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Neighborhood organizations are being boosted with $100,000 in new funding as the West Side Community Fund (WSCF) announced 15 recipients in its biannual grant program, designed to support groups dedicated to strengthening Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea.
The latest grant recipients come from across the West Side’s Community Board 4, ranging from block associations to arts groups and mutual aid coalitions. In Hell’s Kitchen they include Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries which provide supportive services and food to community members; the Hell’s Kitchen Community Cupboard, the mutual aid-based food share; W43rd Street’s affordable dance, yoga and gymnastics class studio Keoni Movement Arts; Hell’s Kitchen Commons which combines the West 45th and 46th Street Block Associations; and Midtown South Community Council.
Also on the list: W42ST! We will be using the grant of $5,000 to fund an audit and investigation of empty storefronts across Hell’s Kitchen, bringing light to their stories with a view to finding a solution for reopening or new businesses to move in. Chelsea Community News was also given a grant to help its journalism.
“This next cycle of funding for the West Side Community Fund is tremendous news for our community,” said Richard Gottfried, New York State Assembly Member. “From supporting safe streets organizations and serving people with disabilities, to bolstering local journalism, the West Side Community Fund will continue to make a difference in the lives of West Siders. I look forward to seeing the impact these grants will have for our neighbors.”
Beyond Hell’s Kitchen, other recipients include Adaptive Design Association, a nonprofit that builds customized equipment for children and adults with disabilities; the Chelsea Tenants Association/ Dream Center NYC Partnership; the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen and Penn South Social Services who assist seniors living independently in their homes. Seeds of Fortune, an edtech nonprofit aimed at supporting young women of color; the Hudson River Community Sailing youth nonprofit; and the open-to-all NYC Community Chorus.
West Side pedestrian safety advocacy group CHEKPEDS was also named as a recipient. Founder Christine Berthet said: “Chekpeds is thrilled and very grateful to have received a West Side Community grant. This will accelerate our development of an app for pedestrians to report and get prompt resolution on sidewalk, curb and crossing complaints that are not properly addressed in a timely manner.”
Added Hell’s Kitchen Community Cupboard organizer Jill Blackford: “We are so excited and grateful for the funding from WSCF so that we can provide extra groceries for our Hells Kitchen neighbors and add some much needed improvements to our cupboard.”
Operated by the Hudson Guild community organization and funded in part with seed contributions from Google and real estate firms Jamestown and Related, from 2018 to 2020 the WSCF grant program gave over half a million dollars to West Side projects benefiting young people, seniors, homeless, the disabled, food pantries, LGBTQIA+ initiatives, block associations and arts and culture initiatives. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the fund remained active in assisting businesses and organizations in the ensuing economic challenges.
This year the WSCF branched out to allow businesses and organizations from W14th to W59th Street to apply for funding. “The West Side Community Fund provides an important layer of funding to the ecosystem of nonprofits serving Chelsea, Hudson Yards, and Hell’s Kitchen,” said Michael Phillips, President of Jamestown. “The microgrant program has proved to be an innovative way to reach hyper-local, grassroots organizations, which is vital to creating healthier and more equitable and dynamic communities.”
“Our small business and social service organizations help make New York the greatest city in the world, and the West Side Community Fund (WSCF) helps channel crucial assistance to those in Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, and Hudson Yards. During the pandemic that devastated many local businesses and services, the WSCF stepped up to support – and they recently distributed $100,000 to 15 local organizations, such as CHEKPEDS and W42ST,” added Brad Hoylman, New York State Senator. “I am delighted the Hudson Guild relaunched the WSCF this summer, and I’m excited to see local organizations on the west side continue to flourish thanks to their support.”
Congratulations to our fellow grant recipients!