Nine nonprofits awarded Family Enrichment Centers contracts under expansion plan

Nine nonprofits were awarded contracts with New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services for the first phase of the agency’s Family Enrichment Center expansion plan. There are currently three of the community-oriented facilities – two in the Bronx and one in Brooklyn – serving as a point of contact and activity space in what ACS describes as a “warm, inviting home-like” setting. 

The expansion of the centers will target Jamaica and Rockaway in Queens, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville in Brooklyn, Mott Haven and Parkchester in The Bronx, Central Harlem and East Harlem in Manhattan, and Stapleton in Staten Island, ACS said in a news release. 

Awarded the contracts were Forestdale, Ocean Bay Community Development, Little Flower Children’s and Family Services, Riseboro Community Partnership, The Reggio Emilia Montessori Center, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, Living Redemption Community Development Corporation, Union Settlement Association and the Fund for the City of New York & Staten Island Justice Center. 

“When community members come together to support each other, children and families thrive,” said Anne Williams-Isom, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. “Creating free, inclusive, stigma free spaces where neighbors can deepen connections and build supportive networks is the heart and soul of the Family Enrichment Centers. It’s why so many families have been benefiting from the three existing FECs in Hunts Point/Longwood, Highbridge and East New York.”

At those locations, in operation since 2017, services and activities offered to community members have included movie nights, family-oriented, therapist-led arts healing activities, and also activities and socials led in Spanish for multilingual community members. The existing FECs also served as a support system for children and families at the onset of COVID-19, by providing food, clothing, and other critical needs. 

The centers are intentionally based in “hard-hit” areas that faced equity-related disparities during pandemic, according to the city’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity. And they’re geared to be administered through a partnership with a given organization and community members for optimal engagement and local incorporation. 

“The pandemic highlighted the inequalities that many New Yorkers faced for so long, many not knowing where to turn or what resources were available to them,” said Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, Chair of the Committee on General Welfare. “These enrichment centers are a welcome resource and a safe space for families, especially in my district and I’m thrilled to learn that East Harlem and Mott Haven are part of that expansion.”