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Letter to the Editor: Hispanic Brotherhood of RVC Needs Your Help

Budget cuts threatens the center's tutoring program.

This Letter to the Editor was written by Margarita Grasing, executive director of the Hispanic Brotherhood of RVC.

The recovery of our economy continues to be agonizing and painful. On Long Island, the 2010 American Community Survey shows that the child poverty rate was 7.6 percent in Nassau and 7 percent in Suffolk. For black and Hispanic children, the poverty rate was 14.2 percent in Nassau and 15.8 percent for Suffolk County.

This past month, the Hispanic Brotherhood of Rockville Centre, Inc., has provided for the last time, a Summer Program for Hispanic children from Rockville Centre. The agency struggled to continue this program after being defunded along with 40 other youth agencies in Nassau County because of budget cuts. These cuts are harming those already vulnerable and pushing children of working families further behind. These families, while their income is low, are trying to work their way out of poverty. 

The month of September is critical for our agency. 

There will come a point where we can no longer accept new children into our program. Because of aggressive budget cuts from the Village of Rockville Centre, the five tutors (ages 14 to 17) we employ will be told they no longer have a job. 

These tutors not only help contribute to their family’s income, they learn vital employable skills such as responsibility and leadership skills which make them an asset to the Village of Rockville Centre. The alternative to employment is teenagers with too much time on their hands, no adult supervision and the need to earn money. You don’t need a college degree to see where problems can and will arise because of this. We have managed to stretch our budget as far as it can go and, unfortunately, the elastic is about to break. 

Our agency has been in Rockville Centre since the 1980s. We have opened our doors to not just Hispanics, as our name might suggest, but to anyone in need. We have always been a community that comes together in times of need and right now the need is there for the children of this community. 

Please help us continue to provide tutoring services and child care for those most in need. We humbly reach out to the Rockville Centre community for donations of any size to help defray the cost of this program.

- Margarita Grasing

Frank September 12, 2012 at 08:46 PM
i will gladly send a check if you stop filing for Section 8 housing on Maple Avenue.
joe thrapp September 13, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Frank, is it wrong to have section 8 housing on Maple Avenue?
That RVC guy September 13, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Joe....have you been around Maple avenue and certain intersections lately? Without going into detail, I can tell you with certainty that section 8 miscreants that have settled into Maple avenue are poised to ruin our youth...cause homeowner panic...and a home turnover that will change the character of that part of town irrevocably. The rest of you RVC swells can keep your heads in the sand...while the smart ones sell now. Where are your kids after school? Take a day off from the firm... ride down Maple avenue...and you will be in for a rude awakening.
joe thrapp September 13, 2012 at 04:40 AM
The new wave of Americans generally start their journey in an apartment. That is the case anywhere here in RVC where there are apartments. I know with any new wave of American immigration there are some bad apples mixed in. For the most part these majority of these good people know one thing we all forgot, "if they don't work,they don't". There is no social safety net for them like there is for us. The good thing about RVC is we have a great school district. The sooner that our new neighbors benefit from work and a great education, the sooner they will be assimilated. Who knows maybe in 15 to 20 years they will move in next door to the Wall Street crowd up North of Demott. We all started somewhere and I believe it's better to start in RVC then somewhere else, like the big City. Good night RVC Guy
Boriq September 13, 2012 at 04:40 PM
You all are pathetic.. if you want to live in "White America" go join the klu klux klan and move to Wyoming.. this is New York so either pitch down or pack up.
Matthew Hogan September 13, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Folks, Keep things civil on this comment thread. Thank you. -- Matthew Hogan Associate Regional Editor
Frank September 13, 2012 at 05:43 PM
@ Joe Bush. I doubt highly that the people, which my son and daughter harp about, would want to succeed in anything; that is unless it scores an increase in their welfare checks. this is a slippery slope: More section 8, more "Queensish" the downtown area will become. RVC should be pushing for businesses to fill vacancies, not state-funded section 8 housing. And for the record, immigrants shouldn't be given checks solely because their immigrants. If there is a need, then it's ok... to a point. Last thing we want is to wean a new generation of Americans on Welfare (which by the way is so easy to get and impossible to let go). ...
Frank September 13, 2012 at 05:54 PM
@ Boriq. the "color" of the applicant is not the issue. It is the insistence of using tax dollars to house individuals that would rather take a check than work. You're right this is NY: Message should be clear: Go to work and stop mooching off everyone else! And for the record, did you forget what happened this past January? Section 8ers were harboring a known fugitive from Florida, wanted for a double homicide. http://rockvillecentre.patch.com/articles/police-double-homicide-suspect-from-florida-nabbed-in-rvc Section 8 (unless it's for the eldery, sick, and those with real needs) is a scam and future expansion of section 8 needs to stop in this village. RVC wants a vibrant downtown area filled with businesses, not moochers.
joe thrapp September 13, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Hey Frank, I always thought that people born in the USA could get help if they didn't make enough money to live on via SSI. I think this is were people get help with the rent and income and are eligible for section 8 housing. This program is administer by the Federal government and you need to meet several requirements in order to be eligible. I don't know much about welfare but I believe its a temporary fix where people in need can be on Welfare for a two year period for a one time period in their lives. This program is administered by the individual states. And of course people are eligible for food stamps, medicaid and medicare with a set of requirements. All of this is for American citizens. If you live in the US and you are not here on a an approved visa, then none of these services are available to you. For these people if they don't work , then they don't eat. They don't have their own apartments but live with in groups of people. They support themselves. This group of people have no access to the US social safety network. Tax payers do not support these people. I believe for the people that qualify for the NYS state and Federal social safety net programs are based on need not race or religion, but US citizen ship or application for US citizenship. The fact is that the majority of citizens on these programs are white and the minority on these programs consist of Blacks, Latins or other US groups.
Boriq September 14, 2012 at 01:08 AM
What does your link to a dated article have to do with anything. You posting that will not stop section 8 housing nor will it hinder your subtle racist tone. Let's be real.
Frank September 14, 2012 at 03:33 PM
@ joe bush. if the aid is temporary as you purport, why don't you explain to me the generational abuse of section 8 and welfare by Old Mill court residents... Many have lived there for decades... Do you define temporary in terms of decades, centuries, etc. ?
Frank September 14, 2012 at 03:46 PM
What (subtle) racist tone? "GO TO WORK AND STOP SCAMMING THE SYSTEM" is the tone I'm setting. FDR doled out billions in aid, but we got roads, bridges, tunnels, and dams... What do you get today for the handout? NOTHING.. if you're lucky... Several section 8ers in RVC deal drugs and commit violent crimes.... ALL FACT and well documented. And that's irrespective of color (white, black, brown, yellow, tutti-frutti, etc.) That link goes to show you that section 8 only harbors the worst society has to offer: sex offenders, dealers, murderers, rapists.... the list goes on. AND it shows how the system is easily manipulated by the very people it tries to help... Why did those section 8ers take in a double homicide suspect? Why didn't they do the right thing and alert the authorities? Didn't they know it's a crime to harbor and abet a fugitive? Answer is they knew exactly what they were doing 'cause they're no better... You be real. Why should you cram a nice neighborhood with crap? Keep the section 8ers in the boroughs. SO, if the hispanic brotherhood wants a donation, I will gladly send a check... just stop trying to use state aid to harbor desperate people that do desperate things in apartments. Take a page from religious organizations: Raise money to help the needy buy homes for their families. Home ownership instills responsibility... something that goes a long way into molding good citizens.
joe thrapp September 14, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Frank, I don't know how people live on State welfare benefits for longer than two years. I do not believe that the social safety net was set up for healthy people to live on it forever. The only reason I can think of is, the administers of the program are not enforcing the eligibility requirements. If people are breaking the law and committing fraud, then they should be investigated and removed from the rolls. I don't really know the exact definition but I understand if you have no money, no job and your are defined as a disabled person you can get SSI and SSDI benefits until you reach retirement age. The key word here is disabled. Then you will receive your Social security retirement check. I know you agree with me when I say RVC is a great place to live. I believe if we have section 8 housing in town it's there to help people move out of poverty. The best way I know to move people up the income ladder is to educate. RVC schools are the best place in the nation to do this. Frank, I know you are not against helping people. I believe you, like me just want to make sure that people who need help get help. The other side of this is, people who are not eligible for help and are gaming the system to get benefits illegally need to be removed and dealt with appropriately. Good afternoon
Downtown Brown September 14, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Last night I went to King Kullen and 3 indviduals in front of me were buying filet mignon and lobster with food stamps and they all were on their iPhones. Must be nice! I work 6 days a week and I'm eating cereal (on sale) and my cell phone doubles as a door stop it's so big
Frank September 14, 2012 at 08:50 PM
@ Downtown Brown. it's all about the money. People love to throw race around as the ultimate force-field, but what it boils down to is money, money, money. In Queens, especially LIC and Astoria, many Middle Wastern immigrants drive around in their late model BMWs and benzos, laden with gold jewelry... yet they use EBT cards when shopping at Trade Fair and whip out medicaid for their ills... How is that possible? From my research I found out that they use one address and claim 14 people are living there... Since they're mostly involved in cash businesses, there is no paper trail and you can't confirm income. NYS doesn't even bother to check the facts. they make it so easy. You can even use EBT at farmers' markets http://otda.ny.gov/programs/ebt/ Don't speak english? No problem! Here are the languages that EBT benefits are printed. ◦Arabic ◦Chinese ◦French ◦Haitian-Creole ◦Korean ◦Russian ◦Spanish ◦Vietnamese ◦Yiddish What a Country! As Samuel L Jackson says "WAKE THE F@#$ UP PEOPLE"
Frank September 14, 2012 at 08:56 PM
To everyone in RVC. Stop the handouts.... Handouts help no one... Handouts handicap a person's ability to strive. It's a drug many times more addictive than crack or meth. Don't support addicts... Support businesses instead. Businesses provide Jobs. Jobs provide incomes. Incomes prevent many from ending up as state-sponsered addicts.
Marguerite Keller September 18, 2012 at 03:49 PM
The Hispanic Brotherhood provides jobs. Last I checked, they haven't harbored any fugitives ever in their 25+ years in existence. As for handouts, then the Hispanic Brotherhood is guilty. They give out turkeys to families in need at Thanksgiving and toys to children at Christmas time. Oh, I shouldn't forget to mention, scholarships to deserving students for college. The Hispanic Brotherhood is a great local charity that helps all who are in need. I can't imagine a person who would have a problem with a nonprofit whose mission is to help.

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