Legislators presented checks totaling $84,000 to support organizations in Orange County that serve victims of domestic violence.
In the 2019 legislative session, NYS Senator Jen Metzger (SD-42) secured $60,000 through the Office of Children and Family Services for Safe Homes of Orange County, which provides services in both Orange and Sullivan counties.
She also secured $24,000 for Legal Services of the Hudson Valley. Domestic violence cases account for a third of the organization's caseload.
Metzger held a press conference at Middletown City Hall to elevate the work of both organizations. Representatives from these organizations facilitated an information session for her constituent services staff, along with staff members from the offices of NYS Senator James Skoufis (SD-39) and NYS Assemblymember Gunther (AD-100). The session was held help personnel better understand the available local resources to serve victims and survivors of domestic violence.
In recent years, Middletown law enforcement has been building a closer relationship with Safe Homes of Orange County.
“It’s about building relationships internally and bringing what we both offer to the table and utilizing all of our skills, training and expertise to help create a safer community,” said its executive director, Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier.
“Unfortunately, traditional policing methods have not been found to be particularly effective in addressing domestic violence-related crimes," said Mayor Joe DeStefano. “It was therefore clear that this problem requires a more innovative and comprehensive approach.
“To maintain and enhance services, we need our state partners to step up with funding, and that’s exactly what Senator Metzger’s done today and on previous occasions, both with state funding and with funding through her office.”
“Identifying people in relationships who are at high risk and getting them the services and support they desperately need to break the cycle of violence will help reduce the number of domestic violence-related assaults in our communities and save lives,” said Senator Metzger. “I applaud the partnership between the Middletown Police Department and Safe Homes to provide assistance and support to victims on an on-going basis, as well as similar efforts that are being undertaken in the City of Port Jervis."