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4/12/16 - The New York Community Trust gives $5.4 million to 45 nonprofits across the city and nationally

Amy Wolf (212) 686-0010 x234,
David Marcus (212) 686-0010 x224,

New York (April 12, 2016) – Forty-five nonprofits in New York City and beyond just got great news: The New York Community Trust, the city’s community foundation, has approved $5.4 million in grants for dozens of promising projects—from reforming the bail system to developing an arts and leadership program for children on the autism spectrum.

At a Long Island City nonprofit, for example, The Trust is connecting job-seeking programmers with technology firms in Queens; another grant enlists industry professionals to teach coding in public schools across the city. The Trust is also supporting the expansion of a small business incubator for food companies run by women. And new funding supports workshops and legal aid for young fathers in custody hearings so they can be more involved in their children’s lives. 

The city’s rapidly expanding pre-K program gets 4-year-old minds cranking, but thousands of new teachers need extra training to make the most of this pivotal year in a child’s development. Over the next three years, The Trust’s $500,000 grant to the Fund for Public Schools will train 2,000 pre-K teachers to bring dance, music, theater, and visual arts into their classrooms. “Not all arts education is created equally,” says Kerry McCarthy, The Trust’s senior program officer for the arts. “But when skillfully taught, the arts can develop curiosity and persistence, and help children build vocabulary, social skills, and cognition.” 

The Trust is also giving $400,000 over three years to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, for Connections to Care, a new program to improve mental health screenings and treatment for low-income New Yorkers.

The Trust’s Fund for New Citizens is supporting grassroots groups that provide legal help to immigrants and refugees so they can live and work legally in New York. Meanwhile, a research arm of Stanford University is using our grant to study whether this support makes a difference in immigrants’ lives. 

“While many groups try to help immigrants become taxpayers and legal residents, we want to learn what kinds of legal aid really improve people’s daily lives,” says Shawn Morehead, The Trust’s senior program officer for education and human justice. 

More details on The Trust’s 45 new grants:

Fund for Public Schools, $500,000 to train 2,000 pre-K teachers in dance, music, theater, and the visual arts. This arts training is developed to boost preschoolers’ social and emotional development, vocabulary, literacy, and knowledge of the world. 

Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center, $50,000 to integrate leadership and other social skills into an arts program that works with introverted students and those on the autism spectrum. 

Sadie Nash Leadership Project, $50,000 to help low-income young women succeed in college through mentoring, college tours, academic support, help with time management, and dealing with stress.

Writing Revolution, $160,000 to train teachers and principals to use clear, concise writing in different courses to improve students’ overall academic performance and writing skills.

Alpha Workshops, $100,000 to expand a decorative arts training program for people with physical and chronic illnesses, such as AIDS. The program covers Venetian plaster, painting murals, and gold and silver leaf application.

Coalition for Queens, $80,000 to engage technology employers in Queens in a competitive program that trains low-income adults for high-demand jobs in mobile technology. 

Fortune Society, $80,000 to help former inmates find jobs.  

Fund for Public Health in New York, $100,000 to evaluate Green City Force, a program that cultivates farms on New York City Housing Authority land while training residents in ecology and preparing them for careers in clean energy, construction, and other fields. In February, The Trust made a $750,000 investment in the Green City Force program.

Hot Bread Kitchen, $100,000 to expand a business incubator for small food companies, many of them run by women.

Resilience Advocacy Project, $140,000 to assist young, noncustodial fathers in child-support proceedings and offer workshops on fatherhood at foster care group homes and at Covenant House, a shelter for homeless teenagers.

ScriptEd, $120,000 to expand a program that recruits volunteer software developers to teach coding and other website-development skills to city high school students.

Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco), $50,000 to improve the quality and safety of home-based child care through training, home visits, and help for individual caregivers, many of whom have limited education.

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, $125,000 to use journalistic case studies of elders to catalog the challenges of aging, and determine how to support older adults as active community participants. 

Medicare Rights Center, $100,000 to counsel elders newly eligible for Medicare.

Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, $150,000 to improve the quality of home care for elderly and disabled people by supporting higher pay and better training for their caregivers. 

Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), $100,000 to train staff to screen, refer, and provide help during crises for clients with mental health issues.

Harlem United Community AIDS Center, $80,000 to get more patients to use an internet portal to access medical records, refill prescriptions, and communicate with doctors.

Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, $400,000 for Connections to Care, a new program to improve mental health screenings and treatment for low-income New Yorkers.

New Alternatives for Children, $130,000 to help children with mental and physical disabilities avoid hospitalization and remain at home and out of the child welfare system.

United Hospital Fund of New York, $150,000 for research on access to health insurance for low-income New Yorkers, many of whom are ineligible for subsidies or can’t find affordable policies.

Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, $90,000 to reform the cash bail system by collecting and sharing information on how it affects low-income New Yorkers.

Center for Court Innovation, $150,000 to expand Adolescent Diversion, an alternative to jail for young New Yorkers. The program will be expanded in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

Manhattan Legal Services, $90,000 to help job seekers with criminal and bad-credit histories benefit from new legal protections, including the Fair Chance Act, which prohibits employers from asking about criminal convictions until after a conditional job offer, and the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits most employers from basing hiring decisions on credit histories. 

New York Civil Liberties Union, $75,000 to push the city to adopt the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which lets police officers divert minor misconduct cases to a civil tribunal rather than criminal courts.

University Settlement Society of New York, $128,000 for non-lawyers to help tenants avoid eviction, get repairs made, understand rent regulations, and navigate Brooklyn housing court.

CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, $75,000 to examine policies and programs that affect production, distribution, quality, and labor practices in the city’s food sector. 

CSH, $100,000
to improve housing for young adults aging out of foster care, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems.

Lantern Community Services, $100,000 to help former foster children live happier, more productive lives by tailoring mental health treatment for those living in agency-supported housing. 

Enterprise Community Partners, $90,000 to help owners of small apartment buildings get resources to improve their properties.  

New York State Tenants & Neighbors Information Service, $60,000 to preserve the affordability of Mitchell-Lama buildings—developments with regulated, moderate-income rental apartments.

Acadia Center, $100,000 to work with state agencies, power companies, utilities, and others to strengthen a regional initiative that limits greenhouse gas emissions in the Northeast.

Environmental Defense Fund, $100,000 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from city buildings by encouraging the switch to clean energy.

Environmental Grantmakers Association, $80,000 to work with the University of Michigan to launch a fellowship program that places graduate students of color in leading environmental organizations.
Environmental Law Institute, $100,000 to help local governments restore and manage ecosystems along the shore, prevent flooding, and protect wildlife and open space.

Tri-State Transportation Campaign, $100,000 to help municipal planners in New York City, Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and other cities in New York  plan and build public support for replacing outdated elevated highways with mixed-use surface streets. 

University of Massachusetts-Lowell, $75,000, to encourage companies such as Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett Packard, and Procter & Gamble to use safer chemicals in consumer products. 

WE ACT for Environmental Justice, $150,000 to ensure that state and federal energy policy reforms benefit poor communities by reducing pollution and promoting economic development.

Fund for New Citizens, $175,000 to assist immigrants and refugees in New York.

Stanford University, $350,000 to research whether outreach and/or legal help makes immigrants more likely to become citizens, and whether citizenship improves their lives.

In addition to the competitive grants above, we recently approved $350,000 in grants from the Fund for New Citizens, which coordinates foundation giving to assist the city’s immigrant communities. Funders include the Altman Foundation, Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, the Clark Foundation, Dora Fund in The New York Community Trust, FJC-A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds, Interest on Lawyer Account Fund of the State of New York, The New York Community Trust, New York Foundation, and the Valentine Perry Snyder Fund. 

Atlas DIY, $50,000 to train Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients as paralegals, who will then reach out to other immigrants and help those who are eligible apply for assistance.     

Brooklyn Public Library, $50,000 to educate immigrants about available programs and help them fill out applications at branches in Bay Ridge, Central Brooklyn, Bushwick, Sunset Park, and Bensonhurst.

Hispanic Federation, $90,000 to work with the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights to provide coordinated outreach, education, and immigration legal services to Spanish speakers. 

Legal Aid Society, $80,000 to provide training, technical assistance, and legal representation in complex cases with criminal or immigration-violation issues referred through ActionNYC, a new city program that provides free legal screenings for thousands of immigrants. 

Sanctuary for Families, $80,000 to provide legal representation to immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and other forms of gender violence referred through ActionNYC.

Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College of CUNY, $100,000
to bring together community leaders and nonprofit organizations serving the Bronx through workshops, panel discussions, networking meetings, and a television program about Bronx nonprofits.

(Please contact Amy Wolf, at, if you’d like more details on any of these grants.)

Since 1924, The New York Community Trust has been the home of charitable New Yorkers who are committed to improving life and work in the City and its suburbs. Thanks to donors—including teachers and nurses, entrepreneurs and investors—The Trust supports effective nonprofits that help make New York a vital place to live, learn, work, and play, while building permanent resources for the future. The Trust welcomes new donors. 


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