In 1993, the Westchester County Youth Bureau contracted with a private consulting firm to conduct a county-wide needs assessment. This survey included an assessment of all of Westchester’s municipalities, with emphasis on its 6 cities: White Plains, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Portchester/Rye, and Peekskill. As a result, Peekskill was identified as one of the neediest municipalities in Westchester County in the following nine critical areas: (1) Community Support; (2) Education; (3) Employment; (4) Empowerment; (5) Cultural; (6) Health; (7) Recreational/Social; (8) Transportation; and (9) “Other.” Ranking was categorized in terms of “Critical Need,” “Needs to be Addressed,” and “Needs to be Enhanced or Expanded.” Three of the “Critical Need” areas that were identified in the survey included education, employment, and recreational/social activities.
The consultants hired by the county made the following recommendation: “The most effective way to address the critical needs identified is through a collaborative effort of community service agencies, Department of Social Services, Parks and Recreation, City of Peekskill School District , law enforcement, and faith-based community.” Based upon this recommendation, the comprehensive Supportive Partnership for Youth (S.P.Y.) Collaboration was established in 1994. The mission of the collaborative at the time was to bring together appropriate segments (youth, youth agencies, schools, faith leaders, government, police, and other key individuals) of the Peekskill community to develop strategies, as well as to design and implement programs that effectively and efficiently meet the needs of Peekskill’s youth. In 1995, S.P.Y. submitted its first collaborative grant to Westchester County to address the needs identified above. The collaborative was initially funded in the amount of $88,000. Its mission has since been revised to include families and youth, and incorporated new agencies from the Peekskill community. The current name of this collaboration is Peekskill Agencies Together, or P.A.T.
Peekskill Agencies Together (P.A.T.) is committed to working on behalf of families, children, and youth in the community. P.A.T. brings together agencies and individuals who share the goals of assisting members of the community in the full context of their culture, communities, and families.