White Plains, NY — Westchester County has approved nearly $1 million of County funding for 2019 to support the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester, located in Mount Vernon.

The money will help the Youth Shelter continue to provide a home-like alternative to jail for boys and young men ages 16 to 21 awaiting disposition of criminal charges. The money also will help the organization continue to provide education, job-training and support programs for young men who have completed their periods of detention.

Legislator Lyndon Williams (D - Mount Vernon) said, "For 40 years, the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester has been a community bedrock, providing invaluable support to at-risk young people. Through early intervention and follow-up support, the program fosters discipline, self-respect and respect for others, and provides the kind of guidance and training that re-direct young people towards a path of health, safety and responsibility. I'm proud of the County's continued support for the program. It has an impact on the community that is exponential -- affecting not only the lives of these young men but the County as a whole."

Majority Leader Catherine Parker (D -Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye), said, "The Youth Shelter Program has set a high standard with a 40-year track record of success. Its model -- combining a structured routine and clinical services, education, job training and other services in a residential setting as an alternative to jail -- is exactly the sort of thing we need more of to help provide positive direction to young men and boys at risk, especially now that under New York State's Raise the Age law, we thankfully are no longer automatically charging boys as young as 16 as adults."

More information about the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester is available on the organization's website -- https://www.ysow.org/