Greenpoint Gazette

New St. Nicks Program Tackles Poverty in North Brooklyn

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St. Nick’s Alliance has launched a new initiative to tackle poverty head on in North Brooklyn.

Nabe 3.0 will offer residents affordable housing, literacy and employment assistance for adults, afterschool programming for local kids, and help organize tenant associations.

The initiative is made possible by a New York City Change Capital Fund Grant (CCF). CCF is a consortium of 17 different financial organizations, mostly large banks, that have banded together to provide local community organizations like St. Nicks the monetary needs to increase efforts to reduce poverty in neighborhoods that need it the most.

The CCF was formed with an investment of $25 million that is to be distributed over several years to non-profit community development corporations (CDFs). In the case of this particular grant, St. Nicks will receive $250,000 for the first year, which can then be renewed for three subsequent years.

“Growing up in one of New York City’s high-poverty neighborhoods is associated with poor outcomes in education, health, criminal justice system involvement and even homelessness with life expectancy in the city’s poorest neighborhoods four years shorter than the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods,” said Steven Flax, Administrative Vice President M&T Bank, and chairman of CCF. “The Change Capital Fund is supporting local organizations seeking to alter this trajectory.”

The CCF is targeting neighborhoods where poverty rates range from 30 to 40 percent.

Apart from the area in North Brooklyn, other neighborhoods where local organizations are working with the CCF assist are the South Bronx, Red Hook, Cypress Hills, and Brownsville.

In North Brooklyn, St. Nicks is focusing on P.S. 18 in regards to its afterschool program. The school was one of four elementary schools within the pilot area and represented the highest poverty rate. These programs include coaching, mentoring, family literacy, and membership to a book bus. And with regards to adults a special focus will be placed on family members of kids attending P.S. 18.

The affordable housing, which is mostly in East Williamsburg and Bushwick will follow all HPD guidelines and be offered to local residents through the regular lottery system.

 To learn more about St. Nicks Alliance visit http://stnicksalliance.org/SNA/ and to learn more about the Change Capital Fund visit http://www.changecapitalfund.org/.

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