Federal funding supports NYC nonprofits giving legal aid to sexual assault survivors

A lawyer looks over legal document for another person.

A lawyer looks over legal document for another person. Shutterstock

A total of $2.4 million in federal funding will go to four New York City organizations that give legal help to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Each organization will get $600,000 through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Legal Assistance for Victims Grant program, according to a press release from U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. The recipients are: 

  • Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation
  • Sanctuary for Families
  • New York Legal Assistance Group
  • New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project


The CAMBA Economic Development Corporation received $125,000 from the U.S. Department of Treasury. The award, given through the department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund – which aims to support economic growth in low-income communities – will help CAMBA EDC build capacity to support low-income entrepreneurs. Two upstate organizations in New York received federal funding as well: the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation and the Seneca Nation of Indians Economic Development Company. 

News organizations are spotlighting homelessness in New York City. This past week, WNYC and Gothamist published a series of articles focusing on homelessness and the New York City transit system, in response to a reader survey asking for more coverage. From exploring how MTA station cleaners handle homeless people to explaining why the MTA is focusing on homelessness, the series will culminate in a Sept. 24 event on the subject that will feature Giselle Routhier, policy director of Coalition for the Homeless, and Josh Dean of the homeless advocacy group Human.nyc.

The Max & Murphy podcast also got in on the action, sitting down with Steve Banks, who heads the New York City Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services and Department of Homeless Services. 


The Bronx Defenders received a $533,333 contract for services related to the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project. The contract was awarded via borough president/City Council discretionary funds. The New York City Department of Social Services intends on entering a negotiated acquisition extension with Center for Urban Community Services and Housing Works to provide non-emergency permanent congregate housing and supportive services for people living with AIDS. The contract amount for Center for Urban Community Services is $137,286; for Housing Works, it is $272,086. The department also has a public hearing for a proposed $1.4 million contract with thebigword for recruiting and hiring bilingual interpreters for New York City elections. 


A new report explores the efficacy of a youth initiative implemented in two New York City nonprofits. The Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services and the Door are grantees for the Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential, or LEAP, initiative from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. LEAP aims to help underserved youth – specifically those who are or have been homeless, in foster care or the juvenile justice system – through two education and workforce development programs. The latest report from MDRC offers insight into what lessons “practitioners and policymakers” can derive from the program. The key lessons, taken essentially verbatim from the report, are:

  • Partnering strategically with public agencies and other organizations was key to reaching eligible young people, aligning resources, and opening access to services. 
  • Particularly during the first year of implementation, LEAP grantees had difficulty identifying appropriate program participants. Strategic partnerships helped boost recruitment. 
  • LEAP grantees adapted Jobs for America’s Graduates and Back on Track services to focus on addressing the circumstances in young people’s lives that constrained their potential. This included adapting how grantees planned to deliver core model activities to promote engagement. 
  • Staff-participant relationships were key to delivering services and supporting participant engagement. 
  • Back on Track participants had high engagement in services and high levels of enrollment in postsecondary education.