I’m still basking in the glow of a beautiful, late September weekend in which I was privileged to be at two new events in New Rochelle, one we hope to continue for many years, the other we must work to make obsolete someday.

I got to play some basketball in Lincoln Park with City Council Member Jared Rice and some enthusiastic kids as part of New Rochelle My Brother’s Keeper. The My Brother’s Keeper New Rochelle (MBKNewRo) cradle-to-career initiative, aims to assist all children and young adults in New Rochelle live productive lives, particularly Black and Hispanic or Latino male children and young men. This first Books & Basketball event at Lincoln Park was for New Rochelle boys and girls in grades three through eight. The children were invited to participate in the clinics and tutorials offered by area coaches and older students. The children received a free book from Scholastic to start the school year off and a drawstring bag designed by BA Lifesport. Council Member Rice hopes to make this an annual event on the City’s calendar.

Then early Sunday morning I was further up the hill on Lincoln Avenue at Shiloh Baptist Church also known as Sensational Shiloh. I helped welcome a new initiative called “Showers of Hope” to the church parking lot. A consortium of churches in New Rochelle, White Plains and Mount Vernon, together with local non-profit organizations and County government, brought into service two trailers with mobile shower rooms for use by homeless men and women. The folks who came were also able to receive free blood pressure checks, flu shots, fresh clothes and personal care products (wash cloths, soap, deodorant etc). There were even a barber and a hair stylist on hand donating their time for those wanting a terrific tonsorial treatment. In comments to the FiOS 1 cable news reporter on the scene, I expressed my hope we can continue pushing for more housing at all income levels so that someday we won’t have to bring mobile showers to church parking lots. We are working to make sure that every Westchester resident has the ability to live in dignity and it all begins with housing. Meanwhile we are thankful for our community partners and social services that provide these types of services and events around the County.

Congratulations for pushing “Showers of Hope” forward goes to many but I would especially like to mention our long-time friend at New Rochelle’s Hope Community Services, Carol Troum and our new friend at Sensational Shiloh, Sylvia Hamer. Thank you to NRPD PO Gonzalez for security and traffic flow at both events.