Dear Friend,

I’ve been feeling lately that we should just start 2021 over again, so in that spirit let me be the first to wish you a Happy New Year! Kidding aside, it has been a challenging two weeks to start a year that was supposed to be the antidote to an even more challenging year. Though it hasn’t yet felt like much of a respite from the tribulations of 2020, I am still optimistic about what 2021 holds in store. In the words of Sam Cooke, a change is gonna come, and having survived the ultimate stress test, I believe our nation will emerge stronger. The key for me will be to resist the urge to shame and demonize those who don’t share my beliefs, and to build upon our shared humanity to start to bridge the divide.

One change that has already come to RiseBoro is that Mirtha Santana, our former Vice President of Empowerment, has been promoted to Chief Program Officer! This is a new position for RiseBoro and one that Mirtha is uniquely positioned to succeed in. You can read more about Mirtha and her new role below.

Although at this point it seems like a long time ago, I couldn’t be more proud of the way our organization responded to 2020. I feel that RiseBoro is stronger than it has ever been, and we will need to draw on that strength as we head into 2021. I am filled with hope for what we can accomplish, with your support, in unleashing the potential of our communities and fighting for economic, health, and racial equity and justice.

— Scott Short, CEO



Enrollment is still open for SISTER S.A.G.E.
(Strengthening Advocacy For Girl’s Empowerment)— a culturally informed, gender responsive, service learning/leadership program, for girls in Brooklyn aged 10-18, 5th-12th grades. For more information email Jamie McKaie at [email protected] or call (347) 306-9917.


“I will miss interacting with our volunteers, friends, neighbors, and community, miss the plants, my hands in contact with the soil, and all the creatures on the farm. On the other hand, I am also part of the natural cycle of the farm, and happy to slow down, rest, and reserve energies

and prepare for the next season.

As we welcome 2021, it’s a good time to reflect on the past year; what worked, what didn’t, how can we improve, how can we better serve the community, find solutions to problems and how to implement them. Our lives follow the same rhythms of a farm in that the work never ends, there is always something new to try, some way to do things better, room for experimentation and beautification. There is always room for change.

Please be safe, take care of yourselves and those around you, and stay healthy and hopeful.”

— Martha Ma, Our Food, Farmer and Educator



Thank you for your support in 2020, during this unprecedented and harrowing year, we were able to positively impact the lives of countless New Yorkers in varying and extraordinary ways. And we could not have imagined doing this without your support.

In 2021, we continue to do the hard work, the necessary work, on the frontlines, to make sure the communities we serve not only survive but thrive,
No Matter The Odds.

Start 2021 off right and join the RB Giving Family today.

Join the RiseBoro Giving Family.


An offering of the RiseBoro Seniors division, the Friendly Visit program provides our most socially isolated seniors with in-person companionship from a Friendly Visitor Volunteer.

Due to COVID-19 we’ve changed the in-person visits to calls, but these calls are more crucial than ever before, as the ongoing pandemic further isolates our already most isolated.

Interested in being a Friendly Visitor? Email Adriana Ortiz at [email protected].


“I wanted to give them a little hope that everything would be normal again.” Jovanka Cruz, RiseBoro Seniors Service Coordinator, surprised 75 residents with holiday meals this past December.

Read the full BK Reader Article.


Mirtha’s passion, intelligence, and dedication to the work we do at RiseBoro is unmatched, starting at RiseBoro in 2007 and steadily rising through the ranks, she most recently served as the Vice President of RiseBoro Empowerment.

Mirtha will help us coordinate our client-facing services, expand the breadth and depth of our programs, and ensure the success of our strategic plan.


Code Blue

Code Blue means the temperature drops below 32 F between 8 PM and 4 AM, if you know a homeless person who needs help call 311. No one who is homeless and seeking shelter in New York City during a Code Blue will be denied. Should you see a homeless individual out in the cold, please call 311 and an outreach team will be dispatched to offer assistance.

Learn more about Code Blue options for homeless individuals.


RiseBoro Housing is helping tackle NY’s real climate crisis: it’s aging apartments.

RiseBoro Housing was recently featured in the NY Times for our efforts in helping tackle New York’s real climate change crisis: its aging buildings.

“Our mission is long-term affordability, and low energy use is a stabilizing force,” said Ryan Cassidy, director of sustainability and construction at RiseBoro. He estimates the retrofit project, which is the first of its kind in New York, will cut energy costs by $180,000 a year. “It’s good for the environment, but it’s also good for our budgets.”

Read the full NY Times Article.