As a result of the agency's restructuring, Abbott House President and CEO Claude B. Meyers announced today that the human services agency plans to sell its 15.6-acre Irvington campus.
In early 2010,mong other changes, these contracts called for a phasing out of Abbott House’s on-site residential program, which will officially close in June.
“This decision was not a reflection on Abbott House, but rather it reflects the trend in foster care toward matching youth in need with foster families as quickly as possible,” Meyers said.
Over the past five years, the number of children placed in foster care has steadily declined, both statewide and in New York City, Abbott house officials said. With the agency shifting its focus from residential care on its Irvington Campus to placement of children in foster care settings, the large campus no longer fits the needs of the agency.
Meyers noted that while the organization’s Irvington location has long been considered the central hub of Abbott House, the majority of the organization’s services and resources are focused in other areas.
“Our presence in Irvington has always been an important part of our work, but it represents only a small component of the services we offer,” Meyers explained. “Abbott House is not a single location, but a far-reaching human services agency with administrative offices in the Bronx, Westchester, Orange and Dutchess Counties serving children, and their families as well as people with developmental disabilities throughout New York City and the Hudson Valley.”
In a note sent to residents this morning. Irvington Mayor Jonathan Siegel wrote: "Trustee Brian Smith, Village Administrator Lawrence Schopfer and I held recent meetings with Abbott House officials to discuss the future of their Irvington campus. Abbott House and the Village of Irvington have had a long and valuable relationship for nearly 40 years. We are saddened that they will no longer have a presence in Irvington."
He added: "Abbott House officials have invited Village officials to participate in the decision making process about the future use of the property and we look forward to positively contributing to that process."
"No asking price for the property has been set," said Nancy Riedl director of development and community relations for Abbott House "It is suggested that potential purchasers submit their highest and best offers."
Abbott House operates foster boarding home and therapeutic foster boarding home programs in the Bronx, Westchester County and several counties in the lower Hudson Valley, as well as group homes in White Plains, Mt. Kisco, Manhattan, Queens and Swan Lake, and a community residence in Pleasantville licensed by the Office of Mental Health. In addition to the foster care and adoption programs, the agency will continue providing preventive services in Dutchess County, and post-adoption services in Orange, Dutchess, Rockland and Ulster Counties.
Abbott House’s administrative offices will remain in Irvington until the property is sold, at which time they plan to relocate to either White Plains or Yonkers.