NEW YORK, Nov. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- West Side elected officials and nineteen leading businesses and firms today announced the formation of a unique fund to support innovative programs and initiatives for the Chelsea/Hudson Yards areas — the West Side Community Fund – Chelsea/Hudson Yards (WSCF/Chelsea-Hudson Yards) at an event hosted by The Church of Holy Apostles (296 Ninth Avenue at 28th Street), which sponsors the City's largest soup kitchen and emergency food program.
The target area for the WSCF/Chelsea-Hudson Yards, between 7th and 12th Avenues, 14th and 38th Streets, is being significantly impacted by extensive new private development and investment. The Fund, whose nineteen Founding Funders include companies and firms that have moved or plan to move into the area, as well as developers and investors active in the area, seeks to ensure that this increased investment and heightened economic activity brings demonstrable benefits and improved services to the residents of the Chelsea/Hudson Yards areas. The Fund was initiated and organized by Google and Related/Oxford Hudson Yards. Citizens Committee for New York City will provide administrative and staff support for the Fund.
The nineteen Founding Funders of the WSCF/Chelsea-Hudson Yards are:
- Boies Schiller Flexner
- The Boston Consulting Group
- Coach Foundation
- Cooley LLP
- Engineers Gate
- Pfizer Inc
- Related/Oxford Hudson Yards
- Silver Lake
- Taconic Investment Partners
- Third Point LLC
- Warner Media LLC
- Wells Fargo
Each Founding Funder has initially contributed $25,000 to establish the WSCF/Chelsea-Hudson Yards and can designate a member of the board. The Fund will have an initial budget of $475,000. The Fund is intended to provide micro and small grants, from a few hundred dollars to more than $5,000, for the purpose of spurring innovation and new initiatives.
To ensure close coordination with local elected officials, as well as to benefit from their insights, the Fund will work with an Elected Advisory Board consisting of:
- New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
- U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler
- New York State Senator Brad Hoylman
- New York State Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried
- Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer
The Fund will launch its first request for Applications for Chelsea & Hudson Yards Grants tomorrow, Wednesday, October 31st, reaching out to over 400 community leaders to solicit proposals for funding. Emphasis will be given to tenant and block associations, churches and schools, and the widest range of service and civic agencies. Priority areas for funding will be services and programs for youth and other underserved populations, such as seniors, homeless, and disabled, as well as projects providing health care, education, job training, and food pantries. A copy of the solicitation materials is attached.
WSCF grant applications are due by December 3rd, with the initial round of Chelsea & Hudson Yards Grants expected to be announced in February 2019.
The Fund expects to have two rounds of grant funding annually, and will also consider grant applications whenever submitted that meet other time pressures or schedules (such as school calendars).
Congressman Jerrold Nadler said: "I'm proud today to stand with Speaker Corey Johnson, Google and Related/Oxford Hudson Yards to help launch the West Side Community Fund serving the Chelsea and Hudson Yards neighborhoods. As the development in Hudson Yards proceeds it is heartening that so many business leaders have come together to support and provide funding to organizations and agencies that provide needed services for low-income residents. As the neighborhood changes, it is important that local residents, in particular neighborhood youth and underserved populations like seniors, homeless, disabled, and the unemployed, realize the benefits from the improvements."
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said: "As the neighborhoods of Chelsea and Hudson Yards continue to grow and add new residents, it's important that we also help our long-time friends, neighbors and community providers benefit from its success. This private sector initiative does just that, and I am so grateful to the nineteen businesses taking part, as well as Citizens Committee for New York City for helping get this off the ground. I can't wait to see the positive impacts to the community that will come from this venture, and will work to make sure that this Fund succeeds."
State Senator Brad Hoylman said: "I'm extremely grateful to Google, Related/Oxford Hudson Yards, and all of the private sector supporters of the West Side Community Fund for recognizing the stark problem of income equality in Chelsea and Hudson Yards and taking on the mission of helping fund innovative services and programs for low-income residents in these neighborhoods. I look forward to working with my colleagues in government, Community Board 4 and other stakeholders to help identify funding priorities in our community that can be addressed by this important new fund."
Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried said: "I am grateful to the businesses and organizations participating in the West Side Community Fund. The Fund will help improve the quality of life in the Hudson Yards and Chelsea neighborhoods by providing grants to local community organizations that provide vital services to local residents and families."
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said: "Density is what we do in Manhattan, but that means more than tall buildings – it means that our neighborhoods are woven together, and what happens on one block ripples out to affect thousands of people. I'm pleased that so many major employers in Hudson Yards have pledged to give back to the communities around them through the new West Side Community Fund, and look forward to working with the Fund to support local community organizations in and around Hell's Kitchen and Chelsea."
Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said: "Smart growth means not only building housing and commercial space -- it means expanding community services as well. The leading businesses launching the West Side Development Fund share our administration's commitment that all members of growing communities like Chelsea and Hudson Yards should benefit from development."
The Fund intends to convene meetings of local schools and religious institutions to explore whether they might collaborate to provide new or expanded services to their students or parishioners as a way of maximizing and broadening existing resources. The Fund anticipates working closely with Community Board 4 and other major local organizations and institutions.
MCB4 Board Chair Burt Lazarin said, "Manhattan Community Board 4 is encouraged to see some of our neighborhoods' large private sector employers taking an interest in the life of Chelsea and Hudson Yards at such a potentially impactful level. Small grants like these can have big results creating a positive ripple through our communities."
The Fund will work in collaboration with Citizens Committee for New York City, which will administer the Chelsea & Hudson Yards Grants program on behalf of the Fund.
Peter H. Kostmayer, CEO of Citizens Committee for New York City, said: "Since 1975 Citizens Committee for New York City has been funding small scale neighborhood improvement projects in the city's underserved neighborhoods. We're delighted to have been asked by the Fund to support this effort and look forward to partnering with the Fund and its Founding Funders to improve services to the Chelsea/Hudson Yards community."
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