In an effort to help connect county programs to the people who need them, Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino announced a new partnership Wednesday with the area's faith-based organizations.
Rosa Boone, the county's deputy social services commissioner, will now also serve as a liaison for the county's faith-based organizations. She will work with leaders from various religious groups to help "cut through government red tape and share information", Astorino said.
"The bond that I have with these members of the clergy is that we are all really in the helping business, and often we are trying to help the same people," Astorino said.
The county executive made the announcement with representatives from several religious groups in attendance. Boone will serve as a contact person for these groups, and others, to help ensure that their organizations and congregants receive the help and assistance already available to them.
"The power of that combination means we can do more for others, and that's why we are all here," Astorino said.
Boone has served as deputy social services commissioner since 2011. She will now help religious groups navigate through at least 36 different departments when they are in need of information or assistance. She will continue to serve in her previous role, so the new program won't cost any additional money.
"As someone who has worked closely with community organizations for almost two decades, I know the great work done by religious groups," Boone said. "Budgets are always tight. Sharing ideas, expertise and resources is a way we can leverage programs and services to do more for those who need our help."
A new section of the county's website will also be devoted to faith-based groups, offering them the opportunity to connect with the county and one another. Astorino said he is hopeful the new partnership will make it easier for people to access the programs already available to them.
"(Religious groups) can identify people in the pews that need help," he said. "They know their congregants best."