Recently, North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur G. Pappas and the Common Council awarded proclamations to Lawrence H. Cook II and Greer Hamilton of the John R. Oishei Foundation.
The Oishei Foundation is fully committed to bringing about marked improvements in the quality of life and economic wellbeing of residents of the Western New York community. To this end, the foundation seeks shared visions with community leaders and other funders that will lead to positive change in the Buffalo Niagara region and enhance its reputation as a locale of progress, imagination, and excellence.
The Mobile Safety-Net Team, formed by the initiative of The John R. Oishei Foundation in 2009, was established to use research informed practices to support and cultivate collaborations with those who strengthen under-resourced communities. In order to assess the needs of the communities in Niagara and Erie counties, the Mobile Safety-Net Team released 12 community reports detailing gaps and resources pertaining to basic human needs.
The North Tonawanda Community Resource Hub was administered by Cook, vice president of The John R. Oishei Foundation, leader Hamilton and North Tonawanda Alderman-at-Large Bob Pecoraro. Through their leadership and mentorship of this coalition, they discovered access to services was the number one challenge and desired to take action. Overall the Hub provides more convenient access for residents, a concentration of services, and a consistent presence in the North Tonawanda community.
This hub has led to other services provided to residents including a monthly Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office outreach by the Western New York Law Center under Connie Joyce’s leadership and a monthly Niagara County pistol/passport office monthly outreach led by North Tonawanda’s Clerk/Treasurer Matthew Parish.