EXCLUSIVE by Heidi Albertsen: Saving The Children

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I was so happy to be honored along with my dear friend, Justine Simmons, as we raised funds for the Lower Eastside Service Center (LESC), which benefited the center’s camp for at-risk youth and the pregnant women and infants program, taking pregnant women off the streets and giving them a chance to rehabilitate their lives. The gala was held at Capitale on Monday, May 18th.

(With Designer Nicole Miller)

Melissa Russo hosted the evening’s festivities, which included guests such as Rev Run, Nicole Miller, the Belafonte family, George Whipple, Elizabeth Hoadley, Petula Clark, Chris Wragge and Barbara K.

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51 years ago, the Lower Eastside Service Center was started in a store front on the Lower East Side on the corner of Rutgers and East Broadway. To date, it has served and helped over 100,000 New Yorkers with substance abuse problems – and has created innovative, unique programs to rid people of their chemical dependency and help their families and children along the way.

(With The Belafontes)

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The Pregnant Women and Infants Program (PWIP) assists pregnant women who have a substance dependency.  These ladies are such an inspiration.  They have overcome so much and have such a desire to make a better life for their children than they had for themselves, you can’t help but be touched by them.  Holding and playing with their children are some of the best moments I have in my life as you see this brand new life on the right track.

LESC takes in women to live at the center, get clean, and receive the nutrition and resources they need to not only stay off drugs, but also get jobs, care for their child, and obtain housing.  Women can stay for a year after the birth of their child, where they receive all the physical and mental health attention they need, forever changing their lives and the children they’ve had.  One can only imagine the positive impact this program has had on the lives of these young infants.

(With The Simmons Family)

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LESC provides a full continuum of treatment and care for New Yorkers living with chemical dependency and mental health issues.

Another unique program that LESC runs is the Diversity Works Program.  A first of its kind program, it obtained funding from the city several years ago with the help of Mayor Bloomberg and assists those who are homeless and have a substance abuse problem.  A 43-unit building was launched on Tremont and Crotona Parkway in the Bronx. The program and the building employ a holistic, community based approach to help those dealing with homelessness, drug abuse and detox. The powerful component of the program is that it allows for families to live together and stay united in the facility. Drug and alcohol addiction is treated in with family oriented approach with parenting classes, counseling and special programs for the children of addicts.

To learn more about LESC, and make a donation check out CHARITYBUZZ.com 

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