Stories of Change and Commitment in Yonkers Community

November 18, 2023

Yonkers is a place which is buzzing with energy and hard work. People here are always doing something cool and caring a lot. Yonkers keeps getting better and better. It is a fun spot in New York. You can find some cool new spots to eat. VeganHood is one of them. Plus, Yonkers is known as the safest city in New York State.

We have got some exciting stories to share in this blog. First up, there is a casino worker. He really likes to help others in his free time. Everyone is talking about how great he is. Then, there is the Independence Care System. They are doing big things for people with disabilities in Westchester. We are also going to see how the big shots in Yonkers are facing food challenges such as people not having enough to eat and other health stuff.

Styles P and VeganHood's Third Plant Based Dine-In in Yonkers

Styles P, a famous rapper from The LOX, is doing something special in Yonkers. He is not just about music. He is also big on helping people. Styles P started Farma Cares. They focus on good habits, eating right, and staying active. Farma Cares wants everyone to make better choices for their health. In September, Styles P began a cool event in Yonkers. It is called the "Plant-Based Community Dine-In Night." Every month, they serve yummy plant based meals. Over 200 people in Yonkers have enjoyed these dinners.

On Friday, November 17, there is going to be a special night. It is the third time they are doing it. This time, VeganHood is joining in. VeganHood is a famous plant based restaurant from Harlem. Styles P and VeganHood will offer tasty dishes from VeganHood's menu. Janine Smalls-Gueye and Lanise Herman-Thomas own VeganHood. They started in a small kitchen during the pandemic. Now, they run a big restaurant in Harlem. They also got a special award from the city for helping the community.

This event will be at the Yonkers Police Athletic League Center. It is at 127 N Broadway, Yonkers, NY. The dinner is from 5 to 7 PM on November 17. Everyone is welcome to come. The goal is to bring people together and show how fun healthy eating can be. The Yonkers Community Action Program is supporting this event.

Yonkers Safest City in NY; Drops in National Rank

Yonkers is the top safe city in New York State. WalletHub says so. But there is a bit of a change this year. Yonkers is now the 8th safest in the whole USA. It was 6th last year. WalletHub looked at more than 180 cities. They used many things to rank them. This included how many car accidents and attacks happen. They also checked how many people don't have health insurance.

The WalletHub report, shared by The Yonkers Ledger, didn't just focus on staying safe from harm. It also cared about money problems. Stuff like big house payments and lacking health insurance counted. They also considered how rising prices affect the safety of people's money. In the top ten safest cities in the USA, Yonkers is number 8. That is really good. It does a great job keeping homes and neighborhoods safe. Yonkers is number 4 when it comes to serious crimes and dangers like car crashes.

But, Yonkers has some things to work on. It ranks 39th in risk from natural disasters. It is 122nd in how safe people's money is. This means some folks in Yonkers worry about their health and cash. Yonkers is trying hard to be safe. It is doing well in many areas. But there is space to get even better.

Empire City Casino Worker Receives Volunteer Award

Justin Grasso works at Empire City Casino in Yonkers. MGM Resorts gave him an award for his great work in helping others. Justin really likes to volunteer. He is super keen on donating blood. That is the main reason he got this award. MGM Resorts really values people who volunteer. Their staff have spent over a million hours helping out. Empire City Casino is also big on this. They often host blood donation events. Justin is always there, doing his part.

In 2022, Justin became part of the "Gallon Club." This club is for those who have given a lot of blood. The New York Blood Center set it up. It is for people who have donated more than a gallon of blood. Justin doesn't just stop at blood. He also donates platelets. Platelets are small bits in our blood that help with healing cuts.

Justin won $2,500 with this award. He gets to choose a charity to give this money to. He loves donating blood. But he chose The Alzheimer’s Association for his donation. This choice means a lot to him. Both his grandparents suffered from Alzheimer's. This illness makes people forget things and have trouble thinking. His money will help them do research and help others.

Independence Care System Brings Disability Services to Westchester

The Independence Care System (ICS) is coming to Westchester County. ICS is all about helping people with physical disabilities. They have been doing this for over 20 years. Now, they are bringing their services to Westchester, including Yonkers. ICS is special in New York State. They are the first to have a program just for people with physical disabilities. Their goal is simple. They want to help people in staying healthy and living on their own.

The expansion started in spring. It first reached Staten Island. Now, it is Yonkers and Westchester's turn. Regina Martinez-Estela, the big boss at ICS, is excited. She can't wait to help the people in Westchester. Here is what ICS does. They focus on care before it is an emergency. They want to keep people out of the hospital. They are all about helping folks live their best lives at home not in institutions.

With ICS in Westchester, more people with disabilities will get better health care. They'll be more independent. Their lives will improve. Regina Martinez-Estela says it is important. People with disabilities often don't get the help they need. Now, they can turn to ICS. ICS will be there for them with expert care and services. Regina is looking forward to helping people in Yonkers. She wants them to be healthy and independent.

More Handicap Parking at Dunwoodie Golf Club

Dunwoodie Golf Club is making a change for the better. All thanks to a local Yonkers man, Dave Rocco. Dave went to the golf club for a Chamber of Commerce event. He noticed something wasn't right. The parking for people with disabilities was too far from the entrance. Even the employee parking was closer.

Dave decided to do something about it. He started making calls. At first, he didn't get much help. Then, he met County Executive George Latimer. George told Dave to email him about the problem. Dave did just that. He even sent photos and a map. Peter Tartaglia from the Parks Department got Dave's email. He and his team went to check out Dunwoodie. They needed to find a safe spot for more handicap parking. Some places they thought about weren't safe. But they found a solution.

The plan is to keep the current handicap spots. They will also turn some employee spots into handicap parking. This means more parking for people who need it. The new signs are already ordered. They will put them up as soon as they arrive. Peter Tartaglia says people should speak up like Dave did. He says the government in Westchester County listens. They want to help and will keep doing so.

Officials Tackle Food Insecurity at Town Hall

A town hall meeting was held to talk about hunger in Yonkers. The group behind this is Feeding Westchester. The town hall was at the Riverfront Library on June 29th. Over 40 people came. They learned about hunger in the area and ways to fix it. Lucria Ortiz from the Yonkers YMCA led the meeting. She had experts with her. They talked about how to help people who don't have enough to eat.

Feeding Westchester did a big study with the Boston Consulting Group. They looked at hunger in Westchester. They found out two in five homes don't have enough food. The study had some ideas to help. First, listen to the community. Second, help the areas that need it most. Finally, get more fresh food from local stores.


In the world, the community of Yonkers is known for their commitment. All the stories which we have discussed above are showing the value of health facilities in Yonkers from the perspective of the residents of the city. People in Yonkers really give their all. They are busy making their city nicer. In Yonkers, everyone works together. They are not afraid of hard stuff. They show us something. According to them, If they keep trying consistently, they can make things good. That is the heart of Yonkers.


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