2017 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
New Ground Inc.
Shannon Boyle, Executive Director
Evol Sweeney, Associate Program Director
For the past 26 years, New Ground Inc. has been successfully breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness on Long Island by providing intensive social work and education services for homeless families and veterans, as well as those at risk of becoming homeless. New Ground services include employment counseling, financial literacy training, life skills development, education advocacy, reading assistance, education advancement for adults, tutoring and tuition assistance.
Since its inception in 1991, more than 80% of the families New Ground has helped have accomplished most of their program goals and secured stable, permanent housing. Under the leadership of Executive Director Shannon Boyle, New Ground continues to fulfill its mission of preventing homelessness by identifying at-risk families and individuals and providing them with practical, educational and emotional support.
“Our founder saw that educational empowerment is key to breaking the cycle of homelessness,” Ms. Boyle says. “We take the entire family into consideration and address all the barriers that have been keeping them from achieving success. We work individually with parents and children to help them overcome those barriers, so that they can lead full, successful lives. With Nassau BOCES, we’ve been able to do this work on a broader level with more families in need in all of the districts throughout Nassau County.”
In partnership with Nassau BOCES and a number of Long Island school districts, New Ground advocates for the children of displaced families, ensuring that they receive all programs and services mandated under the McKinney Vento Law. New Ground works with school staff to secure immediate enrollment in a school best suited to the individual student. They administer evaluations to ensure that students are placed in the best possible educational environments and conduct home visits to ascertain whether all necessary school materials are being provided.
“We’re passionate about ensuring that displaced students receive all the services necessary to achieve a successful academic future and that these students are being treated with dignity and sensitivity,” says Associate Program Director Evol Sweeney.