase at a cost of just $12 million has serious consequences for human services workers, for the millions of people in need of their support, and for the State of New York.
The continuing disregard for the needs of human services agencies and their workers suggests a lack of true appreciation for them. Human services agencies and workers play a most critical role in helping poor and low income children and families become stable and upwardly mobile, and yet the State once again has minimized the value of many of them. FPWA will continue to raise up the urgent and dire needs of the sector until our state’s leaders stand with us in support of the agencies and workers who care for our most vulnerable neighbors.
FPWA is an anti-poverty, policy and advocacy organization whose mission is to promote the social and economic well-being of greater New York’s most vulnerable by advocating for just public policies and strengthening human service organizations. FPWA has a membership network of nearly 180 human service organizations and churches that operate over 1,200 programs throughout the New York City metro area. Together we serve over 1.5 million low-income New Yorkers of all ages, ethnicities and denominations each year.