State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Council Member Andrew Cohen, Riverdale Neighborhood House Executive Director Daniel Eudene, civic leaders and local community members celebrated the grand opening of Riverdale Neighborhood House’s (RNH) new community and teen center at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday. Klein, Dinowitz and Cohen together provided more than $550,000 in state capital and municipal grants to modernize and upgrade the facility, as well as bolster social services programming in the Riverdale community.
Senator Jeff Klein said, “The Riverdale Neighborhood House has been an anchor to the families of Riverdale since its inception more than a 100 years ago. For decades, parents have entrusted Riverdale Neighborhood House as both the first stop in their child’s education and as a great connector later for internships and job programs for teens. Riverdale Neighborhood House has offered essential social services, resources and support to countless families and I am proud to have provided these much-needed upgrades to the facility. I look forward to continuing to work together with Riverdale Neighborhood House to ensure that Riverdale’s families and children will be afforded these vital services for years to come.”
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said, “The Riverdale Neighborhood House has been a pillar in our community since it was founded over 140 years ago, and I am absolutely thrilled to be here for the ribbon cutting of its new facilities. For generations it has been an invaluable resource for children and families as a place to learn and grow together while also providing service to the community. I was more than pleased I could help provide funding for their new facilities along with my colleagues so that RNH can continue its long tradition of service and learning in Riverdale.”
Council Member Andrew Cohen said, “It is exciting to be here today for the ribbon-cutting of the new community and teen center at the Riverdale Neighborhood House. I was happy to be able to contribute funds for the social and recreational programming that Riverdale Neighborhood House will offer local teens through their center to help the younger people in our community better prepare for their future. Through the community and teen center, Riverdale Neighborhood House will be able to help the youth in the community build foundations for their educational and professional futures while also gaining meaningful social experiences. These social and recreational opportunities will enable these teens to understand community engagement and leadership qualities.”
Daniel Eudene, Executive Director of the Riverdale Neighborhood House said, “We are grateful for Senator Klein and Assemblyman Dinowitz's commitment to Riverdale Neighborhood House and the community we serve. They have been there since they took office and continue to look out for us every day. And Council Member Cohen has sprung into action allowing new programs and services to take off at RNH, including our expanded efforts to engage volunteers. Together they help RNH be the best we can be for the entire neighborhood.”
Senator Klein secured $250,000 in state capital funding, Assemblyman Dinowitz an additional $250,000, while Council Member Cohen added $75,000 in municipal grants. Together, this much-needed funding provided the following improvements to RNH:
- Construction of the community and teen center;
- Replaced the oil fired broiler with a high-efficiency gas fired unit;
- Installed new air conditioning units;
- Made the RNH pool accessible by providing an elevator and rail lift to ensure those with limited mobility can not only get to the pool but enjoy it;
- Greened the property which included making it more environmentally friendly, adding permeable asphalt and more plant life on the grounds;
- Provided new fencing and exterior lighting;
- Supported the new Telephone Reassurance Program (TRP) that includes phone calls to homebound older adults to ensure they are able to remain connected to the community and secure in their homes; and
- Supported social and recreational programming.
Riverdale Neighborhood House, founded in 1872, is a multi-purpose agency that helps families of all income levels and ethnicities through various social programs for children, teens and seniors, including Pre-kindergarten.