A Message from Our CEO, Scott Short
Welcome to our first newsletter of 2022! As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, I continue to be amazed by the resilience of our staff and communities. In extraordinarily difficult circumstances, we keep seeking new ways to support, uplift, and care for one another in-person and virtually. I am especially grateful to the volunteers who have lent their time and expertise to support their neighbors and to the donors who have fueled our work. Thank you.
I am also reminded of how much work there is left to do. Just as long COVID has continued to impact many individuals well beyond the initial symptoms of the disease, the economic effects of COVID on marginalized communities across NYC continue to be felt long past onset. We must redouble our efforts to ensure that relief and recovery is felt equitably across all neighborhoods. This is the core of what we hope to achieve through our holistic set of services.
Remember, we unleash the potential of communities to thrive, no matter the odds. Our work today may be more challenging, but our commitment to that mission has never been stronger. I know that no matter what challenges 2022 may bring, we will continue to fight inequities in our communities so that one day your zip code will not determine your health outcomes, housing stability, or economic power. Thank you for your partnership.
— Scott Short, CEO
ERAP Applications Remain Open
While there is currently no federal funding available to provide rental assistance to NYC residents, applications for Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funding remain open. Applying may protect you from a legal eviction, even if you do not receive any funds. For help completing a tenant or landlord application, navigating the ERAP portal, and additional support, contact our ERAP team.
Facing Eviction? Know Your Rights
If your landlord has initiated eviction proceedings, you still have rights and protections. Landlords must receive a judgment from the court and enlist a marshal or sheriff to carry out a legal eviction. Harassment and self-help evictions are not allowed. For emergency assistance, call the police or file an HP action if applicable.
RiseBoro’s LEAP attorneys provide direct legal representation and advocacy for tenants who are at risk of eviction as a result of non-payment or holdover proceedings brought by their landlords. For more information on tenants’ rights or to schedule a free appointment with an attorney, contact the LEAP team in your neighborhood.
The People’s Money: Vote on Public Spending in Your Neighborhood
New Yorkers who live, work, or attend school in one of the 33 neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID-19 are invited to vote on how to spend $40,000 in public funds.
This participatory budget process, called The People’s Money, is organized by the NYC Taskforce for Racial Inclusion and Equity (TRIE) Neighborhood Initiative in partnership with community-based organizations, the Civic Engagement Commission, and the Young Men’s Initiative.
Polls close on February 7. Vote today, and encourage your friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family members to do the same.
Learn More and Vote in the TRIE Initiative here!
Connect with our welcoming community of supporters by becoming a volunteer. Below is a list of our current needs. If you don’t see something that interests you, reach out to us for additional opportunities.
PPE Packing: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) packing
Mask Delivery: Deliver Non-Surgical Gowns to local community schools
Get additional information here! Or contact Jasmine Montalvo, Service & Volunteer Manager: [email protected].
Jefferson Street Garden
Jefferson Street Community Garden in Bushwick, Brooklyn is a forgotten staple of the community. With its vibrant colors and its leaf arc entrance you can feel the magic in this garden. During the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the garden was untended and otherwise abandoned. Many residents of the neighborhood moved away, while others just didn’t feel safe coming outside. Much of the community aspect of the garden became nonexistent. Which is why, RiseBoro is undergoing a grand initiative with the community of Bushwick to help revitalize Jefferson St Community Garden!
RiseBoro, in partnership with Clean Bushwick Initiative as well as various community members/volunteers took part in the first ever Jefferson St Garden Clean-Up Day on Dec 18th, 2021. We got a ton of work done thanks to our volunteers. We were able to clear tons of litter, open up garden plots, dispose of rotten tools and broken-down fences. We are looking to make the Clean-Up event a monthly event until the summertime, when we hope to reopen the garden and begin to canvas the neighborhood for members and supporters. We are also fundraising with the hopes of getting new gardening equipment, fencing, seeds and other gardening essentials through various methods. COVID-19 has taken away so much from us, but this garden remains a staple of the Bushwick community and we must all come together to keep it that way.
Next STEPS Mentoring Program
Mentoring Brownsville Youth
Next STEPS mentors encourage young people to set and pursue ambitious goals. For Sidney Lewis, that meant getting into a prestigious liberal arts college.
Seniors SAIL (Stay Active and Independent for Life)
How Seniors Can Remain Independent
A new evidence-based falls-prevention class is improving mobility and energy levels among seniors at the Diana H. Jones Innovative Senior Center.
Scott Short, along with city officials and development partners, celebrated the city’s milestone of financing the preservation or new construction of 200,000 affordable homes.
SPREADING CHEER AND HOLIDAY MEALS
We’re happy to share that NBC New York highlighted RiseBoro’s Christmas meal distribution in the segment, Spreading Cheer and Holiday Meals on Christmas! The segment does an excellent job of showcasing how much this Christmas tradition means to the community.