The Spanish Speaking Elderly Council-RAICES provides a full array of benefit and entitlement counseling services to older adults in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. These services include assistance with the application process and enrollment in all major benefits/entitlements available. These benefits include but are not limited to Medicaid, Medicare, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security, Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), Food Stamps Program, Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE), and Senior Housing.
In addition, RAICES provides a full array of mental health services and support, crisis intervention services, treatment for depression, and other mental illnesses, as well as, an aggressive community based outreach modality. There services are complemented with assistance/case management services and the provision of effective linkages with other service providers.
On October 29th, Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge hit the New York City area flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. The impact of the storm affected the lives of many individuals and businesses alike. The Spanish Speaking Elderly Council-RAICES (“RAICES”) was not immune to the impact of the storm.
Unfortunately, one of the storm’s heaviest hit areas was the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, New York. Home to RAICES’ Red Hook Senior Center located at 6 Wolcott Street. The Center was totally destroyed by the storm with over five feet of water/sewage damaging all furniture, fixtures, inventory, appliances, computer equipment, etc. RAICES has estimated losses and expenses of nearly $103,000. Unfortunately, only a small portion of which is likely to be covered by insurance.
In response, RAICES found a temporary facility and continued to serve the elderly and disabled and everyone else in the community in need of meals, clothing, and case assistance. The RAICES staff and volunteers were available at the facility at 8:00 am and stayed opened late (sometimes until midnight) seven days a week. Food was prepared at other RAICES sites, and delivered daily. Our own “meals on heels” home delivery of meals program was adapted to include individuals and families who were unable to visit the facility on their own. In all over 6,000 meals were distributed from October 30th through December 1st , 2012.
Your support is urgently needed for the recovery of the Red Hook Senior Center and RAICES’ programs in general. A tax-deductible contribution can be made by visiting the NY Charities website by clicking here, or by mailing a check directly to RAICES at 460 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217. Thanks to friends like you, the Spanish Speaking Elderly Council-RAICES is committed and continues to meet the special needs of minority and low income older adults in New York.
The Spanish Speaking Elderly Council-RAICES ("RAICES") is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in New York State, and first developed as a volunteer advocacy senior citizen council in 1978 by retired Hispanic senior citizens who saw the need for an organization which would provide services, educate and organize the Latino, minority and low income aged. One of the Council's major accomplishments was the development in 1985 of RAICES (Roots), a model program on how to reach and serve Hispanic older adults. Through RAÍCES, the Council has been able to disseminate information on successful practices and techniques for serving the isolated, hard to reach, inner city, and impoverished elderly.
The Spanish Speaking Elderly Council-RAICES developed an "ethnic ramp" concept towards improving access to services. In this model, culturally sensitive and bilingual services are used as tools to improve access and increase utilization of services, benefits and entitlements for the aged. The Council has also organized educational and cultural activities.
The Spanish Speaking Elderly Council-RAICES' expertise in outreach services, information dissemination, cross-cultural training and services to Hispanic and other low-income communities is widely acknowledged with in the aging network. The Spanish Speaking Elderly Council-RAICES experienced many achievements and milestones. The corporation sponsors six Congregate Senior Centers, a Social Adult Day Services Program, Support Groups for Grandparents, numerous Access and Entitlement programs, English as a Second Language Courses, Healthy & Secure Computer Training classes, Recreation and Educational activities, Cultural celebrations, Case Management, Transportation and a Licensed Outpatient Mental Health Clinic.
The Spanish Speaking Elderly Council-RAICES is proud of both our achievements in programming and services delivery, as well as, our administrative capacity and internal controls. Over 90% of total revenues received are dedicated to direct programming cost. The Spanish Speaking Elderly Council-RAICES has continued to develop and provide services to underserved communities throughout Brooklyn and Queens. RAICES provides assistance to over 12,000 (unduplicated) individuals on an annual basis. This is possible through the efforts and hard work of a supportive dedicated staff.