Queens lawmakers help secure $400K in funding for services aiding local Holocaust survivors

2019-04-15 Stavisky, Rozic Successfully Double State Aid for Holocaust Survivors
Photo courtesy of State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic’s office

Queens state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, along with their colleagues, made helping Holocaust survivors a priority in this year’s state budget, securing $400,000 in funding to assist them.

“New York’s state budget commits to caring for those who need it most – Holocaust survivors. It is our responsibility to ensure that they have access to all the necessary services to live with the comfort and dignity they deserve,” said Rozic. “I am grateful to my Assembly and Senate colleagues for their partnership in securing this integral funding.”

The record allocation marks a 100 percent increase in funding from last year’s budget. It ensures proper funding for programming and safety net services for Holocaust survivors in New York State providing financial assistance, mental health care, legal services, transportation, and sensitive end-of-life care. 

“As the survivors age, problems often intensify. The trauma they experienced, the loss of loved ones, the physical frailty and economic instability all contribute to a decline in quality of life,” said Stavisky. “These funds will enable survivors to maintain their independence and dignity with counseling and social services, and financial assistance in order to avoid institutionalization. Selfhelp has been the gold standard of excellence for eighty years and I thank them.”

As survivors age and navigate expected challenges, they need additional support for issues that stem directly from experiences in the Holocaust. Studies have found that survivors face a higher incidence of cancer, heart disease, PTSD, and depression. More than 50 percent of survivors living in New York City can be classified as “very poor” or “near poor” under federal guidelines.

Louisa Chafee, senior vice president of External Relations and Public Policy at UJA-Federation of New York, applauded the lawmakers and their colleagues in the legislature for supporting the unique needs of Holocaust survivors living in poverty in the state budget.

“Many of UJA’s partner organizations provide critical services for survivors, including case management; legal assistance; trauma-informed care; end of life care and more to meet the needs of this vulnerable population,” said Chafee. “However, caring for this population often requires a set of special services that are unique to Holocaust survivors. Due to the nature of their trauma, these services can be costly for providers. UJA is committed to ensuring that our remaining survivors receive the care and support they need to live their lives with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

Assemblyman David Weprin said that as acts of anti-Semitism and other forms of hate continue to increase across the country, they must never forget the “evils of the Holocaust” and ensure that they will never be repeated.

“New York is home to so many who escaped persecution abroad which is why I am grateful that the state has included $400,000 in the budget to help support aging Holocaust survivors in our State,” said Weprin. “I want to thank Assemblymember Nily Rozic and Senator Stavisky for their unwavering advocacy on this issue. This allocation will ensure that New York continues to serve as a beacon of freedom against anti-Semitism and hate no matter the time.”