Pictured L-R: Katie Green Johnson, Program Dir., Coachman Family Center; Westhab CEO Richard Nightingale; Leg. Jewel Williams Johnson, DSS Dpty. Dir. Randolf Scott; resident Anthony See; DSS Comr. Leonard Townes, Leg. Ben Boykin II, C.E. George Latimer, Dpty. C.E. Ken Jenkins, BOL Chair Vedat Gashi

White Plains, NY — Today, the long anticipated revitalized play space at The Coachman, the County’s largest family shelter, was unveiled. With room for as many as 100 families, and close to 200 children living here, the need to upgrade the playground and basketball court has been apparent for some time. The collaboration was a labor of love involving County Legislators, the County Executive, the Department of Social Services, Westhab and the Coachman Family Center.

Department of Social Services Commissioner Leonard Townes thanked the Board of Legislators and the County Executive for their commitment to families by saying, “We’ve been waiting a long, long time for this. We were derailed by COVID but that did not stop us from getting this done. There were many partners who contributed to make it happen.”

“Playgrounds bring back fond memories for us all … they are a place where we establish connections and friendships, where we learn to socialize, which is so important.”

Board Chair Vedat Gashi (D - New Castle, Somers, Yorktown) said, “A little over a year ago, our Board approved funding to revamp a recreation space in need of some TLC, for the families in need who reside here. What we see today is a wonderful new community resource ready to open with a great new playground and basketball court, benches for parents to watch their kids play, and new tree plantings.”

“Every family, regardless of their economic circumstances, needs and deserves a safe place for their kids to play. As of today, the families of the Coachman have that.”

Legislator Ben Boykin II (D – White Plains, Scarsdale, West Harrison), “This playground represents a major investment in new technology for the safety and security of our children. About 189 children live at The Coachman Facility and they must have outdoor space to enjoy. It utilizes up-to-date materials that are safe for the environment as well as for children, I am pleased to see this revitalized space available for the children to have fun and play basketball.”

Legislator Jewel Williams Johnson (D - Elmsford, Greenburgh, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, White Plains the legislator who represents the district and currently serves as Chair of the Budget and Appropriations as well as the Health Committee said, “Resources for families are so important. This is a happy day, but a playground is one of the basics that children need to thrive. At the Board of Legislators we will work to ensure that children are provided with more than just the basics – that they will have all the tools they need to have fulfilling lives as children, and then as adults.”