Essential Westchester Connections2023-08-14T14:31:59+00:00

Essential Westchester Connections

These are the two most important starting points for those returning from state or county correctional facilities.

The Westchester County Reentry Task Force (WCRTF) is available to link you to a range of services, including drug and alcohol treatment, mental health services, education and employment services, industry-recognized certification programs, and housing.  All services are free of charge.

Annually, more than 200 eligible returning citizens receive several months of individualized support from Reentry Task Force staff to identify and connect with these essential programs.  Specialized attention is given to those with a mental health diagnosis and/or a history of substance abuse.  

You can refer yourself to this program directly (even after your return to the community), or through a parole officer, friend, or family member. 

If you are returning to another county in New York State, see the complete list of all 23 NYS Reentry Task Forces posted to

To connect directly, write or call:

Joann Jaen, Parole Reentry Coordinator
Family Services of Westchester
20 South Broadway, 3rd floor, Yonkers, NY 10701

Phone: 914.719.5815 cell

If are returning from Westchester County Jail or a state correctional facility and are homeless or require Medicaid or cash assistance, connect with the Westchester County Department of Social Services (DSS).  

DSS coordinates placement into temporary housing (shelter placement).  Services can take up to 45 days to put in place, but shelter placement can be immediate. Your facility transitions coordinator will likely have worked with you to complete the New York State Applications for Certain Benefits and Services ( and have shared that with DSS electronically in advance of your return.

  • If you have just returned from a state correctional facility without housing, you would have been directed to the DSS office at 85 Court Street for housing to meet with staff dedicated to your needs.  If you arrive after that office has closed, you will be directed to the Open Arms shelter (see below) or to the Samaratan House (see below). You will be able to stay there until the DSS office at 85 Court Street reopens.  See also the information under Essential Westchester Connections.
  • If you were in the county jail, you may have already connected with the DSS Reentry Coordinator regarding housing.  If not, you can seek shelter and service at any of the Drop-In locations.

To connect directly, write or call:

Program Administrator Re-entry Services
White Plains District Office
85 Court Street, White Plains, NY 10601

Customer Service: (914) 995-3333
8:30am-5pm, Mon-Fri, except holidays

If you have a mental health diagnosis, the discharge planner in the Office of Mental Health in your facility would complete a Community Mental Health Single Point of Access (SPOA) application. This gives you the opportunity to be connected with the Westchester County Reentry Task Force for additional assistance in connecting with needed services as well as having a coordinated discharge plan upon your prison release.  Alternatively, if you will be homeless upon your return, you have the opportunity to get a homeless outreach worker assigned.

If you have a disability (physical, mental health, substance abuse), ACCES VR can provide funding for vocational training needs and specific education that would lead to employment. Orientations to ACCES VR services are held monthly at the White Plains office. Organizations that are available to assist with this process are listed in the section titled “For Those with Disabilities.” If you are a participant with the Reentry Taskforce and are under parole supervision, the application process is streamlined and the orientation will be waived.

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