No Wrong Door Program Offers Services To Residents

Hello, Friends.

My name is Judy and I am here to introduce you to a program in Chautauqua County that is available to everyone regardless of age, income or disability. This program is called No Wrong Door/NY Connects.

This program offers unbiased assistance, referrals and information regarding long term services and supports that are available in Chautauqua County, and there is absolutely no charge to the consumer for our services. Each county in New York now has its own NY Connects staff located in the local Office For The Aging, and each county also has a No Wrong Door person located within the area Independent Living Center. I am located at Southwestern Independent Living Center, 843 N. Main St., Jamestown, and I travel throughout the entire county to assist my consumers. If more convenient, consumers can come to my office by appointment, meet me at one of my outreach stations throughout the county, or I can come to their homes if there are transportation issues. I can be contacted at 661-3010, and you can contact your local NY Connects staff at 753-4582 in the Mayville area, 363-4582 in the Dunkirk area and 661-7582 in the Jamestown area. There is also a state-wide 800 number which is 800-342-9871, as well as a NY Connects website that has a search feature and more information for you to browse through.

The entire idea of the No Wrong Door/NY Connects program is to allow people to live their lives in the manner they wish to live, with the help and services they want in their life. With this in mind, each week I will introduce you to a few different services that have similar offerings, such as skilled nursing facilities, of which there are several within the county. The next week I may write about organizations that deal with children and their specific needs. The next week may be about service organizations that deal specifically with veterans. One week I may write about social service programs and how to apply for the programs if you qualify for them.

All organizations and businesses that I share with you will be within Chautauqua County. There are many offerings in this county, and I want ensure that you are aware of all of them — I encourage you to clip the articles for future reference.

When we speak of long-term solutions, most people think of the elderly and their situations. But, truly, long-term solutions apply to us all, even children. In today’s article I would like to visit a bit about services that are available to children and families with minor children. Please keep in mind that there are many services available, and if I do not write about a certain service today, it can be discussed in future articles.

Let’s start off with a resource that is bountiful in information for all persons of Chautauqua County — MyBenefits.ny.gov. This website allows you to explore what benefits are available to you and your family. You are able to look at insurance options, fill out prescreens for various programs to see if you are eligible, recertify for certain programs, check out what tax breaks you may be entitled to, and much more. One of the best features of this site, and any site that is sponsored by New York state, is at the bottom of the page. If English is not your preferred language, then you are able to click on your language and the entire page you are reading will then be translated into the language you choose. When you have time, go to the website and check it out. I am sure you will find it to be very beneficial to you and your family.

Another helpful website is nystateofhealth.ny.gov. This site allows you to look at various insurance companies and the plans they offer before making that important choice for you and your family. It is very helpful in explaining the benefits that each offer so that you can make an informed decision regarding your health care and health insurance. If you need more assistance, you can contact a navigator through this site and they will assist you in exploring your insurance options.

As I said above, there are a plethora of services available for infants, toddlers, children and families of Chautauqua County. So, let’s begin exploring those programs.

CRIBS FOR KIDS

Cribs for Kids is a national program that works to prevent infant death due to unsafe sleeping environments. If a family qualifies for this program, they will be eligible to receive, free of charge, a portable crib for their little one. Southern Tier Healthcare Systems has partnered with local health care providers and area hospitals to help identify families who are unable to afford a crib for their baby. Once the referral is made to STHCS, officials will determine if the family meets the eligibility requirements, and if the family does, the family will receive a crib and educational materials on how to make the sleep environment safe for the baby. If you would like more information on this program, please contact the Salvation Army in Dunkirk at 366-3701 and ask for Patti.

BABY NEEDS GRANT

As parents, we are aware of the high cost of infant formula and diapers. Sometimes these costs, to a lower income family, are a barrier to the health and well-being of a baby. There is a program in Chautauqua County that can assist you with these needs. Granted, the program will not be able to give you everything you need, but as we all know, every little bit does help when you have limited income and resources. This program is called the Baby Needs Grant. This grant enables new parents to go to various organizations to receive baby food, infant formula and diapers. Supplies and funds are limited, so please understand that you can get some assistance at these locations, but they are not meant to fulfill an entire month’s worth of supplies for your baby. The area organizations that I am aware of that assist with this project are the Salvation Army, 704 Central Ave., Dunkirk, 366-3701, Neighbor to Neighbor, 9495 Prospect Road, Forestville 679-8067, St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton, 336 Washington Ave., Dunkirk 379-905, the Salvation Army, 83 South Main St., Jamestown, 664-4108, and CCRM Emergency Food Pantry,127 Central Ave., Dunkirk, 366-1787. Please call before going to any of these locations to ensure there are supplies on hand that you will be needing for your child.

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