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NYC Administration for Children's Services: The City's child welfare agency, dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families


ACS and Partners Dedicate the Dr. Elizabeth Lutas Center to Help Families in Crisis

On Thursday, January 16, 2014, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) joined the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens for the dedication of the Dr. Elizabeth Lutas Center, at 3060 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, which houses DHS’ Brooklyn Homebase Homelessness Prevention Program and ACS’ East New York Family Support Programs. The Center which serves families in the East New York and Canarsie areas opened more than a year ago and is aimed at strengthening family units and helping families in crisis stay together.

ACS and Partners Dedicate the Dr. Elizabeth Lutas Center to Help Families in Crisis

Beverly James, second from right, watches as Dr. Elizabeth Lutas prepares to cut the ribbon to the Center. Others are from left, Donna Corrado, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, Inc.; Ellen Howard-Cooper, Deputy Commissioner of Prevention, Policy & Planning, NYC DHS; Jacinta Thomas; Msgr. Denis Herron; Robert Siebel, CEO of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and Affiliated Agencies; Sister Ellen Patricia Finn, OP; Dep. Executive Director CCBQ; and Georgette Martinez a client of the Center.

Representing ACS, Associate Commissioner Beverly James, Division of Family Support Services, noted that the Center is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team designed to meet the pressing needs of families in crisis and vulnerable children, with the ultimate goal of keeping families together, and providing supports to strengthen them. She thanked Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, including CEO Robert Seibel, Vice President Gladys Rodriguez and Deputy Executive Director Sr. Ellen Patricia Finn for their leadership in the establishment of the Center. “Catholic Charities was one of the earliest programs to be selected to demonstrate the effectiveness of Preventive Services, dating back to the mid 1970’s,” she said.

The Center will be run jointly by Yaminah McClendon, Director for ACS-contracted Preventive Services, and Jacinta Thomas, Director for DHS-contracted Homelessness Prevention, and will be staffed five days per week, including two late nights. The Center was dedicated in honor of Dr. Elizabeth Lutas, a longtime supporter of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and a doctor of Internal Medicine for the past 37 years. Dr. Lutas has dedicated 22 years as a physician in homeless shelters in New York City and three years at a community health center serving mostly undocumented immigrants. She currently works in a health center in the Bronx, caring for individuals who are homeless and struggling with AIDS.

Contact: ACS Office of Communications, (212) 341-0999