Press Release

With Gillibrand’s Push, Ithaca Homeless Youth Center Awarded Nearly $200,000 HHS Grant

May 9, 2014

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced a $184,010 grant for The Learning Web, a youth development agency in Ithaca. This federal funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children & Families’ Transitional Living Program through the Family and Youth Service Bureau and will be used to expand housing and support services to accommodate more homeless youth. In February, Senator Gillibrand sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, urging for swift approval of this funding request.

“Standing by those who are struggling through no fault of their own is always the right thing to do,” said Senator Gillibrand. “When we invest in services provided by The Learning Web, we can give more young people a safe place to live, a chance to get an education, training for a job, and a path to a better future.”

“The real significance of this grant is the opportunity that it gives to individual youth to set goals and accomplish positive growth,” said Dale Schumacher, Executive Director of The Learning Web. “Youth, who have been struggling for years on their own (homeless), now have time without the pressure of worrying where they might sleep tonight, to consider their own education, employment readiness, and set goals for their future. I want to thank Senator Gillibrand for her strong support.”

“I was surprised to find Ithaca ranked 11th, just one spot below the Big Apple, in a recent publication of the New York Times listing the top 20 cities where rents are highest compared to median gross income,” said  Sally Schwartzbach, Associate Director of The Learning Web. “This is the situation that homeless youth face.  This grant will help to alleviate that problem for youth selected to participate.”‎

The Learning Web is a youth development organization that has served Ithaca and the broader Tompkins County area for 42 years. Their youth outreach program provides shelter, services and resources. Complete living arrangements are made available by the center and the youth are provided a case manager to ensure they continue their education and develop essential life skills. This funding will allow the organization to expand and serve more underserved youth. 

Congress has funded the HHS Family and Youth Services (FYSB) Transitional Living Program since 1990. The goal of the program is to promote safety, stability and well-being for people who have experienced violence, neglect or trauma. The program provides safe and stable living arrangements for homeless youth aged 16 to 22, for up to 21 months.

Senator Gillibrand’s full letter to former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is attached.