April 14, 2017
Investment will expand Cornerstone Program at Mariner’s Harbor Houses
NEW YORK— Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Member Debi Rose announced the City would invest $5.7 million to renovate a community center at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Mariner’s Harbor Houses on Staten Island. The renovated community center will expand the Department of Youth and Community Development’s (DYCD) Cornerstone Program at Mariner’s Harbor Houses, providing an additional 150 residents with access to quality, community-based programming in two facilities that span more than 5000 square feet. The renovation is expected to be completed in early 2020.
Opened in 2016, the Cornerstone Program at Mariner’s Harbor Houses is funded by DYCD and operated by United Activities Unlimited. The initiative offers community members a variety of programming determined by residents, including homework assistance, sports clinics, mentoring programs, clothing drives and special events and trips.
“Community centers are the heart of our neighborhoods, and provide a place for all New Yorkers to come together, learn and have fun,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This renovation will ensure that more residents have access to engaging programs and activities, and strengthen the community as a whole.”
Council Member Debi Rose said, “I believe there is no greater focus for investment we can make than in our young people. Daily, we search for solutions for social inequities that result in income inequality, unsatisfactory school scores or criminal behavior and lack of investment in youth programming is a common link among them. As we conclude Mayor de Blasio's bustling week in our borough, I applaud his choice to address that need and to rehabilitate and expand the center at NYCHA's Mariners' Harbor Cornerstone Program.”
“With more space, more resources, and more programs, Mariner’s Harbor residents can reap the full benefits of having a vibrant community center to congregate, learn, and play in the heart of their neighborhood. This renovation is an investment that will boost togetherness and belonging - the qualities that truly make a place home - for years to come,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery.
“We know that when our young people have nowhere to go after school, they are far more likely to run into trouble with the law” said District Attorney Michael E. McMahon. “This substantial investment into the Mariners Harbor Community Center will provide invaluable programming, services, and most importantly a safe place for the residents of that community to learn & play. Investments like these have ripple effects throughout the neighborhood, and I applaud Mayor De Blasio, NYCHA, DYCD, for recognizing that all Staten Islanders need spaces like this to feel safe in their communities.”
"I commend Mayor de Blasio and Councilmember Rose for their investment in the renovation of this important program. Mariner's Harbor is a community that is farthest away from much of the North Shore development, so important upgrades to the community like this ensure the residents are getting the vital services they deserve,” said New York State Senator Diane Savino.
“The addition of a renovated center right next to the Cornerstone Program funded by DYCD and operated by United Activities Unlimited will give residents access to even more vital community services, and another place to keep them safe and engaged,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong.
“For NYCHA residents, community centers are more than just a building, they are a foundation for our neighborhoods,” said NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly. “Investing in Mariner's Harbor Houses to double the current community center space means Staten Island youth will have an expanded area to call their own whether they're receiving help at a computer lab or homework assistance. Today, with the partnership of Mayor de Blasio, we're moving closer to achieving our NextGen NYCHA goal of creating safe, stable and connected communities.”
Mariner’s Harbor is one of 94 Cornerstone Programs at NYCHA community centers in all five boroughs. Started in 2010, the program is a joint NYCHA and DYCD effort to create vibrant, multi-generational community centers on NYCHA developments that are responsive to local needs and improve quality of life and well-being of neighborhood residents.
This investment is a part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to build stronger neighborhoods through enhanced community engagement and expanded programming for NYCHA residents. In March, Mayor de Blasio pledged $1 million to help build a community center at NYCHA Marcy Houses. In 2014, Mayor de Blasio expanded summer hours at 107 community centers in NYCHA developments, including Cornerstones, so that they remain open until 11 P.M. The later hours provide young people with a safe space for recreation and learning.