What We Are Doing
One Community has put together over 20 programs to benefit the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill community, and we're regularly creating new opportunities in the neighborhood.
THE SHARING NETWORK
The problem of social isolation in older adults has been made worse by the pandemic. Those without internet access have even fewer resources than others to keep in touch with their friends, family and other social contacts. One Community has launched a project aimed at alleviating the problem, particularly as it effects homebound, older people of color living in public housing in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.
OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE
With the most vulnerable people urged not to go out, even for groceries, many of our neighbors did not have a safe way to get food. In response, One Community organized a coalition of 34 partner organizations to distribute groceries. Each week over 80 volunteers brought food to seniors and other vulnerable people who live in public housing and other low-income housing. The 209 households served on March 27, 2020 grew to 1,700. In August 2021 we converted to Fresh Pantries.
Major funding provided by New York City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo, Robin Hood, Brooklyn for Life!, Curtis Cravens, MADDD Equities, the Society for Clinton Hill and other anonymous donors.
ELDERS, SAFE AND FREE
Although eligible for vaccinations, it has been clear that many of the seniors receiving food have little prospect of getting vaccinated. Without computer access and efficient transportation, frequently with compromised mobility and often in an atmosphere of misinformation and doubts, their challenges are insurmountable. We decided to reduce the process of getting vaccinated to a simple “Yes.”
One Community recruits and supports Fort Greene/Clinton Hill justice-involved people, veterans and non-college-bound young people to be trained by Recycle-A-Bicycle program of Bike New York. Women and gender non-conforming people are especially encouraged to apply.
SHARE YOUR P-EBT
If you are able, we ask that you use your card to buy your regular groceries, and then contribute as much of $420 that your family thinks is appropriate. Your $420 will enable us to provide 2,625 meals a week, and $100 provides 625 meals. If you are not receiving a P-EBT card, please consider donating as well.
Tillary Shelter residents upkeep Fort Greene Park and plant tulips.
PRATT McKINNEY TRAILBLAZERS
The Trailblazers are guided through Pratt student and faculty’s cutting-edge work in robotics, visual reality, augmented reality, sustainability, fashion, graphic design, architecture, art, urban planning etc., and attend a special luncheon. They receive certificates recognizing them as Pratt McKinney Trailblazers, confirming that they are “college material.”
I AM HERE
The Tillary Street Women’s Shelter is one of the city’s largest homeless facilities for single women receiving supportive services. One Community had the noted portrait photographer Leslie Jean-Bart work with residents to create personal, affirming images.
DON'T MISS YOUR $500
When $1,200 in pandemic relief was distributed in the spring of 2020, it was highly likely that people on benefits did not get their additional $500 per dependent. Of course, these are the people who most need the additional support. One Community rallied an array of allies – the New York City Housing Authority was an aggressive partner – to flood the four public housing developments in Fort Greene with information about how to apply before the September 30, 2020 deadline. The Food Bank of New York City mobilized its tax filing support team to work off season, helping with the filings.
The residents of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill were already generously supplying the Tillary Shelter with enough clothes for residents, but the shelter was not able to accept donations of personalcare products and intimate clothing. With funding from City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, One Community created a solution in 2018, providing enough of these products for 200 residents plus each new resident that year.
Many of our neighbors bear the heavy burden of criminal justice involvement when seeking jobs, housing, or benefits and face arrest when walking down the street or driving a car. Kings District Attorney Eric Gonzalez has been trying to lift the burden with Begin Again – a program which writes off open summonses and warrants for petty offenses.
PRATT SATURDAY ART SCHOOL
Pratt Institute's Saturday Art School offers 6-18-year-olds the highest quality classes to explore artistic expression. When One Community inquired, Pratt found that only 4 were from the public housing just outside its door. One Community launched a
campaign to break down the economic and socio-cultural barriers that keep kids surrounded by poverty from walking through Pratt’s gates. Here is one result, from Carlos Peña Hernandez: