R.A.I.N. celebrates opening of new exec. offices

Assemblyman Carl Heastie, Councilman James Vacca, Nelson Gomez, board member at RAIN Inc, Beatrice Castiglia-Catullo, Louis Vazquez, executive director, Earl Brown, Deputy Borough President, and Senator Jeff Klein cut the ribbon for the new RAIN executive office facility. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

Regional Aid for Interim Needs, Inc. invited associates and community members and officials on Thursday, October 2, to celebrate the ribbon cutting of its new executive facility.

The office, located at 811 Morris Park Avenue, includes 10,000 square feet and is the home base for operations of the largest not-for-profit social service organization in the Bronx.

“This building is very big and well made and I am very happy it is here in my community,” said Councilman James Vacca. “It’s a wonderful resource, they have created an atmosphere here where the elderly can come.”

RAIN offers both housekeeping services and a home attendant program. The building holds eight care coordinators, available to help clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. These operators can assist and direct clients with their needs and also oversee the quality of services provided. They are also there to assist in crisis intervention.

“RAIN was incorporated in 1965 and it was important for us to own our own property to control the quality of service we provide to our clients,” explained Louis Vazquez, executive director at RAIN.

The housekeeping service allows maximum 20 hours service, and involves basic help such as grocery shopping, cleaning, and cooking. This service is designated for more independent clients, who may be considered more active than those who need special care.

RAIN also pioneered what is referred to as ‘cluster care.’ This allows one attendant to care for multiple independent clients in one building.

“If there are five independent clients located in one building, we have one attendant service all their needs,” said Jocelyn Lee, program director at RAIN, “which allows us to save money that may be used elsewhere and allows us to care for a broader range of clients.”

RAIN also employees 10 nurses, with on-call capabilities to provide service in an emergency.

“One thing we haven’t found a cure for is loneliness,” said Senator Jeff Klein. “That is why I was proud to secure $ 250,000 in capital funds for this facility and this year a $ 100,000 grant to make sure our seniors get the service they need. We want to make sure the elderly live out their golden years in dignity and comfort.”

Beatrice Castiglia-Catullo, as a volunteer effort to provide in-home care, founded RAIN in 1964. Since then her dream has expanded to treat seniors throughout the Bronx, not only with in-home care, but also through 13 senior centers, three housing projects for the elderly, and a thrift shop where food and clothing are available.

“Given what is going on now economically, service for our seniors is critical and RAIN is providing these services,” said Earl Brown, Deputy Borough President. “If not for the work and vision of people like Beatrice, those 300,000 seniors and 1.4 million residents of the Bronx would not get the services they deserve.”

For more information on RAIN, visit www.RAININC.org.

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