The William H. Hannon Foundation, a local philanthropic organization, has awarded two $25,000 grants to the Hannon Immediate Intervention Program at the Airport Marina Counseling Service in Westchester and the St. Joseph Center in Venice for its family center and food pantry.

The Hannon Immediate Intervention Program, initially underwritten by the foundation in 1993, is designed to provide urgent attention to those struggling with crisis and life-changing events. A large majority of AMCS clients are the “working poor” who often lack private insurance and for whom the services of hospitals and mental health facilities are often unavailable, according to the Hannon Foundation.

“The current economic crisis is exacerbating problems already present in people’s lives as well as creating a new population at risk,” said Kathleen O’Leary Lefferman, executive director of AMCS. “People who never expected to find themselves in these circumstances are experiencing, for the first time, a situation that they thought was reserved for others. The William H. Hannon Foundation’s support allows this program to continue at this critical time.”

During the last program year, AMCS provided nearly 300 individual sessions to clients in crisis and almost 900 group sessions as part of the Hannon Immediate Intervention Program.

Founded in 1976, St. Joseph Center provides working poor families, as well as homeless men, women and children of all ages, with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community. The organization services 6,000 clients annually.

“Over the past eight months, we have experienced an increase in clients seeking services across St. Joseph Center’s various programs,” said Va Lecia Adams, executive director of SJC. “The William H. Hannon Foundation’s continued and generous support is more important now than ever before,”

Kathleen Hannon Aikenhead, president of the William H. Hannon Foundation, said, “Today’s economic crisis is very real and it is impacting our neighbors. The good work of both AMCS and St. Joseph Center, providing assistance for both mind and body, helps our neighbors from Venice to LAX and beyond, areas very important to my late uncle, William Hannon.”

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