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Opportunities for Broome programs.

Advocates from the Opportunities for Broome can help residents achieve stability and receive short term, financial help in a crisis. The resources are limited, offered as a last resort, and require applicants to attend case management and other services. Some of what is available may be affordable housing, help for seniors, government grants for paying heating bills, and an array of programs to help seniors.

The organization serves as the counties community action agency. This means that Family Advocates from Opportunities for Broome are focused on assisting the less fortunate and getting them on a path to self-sufficiency.

Shelter Plus Care Program is for currently homeless individuals. It is paid for by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. It is run as a form of project based rental assistance.

For those that qualify, the shelter program pays the security deposit or rent for chronically homeless individuals. It will require case management, financial literacy and other steps to be taken too. The goal is to assist clients in regaining independence and to take back control of their lives. Not only is the applicant need to be homeless, but many of the participants from Broome County New York also have an underlying disability that may be either mental or physical.

The community action agency has other housing programs. They have information and referrals on safe, permanent, and affordable housing opportunities. The sites are located in southern New York and are offered to low-income and working poor people. Opportunities for Broome is a federal government HUD certified Community and Development Organization (CHDO) that partners with state, federal, and local government resources.

The elderly can benefit from East Hills Senior Living Center. It is run as an affordable housing for handicapped of any age or seniors 55 years of age and over. There are dozens of apartments and units in the area and facility. People who stay there will need to pay a portion of their income towards their monthly rent. East Hills Senior Living Center is located at 50 East Clapham Street Binghamton, New York 13904. Call 723-1863.




Emergency Assistance Programs and Family Development are available from Opportunities for Broome (OFB). So called Family Advocates can direct qualified clients to emergency assistance for clothing, food, groceries, rental expenses, or housing. Other aid may be prescription drugs, fuel for heating needs, and transportation.

Clients need to go through Family Development before they can get financial support, which is a strength-based approach to helping the less fortunate. The non-profit utilizes an individual’s own attributes to attain their financial and personal goals. In addition, OFB can assist individuals and families throughout the county with various needs by referring them to appropriate charities, agencies, or maybe even local churches for assistance.

Universal Pre-K classes and Head Start is for children from lower income families. Staff from the agency collaborate with school districts and government affiliated groups. The agency operates Universal Pre-K programs in the region which allow children to access free full day programming. There is also help for disabled children, including centers such as the Endicott Center. Help is for serve low to moderate income pre-school children ages 3-5. While class sizes are limited, Head Start can offer some or all of the following.

-Good personal hygiene habits, free nutritional meals for children, and dental care.
-The main resource is activities that help children grow socially, mentally, emotionally, and physically.
-The classes and workshops help for children to socialize, solve problems, and have experiences that build long term self-confidence.
-Skilled healthcare and medical treatment, some immunizations, and also arrangement of hearing and vision tests.
-Mental and physical health services for children and families with special needs.
-Parents can get referrals for continuing adult education and employability status.

Opportunities for Broome is located at 5 West State Street, Binghamton, New York 13901-2322. Telephone number is (607) 723-6493.



By Jon McNamara

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