FULTON — Oswego County Opportunities (OCO) was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Women’s Fund of Central New York. Grant funds were used to purchase food, diapers, formula, feminine hygiene products, and clothing for women and girls experiencing a crisis or involved in case management services in response to the increased needs related to COVID-19.
OCO’s Crisis & Development Services assists people in gaining safety, self-sufficiency and personal growth through prevention, intervention and skill building services. The program provides services to hundreds of individuals each year in response to needs including housing, health care management, employment training/support and prevention education as well as victimization and relief from barriers to successful lives.
“There has been a notable increase in the amount of requests we have received on our crisis hotline from individuals and families enrolled in services in need of food and other basic supplies,” said Director of Oswego County Opportunities Crisis & Development Services Cristy King. “In just the past few weeks we have provided basic needs such as food, clothing and hygiene items to 62 women and 41 children. Due to the pandemic and resulting high unemployment, many people who have not needed such support previously are very appreciative of the care packages we were able to provide through the funds provided by the Women’s Fund of CNY.”
King said that the grant also allowed OCO to distribute care packages to women and girls in the agency’s supportive housing programs. In addition to providing permanent housing for homeless individuals, OCO’s Mental Health Services provides supervised housing for psychiatrically disabled adults and supervised housing for individuals recovering from the effects of a substance dependence or abuse condition.
“Many of the grants we receive limit the purchasing of supplies for consumers or do not allow it. This grant provided the resources and flexibility allowing us to provide the extra help and support needed by so many during a very uncertain time, and we are extremely grateful,” said King. “It’s satisfying to know that the work we are doing to help women and girls in need is not only appreciated by those we serve, but recognized for the positive impact it has on their lives and our community.”
The Women’s Fund of Central New York was founded in 1998 by a small group of Syracuse women determined to create a dedicated philanthropic endowment for women and girls. The fund supports, empowers and recognizes the advancement and full participation of women and girls in Central New York. Through an endowment fund, it seeks to improve lives of women and girls by serving as a voice and advocate for women and girls. Thanks to the generous support of its donors, the Women’s Fund of Central New York has awarded more than $325,000 to local organizations and programs supporting women and girls.
“We are fortunate that the Women’s Fund of CNY chose to award us this grant. It has gone a long way in helping meet the basic needs of women and girls in Oswego County,” added King.
OCO Crisis & Development Services hosts two hotlines for those in need. Victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or other violent crimes can call 315-342-1600.
Those experiencing a housing crisis, difficulty meeting basic needs and other crisis situations should call 315-342-7618 or 1-877-342-7618 (toll free). On weekends and after 5 p.m. on weekdays, callers would just dial 211.