Yonkers — After voting for the Yonkers City Budget Tuesday evening, Yonkers City Councilwoman Shanae Williams announced Wednesday the historic investments in the budget earmarked for Yonkers My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) and YMCA’s Project SNUG programs. Williams was joined today for the announcement by Yonkers MBK partners Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, Nepperhan Community Center Executive Director Dr. Jim Bostic as well as SNUG’s program facilitator and Yonkers YMCA’s CEO Shawn Patterson-Howard.
Representing the 1st Council District and running for re-election, Councilwoman Williams discussed increased funding to the city budget that she allocated to Yonkers My Brother’s Keeper, which addresses the enduring opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color. The 2020 Budget now includes $200,000 in funding to match a grant awarded to the program in 2018 by the Obama Foundation when Yonkers MBK was nationally recognized as a National Impact Community. Williams also increased the city’s funding to YMCA’s Project SNUG program with an additional $100,000, dedicating in total $200,000 to help local law enforcement and anti-violence community groups steer at-risk residents away from a culture of violence.
“Last night, we adopted the 2019-2020 budget in which I was able to secure $200,000 for Yonkers MBK and $100,000 for Yonkers YMCA’s SNUG program,” Councilwoman Williams shared with Black Westchester. “These programs are a necessity for the youth in our communities and I am proud to invest in them. This is only a small step towards combating gun violence and keeping our children safe and also to make sure their futures are headed in the right direction.”
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano who is running for a third-terms commends Councilwoman Williams for securing additional funding for these nationally acclaimed programs.
“We have made tremendous strides already with these nationally acclaimed programs,” Mayor Spano said. “Councilwoman Williams is a strong and compassionate leader and her commitment to our city’s youth is admirable. The additional funding she secured in this year’s budget for My Brother’s Keeper and SNUG surely will have lasting effects on the community it serves.”
“Investing in our youth is my number one priority,” said Councilwoman Williams continued. “It is my responsibility to make sure that the youth in our communities are safe from gun violence and are headed in the right direction. I am thankful for the work that both SNUG and MY Brother’s Keeper have been doing and I know that this funding is a necessary resource that will help them to continue to make meaningful impacts in the lives of our young boys and girls. I am grateful for my colleagues on the Council that voted in support of this budget and our Mayor because it shows their dedication to serving the community and their support to help build up our young people.”
Wednesday’s announcement by Councilwoman Shanae Williams accompanied by Mayor Mike Spano, that the City of Yonkers is committing $200,000 toward the required match for our MBK Community Challenge Impact Award is another great indication of the strength of our collaboration here in the City of Yonkers,” said Dr. Jim Bostic, Executive Director of the Nepperhan Community Center and leading partner of Yonkers MBK. “These funds will go towards supporting the investment made by the Obama foundation in our city to improve the outcomes for boys and young men of color, and we are grateful to Mayor Spano and Councilwoman Williams for spearheading this effort.”
Shawn Patterson-Howard, Yonkers YMCA CEO who is running for Mayor in the city of Mount Vernon thanked Councilwoman Williams and Mayor Spano for the funding.
“The YMCA of Yonkers thanks Mayor Spano, Councilmember Shanae Williams, and City Council for restoring our SNUG program to full funding,” Patterson-Howard stated. “The SNUG program started in 2010 and engages the most violent and potentially violent youth in Yonkers to provide prevention, intervention, and restorative services to these, our most vulnerable youth and young adults. Since its inception, Yonkers has seen a drastic reduction in shooting instances. As a community partner, we are proud to play a role in improving the safety of our neighborhoods, enhancing the quality of life, and restoring hope for Yonkers residents.”
Majority Leader, Michael Sabatino said, “I want to compliment Councilmember Williams for fighting for funds for these two valuable programs. SNUG has been an effective program that needs continuing funding. The MBK program has been serving our young men of color and elevating their confidence and team building capabilities and preparing them for a successful future.”