Rockland County has approximately 10,000 Haitian residents, most of whom reside in Spring Valley, a village in the town of Ramapo.
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck the Haitian capital of Port au Prince in January 2010, the Haitian American Cultural and Social Organization Inc. (HACSO) experienced an influx of Haitian immigrants and local Haitian residents who need assistance with social and health care services. In response to this catastrophe and the needs of New York Haitian communities, NYHealth developed a three-part response strategy. The Foundation participated in two separate funding collaboratives led by Brooklyn Community Foundation (BCF) and Long Island Community Foundation (LICF). NYHealth also provided a grant to Haitian American Cultural and Social Organization (HACSO). NYHealth provided grants totaling $150,000 to support these organizations’ efforts to address the needs of Haitian communities in three areas of the State.
With NYHealth support, HACSO hired a case manager to coordinate access to preventive care and mental health services to members of the Haitian community affected by the earthquake, manage the increasing caseload, and link clients to linguistic and culturally competent mental health professionals. In addition, the case manager reached out to the community’s partners, such as schools, day care centers, and local health providers, to raise awareness within the Haitian community about mental health issues and available social and health care services.
In Rockland County, most of the local support following the earthquake was provided as in-kind services from State and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations. NYHealth’s contribution filled a more acute monetary need for direct services.