$9.9M Investment Unveiled For Environmental Justice And Health Equity In New York

April 18, 2024

The New York Community Trust today announced $9.9 million in grants to 55 nonprofits, for a year-to-date of $17.6 million in Trust support for nonprofits working to make New York a healthier and more equitable place to live.

This latest round of grants supports local organizations addressing a wide range of community needs, including preserving the local environment, ensuring migrants can access health care, and helping nonprofit workers secure a living wage. The Trust also renewed grants to nonprofits working to improve conditions in city jails, including closing Rikers Island and protecting young people during police interrogations.

“These nonprofits are doing vital work to improve the quality of life for New Yorkers across the city,” said Shawn Morehead, The Trust’s vice president for grants. “They are also helping our city evolve into a more just and equitable place to live, paving the way for more opportunities for residents today and tomorrow.”

“As we celebrate our centennial anniversary, we recognize our incredible community of generous New Yorkers who have made these grants possible. As New York’s community foundation, we are committed to working with our donors to create systematic change in our region,” said Amy Freitag, The Trust’s president.

Several grants support environmental justice initiatives focused on improving New Yorkers’ health. For example, the Bronx is Blooming is addressing air pollution in the Bronx–where residents experience the highest asthma rates in the state–by facilitating community stewardship of more than 20 parks.

Additionally, the Trust is directing nearly $1 million in grants to advocate for local wind and solar installations, support the global reduction of fossil fuels, and advance climate mitigation and resilience efforts.

As New York’s community foundation, The Trust brings together the contributions of donors past and present to address the region’s immediate challenges and advance long-term systemic change, while also honoring the charitable goals of donors.

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The following is a list of grants announced today by The Trust. Longer descriptions of the programs supported are available upon request.

Expanding Mental Health Services

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center: $200,000 to open a state-licensed behavioral health clinic for LGBQT+ New Yorkers.

Mount Sinai Hospital: $200,000 to provide coordinated medical and behavioral health care to newly arrived young migrants.

New York School-Based Health Foundation: $240,000 for school-based health centers in downstate New York to help young, newly arrived immigrants cope with trauma and other mental health challenges.

Making New Yorkers Healthier

CATCH Global Foundation: $150,000 to reduce vaping in New York City public schools by educating students about the risks of e-cigarettes.

Community Health Care Association of New York State: $350,000 to establish New York’s first medical assistant apprenticeship program in community health centers.

Helen Keller International: $200,000 to provide vision screenings, eye exams, and eyeglasses to low-income New Yorkers.

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University: $200,000 to bring community groups and academic centers together to increase funding for health research.

Supporting Young People with Disabilities

Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services: $225,000 to train staff to help immigrant families of children with disabilities secure specialized services.                                                                

Community Inclusion and Development Alliance: $225,000 to provide work opportunities in Queens to East Asian young people with disabilities.

Extreme Kids & Crew: $225,000 to offer recreational programs to Black, Latinx, and Chinese American children with disabilities in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

Family Kind: $225,000 to offer counseling and support to families of children with disabilities whose parents are facing marital challenges.

Kindred Enterprises: $75,000 to provide baking and culinary arts classes to young people with disabilities.

My Time: $225,000 to create a community resource center in central Brooklyn for families of children with disabilities.                                                                                

Project New Yorker: $174,000 to help South Asian immigrant families in Queens identify their children’s disabilities and secure specialized services.

Improving the Welfare of Older Adults

Project Guardianship: $154,000 to develop a guide to help older adults make independent decisions and avoid guardianship.

Quality Services for the Autism Community: $140,000 to train service providers to meet the needs of aging people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Service Program for Older People: $225,000 to provide intensive mental health services to older adults.

Stonewall Community Development Corporation: $140,000 to help older LGBTQ+ veterans access healthcare benefits, secure housing, and maintain their independence.           

Progressing Human Rights and Justice     

Children’s Rights: $200,000 to reform New York state law to reduce unfounded and disruptive reports of suspected child maltreatment.                                 

Freedom House: $170,000 to report on internet freedom in 70 countries to support advocacy for free speech and online privacy.

Fund for New Citizens: $200,000 to support a collaborative fund at The Trust that helps migrants and refugees navigate the city’s immigration laws and policies.

National Mobilization Against Sweatshops: $290,000 to advocate to abolish 24-hour workdays for home care aides.                 

Transformative In-Prison Workgroup: $100,000 for community groups to deliver rehabilitative programs to people in New York’s prisons and jails.                                                              

Urban Youth Alliance International: $80,000 to engage young people in campaigns to relocate Rikers Island inmates to a facility in the Bronx and protect young people during police interrogations.                         

Women’s Community Justice Association: $170,000 to support public education and advocacy efforts to improve conditions for women in the city’s jails.                                  

Preventing Hunger and Homelessness                                                             

Gotham Food Pantry: $100,000 to develop a food rescue training program for tenant leaders in public housing.

Women in Need: $200,000 to protect homeless families’ right to shelter. This grant will also support advocacy for a statewide housing voucher program.

Advancing Workforce Equity

Bringing Up Minimum Pay: $300,000 to advocate for a living wage for workers in the human service sector.                   

Kingsbridge Heights Community Center: $50,000 to help immigrant women from the Bronx start small businesses.

Equipping Young People with Job Skills   

ExpandED Schools: $200,000 to advocate for work-based learning programs for New York City high school students.                                                                  

New Jewish Home: $200,000 to prepare young adults for jobs as certified nursing assistants.     

New Settlement: $200,000 to expand a workforce development program for young people from the Bronx with employment barriers.

Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow: $150,000 to improve a youth workforce development program in Brooklyn.                                                                                                                 

Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center: $200,000 to build the capacity of an employment program serving young people with limited education and job skills. 

Strengthening Arts and Culture                                                                                  

American LGBTQ+ Museum: $150,000 to continue to develop programs that preserve LGBTQ+ history and culture.                                                    

Black Public Media: $250,000 to support Black documentary filmmakers producing films about social issues.                                                                                       

City Lore: $80,000 to support a citywide network of folk and immigrant artists.

International Documentary Association: $300,000 to help documentary filmmakers make, edit, and distribute films that incorporate the accomplishments of Pare Lorentz, an American filmmaker who used film to inspire social and political change.

Furthering International and Arts Education

American Farm School: $79,000 to support two-year college scholarships for 16 high-performing high school graduates in Greece. This award will also help offset the school’s expenses related to monitoring the grant.

DreamYard Project: $250,000 to teach digital design and game development to students at eight public schools in the Bronx.

Juilliard School’s Marcus Institute of Vocal Arts: $82,000 to support two-year scholarships that offset the cost of vocal students’ tuition, housing, and living expenses.

New 42nd Street: $250,000 to expand a program that helps public school students write and stage original theatrical works.

Promoting Community Development and Civic Affairs             

Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association: $150,000 to develop mutual housing associations that ensure affordability and seek residents’ input on building management.

Change Capital Fund: $300,000 to provide capacity-building support to community development groups working to reduce poverty in low-income neighborhoods.

JustFix: $145,000 to develop a digital tool to identify and track buildings with poor housing conditions.

VOCAL-NY: $200,000 to encourage homeless and formerly incarcerated people to vote.

Preserving the Environment                                                                          

Bronx is Blooming: $125,000 to support community stewardship of green spaces in the Bronx.                                                       

Columbia University School of Law: $175,000 to provide legal support for local efforts to site utility-scale wind and solar installations.                                                                       

Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative: $150,000 to support a campaign to create an international treaty to govern the global phaseout of fossil fuels.         

Health & Environmental Funders Network: $125,000 to advocate for a federal program to support lead-safe homes.                                                     

National Wildlife Federation: $125,000 to conserve and restore the migratory pathways of eastern monarch butterflies, in an effort to keep them from becoming an endangered species.

Ocean Foundation: $200,000 to support island communities’ climate mitigation and resilience efforts. 

World Commission on Fossil Fuel Phase Out Project: $200,000 to establish an international commission that will help phase out the global use of fossil fuels.                         

Supporting Nonprofit Organizations                                         

F.Y. Eye: $100,000 to help nonprofits develop and publicize public service announcements.

The New York Landmarks Conservancy: $150,000 to support emergency repairs of historic buildings owned by nonprofits.

The New York Community Trust

The New York Community Trust is a public charity and New York City’s largest community foundation. It connects generous people and institutions with high-impact nonprofits making the city, Westchester, and Long Island better places for all. It builds stronger communities, influences public policy, fosters innovation, improves lives, and protects our environment.

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