Digital casework tool developed by New York City organizations wins award

Social worker wearing pink shirt smiles at family of three, one daughter, one son and their mother
Social worker wearing pink shirt smiles at family of three, one daughter, one son and their mother

Digital casework tool developed by New York City organizations wins award

And other updates from across New York.
September 23, 2019

The Vera Institute of Justice officially moved to Sunset Park today. After nearly three years of preparation, the nonprofit is leaving the lower Manhattan location that it has called home since 2000 for a new headquarters with more space overall and a design that reflects its mission, including art from the formerly incarcerated. Finances played a big part in the decision, but the move was also meant to signify the organization’s transformation, President Nicholas Turner told NYN Media. As Vera shifts toward a more national perspective, a location near City Hall became less important.

Turner’s advice for other nonprofits thinking of making a move? Make sure you think long-term – Vera started talking about this move five years into a 10-year lease. And secondly, nonprofits should think critically about how the design of their space can broadcast their brand. 

“I feel lucky that we have this ability to even think this way,” Turner said. “It’s a luxury. Vera is a well-established nonprofit with really solid financials that enabled us to make choices that I think are not available to all nonprofit leaders.”


A national competition to create digital solutions related to social determinants of health awarded first place to a collaboration of New York-based organizations. The Social Impact AI Lab – a partnership between MercyFirst, The New York Foundling, SCO Family of Services, and Augmented Intelligence – created a tool that consolidates information from social work case notes into a clear summary and even graphs risk levels for clients. Judges of the contest, held as a part of the Health 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara, California, gave first place to the Social Impact AI Lab as well as Ooney, which both received $40,000 for their work. Before the conference, the organizations presented the project to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and New York City Administration for Children’s Service. Find out more about the tool below:


Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk announced its new executive director. Lee Silberman has been a longtime fixture at the organization, having secured more than $1 million for the nonprofit and served as chair of its board of directors from 2012 to June 2018. Silberman will be assuming the role at the start of October, replacing Tracey Edwards, who was appointed to the New York State Public Service Commission three months ago. 


The New York City Administration for Children’s Services awarded a $783,000 contract to the YMCA of Greater New York. The funding will support an evening reporting center. After public hearings on proposed amendments to the city’s IDNYC program, the final rule amendments were posted to the City Record. Among the changes are a streamlined renewal process for the IDNYC cards and allowing youth from ages 10 to 13 to apply for the cards at school. 


Long Island Cares – The Harry Chapin Food Bank has a new chief development and communications officer.  Katherine Fritz is taking over the position on Oct. 15, after serving as director of development for America’s VetDogs and for its parent organization, the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. She also is president-elect of the board of directors of the Long Island Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. 

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.