Our President and CEO, Dr. Damyn Kelly, on Fatherhood

In honor of Father’s Day, our President and CEO, Dr. Damyn Kelly, answers questions about what fatherhood means to him.

LSSNY Unsung Hero: Sandra Bisono

Meet Sandra Bisono, case planner in our foster care program, at LSSNY.

For the past two years, Sandra has juggled working with us part-time while going to school full-time, “an incredibly difficult task given the highly demanding work required of this position,” according to Lisa Marie Vargas, MSW, Director of Social Services at LSSNY. Sandra recently graduated from Fordham University with a masters in social work. Effective June 1, she is being promoted to a foster care supervisor position, “one she has truly earned,” says Vargas.

LSSNY Unsung Hero: Yannick Daley

Meet Yannick Daley, Head Teacher at Early LIFE Watson, at LSSNY.

Frontline workers such as nurses and police officers keep all of us safe, but who’s watching their children? Centers like the Rose Hill Pre-K Center are open for children of essential workers, and our employee Yannick Daley, Head Teacher at Early LIFE Watson, has decided to volunteer.

“I knew that there was a need,” says Yannick. “I was available so I said I might as well help out.”

 

LSSNY Unsung Hero: Rachel Bleecker, LMSW

Meet Rachel Bleecker LMSW, Director for Residential Services at LSSNY. 

During the coronavirus pandemic, she works in the office two to three days a week. Though she could complete the majority of her work from home, she chooses instead to set an example for her team.

“What kind of a leader would I be if I said, ‘Hey, you guys go in and I’ll be safe in my home?’ she asks. “I want to show them we’re in this together.”

 

 

LSSNY Unsung Hero: Angela Wright-Holder

Meet Angela Wright-Holder, a high-risk and geriatric case manager for LSSNY’s supportive housing program. All of the residents she works with have mental health issues. Most of them battle substance abuse. Some have preexisting medical conditions. Though Angela understands how vulnerable this population is, it still came as a shock when a senior in her care recently passed away. An employee assistance program helped her cope with her grief.

LSSNY Unsung Hero: Estephanie Betances

Meet Estephanie Betances, LSSNY’s Director of HR. During this crisis, she is navigating these waters, educating staff members on their rights concerning health care, sick leave, and personal leave during this pandemic. She also works with leadership to notify staff and program participants if a staff person tests positive. She holds video calls with her team once a day, knowing it’s important to check in and maintain some level of normalcy. Her approach is to be fair and flexible and to keep workers engaged with professional development webinars.

LSSNY Unsung Hero: Ashraf Ibrahim

Meet Ashraf Ibrahim, LSSNY’s Director of Procurement. Typically, he purchases almost everything for our agency, including supplies, equipment, and clothing for the children in our care. These days, he is also in charge of locating personal protective equipment, cleaning materials, and other items necessary to address the coronavirus pandemic. We need these highly sought-after products for our maintenance, custodial, and janitorial staff and for our clients, such as the children in the Early LIFE program, unaccompanied minors, and residents of our supportive housing.

LSSNY Unsung Hero: Herbert Thompson

Meet Herbert Thompson, LSSNY’s Director of Facilities. Herbert and his team have been responsible for cleaning and sanitizing our Early LIFE centers, The New LIFE School, and Safe Haven program.

LSSNY Honored for Helping Communities in Need

LSSNY was recently honored by The Interchurch Center with the Community Service Award for our work in serving communities in need. The award was received by our CEO & President Damyn Kelly along with members of the leadership team.

"Know Your Rights" Forums

The Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Bitta Mostofi, joined City agencies and community partners—including LSSNY—to announce $350,000 in funding from NYC and Robin Hood for “Know Your Rights” forums, which informs immigrant workers about their legal rights and access to services.

Free Citizenship Classes

LSSNY is partnering with Women for Afghan Women to offer free ESL and citizenship exam preparation.

Classes are available regardless of gender, race, nationality, age, religion or sexual orientation.

LSSNY’s Immigration Hotline – a New Resource for Immigrants

Individuals can call and ask general questions about immigration law, current immigration policies, and where to access additional assistance. 

Call: 212.870.1179

Calls will be answered in person from 3:30pm-4:30pm, Monday to Friday. At other times, callers can leave a message and someone from the Immigration Legal Program will call them back.

About LSSNY

Lutheran Social Services of New York has been strengthening lives, families and communities for more than 125 years. This has been made possible through the work of dedicated staff, committed volunteers, and supportive congregations and communities.

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Lutheran Social Services offers several service branches: Community Services, Residential Services, Child and Family Services, and Education.
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A gift, sponsorship, or donation to LSSNY can help us continue to offer advocacy, leadership development, best practices and support to health and human service organizations throughout NYC.
You can double the impact of your gift! Many corporations – large or small – offer matching gift programs to their employees.
Look HERE to see if your employer has a program that will match your donation to LSSNY.