The Young Men's Initiative is a cross-agency effort to connect black and Latino young men to necessary educational, employment, and mentoring opportunities, investing a combination of public and private funds toward addressing disparities between young black and Latino men and their peers. In January 2015, Mayor de Blasio announced the next phase of the Young Men's Initiative, which will align its programming with President Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" initiative and work toward three main goals: ensuring all children read at grade level by 2nd grade; ensuring all youth complete post-secondary education and training; and ensuring all youth remain safe from violent crime.
In response to the gas explosion on 13th Avenue in Borough Park, Brooklyn on October 3rd, the Mayor’s Fund, the Boro Park Jewish Community Council, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, American Red Cross and The Salvation Army have launched a relief fund in support of the individuals, families and businesses impacted by this tragedy, who face unforeseen expenses related to relocation, lost and damaged property, funerals and medical care.
Learn more about the Borough Park Relief Fund.
Following the tragic East Village building explosion in March 2015, the Mayor's Fund partnered with Lower East Side Ready (LES Ready) to provide direct relief to individuals and families who resided in the five buildings impacted by the blast. As of August 2015, the Mayor's Fund raised more than $175,000 from both everyday New Yorkers and corporate partners, including Con Edison, Gramercy Theatre and Irving Plaza, and Google, in support of the recovery effort. The Mayor's Fund and LES Ready worked together to distribute financial assistance to victims of the explosion, including grants to help them transition to new permanent housing, replace damaged home wares and begin to rebuild their lives.
Learn more about the East Village Explosion recovery effort.
Since Hurricane Sandy hit New York City on October 29, 2012, the Mayor's Fund has received over $60 million in relief contributions from 21,000 individuals and organizations and has used its unique ability to build public-private partnerships to administer aid effectively to the communities most affected. As part of the City's emergency relief and recovery operations, the Mayor's Fund received and addressed specific needs in real-time with the help of those working in impacted areas. Ongoing efforts are focusing on home recovery and rebuilding projects.
Read the press release on the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy and progress in the city’s recovery and resiliency work.
In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew throughout the Caribbean and in the US – and particularly in Haiti, The Mayor’s Fund is directing those who can make a contribution to these relived efforts to connect with reputable humanitarian organizations working on the ground to provide critical relief to impacted individuals, families, and communities.
Learn more about the Hurricane Matthew Relief Effort
ActionHealthNYC aimed to improve health care access for the city's immigrant population, making New York City one of the first major U.S. municipalities to expand health care access after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.
Learn more about ActionHealthNYC on the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs' website
The Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs has launched a public education and advertising campaign to increase awareness of Medicaid eligibility and facilitate enrollment among income-eligible Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and currently undocumented potential DACA applicants. Supported by the Mayor's Fund and the New York State Health Foundation, this new DACA Health Access campaign will reach more than 300,000 immigrants through targeted advertising, public education materials, and centralized resources. This campaign will be the largest effort across the country to highlight low-income DACA recipients' potential Medicaid eligibility and other benefits.
Learn more about the campaign
Funded by a 2010 Social Innovation Fund grant from the federal Corporation for National & Community Service, Project Rise provides educational and employment opportunities to low-income young people between the ages of 18 and 24 who are out of work and school. The program places eligible young people in a paid internship conditioned on regular attendance in educational classes, while providing them with job readiness preparation and strong individualized case management. Project Rise aims to help participants transition from lower educational levels into a GED program, earn a GED, or even obtain employment in a full-time job, all of which build new pathways to stability. There are Project Rise sites in three cities – New York City, Kansas City, and Newark.
Learn more about Project Rise on the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity website.
Launched in New York City in 2009, Jobs-Plus is a public housing-based employment program designed to increase the level of earnings and employment among residents of public housing. The program saturates developments with job and career support, rent-based and other financial incentives that "make work pay," and community organizing activities that support a culture of work. Jobs-Plus aims to increase earning and employment outcomes not merely for residents who directly receive program services, but for whole public housing communities. Thanks to a 2010 Social Innovation Fund award from the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, Jobs-Plus has since been implemented at a total of 10 sites across New York City and San Antonio, Texas. Jobs-Plus is currently being replicated nationwide by the federal government.
Learn more about Jobs-Plus on the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity website.
WorkAdvance seeks to boost the earnings of unemployed and low-wage working adults by helping them obtain quality jobs in targeted sectors with opportunities for career growth, preparing, training and placing eligible participants in good quality jobs with established career tracks. After placement, the program continues to assist participants to help them advance in their chosen careers. Supported by a 2010 Social Innovation Fund award from the federal Corporation for National & Community Service, WorkAdvance sites are located in New York City, Cleveland, Youngstown, and Tulsa.
Learn more about WorkAdvance on the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity website.
In 2014, with the support of Citi Community Development, the Mayor's Fund, Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) and Parsons' Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) Lab launched Designing for Financial Empowerment, a cross-sector initiative to explore how service design can be used to integrate financial empowerment services into existing human services. This landmark program envisions New York City and other large urban areas challenging the cycle of poverty by holistically examining current public policy and service offerings; identifying the interrelated needs of the most vulnerable populations; and enabling community members to participate in the co-design and prototyping of the very services that they use. In the first phase of the initiative, Designing for Financial Empowerment helped to uncover factors that may explain why many qualified New Yorkers have not taken advantage of New York City's free tax preparation services, enabling the city to improve access to this vital assistance.
Learn more about Designing for Financial Empowerment.
The Mayor's Fund is supporting the Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) in conducting a study of affordable housing applicants who cannot move forward with their applications for financed housing through the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) or the Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) due to inaccurate income reporting or poor credit. Through qualitative analysis and interviews with people involved with all aspects of the marketing and lease-up process, OFE and HPD hope to have a better understanding of these issues and be able to better educate applicants on how to prepare to be successful renters, especially as HPD prepares to develop the next version of its online housing marketing portal and its marketing procedures more broadly.
Learn more about financial counseling currently available through the Office of Financial Empowerment.
MillionTreesNYC is a citywide initiative that is focused on creating a healthier, greener, and more equitable city. Launched in October 2007 with the goal of planting one million new trees in New York City's public and private spaces by 2017, MillionTrees met its goal two years ahead of schedule, planting its one millionth tree at Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx. MillionTreesNYC remains committed to aggressively planting new trees throughout our city, exceeding the one million already planted by planting an additional 150,000 new trees over the next three years, and in collaboration with community, nonprofit, government and corporate partners, will continue to support a robust stewardship program to sustain the long-term health of New York City's urban forest and to systematically catalog tree plantings and their care.
Learn more on MillionTreesNYC's website.
Since 1978, Materials for the Arts has provided thousands of New York City's arts and cultural organizations, public schools, and community arts programs with the supplies they need to run and expand their programs, gathering materials from companies and individuals that no longer need them and redistributing to the artists and educators that do. In the process, hundreds of tons are removed from the waste stream every year and kept out of landfills, helping to sustain our environment and promote reuse and waste reduction. MFTA is currently the largest supplier of free arts materials to the New York City public school system, and was recognized for its innovative environmental work by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Launched in September 2009, NYC °CoolRoofs is a collaborative effort aimed at promoting and facilitating the cooling of New York City's rooftops. NYC °CoolRoofs supports local jobseekers in building high-demand skills while cooling New York City rooftops with a white reflective coating that reduces building energy consumption and citywide carbon emissions. NYC °CoolRoofs aims to coat 1 million square feet of rooftop annually and connect NYC °CoolRoofs participants to full-time work at the end of the season. The program supports New York City's goal to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050, as outlined in Mayor de Blasio's 2014 Built to Last and OneNYC.
To learn more, visit NYC °CoolRoofs' website.
With the support of the Mayor's Fund and Unbound Philanthropy, the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs launched a fellowship for immigrant women leaders in New York City. Over the course of four months, 15 fellows representing diverse sectors from domestic violence prevention to the arts, discuss challenges and best practices to organizational management, meet with the immigrant women leaders of City Hall, and advance their personal and professional development.
Learn more about the Women's Leadership Program on the Office of Immigrant Affairs' website.
The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) launched the Diversity Initiative in January 2015 to promote diversity among the leadership, staffs, and audiences of cultural organizations in New York City, in alignment with Mayor de Blasio's vision for a more equitable city and as an investment in the long-term viability of New York City's cultural field. As resident demographics continue to shift, the Mayor's Fund and DCLA believe that a workforce, leadership and audience that reflect these changes will help to position cultural organizations to continue to meaningfully engage New Yorkers, strengthening the cultural sector as a whole. In order to achieve its goals, the Diversity Initiative will be conducting a demographic survey of DCLA's nearly 1,000 grantee organizations to examine race, ethnicity, gender, disability, age, and other factors. Once the survey is complete, the Initiative will begin to develop recommendations for action to boost diversity throughout this important sector.
Learn more about the Diversity Initiative in the press release.
The Downtown Far Rockaway Storefront Improvement Program is an initiative of the city's Department of Small Business Services and the New York City Business Assistance Corporation with the support of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. The grant provides a 75 percent match of funds (up to $10,000 per storefront) to help local business and property owners to complete storefront renovation projects. The program will enhance commercial corridors through targeted improvements to small businesses in Downtown Far Rockaway.
Learn more about the Downtown Far Rockaway Storefront Improvement Program
In 2002, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs created a citywide-coordinated campaign to increase the number of eligible New Yorkers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). In the intervening years, New York City has assembled the most comprehensive EITC Coalition in the country, combining the efforts of hundreds of partner organizations to help New Yorkers file their taxes for free or at a low cost, and raise awareness of important tax credits such as the EITC and the NYC Child Care Tax Credit. The EITC has been called the most successful anti-poverty program in the country, returning government dollars to working families and individuals through either a credit on taxes or as cash refunds.
The Mayor's Fund launched a fundraising drive – in coordination with community groups and elected officials, particularly New York City Council Speaker Mark-Viverito – to address the needs of those affected by the East Harlem explosion and building collapse that occurred on March 12, 2014. The effort raised more than $420,000, along with $15,000 in in-kind donations, toward assistance for individuals and families impacted, administered through the Community League of the Heights and supported via the Real Estate Board of New York and their members.
Learn more about the East Harlem Relief Effort in this press release on the first anniversary of the explosion and building collapse.
In response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak – and the treatment of first Ebola patient in New York City – the Mayor's Fund launched a donations coordination effort to help raise and direct funds to help fight this disease. The Mayor's Fund coordinated with City agency partners and health officials to assess the developing situation and needs, and directed 100 percent of donations to on-the-ground service providers, including Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, American Red Cross and other organizations supporting this effort locally.
Learn more about the Ebola Public Health Effort, and read Mayor's Fund Chair Chirlane McCray's announcement of the Ebola Public Health Effort campaign.
In December 2014, the Mayor's Fund established the Fallen Heroes Relief Effort in honor of slain Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos and the larger NYPD community, to offer support for the affected families and our city's law enforcement personnel. The Mayor's Fund received $275,000 in pledges to the effort – from a total of more than 150 individuals and corporate contributors – and donated $200,000 to the Daily News Charities, which provided direct support to the families of Detectives Liu and Ramos. The Fund also contributed $25,000 to the Heroes Fund of the New York City Police Foundation; $25,000 to the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund; and $25,000 to the New York City PBA Widows' and Children's Fund.
Family Rewards is a conditional cash transfer program that aims to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty by providing short-term income to families contingent on their engagement in a pre-specified set of activities designed to build human capital and self-sufficiency. Funded by a 2010 Social Innovation Fund award from the federal Corporation for National & Community Service, Family Rewards has offered cash rewards to over 1,200 families in New York City and Memphis for eight activities related to high school students' academic achievement and effort, families' preventive health care efforts, and parents' work and training. A network of community organizations and partners supports families' efforts to earn by providing information, referrals, and advisement.
Learn more about Family Rewards on the Center for Economic Opportunity's website.
Administered by the Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment and the Center for Economic Opportunity, and supported by the Mayor's Fund, the first Financial Empowerment Center, in the Melrose section of the Bronx, was opened on June 19, 2008. Today, there are nearly 30 Financial Empowerment Centers across the city, all providing one-on-one free, confidential, and individualized financial counseling and coaching in English and Spanish – and the program is fully included in the city's budget. Financial counseling services offered by the Centers are targeted to money management, budgeting, selecting safe and affordable financial products, evaluating credit decisions, credit and debt assistance, negotiating with creditors, managing debt, and understanding (and exercising) consumer rights and responsibilities in the financial services marketplace.
Find your local Financial Empowerment on the Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment's website.
FirstStepNYC was the first early childhood center and leadership institute of its kind in New York City, creating a vital learning environment for our city's youngest children. FirstStepNYC, in partnership with the Department of Education, the Administration for Children's Services, and SCO Family of Services, worked with at-risk children from six weeks to five years old and their families. Collocated within PS/IS 41 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, FirstStepNYC included the first-ever Leadership Institute, focused on the training of current and future early childhood directors to increase and improve the quality of birth to five programming throughout the city.
Learn more about FirstStepNYC on SCO Family of Services' website.
Launched by private sector business leaders in 2009 in response to the economic downturn, GreaterNY was a strategic partnership program that paired business executives with nonprofit executive directors in an effort to build stronger and more effective nonprofits. Through two-year, one-on-one partnerships, leaders worked together to develop and implement innovative solutions to nonprofit business challenges using best practices from both the private and nonprofit sectors.
Learn more about nonprofit assistance on the NYC Nonprofits website.
As part of the city's commitment to increasing access to fresh, high-quality produce – in an effort to help prevent diseases like diabetes and heart disease – the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Office of the Food Policy Coordinator made a total of 1,000 green cart permits available across the five borough. In addition, many Green Carts were equipped with Electronic Benefit Transfer machines to process SNAP benefits. The Mayor's Fund directed private support to the marketing and promotion of the green carts in the communities in which they operated, as well as to providing low-interest loans and food distribution assistance to vendors.
Learn more about NYC Green Carts on the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's website.
Studies show that when children grow and prepare their own food, their understanding of the relationship between food and health grows too. That's why the Grow to Learn NYC, the citywide school gardens initiative, aims to encourage New York City's youth to eat healthier by helping schools build a garden or connect to an existing garden, and providing cooking and nutrition instruction to young New Yorkers. Since the initiative's launch in 2010 as a public-private partnership between the Mayor's Fund and several city agency partners, it has established more than 500 school gardens across the city. Today, this program is managed by GrowNYC, in coordination with the Department of Education.
Learn more on Grow to Learn NYC's website.
New York City's Let's Call an End to Human Trafficking campaign launched in May 2010 with three primary objectives: to educate the public about the definition of human trafficking and increase awareness of this crime as an issue in the city; to engage New Yorkers in the fight against human trafficking; and to encourage victims to come forward and provide them with meaningful help and services. The campaign helped to expose this issue to New Yorkers so they could take part in the fight against human trafficking as well as encourage victims to come forward and seek help.
Learn more about this effort on the Let's End Human Trafficking website.
In April 2015, the Mayor's Fund partnered with the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and the Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 to award the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Community Enrichment Grants, which supported community enrichment in local neighborhoods across New York City. The three $50,000 "Made In NY" grants were given to El Puente, Socrates Sculpture Park and the Urban Arts Partnership.
Learn more about the projects that were awarded.
Launched in November 2008, the MillionTreesNYC Training Program was a 7-month green collar job training program in support of the MillionTreesNYC initiative. The objective of the MillionTreesNYC Training Program was to help disengaged young adults aged 18 to 24 to develop marketable employment skills to meet the growing need for qualified "green collar" professionals in the arboriculture and landscape industry as a result of MillionTreesNYC.
Learn more about the Training Program on MillionTreesNYC's website.
To combat childhood obesity and promote healthy eating among young New Yorkers, the Mayor's Fund established partnerships between the Department of Youth and Community Development, New York City Housing Authority and selected nonprofits, the Sylvia Center and Children's Aid Society, to provide cooking classes for children ages 6 to 20 years old. These programs aim to empower young people to develop knowledge of and love for cooking, become conscious consumers, and make healthy food choices through hands-on cooking and stimulating nutrition discussions, as well as trips to greenmarkets or grocery stores to reinforce classroom lessons. Today, this program is managed through a partnership between the Sylvia Center and NYCHA.
Learn more about this effort on the Sylvia Center's website.
In May 2015, the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, in partnership with the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Mayor's Office for International Affairs, and the Community Affairs Unit, launched the New York City Nepal Relief Effort to assist the victims of the tragic earthquake that struck Nepal and surrounding area on April 25, 2015 – and in support of the members of the City's Nepalese community, the largest in the United States. The Mayor's Fund collected nearly $80,000 toward this effort, including from the Association for a Better New York and the Rudin Family Foundations. The funds were divided evenly between New York City-based Nepali community nonprofit organizations Adhikaar and The Gurung Society.
Learn more about the New York City Nepal Relief Effort.
In the 2012-2013 school year, with the support of private donations to the Mayor's Fund and the Fund for Public Schools, the Department of Education added a total of 210 salad bars to New York City public schools through the NYC School Salad Bar Initiative and Obesity Task Force. Since then, the City has added an additional 200 salad bars to public schools, bring the citywide total to 1,200. This has ensured that thousands more New York City school children have access to fresh vegetables on a daily basis.
Learn more about the School Salad Bar Initiative on the Department of Education's SchoolFood website.
Officially launched in September 2007, Opportunity NYC was the United States' first conditional cash transfer program, providing financial incentives to low-income families to improve education, health and workforce outcomes. Implemented by the City of New York, in collaboration with non-profit partners MDRC and Seedco, this $62 million public-private partnership consisted of three separate pilot programs for children, adults, and families, aiming to increase participation in targeted activities and programs that decrease factors contributing to poverty and long-term dependency. Monetary incentives were awarded when households met specific targets.
Learn more about Opportunity NYC on the Center for Economic Opportunity's website.
In September 2005, the Mayor's Fund and Department of Youth and Community Development launched the Out-of-School Time initiative to provide a mix of academic, recreational and cultural activities for young people after school, on holidays and during the summer. Today, Out-of-School Time – now known as the Comprehensive After School System of New York City (COMPASS NYC) and managed by DYCD – serves more than 50,000 young people each year in hundreds of programs citywide, all of which are provided at no cost to families. The programs coordinate resources from ten city agencies and are operated by community-based organizations and located in schools, community centers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, libraries, public housing and parks facilities to deliver well-rounded, high quality services to all participants.
Learn more about after-school programs on the Department of Youth and Community Development's website.
Ready New York was the City's educational campaign to encourage New York City residents to prepare for all types of emergencies. Funded through private donations to the Mayor's Fund, Ready New York emphasized a universal approach to preparing, based on three guiding principles: knowing the hazards in New York City, making a disaster plan, and stocking emergency supplies. The campaign included eleven multilingual publications, resources for the city's children, public service announcements, multimedia advertising, extensive web content, a speaker's bureau, a reprinting program, corporate partnerships, and continuous community outreach.
Learn more about Ready New York on the New York City Office of Emergency Management's website.
Built on $aveNYC, a matched savings incentive program piloted by the Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment during the 2008 tax season, SaveUSA worked to help low-income families create savings for asset development and emergency needs. The program encouraged consumers to hold at least part of their refund in a designated account for at least one year by providing a 50 percent match of their deposit. Thanks to a 2010 Social Innovation Fund award from the federal Corporation for National & Community Service, SaveUSA was replicated nationally across New York City; Newark, New Jersey; Tulsa, Oklahoma and San Antonio, Texas.
Learn more about SaveUSA on Office of Financial Empowerment's website.
In response to the need for long-term affordable creative workspaces for artists in New York City, the Mayor's Fund worked with the Department of Cultural Affairs to establish Spaceworks, a nonprofit organization that creates new arts workspaces in underutilized public and private properties in all five boroughs. Spaceworks provides the real estate development and management expertise to create a variety of workspaces to serve artists of all disciplines. Working closely with local cultural organizations, arts councils, and other community based organizations, this exciting initiative has forged long-term partnerships to enhance program services for artists and encourage neighborhood development.
Learn more on Spaceworks' website.