Pardoner in Chief (click here)
The programs and support services Paradise House provides are the necessary encouragement and direction for drug-addicted women to recover from their addictions and reestablish their families. Paradise Opportunities also works with neighborhood, community, city and state representatives to ensure that women and children receive the services they need to live independent, healthy and drug-free lives.
Two other prominent programs are Canaan House and New Life Residential Center. Together they serve about fifty women. Read more here Erie County Cares About Women: April Fools!
Recently, the Poloncarz administration determined that these shelters were improperly funded with money targeted to aid the homeless. Our favorite bureaucrats decided that the shelters needed to seek other income sources. In the last two years their funding has been slashed from $670/resident/month to $170. None of these programs is viable at the current funding level. Erie County Social Services seems content to let them die, merely notifying them that funding would be cut and referring them to the United Way to get assistance in writing grants to somebody for their operating revenues. These are small not-for-profit organizations skilled in providing client services. They pay minimal wages and lack the resources to seek grants for a more sustainable future. For example, the 2012 IRS 990 report for Paradise House indicates that their Executive Director, Rev. Anne P. Paris, is paid $22,000 per year. This compares somewhat unfavorably with our favorite former Kaleida Health (another not-for-profit) CEO, James Kaskie who was paid $2,300,000 per year while he ran the hospital system into the red. It's also a lot less than the average Poloncarz patronage staffer. Reverend Paris would do better with an entry level job at Geico, where she could start at $30,000, with considerably less responsibilities than her current position.
If the residents of these shelters land in the criminal justice system, the cost to taxpayers is about ten times the cost of their programs. At 50 times $500 per month, they need $300,000 in bridge funding to get through the next year and assistance in obtaining more sustainable future funding.
More immediately, the gas heat at Paradise House will be shut off on Monday unless $2500 is paid towards the outstanding bill of $4500. Neither Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes or Senator Kennedy have indicted a willingness to help. All eleven county legislators, led by Barbara Miller-Williams, are willing to authorize bridge funds from Erie County. BMW took DSS to task last Wednesday.......