Congresswoman Maloney Hails $752,000 in Federal Funding for Stein Senior Center’s New Facility

Mar 22, 2013
Press Release

New York, NY – Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens & Brooklyn) joined with administrators, senior citizens and local elected officials at the Stein Senior Center in Manhattan to hail the allocation by the New York City Department for the Aging of $752,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding to support the rehabilitation of the Center’s new home, which is located in the Uniformed Firefighters Association’s headquarters building at 204 East 23rd Street in Manhattan. The Center is celebrating its Grand Opening at its new space this evening.

“Today, we are celebrating the Grand Opening of the Stein Senior Center’s beautiful new facility, which was made possible by $752,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding that was allocated by the New York City Department for the Aging to Stein. But tomorrow, all of us in government have to renew our resolve to fight for Stein and senior centers just like it all across New York, because they are under threat, and because they are worth fighting for!” said Congresswoman Maloney, who was joined at today’s announcement by Stein’s Executive Director Jane Barry; NYS Senator Brad Hoylman; NYS Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh; and area seniors who frequent the Stein Center (see photograph, attached).

“We wouldn’t be celebrating much today without the extraordinary cooperation by all levels of government to keep the funding for the Stein Center in place. We worked particularly closely together because Stein is one of the city’s best senior centers – a welcoming oasis for hundreds of seniors. It’s a place to meet friends, share a meal, take classes, a center that offers trips, lectures and yoga, and a haven where Alzheimer’s patients can find respite.

“It’s hard to believe that a program this valuable could be in danger, but without this federal funding, the Stein Center would have had tremendous difficulty in reopening its doors after losing its lease at its previous longtime location. This elegant new facility will allow Stein to serve a larger group of seniors, hold a greater variety of classes, and offer even better programs. And that’s truly worth celebrating, because Stein is needed now more than ever,” said Congresswoman Maloney, who noted that Stein was welcoming even more seniors now after the closing of the nearby Community Lounge senior center on East 22nd Street.

Congresswoman Maloney was joined at today’s announcement by several other civic and government leaders, including Jane Barry, Executive Director of the Stein Senior Center, who said, “Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has been a strong supporter of Stein Senior Center for many years, and she showed just how strong she is, when she stood firm on allocating federal funds for the renovation of our new center. Congresswoman Maloney is our champion, making it possible for Stein to continue to serve the growing population of older adults in New York City.”

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman said, “Stein Senior Center is beloved by the hundreds of older East Side residents who rely upon it for the meals, activities, services and strong sense of community that it has continuously provided since 1974. Thanks to the funds Congresswoman Maloney secured, Stein Senior Center has an extraordinary new home in our community and will continue to help our elderly residents to thrive for years to come.”

“The reopening of Stein Senior Center in a terrific new space is truly cause for celebration,” said New York State Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh. “Representative Carolyn Maloney, and of course Center Director Jane Barry and Councilmember Rosie Mendez, deserve great credit for securing the necessary funding and seeing this project through. It's a great relief to see Stein settling into a modern space that will meet the needs of so many members of our community. This new home will enable Stein to continue to serve a crucial role in helping people lead full and healthy lives.”

Although unable to attend today’s announcement, several elected officials representing seniors who frequent the Stein Center submitted written statements.

Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried said in a written statement, “It’s a great day for the Stein Senior Center and a great day for the older New Yorkers who rely on it as a haven for companionship, meals, classes and other programs. For nearly four decades, it’s been an integral part of the community, and thanks to the infusion of federal funds being announced today, local seniors will be able to enjoy its beautiful new home.”

“Today, we say ‘welcome home’ to the Stein Senior Center and the hundreds of beloved individuals whose lives are touched and enriched by their spectrum of essential services.  I commend all of my colleagues—including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney—for uniting on behalf of Stein and our seniors to ensure they have a permanent home from which to make a permanent difference in our community,” said New York City Council Member Rosie Mendez.

New York City Council Member Jessica Lappin, Chair of the Council’s Committee on the Aging, said, “This is truly a day to celebrate. Stein Senior Center has always been a comforting, inviting refuge for our seniors - a home away from home for many elderly residents. And now it is better than ever in its new facility, welcoming even more seniors and offering innovative progamming to meet the nutritional, health and cultural needs of its clientele.  There are a number of people who made this day possible, but without Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney there would be no opening day celebration. She is our hero. And there is no greater champion for Stein Senior Center in the City Council than Rosie Mendez - who has put her heart and soul into making this center the success that it is. Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh and State Senator Brad Holyman have been relentless and their efforts are paying off today. This collaborative effort has elevated Stein Senior Center to a state of the art facility.”

New York City Council Member Dan Garodnick said, “Today marks a fresh start for the Stein Senior Center in its new, permanent home. Seniors across the East Side will continue to benefit from Stein’s innovative programming thanks to the collaboration between Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and State and City elected officials to secure much-needed funding for this new space.”

Congresswoman Maloney has represented the Stein Senior Center since she was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992. During that time, the Center has moved three times, the first time to 340 E. 24th Street in Manhattan on a long-term basis until it lost its lease. It then was housed for approximately one year at the East End Temple at 245 E. 17th Street. After the New York City Department for the Aging allocated federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to Stein, the Center was able to move into its current space in the building at 204 E. 23rd Street that serves as the headquarters of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, which made the space available to the Center.

The CDBG program was created in 1974 and is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. The CDBG program helps revitalize neighborhoods, provides daycare centers for low income families, outreach programs to the homeless and mentally ill, and renovations of senior centers.