The is joining other groups in the county in making a petition to protest handed down by the Legislature recently, according to the bureau's executive director.
“The kids and the future of the county suffer,” said Arlene O’Dell, who noted that the Uniondale Community Council and Mineola Advisory Council have both perished since loosing their funding.
The city urged the bureau to find another source of revenue three years ago, said O'Dell. After negotiations, youth services were given their funding from revenue collected from red light camera violations so they wouldn’t take from taxpayers’ money.
As of July 6, however, those funds have been cut off. The law was rescinded and the money put towards general services.
O’Dell said the loss of youth services in the county also means the loss of counseling, substance abuse programs and after-school activities.
The cuts have major implications for a significant number of people who will be left without programs that they have grown to rely on, said O'Dell, who cited the closing of a summer program in Elmont.
“Elmont had 250 kids in their summer program,” O’Dell said. “If parents have nowhere to send their kids, how can they work?”
The McCoy Center in Westbury is another center that is facing possible extinction.
“The loss of family funding severely cripples the services needed in the community,” said William Pruitt, executive director of the McCoy Center. “It’s going to be very devastating to the community.”
According to the Hicksville Boys and Girls Club, the youth service programs serve over 50,000 people county-wide.
To try to help regain funding, agencies have formed a petition to demonstrate the magnitude of what the cuts mean for those people.
“Children and healthy families are the future and strength of this county,” reads the petition site. “With your signature we will send this message to those who may have forgotten.”