All New York City youth and families with children will have a safe and stable place to call home and a community of support.
The NYC Fund to End Youth & Family Homelessness uses its resources and influence to transform our city’s homelessness systems. Currently, those systems function primarily to manage the crisis of homelessness. We seek instead to prevent and end that crisis.
To do this, we support innovative, evidence-based, promising approaches that help youth and families facing housing instability keep their homes or move quickly into a new permanent home that is safe, stable, and affordable. In each approach, we seek to leverage and transform major systems so that they operate to promote housing stability as part of their core function (e.g. housing and shelter; education; foster care; child and family welfare; health, including mental and behavioral health; law enforcement and justice).
Shelter offers a place to sleep at night, but the solution to homelessness is a home. Investing in access to quality, affordable homes is investing in our children’s – and our city’s – future.
The Fund’s core values are to advance racial equity, LGTBQ equity, and lived expertise in the design of our housing and homelessness systems and in our own governance and operations.
Contrary to what many believe, people are not homeless simply because they made bad choices or had bad luck. All of us make bad choices and have bad luck at different points in our lives, but all of us do not become homeless. Those who do are those of us who do not have the protection of wealth and ownership – either in our own household or in our extended network – to cushion us when we have bad luck or make a mistake.
Since our society has long excluded people who are Black, indigenous, and people of color from wealth and ownership opportunities (especially those who are also LGBTQ), we have limited the ability of these individuals, households, and communities to build that cushion of net worth. As a direct result, it is disproportionately people in these communities who face homelessness when something goes wrong.
Moreover, the systems we have built to manage homelessness often reinforce inequity rather than reduce it, all too frequently denying people dignity, autonomy, and control over their own lives. These systems are often also inefficient, expensive, and counterproductive, offering take-it-or-leave-it, one-size-fits-nobody interventions that don’t help people quickly find a stable home.
Instead, we must build systems founded on principles of equity and dignity that give people the resources they need to design their own solutions and achieve their own goals.
The Fund is committed to centering racial and LGBTQ equity and lived expertise of youth and family homelessness in its governance and operations. As part of that commitment, the Fund currently reserves four seats on its Steering Committee for the two Co-Coordinators of New York City’s Youth Action Board and the two Housing Policy Fellows of New York City’s Family Homelessness Coalition.
These Steering Committee members draw on their own lived expertise in New York City homelessness systems and partner with our philanthropic members to lead the Fund’s strategy, policy, and grantmaking work. They also currently lead the Fund in developing a longer-term strategy for how to continue to advance equity and lived expertise as core values of what we do and how we do it.
The Fund is currently co-chaired by Beatriz de la Torre, Managing Director of Housing & Homelessness at Trinity Church Wall Street, and Rhonda Jackson, Housing Policy Fellow of the New York City Family Homelessness Coalition.
The Fund’s current contributors are:
- Block-Leavitt Foundation
- Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation
- Helmsley Charitable Trust
- Melville Charitable Trust
- Pinkerton Foundation
- Stavros Niarchos Foundation
- Trinity Church Wall Street
Special thanks to FJC – A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds for hosting the Fund.
For information about contributing to the Fund, applying for grant, or for press inquiries, please contact the Fund’s senior advisors – Barbara Carlson (barbcoccodrilli AT gmail DOT com) and John Kimble (jgkimble AT gmail DOT com).