On Sunday, January 25th, volunteers gathered at New York Law School to welcome young people and their families to the first Safe Passage Resource Open House. Organized by staff attorney Claire R. Thomas and social work volunteer Wendy Miron, the purpose of the event was to provide Safe Passage kids and their caretakers with resources about education, health, public benefits, and other social programs. Angelika Gutierrez, Health Insurance Enrollment Coordinator at Lennox Hill Neighborhood House, assisted young people with enrollment in the Child Health Plus insurance program. Wendy Miron informed Safe Passage kids about alternative educational programs and how to register for the new municipal ID card. Ernie Collette, Líadan Donnelly, and German Castaneda of MFY Legal Services provided young people and their families with information on eligibility for a variety of public benefits programs. Sarah Flatto of the Manhattan Family Justice Center raised awareness about teen dating violence and offered resources for survivors of intimate partner violence. Americorps Justice Paralegal and NYLS law student Carlos Valenzuela and U-LAMPer and John Jay student Myriam Santamaria were incredibly helpful in organizing the event and in greeting young people and their families.
Safe Passage hopes to continue to host Resource Open Houses in 2015, along with regular Child Health Plus insurance enrollment clinics, with the help from our incredibly generous corps of volunteers!