August 20, 2016

By Dennis Phillips , Post-Journal

Citizen’s Opportunity for Development and Equality Inc. has been recognized nationally for teaming up with two other local nonprofit agencies to provide necessary services to those in the community.

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials has given two Awards of Merit to CODE for partnering with Southern Tier Environments for Living and the Jamestown Area YMCA. At the New Appleyard Terrace, CODE and STEL have worked together to provide housing for the mentally ill with on-site case management. By working with the Jamestown Area YMCA, CODE has assisted in providing a summer and after-school meal program, with school homework assistance during the school year, to children living in one of their facilities.

James S. Rubin, state Homes and Community Renewal commissioner, said the state and the Jamestown community is fortunate to have an organization like CODE to provide services aimed at improving lives and strengthening the community.

”This spirit of cooperation and caring is embodied in the work that CODE does,” he said. ”They are a small organization with a big can-do attitude and on behalf of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, I congratulate them for this (National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials) award. It speaks to their good work, the power and efficacy of Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo’s housing programs and also honors (state Homes and Community Renewal) program staff who worked so hard with CODE to make the Jamestown Appleyard Terrace development a reality.”

Patrick Morris, CODE executive director, said this is the first time in nearly 20 years CODE has received national recognition for their programs.

”For both the STEL and YMCA food program, we are four walls and a roof. We don’t provide the services, but we know our tenants need the services. We work with the organizations that are already in the community who can provide the services,” Morris said. ”We don’t want to be another organization providing services that already exist. We want to work with those already providing the services to help strengthen what they do.”

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials is a leading housing and community development advocate for the provision of adequate and affordable housing for all Americans, particularly those with low- and moderate-incomes.

In April, CODE, STEL and the Jamestown Area YMCA were also recognized for the same programs by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Councils convention in Atlantic City. In May, Thomas Whitney, STEL executive director, said the STEL apartments at the Appleyard Terrace complex is a more independent way for their clients to live. He said STEL has an office at the apartment complex to provide services when needed.

”With staff there, we can help them do what needs to be done. We can check on them once a day or once a week. It is a great program for us,” he said. ”Once (the clients) live there for a year or two, we can move them into an even greater independent living environment.”

In June, John Barber, Jamestown Area YMCA operations manager, said along with working with CODE, they also partner with the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department to provide several open lunch sites Monday through Friday during the summer. The YMCA also works with the St. Susan’s Center, who prepares the meals that are delivered each day.

The city’s summer playground program is also made possible through support from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, Jamestown Public Schools, James Prendergast Library, Chautauqua Striders, the Girl Scouts of Western and state Office of Children and Family Services.