2021 May/June Newsletter


 A Note from Our CEO:
A Roof Over Our Heads and a Warm Welcome for All Who Enter Honoring the Legacy of Theodore “Tree” Arrington 
Brian Doyle
Tree Arrington was a leader and a change maker who challenged each of us to ask ourselves: What are we doing to help children in our community?  He faithfully served the children at the Partnership Center for many years and while his spirit lives on through the work of R.E.A.L Skills, for the past year his booming voice has been missed at the Family Partnership Center.
Please join us on Saturday, June 19th, what we now know to be Juneteenth, when Family Services and friends will unveil a mural dedicated to Tree’s legacy. This lifelike portrait was completed by the distinguished artist, Nestor Madalengoitia. The noontime ceremony will include remarks by those who knew and revered Tree and will be followed by further celebration at Mansion Square Park. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day – is a holiday celebrating the long-awaited emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.
Tree and his team at R.E.A.L Skills Network changed the lives of countless children. Tree had an inexplicable way of helping and empowering children—insisting that they find their own strength and their own voice, even in the face of the injustice and racism they might encounter. Tree was integral to the beginnings of the Family Partnership Center. He faithfully served the children at The Partnership Center for many, many years—also leading the Family Partnership Center, and for several years serving as an officer on our Board of Directors. Tree Arrington will be remembered as a teacher, leader, and most of all, a changemaker, never scared to step out and leave his mark.
This event has been planned for many months with the help of Cleopatra Jordan, who continues to lead R.E.A.L. Skills in service to the children; City Council Member Yvonne Flowers; Family Partnership Center Steward, Asher Leigh Boone and Tree’s loving wife, Sharon Arrington.

Are You Experiencing Stress? 
      By Robin Peritz            

Vice President for Behavioral Health

Are you surviving or thriving? Your mental health is as important as your physical health. People are incredibly resilient and will thrive in the face of adversity with the help of supportive families, communities, and peers. However, everyone experiences stress.  When it is affecting your life, health and wellbeing, it is important to tackle it as soon as possible because stress can lead to more serious mental health problems, like depression and anxiety disorders. While stress affects everyone differently, there are common signs and symptoms you can look out for:
  • feelings of constant worry or anxiety
  • feelings of being overwhelmed
  • difficulty concentrating
  • mood swings or changes in your mood
  • irritability or having a short temper
  • difficulty relaxing
  • eating more or less than usual
  • changes in your sleeping habits
  • using alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to relax
  • aches and pains, particularly muscle tension
  • feelings of nausea or dizziness
You can’t necessarily remove the sources of stress, but you can figure out ways to cope better with whatever comes your way. And decades of research suggest which steps are most likely to work.
Think about a stressor you would like to work on and plan some steps you will need to take to reduce it. Consider what you typically feel when you are stressed out. Why do you want to change? What are the emotions and physical symptoms you feel when stressed? Being aware of these symptoms allows you to have a better handle on your emotions as they are happening.
Have you heard the saying Rome wasn’t built in a day? The same is true for habits and ways that we are used to coping with stress. The reason they are often so daunting is because we often want immediate relief and set a whole year’s worth of expectations all at once. Let’s say that when you don’t get enough sleep you can’t concentrate and are short with loved ones. You know that you like to exercise and that when you do you sleep better and feel less stressed. You just have not done it lately. Try setting a small goal of exercising one or two times this week. Each week, evaluate where you are in your meeting your goal. Once you have taken one step, take another. Change is a marathon, not a sprint.  To help you get started, consider the 12-day Stress Reduction Challenge or the 10 Tips to Stress Less below.

Program Spotlights
Behavioral Health Centers

   by Kahli Mercik, Center Director Beacon Behavioral Health Center

In the midst of this global pandemic, the Behavioral Health Center staff have seen an increase in people who are struggling with behavioral health issues and substance use disorders.
Our commitment to our communities and the people we serve is to help them manage these challenges. One way is by providing accessible, reliable, trauma informed, culturally and clinically competent care for co-occurring disorders of mental illness and substance use disorder in our behavioral health clinics. We understand the importance for there to be no wrong door for people who are looking for help and support from a community agency.
In October and November 2020, our therapists, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners in Dutchess and Ulster Counties trained with a Dr. Kenneth Minkoff, a leading expert in co-occurring disorders. Dr. Minkoff challenged and inspired the staff to be in the business of Hope and Helping.
We strive to have all of our services be:
  • Trauma Informed
  • Hopeful
  • Individual and/or family-driven
  • Empowering and strength-based
  • Designed to help people achieve their most important and meaningful goals.
We are excited about the journey that we are on to continue to enhance the experience of clients we serve in the Behavioral Health Centers and doing the complex work of providing treatment.
Dr. Minkoff encourages us to think of Hope as “Every person, including those with the greatest challenges, is inspired when they meet us with hope for achieving a happy, hopeful, productive, and meaningful life.” In order for our system to inspire people and families with serious challenges and multiple issues, we need to be in the hope business.

 Teen Resource Activity Center 

By Stacey Greenberg, Associate Director of Youth Services and
Outcomes Management

Youth Services Creates Music Studio in the
Family Partnership Center 

The youth who come to our program seek opportunities to express their creativity and knowledge, and asked for activities that are centered around music production and becoming entrepreneurs. To provide this resource for youth, TRAC was recently awarded $10,000 from the City of Poughkeepsie to create a music studio and purchase top of the line studio equipment including iMac computers, Ableton Love 10, Logic, Garage Band, Pro Tools and Mainstage. Youth have the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to create and edit music in a professional studio setting, using professional studio equipment.

Students enjoy creating their own songs, albums, and music videos. They write their own music score and lyrics and perform their own vocals. They learn how to put it all together into a completed song and many youth eventually want to create a full-length album. As often as possible, staff have brought in Poughkeepsie residents to help youth with production – local artists who have “made it” and are willing to share their success stories with youth for inspiration.

In our separate podcast studio, youth are able to promote their work and build networks with peers and professionals in the field. Our music program benefits youth as they gain early exposure to possible career choices. It provides artistic and creative outlets for youth to explore and discover healthy ways to express themselves and be productive.

A Look Back

Pinwheels for Prevention

Pinwheels for Prevention takes place every April to raise awareness about child abuse and educate communities on how to promote healthy child development. This year, Family Services’ Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), After the Bell (ATB), and Family Education Programs (FEP) participated in Pinwheels for Prevention.

Pinwheels represent the happy and carefree childhoods that all children deserve. They are a reminder that we all play a role in children’s lives. Children who are raised with safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments are more academically and financially successful and grow up to be productive, contributing members of their communities.

 Garden of Hope 

Throughout the United States, Crime Victims’ Rights Week is celebrated in April to honor individuals who have been victimized and acknowledge the professionals who serve them. This year, Family Services’ Center for Victim Safety and Support (CVSS) joined the rest of the country in celebrating this special week with activities from April 18-24.

During Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Family Services staff planted a Garden of Hope outside of the Family Partnership Center Annex to serve as a symbol of hope to survivors, letting them know they are not alone as we all continue to grow together. Special thanks to Aliviana and Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, Inc. Troop 10122 for their support as it helped purchase mulch and beautiful flowers.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month 

During the month of April, Family Services Center for Victim Safety and Support and the Sexual Assault Response Team was excited to partner with local libraries in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Libraries throughout the Hudson Valley shared books that highlight sexual assault and survivors, while providing information about ways to access help within the community.

Participating libraries included the East Fishkill Community LibraryHyde Park Free LibraryPoughkeepsie Public Library District (PPLD)Millbrook Library, and Pleasant Valley Free Library. We thank them for their partnership as we continue to raise awareness within our community!

Thank you Marshall & Sterling, Feed The Children and Dutchess Outreach

Last month, Marshall & Sterling Insurance and Feed the Children worked together to coordinate a huge effort to provide food and hygiene items to 400 families in our community! With additional help from the team at Dutchess Outreach, many families in our community, including clients of Family Services, were able to stock their pantries!


Every day Family Services’ SNUG team works tirelessly with participants to reduce gun violence in Poughkeepsie through conflict medication, crisis intervention, and employment readiness. They never forget that it is important to have fun together too! Last Month SNUG staff and participants had a great time (and a lot of laughs) at a community skating event.

Upcoming Events

Now more than ever, our community must
come together in support of our neighbors

On Wednesday May 19th, Family Services is participating in Hudson Valley Gives, a 24-hour day of giving designed to inspire our community to give where we live. In times of crisis, essential organizations like Family Services are needed more than ever.

In these challenging times, we are focused on our vision of stronger, safer communities where everyone has the opportunity to lead their best lives. Our services have evolved to meet the needs of families in our community and we will continue to develop programming that helps our neighbors as challenges arise. Whether it is reaching victims through new and innovative partnerships, supporting clients through mental health crises, or providing opportunities for youth, Family Services is here when you need us.

When you give on May 19th, your gift goes even further by increasing our chances of winning cash prizes that will support more of our work. If you can’t wait until May 19th to support Family Services, that is OK⁠—you are able to donate through our website today.

Bookmark Our HVGives Page for May 19th

We invite you to save the date for our Family of the Year Awards Dinner on Thursday July 29th as we look forward to honoring Don and Jill Veith and the Ruge Family for the many ways they have contributed to our community. The event, to be held in the Outdoor Tent at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie or you can join us virtually.

To purchase your tickets or learn how your business can be involved in the celebration through sponsorship or auction donation, please click the links below.  We look forwarding to seeing you on July 29th.





Join Our Family Tree

By joining our Family Tree, you are supporting our vision of stronger, safer communities where our neighbors have access to critical resources when they need it most.

Support Family Services when you shop online

By choosing Family Services as your charity of choice through AMAZON SMILE, Amazon will donate .5% of all qualified purchases to Family Services.

Family Services’ 2021 Leadership Partner


Find Us On Social Media

Upcoming Events

Center for Victim Safety and Support – Adopt a Family
09/12/2023 - 12/20/2023    
All Day
For over a decade, the Center for Victim Safety and Support (CVSS) has brightened the holiday season for victim-survivors of crime in Dutchess County through [...]
50 Meaningful Miles
All Day
CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE MOVEMENT ! The 50 Meaningful Miles campaign represents the journey of overcoming hardships of something that feels impossible, and reaching [...]
Events on 09/26/2023
Events on 09/30/2023