CREATE’s Services Diverse, Collaboration Strong

Jocelyn Thomas Around the Province

NEW YORK — The social services agency established nearly 40 years ago by Benedict Taylor, OFM, CREATE, hosted constituents earlier this month at an open house at its Lenox Avenue office here. CREATE planned the Dec. 1 event “to support effective service coordination in challenging times,” according to the invitation.

Guests represented government and private organizations that help people cope with life’s challenges, including family, job skills, behavior and healthcare. Benedict and Hugh Hines, OFM, chair of CREATE’s board of directors, also attended the open house.

Ralph Perez, executive director, said the gathering was valuable for several reasons. It affords CREATE the opportunity to better know its partners and potential constituents, and offers guests a chance to better understand the organization’s values, and the scope and quality of its services.

The acronym CREATE stands for the phrase “Chance to Re-Evolve a Total Environment.” Over the years, CREATE has become synonymous with innovative programs, and has helped many people get their lives back on track. For example, its young adult program is known in the field as a one-of-a-kind service.

“This kind of gathering lets local referral resources, businesses and providers know what we have to offer,” he said. The agency operates five buildings in New York City, where services are offered to individuals and families.

Helping People in Need
“Our goal is for clients to function independently in society. CREATE is ready for more growth and expansion,” Perez said.

In their presentations, Perez and CREATE psychologist Barbara Wallace emphasized the broad range of services offered, and the agency’s philosophy of treating people with respect. It prides itself on offering a continuum of care.

“We have much to be proud of,” said Wallace, who has worked with CREATE for 10 years. “Our evening hours are increasing and we now are open some Saturdays.”

Wallace described the expanding services of the Vocational Service Unit, where skills such as resume-writing, interview-preparation, and computer-use are offered in the new computer lab.

12-17-08-Create-LgThe Recipient of Referrals
In addition, CREATE networks and accepts referrals from the New York State Department of Parole. CREATE often helps domestic violence offenders, sexual offenders and people who are mentally ill chemical-abusers.

“CREATE is reaching out to the community that has gone through a lot of changes. We’re making ourselves accessible.”

Contributions to CREATE can be made through the agency’s Web site and by mail.

Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province