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Westhab Celebrates 30 Years of Creating Homes


Westhab, a nonprofit organization in Westchester County, celebrated its 30th year providing permanent homes to families in need, helping local residents find jobs, and giving kids the chance to climb out of poverty and pursue brighter futures.

Westhab youth performers

An instructor from ArtsWestchester leads performers, who are part of Westhab's youth programs, in an African dance to help celebrate the nonprofit's 30th anniversary on November 2.

Westhab of Westchester County provides affordable housing and social services to low-income and homeless families and singles and has worked within the community to bring the number of homeless families down from 1,000 in 1991 to less than 300 today.

On November 2, this nonprofit celebrated its 30th anniversary at Westchester Broadway Theatre. With the help of local restaurants, a jazz band, master of ceremonies Mike Bennett from WHUD, and young people in Westhab's youth programs, the organization honored Westchester County executive Robert Astorino and former executives Andrew O'Rourke and Andrew Spano.

"We have a wonderful board and staff, but if we didn't have the trust of the people in positions of authority to hire us to do the work we do, then we'd have nothing," says Bob Miller, president of Westhab, who has been with the organization since 1984.



The anniversary celebration continued with performances by members of Westhab's youth programs, including an African dance led by an instructor from ArtsWestchester, one of the nonprofit's community-based partners.

Working in partnership with Westchester County's department of social services, Westhab operates homeless shelters, transition apartments, and 1,000 residential apartments, all of which help people move from homelessness to permanent, affordable housing.

Westhab's mission also includes helping people find jobs and focusing on the community's next generation. "We are helping people get on their feet," Miller says, "and helping them realize they can make it with a little help." Each year, about 370 people on public assistance programs go to Westhab seeking help in finding employment. Westhab also serves 1,200 young people every year in shelter and community-based programs. "The multi-faceted programs are designed to level the playing field and give kids a chance to climb out of poverty," Miller says. "We try to get them to the point where they realize the can succeed."

For more information on Westhab and its services, visit www.westhab.org.

 

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