C.A.R.E.S. Van visits our towns

Destiny Hallenbeck, left, director of outreach, Office of Rep. Patrick Ryan, and Jose Torres, constituent services manager, Office of State Sen. Michelle Hinchey, at the Millbrook Village Hall Thursday, Feb. 22, conducted mobile “office hours” with the C.A.R.E.S. Van.

Judith O’Hara Balfe

C.A.R.E.S. Van visits our towns

MILLBROOK — The Constituents Advocacy Resources Empowerment Services (C.A.R.E.S.) Van visited Millbrook and Millerton Thursday, Feb. 22, conducting “office hours” on behalf of state Sen. Michelle Hinchey and Rep. Pat Ryan, NY-18.

Destiny Hallenbeck, director of outreach for Ryan’s office, and Jose Torres, constituent services manager for the office of Hinchey, were on hand to talk to constituents about state and federal programs.

They had information about what agencies could help with what needs, what documentation is needed for certain items, and information about health care, vaccines, Social Security, flooding, passports, citizenship and human rights.

People also wanted to know how to file claims for unemployment, updates on health care, and information on licensing and permits. Some people just stopped by to say they think the government is doing a good job.

In the first half hour, about 10 people had already stopped by the Millbrook office hours, including Amenia Town Supervisor Leo Blackman.

Asked what the biggest complaints were, Hallenbeck and Torres said probably Central Hudson and its pricing.

The two Dutchess County stops were the last of 10 visits scheduled for February in the areas covered by the two offices.

Hallenbeck said that by the end of the day, the C.A.R.E.S. Van program, launched by Ryan in June 2023, had paid 82 visits to 77 different municipalities throughout New York’s 18th Congressional District.

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