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Mitigate & Adapt: Social Justice
"Strategies to reduce the overall social vulnerability of
Erie County residents will help improve the overall livelihoods
of residents throughout the County and help reduce
the impacts of extreme events."

(Erie County Climate Vulnerability Assessment, Draft of Climate Hazards Summary Report August 16, 2020)

 The Town of Aurora Board is working with a team of volunteers via the Rural Outreach Center to explore low-income housing projects and how the town can improve in this area.  The Town Board has also appointed a Fair Housing Officer to ensure the enforcement of federal and state laws. 

The Town of Aurora recently received funding from Erie County to develop a Comprehensive Plan for the future. The Town of Aurora is dedicated to embracing the Climate Smart initiatives that led to its recent Climate Smart Communities Bronze designation, including an examination of all issues related to climate-driven social justice concerns.

The Rural Outreach Center (ROC)

The not-for-profit Rural Outreach Center is a local resource treasure, with a staff dedicated to selflessly serving the Town of Aurora's rural communities:

  • ROC's Care Coordination program helps qualifying residents to obtain affordable housing, employment, and transportation. ROC also assists individuals in navigating community resources such as registering for local food pantries- and provides help in applying for benefits such as SNAP, HEAP, and WIC.

  • ROC's "New Paths" program is a furniture and appliance redistribution center.  This program provides clean, usable appliances and furniture to individuals in need who reside in Western New York (WNY) rural communities. 

 

Food Pantries-

FISH of East Aurora-   A volunteer, Christian non-profit community organization that provides free services to low income families in the Southtowns. FISH offers a food pantry, clothing and household items, emergency needs, applications for health insurance and Social Services, toys at Christmas, as well as referrals for employment opportunities, urgent medical care, counseling, transportation, HEAP, smoking cessation, and emergency preparedness guidelines. FISH helps residents in the Towns of Aurora, Elma, Marilla, Wales and Holland. FISH supplies food to an average of 250 families per month, ranging from individuals to large families. 

Bread of Life Outreach Center-  Located in Colden, our town's next door neighbor just south of West Falls, is the Bread of Life Outreach Center. Their Food Pantry is a member of FeedMore WNY. Qualified individuals in our southtowns region can also shop with through their service, Gabe’s on the Hill  and receive a clothing allowance.  A Bread of Life partnership with the Mobile Food Pantry, sponsored by FeedMore WNY,  delivers  perishable food products at the Colden Fire Hall on State Road. The mobile food pantry is open to all (no income eligibility requirement!) but all shoppers are required to show a photo ID.

Erie County Recommendations for Mobility Challenges-

The Town of Aurora recognizes that mobility can be a concern for some of our vulnerable residents, including the handicapped, elderly, and those without reliable transportation. The following chart from Erie County demonstrates this as an identified concern. 

 

Town of Aurora Senior Citizen Center-

Seniors will find transportation assistance and a wide array of services and activities available through the Town of Aurora's Senior Center.  Activities and programs are open to anyone over the age of 55

* The Senior Center is an emergency shelter for the Town of Aurora.  

It is equipped with a generator and will be open during emergencies.

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Going Places Van  

The Going Places Van is available Tuesday through Friday (except holidays) though the Town of Aurora's Recreation Department. It's available for residents over the age of 60 who lack access to a vehicle or the ability to drive. All requests received will be evaluated with a priority on medical and health-related trips. The suggested donation is $3.00 each way per person, and contributions are confidential.

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Rural Transit Van

The Rural Transit Van is provided by the Rural Transit Service,  a not-for-profit transportation service for senior citizens, low/moderate income individuals and clients with disabilities. Eligible residents are transported to dialysis clinics, medical offices, physical therapy, pharmacies, colleges, work places, senior centers, nutrition sites, adult day cares, grocery stores, banks, salons/barbers, etc., with medical trips taking priority. Rural Transit riders are not required to contribute for services provided, although donations are accepted and encouraged.

FeedMore WNY Mobile Farm Truck

The Town of Aurora Senior Center hosts the FeedMore WNY’s Farm Market Program, which brings affordable, fresh produce to the communities during the growing season. The truck is open for business on every Thursday and is located behind the Senior Center in the back parking lot  from 10:30am-11:30am.

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Nutrition Lunch Program

Sponsored by the Erie County Department of Senior Services and in cooperation with various community agencies,  seniors over the age of 60 and their spouses can enjoy a hot meal and companionship every weekday at noon. Please call 652-7934 to reserve a space one week in advance, or in person when you’re at the Senior Center. The program is funded by the Administration on Aging, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the New York State Office for the Aging and Erie County.

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Social Justice: Challenges
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