The New York Community Trust Gives $6 Million for Legal Aid to Detained Immigrants, Climate Resilience, and More

Friday, December 8, 2017

The New York Community Trust Gives $6 Million for Legal Aid to Detained Immigrants, Climate Resilience, and More

The New York Community Trust, the region's community foundation, recently made 44 grants totaling $6 million to nonprofits to improve life in New York City and beyond. Funded projects address flood protection for homeowners, home-based child care, and the city's ailing mass transit system. Some highlights:

Elderly: Lifetime Arts is using $600,000 to work with two organizations to evaluate and expand the City's creative aging programming. It will improve the City's arts and cultural classes in 250 senior centers across the five boroughs by training hundreds of staff and teaching artists to provide more engaging offerings in dance, visual arts, drama, and music.

Health: The Corbin Hill Food Project, which brings more than 45,000 pounds of fresh, affordable produce to low-income neighborhoods each year through a multi-agency farm share network, is using $195,000 to strengthen the organization's infrastructure so it can bring more local food into the city.

Youth Development: The Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center is using $110,000 to help young people in East Harlem earn high school credentials, train for jobs, and get paid internships.

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 on the problems and how we're addressing them. Please contact Amy Wolf for more. 

Biomedical Research

  • Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons is using $200,000 to research pediatric cardiomyopathy, a rare heart condition.
  • New York Genome Center received $125,000 to study amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
  • Rutgers University Foundation will continue studying drug-resistant bacterial infections using a $145,000 grant.

Older New Yorkers

  • Service Program for Older People is using $75,000 to coordinate physical and mental health services for homebound elders so they can remain at home.


  • Teachers College, Columbia University is using $75,000 to work with City nonprofits, foundations, and policymakers to improve early reading programs in public schools.
  • University of the State of New York Regents Research Fund is using $160,000 to train educators and school administrators to work with diverse cultures in classrooms and in making policy decisions. With an additional $100,000, the Fund will help dropouts better prepare for New York's new high school equivalency test.

Help for Immigrants

  • A total of $210,000 will help Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services, and Legal Aid Society represent detained immigrants facing deportation.
  • New York Immigration Coalition is using $450,000 to coordinate statewide efforts to support and protect immigrants.


  • Brooklyn Community Pride Center is using $120,000 to begin an internship program for gay youth in its new space in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The program is tailored for young adults who haven't been able to enter the workforce because of a lack of work experience or career goals.

Human Services:

  • Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy in Albany is using $150,000 to shape and improve policies that affect New York's low-income residents.
  • Sheltering Arms Children and Family Services received $100,000 to train home-based providers to better care for the children and families they serve.
  • SUNY State College of Optometry will provide vision and social services for older adults and low-income children with multiple disabilities using a $200,000 grant.
  • Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation is using $50,000 to improve publically funded home-based child care centers. After creating individualized service plans for dozens of providers, the group will coach child care providers, keep track of improvements, and update the city on progress.

Youth Development

  • HOPE Program is using $100,000 to help hard-to-employ young adults find jobs.
  • New York Women's Foundation is using $50,000 for a funder group focused on improving the lives and increasing opportunities of NYC girls and young women of color.
  • Per Scholas received $130,000 to train the unemployed for technology jobs in companies that include JP Morgan Chase and other banks.
  • Queens Connect will expand and improve a food preparation training program for unemployed young people with a $100,000 grant.
  • South Bronx Educational Foundation is using $75,000 to support the academic and personal growth of disadvantaged girls.
  • Upwardly Global is using $100,000 to help foreign-educated immigrants upgrade their technology and construction skills for better-paying jobs.
  • YWCA of Brooklyn will use $100,0000 to help low-income girls and young women become leaders and succeed in college. The program offers leadership and wellness activities that promote civic activities; intensive academic help; college exploration and application assistance, and more.

Arts and Culture

  • Brooklyn Public Library will use a $158,000 grant to give library cardholders free passes to museums and cultural organizations.
  • Gibney Dance will add six additional affordable dance rehearsal studios and maintain other rehearsal space with a $150,000 grant.
  • Redford Center is using $460,000 to fund and produce environmental short and feature-length films.

Community Development

  • CUNY's Bernard M. Baruch College received $465,000 for The New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows program, which trains mid-level nonprofit managers to lead. This brings The Trust's total investment in the program to $1.855 million.
  • Housing Conservation Coordinators is using $65,000 for legal services and advocacy for low-income residents of buildings with 421-a tax abatements on the west side of Manhattan.
  • Human Services Council of New York City received $40,000 to be a liaison between human service nonprofits and City agencies, to better align city contract rates and the costs to nonprofits of providing services.
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Brooklyn CDC will provide counseling and other support to low-income homeowners in Canarsie with a $65,000 grant.
  • Neighborhoods First Fund for Community Based Planning is using $100,000 to help communities plan for rezoning, housing development, and other capital investments.

Healthy Food

  • CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute is using $150,000 to provide user-friendly information and resources to policymakers, community leaders, and health advocates so it can improve nutrition and access to healthy food, support food workers, and help New Yorkers understand food policy.
  • Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center in the Bronx is using $80,000 to encourage healthy diets and lifestyle changes, emphasizing fresh foods from nearby Hunts Point Produce Market.
  • United Community Centers is using $80,000 for an urban agriculture project in East New York. The funding will help it support neighborhood greening projects and advocate for healthier food for low-income neighborhoods.


  • Center for Environmental Health is using $110,000 to encourage large, institutional buyers to purchase food packaging made with nontoxic chemicals.
  • Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health received $60,000 to document the health effects of burning dirty heating oil in northern Manhattan and the South Bronx.
  • Fifth Avenue Committee is using $60,000 to promote more sustainable and climate-resilient development in neighborhoods on the Red Hook peninsula and along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.
  • Just Transition Fund is using $100,000 to promote clean energy investments in communities where the coal industry is fading.
  • Randall's Island Park Alliance is using $60,000 to improve the park, monitor the island's ecology, and give visitors more opportunities to explore the urban habitats.
  • Tri-State Transportation Campaign received $100,000 to improve mass transit, alleviate traffic congestion, and reduce air pollution below 60th Street in Manhattan.
  • Urban Land Institute is using $60,000 to help architects and real estate professionals factor climate change into their plans.