Letter from the Executive Director
Grateful for Your Generosity
While the needs are great in our community, the compassion, care and commitment that we have to each other is even stronger.
The Laura Richardson Houghton Youth Center provided 19,625 meals and snacks in 2017, an increase in almost 4,000 meals and snacks
from the previous year. In fact, the number has grown significantly the last three years in a row. It is only through the kindness of so
many that we are able to serve the hearty, healthy food children need to thrive.
Your generosity is what makes it possible for Family Service Society to provide a broad array of children and family counseling and
community services. We are thankful to local grant making agencies like United Way, foundations like Fund for Women and the
Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes. We are also thankful for the numerous sponsors and participants who
support our annual fund raisers, The Myron and Anne Crispino Chips Fore Children Memorial Golf Tournament and Bowl for Kids’ Sake that
raise money for the youth center and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Thank you too for those who respond so generously to our annual appeal
letter and through donations made throughout the year.
Volunteerism is also key. We are so appreciative of all those who volunteer their time to mentor youth, do the unglamorous work
of cleaning up at the youth center and provide a hand during our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. You, together with our
Board, Big Brothers Big Sisters Committee and hardworking staff make it all happen! Thank you.
Improving Access: A Strategic Priority
Greater access to services was a strategic priority in 2017. We improved access in several important ways. We started by
purchasing property in downtown Bath near public transportation and within close proximity to other services many of our clients use in
order to provide more convenient, accessible services. Our new building is warm and welcoming letting our clients know how much we
value them. While purchasing the property, rather than renting, reflects our longstanding commitment to meet community needs in
Bath and the surrounding area.
We also expanded insurance coverage to include Fidelis in our counseling services. Fidelis is the largest Managed Medicaid
provider for people living in poverty in Steuben County. By accepting this coverage, we are able to offer quality mental health services to
many more people in need.
We restructured our substance use prevention program this year as well, and as a result, were able to provide comprehensive,
school based prevention education services to over 350 additional children in 2017-18 school year without any additional funding.
We updated our website making it more attractive and easier to navigate for people to gain access to our services. Our website
provides linkages to other community services as well to assist people in finding other programs that could be of benefit to them. We
established a bi-monthly newsletter to begin this February to better communicate the programs and services we offer, and agency
leadership is involved in numerous local initiatives to better connect what we do with the work of others in our community. One
initiative we are proud to be a part of is the Enough Abuse Campaign that provides education to the public on how each of us can help
prevent child sexual abuse.