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Blog Posts by Subject: Social Services

Veterans Resources at Saint George Library: Serving Those Who Have Served Us

"Freedom is not free." —Walter Hithcock "In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved." —Franklin D. Roosevelt

American freedom has been achieved and maintained due to the perseverance and sacrifice of our service men and women. Although we show our support by honoring those in service as well as veterans twice a year, on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, this does not fulfill their daily needs as they once 

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Memorial Day: Commemorating and Remembering Our Veterans and Those Who Serve

May 27th is Memorial Day. Did you know that this U.S. federal holiday goes as far back as the American Civil War in the 1860s?

Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, occurs ever year on the last Monday of the month of May and is the day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

For the past two centuries, the U.S. has been involved in many wars domestically and aboard. Many service men and women have put aside their jobs, families and lives to defend our country and principals of freedom during 

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Modern-Day Slavery: Stories about Human Sex Trafficking and Comfort Women

During World War II, when the Japanese invaded and occupied Shanghai, Nanjing and other coastal cities of eastern China, they looted, intimidated, and massacred millions of people to prove their imperial strength and mercilessness. Many children and women were raped and killed during the invasion; towns were burned to crisp and lives were forever changed and destroyed.

Five years ago, my parents told me that my grandmother had endured such a horrific event when she was in Fuzhou, the 

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For People with Disabilities: A Ticket to Work

According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, more than 13 million working-age people in the U.S. receive Social Security disability benefits; that's almost one in every 15 adults. Some may consider returning to work, but have important concerns regarding health care, cash benefits, job placement and job accommodations. The good news is that Social Security's Ticket to Work program that supports career development for people with disabilities is here to 

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Free Job Training for Community Health Workers

CUNY Career PATH is a low-to no cost program funded by the grant program of the US Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training, also known as TAACCCT.

In order to ensure career advancement and successful college transition, CUNY Career PATH participants are given career-focused academic and English language skills instruction, job training leading to industry-recognized credentials and college credits, academic advisement, career counseling and employment assistance.

Hostos 

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Boost your Budget with Help from a Food Program!

The following post was written by guest blogger Vanna Valdez, Benefits Outreach Worker, NYC Hunger Free Communities Consortium.

The New York City Hunger Free Communities Consortium (NYCHFCC) is a collaboration of New York City’s leading anti-hunger, nutrition, and aging organizations (AARP Foundation, City Harvest, Council of Senior Centers and Services of NYC, Food Bank 

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Winter Storms Can Be Hazardous to Your Federal Benefit Check!

I'd like to share an important message on behalf of Go Direct®, a campaign of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank from guest blogger Michelle Kloempken, campaign manager for Go Direct®.

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service

With electronic payments, you can count on your money despite severe weather.

If you get federal benefit payments by paper checks, you should know that you are required by the U.S. Department of the 

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Get Connected @ NYPL: People, Organizations, Ideas

Seeking connections to people, organizations, communities, employers, resources, services, information, opportunities, potentials, and ideas? NYPL — the super-connector — is there for you.

Whew! My friend, the social protocol maven, assures me that you can extend New Year's greetings through the (blessedly vague) period of "mid January." By extension, then, perhaps it's not too late to share my New Year's resolution, inspired by a fellow NYPL blogger and 

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A Glimpse of Life on the Inside: Reflections on Rikers Island Correctional Library Service

The typical reaction I received from many co-workers after telling them that I wanted to go to Rikers Island was, “...why? Isn’t that dangerous?” I considered that question. Would it be dangerous? Quite possibly... but after meeting with prison librarians Nick Higgins and Luis Torres, taking a trip with them out to Rikers Island was never far from my mind. Several times each week as part of the library’s Correctional Services Program, Nick and Luis alternate going out to Rikers 

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Public Assistance Resources in NYC

Are you confused about the numerous benefit and assistance programs offered by New York state and city government and whether you qualify? There is a lot of information to digest out there and it's constantly changing. Both Access NYC and My Benefits are two helpful sites that allow you to screen for your eligibility for public assistance. You can do so anonymously or by creating an account. You will be asked to enter some basic information about yourself and your family to 

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A Helping Hand from Food Stamps

The United States Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known more commonly as the Food Stamp Program, provides support to low-income New Yorkers including working families, qualified immigrants, the elderly and the disabled to increase their ability to purchase food. A household must qualify under eligibility rules set by the federal government to enroll in this program.  To determine your eligiblity for this or other goverment assistance programs, click

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Free GED Preparation in Manhattan

Looking for free GED programs in Manhattan? Here’s a list by zip code. Also, see below for PDF flyers for NYC Department of Adult and Continuing Education locations and programs.  See this previous blog post for additional programs located in Harlem.  Know of any other free GED programs? Please make a comment to alert us. Thanks! 

Community Impact, Inc Earl Hall, Columbia ... Read More ›

Daddy & Me

Last week Correctional Services completed a new program at Rikers Island called Daddy & Me. The program is designed to encourage early literacy efforts for incarcerated fathers. After two workshops on the importance of early literacy and storytelling skills, the dads involved began to record stories for their children. There were eight men in the program, most of them with more than one young child. We recorded them reading their children's favorite books and this morning 

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Energy Assistance Benefits

The cold weather is approaching and heating costs can get expensive. The New York State Department of Energy Research and Development Authority has some tips on how to save on energy costs, weatherize and find emergency heating assistance near your home.  As well, you might qualify for government assistance to help pay for heating and/or utility costs.  HEAP and UAP are two programs offered to citizens of New York.  You can check here for eligibility and 

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"Wow, That's Amazing That You Do That!" Volunteering at the Center for Reading and Writing

Tutoring at the Center for Reading and WritingThe Centers for Reading and Writing are recruiting volunteer tutors for our fall class cycle beginning in September, so I've been thinking about what it means to volunteer here in the library's adult literacy program.    

I decided to speak with Gale, who has been volunteering at the Center for Reading and Writing for over twenty years. When I 

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Who cares about your health care?

If you think you can’t afford, or don’t qualify for low cost or free health insurance, maybe it’s time to get the facts. 

Too many people don’t know whether they qualify or not because they’re misinformed about existing programs offered by the city, state and federal government. 

For New Yorkers who suffer without health insurance, starting the application process for free or low cost health care is a daunting task. Those who do qualify may feel overwhelmed trying to understand the requirements for free health insurance 

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Corrections Librarian in the Spotlight - Tooting Our Own Horn

Growing up, my father was the production designer for a violent television show that took place in a prison. When Nick Higgins, Correctional Services Librarian at New York Public Library, invited me to do a day of library service at Rikers, I thought: I spent my childhood in a fake jail–it’ll be like second nature, right? But then, on the Q100 out to the island, Luis Torres, Information Assistant, told me that there was the possibility that an alarm could sound during our service. “If that happens,” he explained calmly, “we’ll stop and 

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50+ Summer Seminars - How to Make the Right Choice

Choices...

I would choose to have only 70 degree days throughout the summer, and a light breeze wafting through the air, plus a New York City to live in just as it is—but with affordable rents in midtown. Wouldn’t you? Unfortunately, these aren't choices I can make. But there is a world of choices that we can make to make our lives better, and to make an informed choice we should hear from the experts first.

Those over 50, or perhaps helping an older friend or family member with care and/or information, may want to come to one of the Consumer 

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Lamenting the Greater Fall: 19th Century Prison Reform and The Women's Prison Association Records

An entry from Isaac T. Hopper's logbook of released prison inmates

November 27, 1846: "William Haynes, a native of Ireland, has been in this country about two years and six months.  He was sent to Blackwells Island three months for selling pernicious books."

December 30, 1846: "John H. Gilman, 41 years old, a native of Vermont, was convicted in this city for forgery in passing counterfeit money and sentenced to Sing Sing for seven years and three months."

January 22, 1847: "Cecelia Elizabeth Doremus, a native of this City 

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Prisons We Choose to Live Inside

I recently read Doris Lessing's 1987 collection of essays, Prisons We Choose to Live Inside. As an intern with the Correctional Services Program at NYPL, the book had layers of meaning for me. Lessing shares her wisdom, her unapologetic inquiries, and her unique experience through four essays on human behavior.

Her approach is rational and clear. She asks us to use our powerful tools of reflection to amend our 

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