We exist to promote unity in our muti-cultural community. We strive to inculcate and perpetuate the highest ideal of Americanism. We endeavor to provide mutual assistance and encourage greater participation.
HISTORY OF FIAO
The Federation of Italian-American Organizations of Brooklyn, Ltd. (FIAO), is a not for profit charitable community service organization, established in 1975. As evidenced in its by-laws, FIAO was created from the efforts of dozens of organizations to unite, to galvanize resources, and provide services to the community.
FIAO was created in 1975 with a group of community leaders volunteering to work with youth in a recreational environment as an alternative for keeping youth "off the streets". In 1977, two years later, FIAO received its first after-school program funding from the NYC Department of Youth Services to provide academic and recreational services to youth ages 6 - 18.
This same funding continues today with the expansion of evening and weekend programs to youth under 21. That same year, FIAO received a legislative grant from the State to provide social services.
In 1988, FIAO received competitive funding from the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. This funding has helped FIAO target "at-risk" youth not only in our area, but within the community at large. In 1991, as a result of the tragic killing of an African-American youth in Bensonhurst, FIAO competitively obtained an "Outreach" grant from the Department of Youth Services. As such, FIAO has provided positive alternative activities to at-risk youth who gather in schoolyards, parks, video arcades, street corners and shopping malls.
These outreach services are provided by professionally trained counselors who bring the at-risk youth into established FIAO programs which address their social, educational and emotional needs. Much of the success of this outreach can be seen in the high enrollment of serviced youth into our GED program. FIAO has enjoyed an enormous success rate of youth obtaining their GED Equivalency Diploma. It is also known that theses youth have gone on to pursue higher education.
Our staff includes eight full-time and 180 part-time employees and hundreds of volunteers. Our staff is multi-lingual, and reflects the changing population of the community, enabling us to communicate with the most recent immigrants. Staff receives ongoing training and development enabling them to provide services to the changing population. Both paid staff and volunteers are provided with materials and assignments in specific skill areas that individualize instruction to meet the community needs.
F.I.A.O. also assists individuals and families with the preparation of applications, translation of documents, referral to agencies, visit to home bind people, and escorting non-English speaking clients to governmental agencies. We also assist those seeking Public Assistance (i.e. Food Stamps, Medicaid / Medicare), Housing (i.e. Section 8, IT 214 & Rent increase exemption), Immigration (i.e. Citizenship applications, Alien card renewal), and HEAP (Application and home attendant referrals).