As the year wraps up, I hope you’re taking time to celebrate, rest and recharge with your loved ones. Once again, we’ve made it through another year filled with challenges, including the continued impact of the pandemic, an uncertain budgetary environment, and a new Mayoral administration. Many of you have also welcomed asylum seekers with open arms, providing them with critical services while receiving little support.
Although 2022 was difficult, it also reaffirmed the resilience of the human services sector. Despite the challenges, you’ve all remained steadfast in serving your communities and strengthening our sector – and I hope you’re proud of the progress we’ve made together.
We have a lot to celebrate. Most importantly, I celebrate the incredible community we have built together, and on behalf of the HSC team, I want to thank you for inspiring us every day and giving us the incredible opportunity to fight for you. You are the reason we do this work, and your incredible creativity, perseverance and dedication to New York makes our work filled with joy.
In 2022, we advocated for our sector in new and meaningful ways, and with promising results:
- The #JustPay campaign to end poverty wages for human services workers has continued to build momentum, reframing the conversation around equity for our workforce and galvanizing a movement of thousands of human services workers across New York.
- Thanks to you, we successfully secured a $60 million human services workforce investment in the FY23 City budget and a $500 million (5.4%) cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in the FY23 State budget – the first State COLA human services workers received in over a decade.
- We should also be proud of restoring the Indirect Cost Rate initiative and securing baseline funding for FY22, a victory that will help you serve our communities with more financial support.
- Thanks to the HSC members who stepped up to join our lawsuit against Local Law 87, which impacts the registration of human services contracts, we’re ensuring the sector has a voice in how the law is implemented.
- Through HSC’s new 501(c)(4), Human Services Action, we will start elevating our needs to voters and pressuring legislators in new ways. Human Services Action’s trailblazing Board – created with your help – looks forward to kicking things off in January!
- Finally, I’m excited about the potential of our growing Disaster Preparedness program. We’ve updated our Emergency Management Plan template and created a series of webinars showing you how to utilize it.
- HSC was also proud to step up and convene providers serving asylum seekers to share resources and identify advocacy recommendations. Our growth will help us create lasting change in how our sector responds to emergencies.
As we look ahead to 2023, I know we will reach even greater heights with our ambitious agenda, which includes:
- Building power for the #JustPay campaign in new ways – including convening human services workers for HSC’s Albany Advocacy Day on March 8, 2023.
- Working with the Mayoral Administration to continue to Clear the Backlog and ensure timely payments and contract registration.
- Publishing our Human Services Resilience Agenda that will link disaster preparedness to HSC’s broader work.
- Strengthening the network of providers serving asylum seekers and migrants in New York City.
- Elevating key human services issues to voters through Human Services Action.
- Developing a new statewide strategy to better meet the needs of human services organizations outside of NYC.
- Building and developing new partnerships in City government, nonprofits we have yet to engage, human services workers, and other allies
Thanks for making New York a better place for all of us. This holiday season, I hope you will take a moment to celebrate our progress – and get ready to keep up the good fight next year!
Wishing you and your loved ones a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season!