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Jessica Pirro named Interim Director
BUFFALO, NY (September 7, 2014) — The Board of Directors of Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service, Inc. (Crisis Services) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jessica C. Pirro as Interim Executive Director, effective September 3, 2014.
After moving from Syracuse to Buffalo in 1997, Ms. Pirro began at Crisis Services in 1999 and held two program management positions until she was promoted in 2006 to Associate Director. She was responsible for all clinical operations of the agency’s 4 programs that provide numerous services to those in crisis 24 hours a day.
Ms. Pirro has been involved in various community coalitions to address the response to family violence and sexual assault. She served as the secretary from 1999-2000 and Chair from 2000-2002 of the Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Erie County Coordinated Community Response to Family Violence 2005 and served on the advisory committee that developed Erie County’s Family Justice Center, 1 of 15 sites funded the President’s Family Justice Center Initiative. She was honored in 2007 with the Buffalo News Founders Award as part of the team that help open the Family Justice Center for Buffalo and Erie County.
She has served on several not for profit boards including as past President of the New York State Coalition against Sexual Assault and as past Treasurer of the Parkside Community Association.
Ms. Pirro was the recipient of the 2002 Erie County Commission on the Status of Women Organizational Partner of the Year Award and was awarded the Justice, Freedom and Courage Award to End Domestic Violence in October 2003 by New York State Governor George Pataki. In 2007, she was a nominee for the YWCA Leader Luncheon Award and in 2008 received Advocate for Change award from the It Happened to Alexa Foundation. In 2010 she received a Business First 40 under Forty award.
She is a graduate of Leadership Buffalo’s Class of 2003 and, most recently, Ms. Pirro has been accepted into the Health Leadership Fellows Program, Class of 2014 through the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York.
Ms. Pirro is also a part owner of Més Que, Buffalo’s only Soccer bar and restaurant.
As Interim Executive Director, Ms. Pirro will partner with the Board of Directors to advance Crisis Services’ mission of providing a comprehensive safety net for Erie County residents in crisis.
Crisis Services and Senator Tim Kennedy stood together to call on the New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS) to reverse their decision to dramatically reduce funding for critical programs that support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Crisis Services recently learned that OVS funding they have received for over 20 years may be cut by over $300,000 – an unprecedented level, which is jeopardizing the future of several services and programs now available to victims in Erie County.
“For years, Western New Yorkers in need of help have always been able to turn to Crisis Services. They’ve been there for us, our families, our friends and neighbors. Now it’s our turn to be there for them,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “This funding decision made within the bureaucracy of the Office of Victim Services is both misguided and unacceptable. It must be reversed immediately. Crisis Services has been a beacon of hope and the helping hand needed during times of distress. Without this critical funding, thousands of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault will be left without the services and support they need during their recovery and as they pursue justice.”
Senator Kennedy has launched an online petition drive to generate community support behind this push to restore funding for Crisis Services. Western New Yorkers are encouraged to sign the petition available at Senator Kennedy’s website at http://kennedy.nysenate.gov. After gathering supporters, Kennedy and Crisis Services will deliver the petition to the director of the Office of Victim Services. An outpouring of community support often serves as a driving force prompting needed changes within state government.
A press conference announcing the Elder Domestic Violence Shelter Network of Erie County took place on Friday June 13th. This is the result of a collaboration between Crisis Services and Legal Services for the Elderly. We are very excited about launching this initiative so that the most vulnerable in our community will now have a place they can reside without fear of elder abuse. While the efforts of many have made this possible, we would especially like to thank our shelter partners, Absolut Care and the McGuire Group. We cannot think of a better way to celebrate World Elder Abuse awareness day than to bring attention to the efforts of those in our community to protect our seniors.
Click here for more information on this new initiative.
LaTasha talks about coming to understand that she no longer has to play a role in the domestic violence that was a part of her life before Crisis Services. Listen to her story.
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, Crisis Services is making a difference. You can help! Make your secure online contribution here and know that your gift to the Fall Appeal will provide for meaningful change in someone’s life. Someone like Tony or Bernadette. Thank you!