NEON: Diversion or Division? Judge for yourself, read our audit info

NEON Jan. 24, 2013 049
Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) Chief Operating Officer Chiquita Stephenson addresses the crowd at last week’s “Our Children Count” rally.

By Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON)

Chief Operating Officer Chiquita Stephenson

NORWALK, Conn. – Too many lives are negatively impacted when individuals in positions of power dig in their heels and adopt inflexible positions due to personal animosity and oppose intelligent and collaborative solutions.

When hostility, old grudges and stereotypes dictate public policy, vulnerable people lose, taxpayers lose and our community loses. From our recent history, NEON knows all too well the destructive consequences of the reckless actions of a few self-serving individuals — and our agency will do everything within our power to transcend petty political fights and focus instead on fulfilling our mission to serve people in need while remaining transparent to taxpayers as it relates to building a sustainable community for all.

Consider these facts:

  • NEON has been, since its founding in 1965, a foundation for individuals and families in need due to unexpected life challenges, such as unemployment, medical emergencies, mental illness, substance abuse and addiction and family break-ups.
  • NEON has a proud history of working with all persons in need of support in our community, regardless of race, creed, economic status, social position, religious traditions or cultural background.
  • NEON believes that all people deserve a second chance at attaining their hopes and dreams for themselves and their families. The agency’s philosophy affirms that goals can be reached through the provision of quality supportive services that include early childhood and adult education, workforce development, training in wealth and asset development, parenting skills and transitional residential and non residential programs reintegrating formerly incarcerated individuals back into the community.
  • NEON does not cast blame on others for the failings of our society, but rather places its energy and focus on holding ourselves accountable for our strengths and weaknesses, and to pro-actively make improvements to advance our mission.

We are grateful to the taxpayers of our community for making our work possible for more than four decades, and assure them that NEON’s new leadership is committed to operating our agency at the highest ethical and professional standards both in managing our finances and providing programs services.

Today, NEON releases our 2011 agency audit  — and the 2011 financial audit performed for CTE–Stamford with which NEON merged in September 2012. Find links to both audit reports below:

We invite everyone – members of the public as well as government and elected officials – to contact us with any questions you may have about NEON’s audit findings, with the view that, while our agency is now doing everything possible to correct the errors of the past, we are also moving forward in positive new directions for the people and communities we serve. Will you join us? Together we can make a difference.

Respectfully submitted,

Chiquita Stephenson



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