PECORARO: Two Coalitions in North Tonawanda YOU Need to Know About

Please click the link below to subscribe to a FREE PDF version of each print edition of the Niagara Reporter


Ribbon Cutting at the inaugural Hub for Services including Service provid- ers, State Senator Ortt, Assemblymen Schimminger and Morinello, North Tonawanda Mayor Pappas, and our Mobile Safety Net Team Coordinator Greer Hamilton.


By: Bob Pecoraro

North Tonawanda Alderman-At-Large

Becoming an elected representative came from my desire to serve my fellow North Tonawanda residents.  This is a continuation of my 30 years of active duty in the United States Air Force.  As a North Tonawanda Councilman, I’m proud to serve the residents of North Tonawanda to the best of my abilities.  The flexibility of retirement allows me to attend meetings during the day, and I then keep the other members of the Common Council informed on daily happenings in the city.  I am most fond of the coalition work I have accomplished with two organizations in particular:  The Community Health Alliance of North Tonawanda (CHANT) and the North Tonawanda Hub for Services.

The mission of CHANT is “to reduce substance use among youth by empowering our community as we monitor, assess, and contribute to the revitalization for a safe and healthy North Tonawanda.”  How many articles have you read about the opioid crisis that we now face?  Of course, our vision is to prevent substance abuse from ever entering a young person’s life.  Northpointe Council began this community-based organization in 2014 and, through their great assistance, CHANT was funded by a Federal Drug-Free Communities Grant in 2017. This allowed CHANT to hire a full time coordinator, Lisa Peterangelo.

Today, CHANT assesses daily our community’s needs and resources.  CHANT analyzes problems and goals so the coalition can develop an action plan to produce change in the community while attempting to increase its exposure in our community.  With this increased exposure, my hope is to increase our membership.


North Tonawanda Alderman-At-Large Bob Pecararo working intake at the HUB for services.


Another coalition that serves tour residents is the Hub for Services.  The North Tonawanda Hub for Services began when we realized transportation issues facing residents in North Tonawanda prevented them from accessing state and county programs.  This problem was complex, given the many different types of social service programs.  A Hub for Services was designed to bring critical services to residents in need who are not able to travel to Niagara Falls or Lockport, where many support agencies are located.  Our inaugural Hub was held in September 2017 at the Redeemer Lutheran Church, an ideal location since it also housed the Niagara Community Action office, and we had a ceremonial ribbon cutting to kick off the event.  The Hub is held on a quarterly basis, with an overall theme for the event to make it timely to support residents.

To date, the major themes these Hubs supported were: Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) support, tax preparation, and Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office (CLARO) support for those being sued in Civil Court or in need of advice for debt issues.  The range of Service Providers include:  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of WNY, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Ivy Lea, Neighbor Legal Services, many services provided by Niagara County (Health and Social Services as an example), and Orleans-Niagara BOCES, just to name a few. Typically, each Hub has 20-25 service providers.  Once a resident completes an intake form, if a service provider is not available for immediate assistance, our professional staff member from the John R. Oishei Foundation’s Mobile Safety-Net Team, Greer Hamilton, will connect the resident with the services required.  This intake form referral service has successfully connected many residents with the organization that could help them.

This coalition work is just the beginning of the support to residents in need of critical services.  This work I don’t do for the recognition however, I was pleasantly surprised when I was honored for my coalition work in 2017 by the Western New York Chemical Dependency Consortium and given a Gold Key Award.  If you would like to join these coalitions or have ideas to improve the process, I’d like to hear your ideas.  Please email me at or call me at 716-696-2851.  Together we can make North Tonawanda a better community!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
.wpzoom (color:black;}