Officials at Coachman Playground Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

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The nearly 200 children who are living with their families at Westchester's largest family shelter have a new basketball court, playground and family recreation area to help make their lives easier and more fun.

Surrounded by basketballs and laughter, County Executive George Latimer, Department of Social Services Commissioner Leonard G. Townes and Westhab CEO Richard Nightingale cut the ribbon on the new play area at The Coachman Family Center in White Plains.

County Executive George Latimer said: "The children who live here are no different from any other children in Westchester County.  They deserve the same opportunities to dream, to succeed, and to have access to a good education and socialization. We want them to know that we support them and we are here to help them grow and learn. This project is a small way to show them the respect they deserve."

The renovation project replaces old playground equipment for younger children with new, safer equipment. It also includes a renovated basketball court for older children, trees for shade and privacy, and benches for families to spend time together.

Commissioner Leonard G. Townes said: "Children need this space and there is nothing more special than kids having a place to go during the challenging times we are facing today. Every child should have access to a playground, that is where social interaction takes place as well as lessons for life."

Richard Nightingale, CEO of Westhab, said: "Westhab is proud to operate the Coachman Family Center in partnership with Westchester County, which provides a pathway to employment, permanent housing, and self-sufficiency for our neighbors in need. The Coachman offers a dignifying space with robust programming for children and families, and we are grateful for these building upgrades including new playground equipment which will be utilized immediately and extensively by all of the children we serve."

The Coachman is the largest family shelter in Westchester with units for up to 100 families, 189 children of all ages currently call the Coachman home.

The new playground project also included drainage work in the play area as well as new parking lots with EV charging stations for staff.  It follows work in recent years at the facility on the roof, plumbing and HVAC system.