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54 New Grants for Nonprofits Improving the Lives of New Yorkers and Others

The New York Community Trust gives $5.6 million for new efforts to stop domestic violence, protect First Amendment rights, build young leaders, and more.


(April 12, 2017) NEW YORK –The New York Community Trust recently approved more than $5.6 million in grants to help 54 nonprofits. The grants will help some groups respond to federal policy changes while helping others address longstanding problems such as unemployment, homelessness, and low voter turnout.

As immigrants face threats of deportation and discrimination, a grant of $280,000 to Advocates for Children of New York will help make City’s schools safe and effective for young immigrants.

“Schools should be a source of support and hope,” says Shawn Morehead, Trust program director overseeing grantmaking on immigration. Through a combination of advocacy, individual legal help, and community events, the grant will help protect students against unlawful requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and help families understand and exercise their rights.

Hate crimes are on the rise in America. For women, this often involves sexual assault. Compounding this, the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women is facing defunding, and the federal Violence Against Women Act may not be reauthorized. In response, The Trust is giving Black Women’s Blueprint $75,000 to start a hotline for female victims of violence, hire counselors, and advocate for the federal funding of female victims’ services. 

Meanwhile, in the Rockaways, a Trust grant is addressing high rates of obesity and diabetes by helping provide healthy food to residents of public housing developments. With $150,000 from The Trust, Rockaway Waterfront Alliance will start nutrition and cooking classes, a produce buying club using local farms, and hydroponics to help low-income residents.

The Trust is committed to helping solve some of New York’s toughest problems. For each of the following grants, we offer journalists one-page background memos that detail the problems we’re addressing and our approaches to solving them. Our CLOSER LOOK  sections below are a glimpse of this resource. Please contact Amy Wolf at aw@nyct-cfi.org for more. 

EDUCATION

Advocates for Children of New York will use $280,000 to help make public schools safe and effective for immigrant students, including those with disabilities. 

CLOSER LOOK: More than 40 percent of the City’s public school students speak a language other than English at home. Despite State protections for English-language learners, New York City struggles to meet the needs of these students. And with the heightened threat of deportation, many immigrant families are unaware of their rights in City schools. Over the next two years, Advocates for Children will engage in advocacy, community education, and provide individual legal help. 

Children’s Aid Society will use $100,000 to work with several public and nonprofit agencies to improve access to high quality early education in Community District 3 in the South Bronx. 

Fund for Public Schools will use $200,000 to digitize their static high school guide so students and their families can find and apply to schools that best match their skills and interests. 

Graduate Center for CUNY will use $170,000 to develop guidance for principals, counselors, superintendents, and policy makers on creating college access programs in high schools.  The program focuses on helping students who are the first in their families to go to college. 

ON THE JOB

Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation will use $60,000 to help businesses in the Navy Yard identify and meet their labor force needs. 

Community Voices Heard will receive $75,000 to support the successful transition of individuals from welfare to work. 

Fortune Society will use $115,000 to expand employment services for people who have spent time in prison. 

Manhattan Legal Services will receive $70,000 to help job seekers with criminal, bad credit, and child welfare histories benefit from legal protections. Last year’s grant helped dozens of New Yorkers move past bad records and into full-time jobs or training programs.

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Rockaway Waterfront Alliance will receive $150,000 to establish an intergenerational community food program in Far Rockaway that uses local produce, hydroponics, and cooking demonstrations.

With past funding totaling $125,000, the young leaders trained by Rockaway Youth Task Force persuaded the MTA to extend the Q52 bus service and extend a free shuttle to a new ferry to Manhattan. Young leaders were also appointed to the NYPD’s 101st Precinct’s Community Council, where they’ve worked to improve community relations. This year, the group will use $73,000 to expand this leadership program. 

ScriptEd will use $120,000 to expand a program that recruits hundreds of volunteer software developers to teach website development in dozens of City high schools.

HUMAN JUSTICE

Black Women’s Blueprint will receive $75,000 to provide advocacy and clinical services to female victims of hate crimes. 

Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
will use $90,000 to advocate for reform of cash bail laws and policies.  Last year, The Trust gave $90,000 to this new group, and that led to the creation of an easy-to-use illustrated bail guide and the beginnings of an online bail payment system. Also, they persuaded the City to place more ATM machines in courthouses, so that families can post bail more easily.

Fund for New Citizens, a funder collaborative in The Trust, will use $150,000 to support local immigrant-led nonprofits that serve as trusted sources of information and effective advocacy in the face of disruptive changes to federal immigration enforcement policy. 

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Lawyers Alliance for New York

will receive $30,000 to press for changes to a new donor disclosure law that has unintended consequences on nonprofits.

HELP FOR YOUNG NEW YORKERS 

Cardinal McCloskey Community Services will use $50,000 to provide children in foster care with specialized educational services and clinical support, and help them stay in the same school despite changes in residence. 

HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services will receive $100,000 to improve educational outcomes for young people in foster care. 

Prevent Child Abuse New York will use $50,000 to expand home visiting and child care programs in New York State. 

COUNTERING HATE THROUGH WRITING

Asian American Writers’ Workshop will receive $70,000 to help organize and publish immigrant, Arab, Muslim, and South Asian writers, several of whom have been physically or verbally assaulted because of their ethnicity or perceived religion. 

PEN America will use $150,000 to amplify voices of aspiring and professional writers marginalized by race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and immigration status while combating hate speech. 

CLOSER LOOK: PEN will expand a writing workshop for undocumented CUNY students telling their experiences arriving and growing up in the United States. The group will share stories to counter negative media attacks on immigrants and help its own writers fight back against online hate speech. 

ARTS AND CULTURE

New York City Cultural Agenda Fund, a funder collaborative in The Trust, will use $250,000 to strengthen arts advocacy, cultural policy, and equity in New York, helping disconnected arts groups coordinate better and share information, advocacy strategies, and policy goals more effectively. Recently it funded a groundbreaking study that connected the arts to social well-being in low- and middle-income neighborhoods.

Queens Museum is getting $100,000 to use art to organize local communities. The funding will support  festivals, forums, and a mobile art studio, giving residents an opportunity to make art while learning about changes in immigration law, workers’ rights, and emergency planning for families facing deportation. 

Staten Island Arts
is using $300,000 to develop new audiences for several local art, theater, and cultural groups. 

CIVIC AFFAIRS

Community Votes will use $60,000 to help service organizations engage residents of underrepresented neighborhoods and turn out the vote for local elections.

MinKown Center for Community Action will receive $100,000 to increase voter participation among Asian-American New Yorkers through a coalition of 18 organizations. Last year, with our grant of $100,000, the coalition registered 6,000 new voters, held forums, distributed voter guides, and monitored election sites.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Center for New York City Neighborhoods will use $75,000 for public education and outreach on loan modification scams, deed theft, and other types of property fraud. Last year, our grant of $70,000 helped it refer unscrupulous acts by would-be scammers to appropriate enforcement authorities, do widespread education to vulnerable homeowners, and make a case for legislative solutions including a “flip-tax” on properties that change ownership in less than two years.

Enterprise Community Partners will use $90,000 to help small apartment building owners connect to energy-efficiency and affordable housing resources through its Help Desk service. 

New York University, Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy will use $50,000 to analyze and improve the City’s brownfield revitalization programs. 

Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) will receive $70,000 to expand and diversify services for limited equity cooperative buildings.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION

Historic Districts Council will receive $100,000 to create a network of racially and economically diverse preservationists in the five boroughs. 

NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project will receive $100,000 to document City historic and cultural sites reflecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history. 

CLOSER LOOK: The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community spent generations “in the closet” keeping its history and stories hidden. After gay marriage became legal, the cost of that invisibility was clear—LGBT youth suicide attempts dropped 14 percent. It is important to make visible the contributions of this once hidden group of New Yorkers. Of the 92,000 sites on the national register of Historic Places, only 12 are listed for their association with LGBT history. The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project will continue to identify, document, and preserve more LGBT historic sites. 


CONSERVATION AND ENVIRONMENT

BlueGreen Alliance Foundation will receive $100,000 to build support for energy and climate change-related policies that create high-paying jobs in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic, and address environmental challenges. 

Environmental Grantmakers Association will receive $80,000 to support fellowships for graduate students of color in leading environmental organizations. 

Environmental Law and Policy Center will use $100,000 to advocate for changes in Midwestern energy policies to promote the widespread adoption of new energy storage technologies for large and small consumers of electricity.

Friends of Governors Island will use $40,000 to expand horticultural stewardship and other volunteer programs on Governors Island. 

Getting Ready for Baby Coalition will receive $150,000 to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in children’s products. 

Natural Areas Conservancy will receive $80,000 to continue to assess the condition of 10,000 acres of City-owned forests and wetlands, and complete a forest management framework to guide future conservation efforts in the City.

New York City Audubon Society will use $40,000 to promote the installation of green roofs beneficial to birds and pollinators. 

CLOSER LOOK: The City’s congested streets and soaring skyscrapers may not seem like suitable wildlife habitat, but every year millions of migration birds pass through this urban jungle. More than 130 species of birds make stopovers in New York City, resting in large open spaces and rooftops. As more property owners install green roofs, their importance as a habitat is growing, but unless they incorporate native plants, the habitat value is limited. With appropriate guidance for architects, owners, and property managers, greening the City’s rooftops could yield far greater benefits for our urban ecology. 

New York City Environmental Justice Alliance will receive $100,000 to advocate with the City and State to ensure climate change polices benefit poor communities most vulnerable its effects. 

Re-Amp Network will receive $125,000 to strengthen the capacity of low-income communities in the Midwest to influence climate and energy policymaking at the state, regional, and national levels. 

WE ACT for Environmental Justice will receive $250,000 to help poor communities participate in state and federal energy and environmental policy deliberations. 

HEALTH

Callen-Lorde Community Health Center will use $75,000 to help a leading community health center develop a shared-services model of care for gay, lesbian, and transgender patients. 

Community Healthcare Network will receive $75,000 for a medical-legal partnership program with the Urban Justice Center to address veterans’ health, social service, and legal needs. 

Medicare Rights Center will use $150,000 to educate and engage consumers and policymakers about the impact of potential federal changes to Medicare on New York State.

CLOSER LOOK: For years, the Medicare Rights Center has succeeded in advocating for policy changes to strengthen and improve Medicare. This year, with so many proposed changes to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, the group will work with state and national organizations to advocate for comprehensive and affordable health coverage for New York’s elderly and people with disabilities. 

National Association of Community Health Centers will receive $50,000 to expand a training program that recruits and trains people of color to advocate for New York’s health care safety net system. 

National Medical Fellowships will use $65,000 for scholarships in research and community health for minority medical students.

National Council for Behavioral Health will receive $50,000 to advocate to strengthen states’  behavioral health delivery systems. 

Public Health Solutions will use $200,000 to work with the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy to test a program that expands healthy food choices in low-income neighborhoods. 

United Hospital Fund of New York will receive $150,000 to analyze the impact of federal health policy changes on New Yorkers and suggest options to protect affordable and comprehensive coverage. 

OLDER ADULTS

Gerontological Society of America will use $32,000 for the Maxwell A. Pollack Award. The Society presents the Award at its annual conference to an “individual who has made an outstanding contribution to increasing the human healthy life span.” 

Griot Circle will receive $40,000 to expand a visiting program for homebound gay older adults of color. 

Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute will receive $75,000 to develop and expand web-based training for home health aides to care for older adults and people with disabilities with complex health conditions. 

Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) will use $75,000 to help gay and lesbian elders get mental health care. 

HELPING THE BLIND AND THOSE WITH VISUAL DISABILITIES

My Blind Spot will receive $60,000 to train blind adults to use an accessible format of QuickBooks accounting software.

ABOUT THE NEW YORK COMMUNITY TRUST

The New York Community Trust is committed to promoting healthy lives, promising futures, and thriving communities for all New Yorkers. We are the community foundation for New York City, Westchester, and Long Island—with a permanent endowment dedicated to improving our region through strategic grantmaking, civic engagement, and smart giving. Our competitive grants program is made possible with money left to us by bequest; we fund programs that improve the lives of all New Yorkers, especially those most in need. See nycommunitytrust.org 





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The New York Community Trust is a 501(c)3 public charity.

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