More Than $400 Million Raised Through Public-Private Partnership for Tackling City's Woes - De Blasio Says

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First Lady McCray and Mayor de Blasio. Photo: Flickr

 
Over $400 million has been raised in private and philanthropic funding through the City’s independent nonprofit organizations since 2014 to drive forward the Mayor’s agenda for an equitable and inclusive City, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gabrielle Fialkoff, senior advisor director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships, announced.
 
By collaborating with City agencies and across sectors, the Office has overseen the launch of partnerships that have brought critical services and resources to New Yorkers in need, the mayor said.  “To implement lasting and meaningful societal change, the private, nonprofit, and business sectors must work together. That is why I created the Office of Strategic Partnerships,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Successful programs such as the Center of Youth Employment, Computer Science for All, and Connections to Care have improved the lives of New Yorkers and I look forward to broadening the scope of the work in the years to come,” de Blasio said. 
 
"We're making New York City a healthier, fairer, more prosperous place for all – but government cannot do this work alone," Chirlane McCray, the first lady and Chair of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, said. "Through the Office of Strategic Partnerships, we've linked arms with our philanthropic and business partners across the City to bring services and opportunities to more New Yorkers than ever before.”
 
“Mayor de Blasio knows that we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to create the fair and equitable City we envision. Government alone cannot solve our most pressing issues, the business  sector, nonprofits, and philanthropy must all work together to if we hope to move the needle on inequality,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. “Four years since the creation of the Office of Strategic Partnerships, our progress proves that this dedicated platform is a game-changer to build an inclusive City that leverages the best each sector has to offer.”
 
Mayor de Blasio created the Office of Strategic Partnerships in 2014 to bring together the business, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors to work with government toward the shared goals of reducing inequality, promoting fairness, and addressing disparities across New York City. Through its oversight of the City-affiliated nonprofits and by working with organizations that serve as private partners to City Agencies, the office has designed innovative public-private partnerships that leverage expertise, resources, and skills across these sectors to impact priority issue areas, including workforce development, health equity, immigration, education, and housing.
 
The city-affiliated non-profits and organizations that serve as private partners to City agencies are: the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the Fund for Public Health, the Fund for Public Schools, the Fund for Public Housing, New Yorkers for Children, NYC Police Foundation, FDNY Foundation, and the Aging in New York Fund.
 
Current initiatives include: The Center for Youth Employment, a project of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, helps prepare young New Yorkers for career success by working with City agencies, employers, private funders and provider organizations to support 100,000 high-quality internships, mentorships and summer jobs per year.
 
Impact: CYE has increased high quality internships and summer jobs by recruiting employers citywide and offering tools to support young people in their work. For example, in partnership with the with the Department of Youth and Community Development, CYE has helped grow the Ladders for Leaders internship program from 267 interns & 87 employers in 2013 to 1,850 internships and 600  employers in 2017; tripled the number of summer jobs for vulnerable youth (in foster, shelter or juvenile justice systems) from 1,000 in 2014 to 3,170 in 2017; and created seven sector-specific Industry Funds to support internships, skill building, and related opportunities to help youth enter careers in NYC’s top fields.
 
Computer Science for All, an Equity & Excellence for All initiative with the Department of Education and the Fund for Public Schools to bring computer science education to all 1.1 million students by 2025.
 
Impact: Since its launch in the 2015-16 school year, approximately 1,000 teachers have been trained across approximately 550 schools. Last school year, 3,966 students took an Advanced Placement Computer Science exam, up from 1,137 the previous year, and four times as many students passed the exam compared to the previous year.
 
Building Healthy Communities, a partnership supported by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and Fund for Public Health, is increasing opportunities for physical activity, expanding access to healthy and affordable food, and promoting safe and vibrant spaces in 12 chronically underserved neighborhoods across the five boroughs.
 
Healthy Food: Through this partnership, urban farms were built in four New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments, with two more currently under construction – the first of their kind in the country – providing over 25,000lbs of fresh produce to community residents. The partnership has also supported community gardens that grow and distribute fresh food, school gardens, youth markets for fresh produce, and food boxes.
 
Physical activity: Through this partnership, 50 new soccer fields are being built in BHC neighborhoods and other underserved neighborhoods. Each soccer pitch includes funding for youth programming in the community, including soccer clinics, mentoring, and free sporting gear. In addition, Building Healthy Communities provided small grants to 30 community organizations to lead walking tours, fitness programs, street closings, and park programs.
 
Connections to Care, a ThriveNYC initiative supported by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the Center for Economic Opportunity and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, provides more than 40,000 New Yorkers mental health services in non-clinical settings by training over 1,000 social service staff at community-based organizations citywide. As of September 2017, 15 community-based organizations have trained over 1,000 staff in at least one Connections to Care treatment method, and 8,900 clients have received services through Connections to Care.
 
Free eyeglasses have been provided by Warby Parker for every student who needs them attending the City’s 227 Community Schools, along with free vision screenings and eye exams. This initiative was made possible through a partnership with the Office of Strategic Partnerships and the Community Schools Initiative. By the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, Warby Parker will have provided over 40,000 pairs of glasses since the program’s start in 2015. 
 
Get Alarmed NYC, an initiative through the FDNY Foundation, provides and installs smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in high-fire risk communities to reduce fire deaths and injuries; 130,000 smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have been installed and distributed to households across the city.
 
NYC Housing Help, a program piloted by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the NYC Human Resources Administration and Department for Homeless Services, provided free, legal, financial, and social services to Bronx families facing eviction to keep their homes; contributing to the creation of the citywide Right to Counsel Initiative. 70,000 families were able to remain in their homes through the pilot program alone. As a result of the pilot program, the City made a $155 million annual investment expected to help 400,000 New Yorkers avoid eviction.
 
Juvenile detention diversion, a pilot program through New Yorkers for Children, works with the Community Connections for Youth Inc. to keep low-risk youth who are arrested and headed to family court out of the juvenile detention system by providing connections to community support programs. Working with 20 youth and their families in the Bronx over the six-moth pilot period, the program achieved a detention rate of only 10%. Due of the success of this pilot, ACS and the NYC Department of Probation were able to extend the program to all five boroughs.
 
NYCitizenship is a program providing free legal assistance to help legal permanent residents take the next step in becoming U.S. Citizens through a partnership between the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs, the City’s public library systems, the Human Resources Administration and NYC Opportunity. From April 2016 to September 2017, NYCitizenship services were provided to 11,200 people including screening nearly 2,000 people for citizenship eligibility in library branches and HRA sites across all five boroughs. Almost 1,000 naturalization applications were filed, with over 750 accompanying fee waivers. In that period, nearly 350 clients were able to naturalize.
 
NYCHA Tech Pilots, a 2017 initiative of the Fund for Public Housing, in partnership with MetaProp NYC and Grand Central Tech's Urban Tech Hub, to bring property management, operations, and resident amenity innovations to the New York City Housing Authority. The initiative comes at no cost to NYCHA or the Fund for Public Housing, but successful tech solutions proven through the pilots can become fundraising priorities for the Fund in 2018 and beyond. Three companies – BlocPower, Pansofik, and Enertiv, are in the initial testing phase to bring energy savings, early moisture detection, and an operations performance system that will increase efficiency to NYCHA.
 
The Office of Strategic Partnerships is also designed to mobilize the private sector in times of emergency to make critical services and resources available to communities in need. In the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Mayor’s Fund established a warm weather clothing drive to help Puerto Ricans whose lives were destabilized after the storms. During the particularly dangerous 2018 flu season, the Mayor’s Fund worked with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to form a partnership with Walgreens and Duane Reade to provide 1,000 vouchers for free flu shots in neighborhoods with high concentrations of uninsured or underinsured families. Following tragic and unexpected explosions in East Harlem (2014) and the East Village (2015), public-private partnerships were established to raise money for victims and find housing for displaced individuals.
 
Moving forward, the Office of Strategic Partnerships will deepen its commitment to current initiatives and will engage the business, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors to work towards an expanded set of priorities in the second term. The Office will support the Mayor’s goal of closing the Rikers Island jail complex; assist vulnerable out-of-school, out-of-work youth; and align the Building Healthy Communities Initiative to support the goals outlined in the Mayor’s Action Plan to Improve Neighborhood Safety.
 
Mayor de Blasio has pledged to close the Rikers Island jail complex by taking steps to make the criminal justice system “smaller, safer, and fairer.” Working with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, city-affiliated nonprofits, and City agencies, the Office of Strategic Partnerships will engage the private and philanthropic sectors in efforts to reduce the City’s jail population, better support women in jail, and reduce recidivism by creating pathways to stability for New Yorkers re-entering into their communities.
 
To deepen its commitment to youth workforce development, the Office of Strategic Partnerships will take a targeted approach to helping out-of-school, out-of-work young adults achieve steady employment and economic security. Working with City agencies and private partners, the Office for Strategic Partnerships and the Center for Youth Employment will continue to expand paid employment opportunities for vulnerable youth, and support and connect developmentally appropriate programs that blend academic and occupational instruction with career guidance and wraparound services. The office will work with young adult workers at risk of losing their jobs, as well as their employers, to support their retention and long-term advancement toward career-track work.
 
Since it was created two years ago through the Fund for Public Health and the Office of Strategic Partnerships, the Building Healthy Communities initiative has worked with several private and philanthropic partners to lead progressive approaches to health equity in underserved neighborhoods across the five boroughs. Looking ahead, The Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and the Office of Strategic Partnership will connect BHC partners and approaches to the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety – an initiative that aims to reduce violent crime in 15 NYCHA developments that make up almost 20 percent of all violent crime in New York City's public housing – to engage residents and partners to ensure environments are holistically healthy and safe. Aligned, the two efforts will better tackle systemic economic distress, poor health outcomes, and violent crime concentrated in a few neighborhoods across the City. 
 
 

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