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By Douglas Sciorra

Steuben County Legislature approves multiple sources of funding for residents in-need

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Youth services and housing needs will be administered by Arbor Development

BATH – Areas of need in Steuben County will receive funding, after approval Monday by the county Legislature.

The county board approved the use of $12,500 in restricted American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide prevention education services to youth affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The approval follows an advisory from the U.S. Surgeon General has issued on the Youth Mental Health Crisis Further Exposed by COVID-19 Pandemic and 2021 survey conducted by the Steuben Prevention Coalition.

The coalition’s survey indicated increasing rates of depression and attempted suicide among county youth.

According to Steuben’s Youth Bureau Coordinator Bill Caudill, three credentialed agencies provide evidence-based prevention services in multiple school districts and community programs across the county. However, due to lack of funding, the agencies often use outdated education materials and/or are unable to purchase sufficient workbooks for all participants.

The lack of appropriate materials negatively impacts the effectiveness of the educational activities, Caudill noted.

The funds will allow the county Youth Bureau to purchase prevention curricula and materials for distribution to the contracted agencies to address the social and emotional needs of Steuben youth in collaboration with the contracted agencies and participating school districts.

Steuben legislators also accepted funds from two sources to help eligible residents with rental assistance:

  • $325,926 from the state Office for Temporary Disability Assistance to provide rental assistance to eligible individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or facing an imminent loss of housing.
  • $187,724 from the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund to assist eligible domestic violence survivors and their children with short term expenses related to housing and essential needs.

The county Department of Social Services will use the funds to provide housing set-up, moving fees, clothing and other short term assistance to eligible individuals in addition to providing rental assistance, security deposits.

Both sources of funds will be administered by Arbor Development.

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