Helmsley Grants $1.2 Million For COVID-19 Emergency Response in New York City to Support Food Assistance and Homeless Healthcare

NEW YORK, NY — The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust today announced $1.2 million in emergency response grants to support the growing food assistance and homeless healthcare needs in New York City. As the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact the health and safety of New Yorkers – especially those experiencing homelessness and financial insecurity – these grants will provide immediate relief to key service providers so they can cover new expenses and revenue losses and shift their focus to where they are needed most right now.

Three one-year general capacity grants of $200,000 each will be awarded to Care For the Homeless, Center for Urban Community Services, and Project Renewal to help increase access to and quality of healthcare for people experiencing homelessness. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these providers have experienced increased costs for personal protection equipment (PPE), shifts in care protocols and isolation practices, and greater needs for healthy staffing reinforcements. These grants will allow them to cover those costs and find new ways to continue operating under current circumstances.

It is especially critical now that all New Yorkers have access to quality healthcare and food. ...These partners can continue to provide some of the services our communities need most.

Tracy Perrizo, Program Officer of Helmsley’s New York City Program

Additionally, four one-year capacity grants of $150,000 each will be awarded to food assistance programs at River Fund, West Side Coalition Against Hunger, New York Common Pantry, and St. John’s Bread and Life Pantry – all former grantees who were among some of Helmsley’s most effective partners in a previous emergency food assistance initiative. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing numbers of New Yorkers are left struggling to find, afford, and receive nourishing food. These pantry providers work hard to accommodate the growing numbers and shift their distribution models to food delivery/pick-up. Each of these grants will provide them with the relief they need to adequately respond to today’s extraordinary challenges.  

“As always, the Helmsley Charitable Trust is committed to improving the health of New Yorkers, particularly those with the greatest needs. During this unprecedented crisis, we are responding by supporting the frontline organizations that meet some of the most urgent needs for New Yorkers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tracy Perrizo, Program Officer of the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s New York City Program. “It is especially critical now that all New Yorkers have access to quality healthcare and food, and we know that, with additional funding, these partners can continue to provide some of the services our communities need most.” 

This emergency response funding is part of the nearly 100 grants that Helmsley has approved in recent weeks for COVID-19-related work, ranging from expanding the telehealth capacity of diabetes clinics across the country, to purchasing hundreds of mechanical CPR devices that will reduce the transmission risk for EMS personnel in rural America, and creating new ICUs and isolation wards in Israel to respond to the growing emergency in medical centers and hospitals. 

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning its active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $2.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s New York City Program works to improve the lives of New Yorkers with multiple, chronic health needs. Since the Program’s first grant in 2014, Helmsley has awarded more than $42 million in grants to organizations across the city.