Speaker Heastie Continues Annual Statewide Tour in Onondaga County, Announcing $2.5 Million for AccessCNY's New Step-Down Unit for Children and Teens with Disabilities

Speaker Carl Heastie today continued his annual statewide tour in Cicero, where he and Assemblymember Al Stirpe announced $2.5 million in state funds for AccessCNY to expand its outreach services by creating a specialized ‘step-down’ care unit for at-risk children and young adults with mental and developmental disabilities.

“All children and families across New York deserve to have the support they need to thrive, and AccessCNY is stepping in to help,” said Speaker Heastie. “The Assembly Majority is proud to continue to support AccessCNY and the creation of this new unit, that will provide an intermediate space for children and families to receive the services they need. The Assembly Majority remains committed to supporting our most vulnerable New Yorkers and their families.”

“I’m honored to have Speaker Heastie join me today to announce this critical state investment that will help meet the mental health and behavior needs of our community,” said Assemblymember Stirpe. “Through the process of designing AccessCNY’s respite facility, funded with a $1.2 million grant last year, we discovered an even more urgent need, a step-down facility where children can go after the completion of treatment at Upstate’s Golisano Children’s Hospital. Currently, there is nowhere for these children to go to receive step-down care. They stay at Golisano long after they have completed their treatment, eliminating a viable bed that other children are in desperate need of. I’m proud to secure this funding to support AccessCNY’s continued work.”

Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Stirpe visited the CanTeen with AccessCNY Executive Director Paul Joslyn to see how the new $2.5 million investment will help the facility build eight to 10 new step-down beds for at-risk children and young adults with mental and developmental disabilities in need of care, but who do not require a hospital stay. The new unit would align with Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and St Joseph’s Health Hospital Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Room’s goals to transfer youth to a new space specialized in step-down care. This funding builds on last year’s $1.2 million state investment toward the planned construction of AccessCNY’s respite center focused on providing social work and counseling services and sensory skill training.