$4.7 Million in New Grants Help Nonprofits Making Life Better in New York City | The New York Community Trust
April 22, 2020   |   By The New York Community Trust
$4.7 Million in New Grants Help Nonprofits Making Life Better in New York City

In early April, The New York Community Trust approved $4.7 million in grants to 44 groups working to improve the quality of life in New York City across a wide range of fields, from environmental protection to education reform to homelessness.

The application and review processes of these grants began when the worldwide threat of the COVID-19 pandemic was just emerging. While the crisis has upended the lives and daily functioning of everyone and every organization, many of these grants will still go a long way toward strengthening the city’s safety net, which is now being sorely tested. In other cases, grantees operating under the current “new normal” will have to alter how they deliver services due to the disruptions resulting from the efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

In addition to the grants listed below, we have launched a major effort to speed help to the city’s nonprofits struggling with the effects of the pandemic and to get ready as new needs arise in the coming weeks. However, the many issues that confronted the city prior to the crisis remain, so we are resolute in continuing all of our efforts to address the ongoing needs of our city.


Citymeals on Wheels, $100,000. To distribute meals to 18,000 homebound elderly for three months because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Correctional Association of New York, $200,000. This group has the sole authority to inspect state prisons and report its findings to the public. With our grant, it will increase transparency within the prison system with a focus on improving health care for prisoners.

God’s Love We Deliver, $100,000. A three-month grant responding to the coronavirus pandemic so the nonprofit can produce and deliver medically appropriate to 4,600 homebound people with health problems. 

Health Research, $150,000. A grant earmarked for the New York State Department of Health public health laboratory, the Wadsworth Center, so it can conduct whole-genome sequencing on COVID-19 samples sent to its virology laboratories.

HMH Hospitals Corporation, $227,000. To study Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and use whole genome sequencing to better understand it and track its transmission. The S. aureus is a major threat to the lives of hospital patients because of its role in bacterial infection.

Housing Works, $150,000. To add medication-assisted treatment services for people with opioid addiction to Housing Work’s health and mental health centers and enable it to share lessons with other organizations.

Long Term Care Community Coalition, $75,000. The Coalition will embark on an advocacy campaign to make New York State Department of Health inspections of nursing homes and long-term care facilities more protective and accountable.

Northeast Business Group on Health, $150,000. To improve behavioral health care access for people with employer-sponsored health insurance, who face a dearth of in-network providers and high out-of-pocket costs for going out of network.

Queens County Farm Museum, $76,000. The grant will improve the care of 270 animals on the largest working farm in New York City. The grant will create cold-resistant shelters for the animals and install fencing to increase pasture space.

Education and Youth

Chalkbeat, $65,000. With our past grant, this nonprofit news organization covered the city’s efforts to integrate its public schools. This new grant will help it increase its readership as it expands and deepens coverage of citywide and local efforts to integrate schools.

Children’s Aid, $80,000. To get more families to enroll for free, quality early education in the Bronx, Children’s Aid (formerly Children’s Aid Society) is working on the South Bronx Rising Together initiative to streamline the enrollment process and develop leadership skills among parents.

Children’s Defense Fund-New York, $200,000. For a statewide advocacy campaign to prevent childhood lead poisoning. NYS has one of the highest rates of childhood lead poisoning in the country.

Citizens Union Foundation of the City of New York, $100,000. Citizens Union will expand its civic-engagement programs for young people and create the first comprehensive guide to youth-oriented civic-engagement programs for the city.

Columbia University School of Law Center for Public Research and Leadership, $100,000. The Center will support the efforts of 10 school districts as part of a multi-year effort to integrate public schools. The center will work with districts to better engage communities and make recommendations.

The Door, $100,000. This grant will expand this nonprofit’s capacity to provide free legal services to young people, including immigrants and LGBTQ youth, at risk of homelessness, discrimination, and other hardships.

Exalt Youth, $100,000. Expands an internship program that helps young people involved with the criminal justice system stay on-track for high-school graduation.  

Helen Keller Services, $75,000. To develop a preparation course for young blind people taking college admission tests, working with Murrow High School, which has the city’s largest number of blind students.

New Teacher Center, $100,000. The Center will address a projected spike in turnover among principals and assistant principals by working with the Department of Education’s Brooklyn North office to identify and develop candidates.

New Yorkers for Children, $120,000. The group will develop a drama-based therapy for young women who have been—or are at risk of being—victims of sex trafficking. The therapy promises to get more young women to process their trauma, express their feelings appropriately, and practice self-advocacy.

Opportunity America Educational Fund, $100,000. To research and make recommendations to improve workforce education and development at the City University of New York’s seven community colleges.

Promise Project, $150,000. To help low-income families get free, thorough evaluations for their children with speech and language disabilities. Though the city offers free evaluations, critics say they do not do enough to recommend all the services needed by children.

United Neighborhood Houses of New York, $80,000. The group will work with government and community organizations to improve contracting as early education services transition from the Administration for Children’s Services to the Department of Education.

Vera Institute of Justice, $100,000. This project will support the development of a Brooklyn diversion program for young women and assess two group homes that serve girls involved in the juvenile justice system. 

Civic Engagement and Community Improvement

African Communities Together, $50,000. This grant will help Liberian New Yorkers apply for lawful permanent residence under a special, time-limited federal program.

Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless, $100,000. The group will create a program to help people with few skills and weak social support systems stay employed and advance their careers.

Dominicanos USA, $55,000. This group will take advantage of a particularly competitive election season to do nonpartisan voter registration among Dominican-Americans in The Bronx.

Good Shepherd Services, $150,000. To train staff on trauma-informed practice to help high-risk families avoid foster-care placement and keep youth from becoming incarcerated.

New York City Homeless Youth and Families Fund, $200,000. This funder collaborative will advance long-term, integrated solutions to improve homelessness prevention, upgrade existing shelters, and expand the amount of permanent affordable housing with support services.

New York Housing Conference, $60,000. With federal policies negatively impacting affordable and public housing, this group will monitor changes and proposals and assess their impact on the city.

North Star Fund, $50,000. To support a funders collaborative that advances an equitable and ecologically sound regional food system.

Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, $200,000. This program will work with people over 40 years of age who have fully completed prison sentences to prepare them to transition to life in their home communities of The Bronx and Manhattan.

Queens Community House, $80,000. To deepen the role of a community center in the Pomonock public housing development, addressing employment, education, elder care, food access, benefits, and health care.

Riders Alliance, $80,000. The organization will reach out to the mass-transit riding public to keep them informed about congestion pricing and the five-year capital plan, and will advocate for transit funding and improvements. 

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, $150,000. The grant will help provide technical assistance to employers to recruit and retain transgender people so they can align with the New York State Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act.

Arts and Culture

Chicken & Egg Pictures, $100,000. For a grant program to help nonfiction filmmakers finish their projects, receive mentorships from industry professionals, and build wider audiences for their socially engaged films.

Museum, Arts and Culture Access Consortium (MAC), $100,000. This volunteer-led group will help small cultural institutions become more accessible to people with disabilities.

New Music USA, $150,000. This group will give grants to small new-music groups to carry out audience development plans, organize convenings on related topics, and share lessons online.

Pentacle, $100,000. To create an online platform to provide free administrative resources for dance and theater artists and groups.

Stonewall 50 Consortium, $50,000. This consortium of 200 groups will showcase LGBTQ history and culture and expand its outreach and administrative infrastructure to generate revenue.

Conservation and Environment

Borderlands Restoration Network, $60,000. This partnership of nonprofit and for-profit organizations is working on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border to preserve critical habitats and support the region’s ecological health. 

Long Island Sound Stewardship Fund, $50,000. Housed at the Long Island Community Foundation, this funder collaborative will pool public and private funds to improve the ecological health of the Long Island Sound.

New York Restoration Project, $100,000. This grant will go toward the improvement of garden beds, snow and garbage removal, education programs, and events in South Bronx community gardens.  

Sky Island Alliance, $80,000. The group will monitor habitat along the U.S.-Mexico border and work to mitigate the negative consequences on wildlife of construction of a border wall.

Van Cortlandt Park Alliance, $60,000. This public-private partnership will develop programming, improve the park, foster community stewardship, and raise money for New York City’s third largest park.

About The New York Community Trust

The New York Community Trust connects past, present, and future generous New Yorkers with vital nonprofits working to make a healthy, equitable, and thriving community for all. We are a public grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. For more information, visit us at nycommunitytrust.org.

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