About

Helmsley invests in approaches that improve health stability for New York City’s populations with the greatest needs. We support efforts that improve healthcare delivery and access for high-needs patients, acknowledging root causes such as homelessness, adverse childhood experiences, the impacts of health and racial inequity, and intergenerational poverty.

We work closely with partners in all five boroughs, from nonprofits, to local government agencies, to community leaders.

Rooted in a commitment to systems change, our grantmaking is geared towards finding and fixing the roadblocks standing between vulnerable people and the path to a healthier life.

Building Health Stability

Access to quality healthcare is hindered by issues like housing instability, food insecurity, and mental health conditions. We confront this challenge by supporting efforts focused on patient-centered, holistic, and more consistent care.

We support greater access to behavioral health services in underserved areas, as well as training and education to better integrate mental healthcare into social services and other care settings.

Collaborating to Improve Care Coordination

We advance models that help high-need patients find more dignified and efficient ways of receiving care. Our approach spans from planning and piloting innovative ideas, to scaling those that have shown promise, to improving the systems designed to handle care delivery.

Leaving a hospital is only one step to return to full health, especially for high-need patients. We support efforts to improve transitions in care toward long-term, continuous health and well-being.

We have created and funded two coalitions to bring stakeholders together: the New York City Food Assistance Collaborative to transform the emergency food system, and the Collaborative for Homeless Healthcare to improve access to quality care for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. Both Collaboratives have supported innovative change in their areas, and have been well-positioned to quickly adapt strategies to respond to urgent needs, such as those presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Increasing Access to Green Space for Health

We recognize the physical and mental health benefits of green space, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We support organizations focused on enhancing and creating more accessible green space in underserved areas across the five boroughs.

News & Insights

Going Far Together: The NYC Food Assistance Collaborative


Each year, nearly 1.4 million New Yorkers rely on emergency food assistance. The delivery of that ...

Community Organizations Selected for NYC COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Partner Engagement Project

A community investment to help ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccinations
Community Organizations Selected for NYC COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Partner Engagement Project

Children’s Health Fund Launches New Mobile Clinic to Serve Homeless Children and Families in New York City

The mobile clinic will enable the Children’s Health Fund to provide healthcare to hundreds more children and families each year


New York, NY – Today, the Children’s Health Fund (CHF) announced a new mobile clinic which will travel weekly to shelter sites across the city and provide homeless families access to comprehensive, continuous medical and integrated behavioral healthcare, in addition to mental health screenings. The mobile clinics are technology-enriched to provide immediate access to electronic health records and the most advanced care possible.


The mobile clinic, made possible as part of a $700,000 grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, will enable the CHF New York program, the New York Children’s Health Project (NYCHP) at Montefiore, to provide care to nearly 3,000 homeless children and families in NYC annually.


In New York City, NYCHP provides comprehensive, compassionate, family-centered healthcare to the city’s most medically underserved children and families. It reaches thousands of homeless children, youth, and adults through innovative programs that include a fleet of mobile clinics, several shelter-based clinics, and the Deerfield Child and Family Health Clinic in the Bronx. NYCHP is one of the nation’s largest mobile health programs serving children and families who are homeless.


Along with supporting a new mobile clinic, the Helmsley Charitable Trust grant also provided for a minivan to transport families living in shelters to the Deerfield Clinic and to transport essential services and staff between clinics as needed.


“Families experiencing homelessness face unparalleled barriers to quality healthcare. For many of these families, healthcare is put on hold amidst the pressures of securing housing and employment,” said Tracy Perrizo, Program Officer of the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s New York City Program. “We know that better health is key to leading better lives, which is why we are committed to improving the quality and accessibility of care here in New York City.”


CHF supports 26 national programs serving over 100,000 children and family members annually focusing on high-quality primary care, dental services, and mental health. Families are seen through fixed-sites and 50 mobile clinics (“doctor’s offices on wheels”), and school-based partnerships at over 400 schools, Head Start centers, shelters, and community sites. The agency delivers healthcare where children live, learn, and play in 16 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.


In addition to ensuring access to healthcare, CHF works to reduce health barriers to learning in disadvantaged communities, brings the voice of children and youth to local and national policy debates, and responds to the needs of children impacted by public health crises.


“This mobile clinic, our ninth to serve children and families in NYC, underscores the continued and growing need in our communities to access healthcare,” said CHF CEO Dennis Walto. “Our first mobile clinic responded to the dire needs of families in shelters in 1987, and we are still committed to those extremely vulnerable populations at a time when the homeless problem has only exacerbated. We are so thankful to The Helmsley Charitable Trust for investing in the communities in need of our NYCHP services that bring critical health services and the hope of a better future.”


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 was approved in 2014, Helmsley has awarded more than $42 million in grants to organizations across the city.


Children’s Health Fund Launches New Mobile Clinic to Serve Homeless Children and Families in New York City

Wall Street Journal: New York City Tries to Link Nexus of Doctors Serving the Homeless

The Wall Street Journal recently announced the Collaborative for Homeless Healthcare, a new coalition of healthcare providers working together to enhance efforts to address the unique health needs of people experiencing homelessness in New York City. Funded by Helmsley, the Collaborative, which includes Care for the Homeless, the Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS), Project Renewal, and New York City’s Department of Homeless Services, aims to change how care is delivered to this high-need population.  


In New York City, limited information-sharing and coordination between providers makes continuity of care for homeless patients difficult. And as a highly mobile population, patients connect to care at shelters, hospitals, and health social service providers that are often not connected to each other. By investing in innovative ways to access and coordinate healthcare for homeless New Yorkers, the Collaborative aims to contribute to better quality care and improved health outcomes for those who need it most. 


“We know poor health can lead to prolonged homelessness,” said Tracy Perrizo, Program Officer for Helmsley’s New York City Program. “It’s a vicious cycle.”


Read the full story on The Wall Street Journal’s website.


Wall Street Journal: New York City Tries to Link Nexus of Doctors Serving the Homeless

Collaborative Launches to Address Health Needs of New Yorkers Experiencing Homelessness

Helmsley Charitable Trust supports NYC’s leading providers to improve the homeless healthcare system


New York, NY – January 28, 2019 – Today, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announces the launch of the Collaborative for Homeless Healthcare, a new coalition of healthcare providers serving New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. The NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and three leading healthcare providers who have an exclusive focus on homeless patients – Care for the Homeless, the Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS), and Project Renewal – will work together to better address the unique needs of people experiencing homelessness in New York City.   


In New York City, limited information-sharing and coordination makes continuity of care for homeless patients difficult. As a mobile population, patients travel among shelters, hospitals, and health social service providers that are not connected to each other. Over the next three years, the Collaborative will direct Helmsley resources to develop solutions to close this gap, build pathways to strengthen New York City’s homeless healthcare system, and improve patients’ health stability and well-being.


“Rooted in New York City, Helmsley is committed to helping our neighbors live healthier lives, and addressing systemic challenges is a priority for homeless New Yorkers,” said Tracy Perrizo, Program Officer at the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “There is tremendous energy, experience, and unflagging commitment among these healthcare providers. This collaboration is poised to transform the homeless healthcare system and ensure better health outcomes for all who use it.”


For the roughly 60,000 New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and residing in NYCDHS shelters on any given night, health issues often lead to or prolong their housing instability. At the same time, individuals experiencing homelessness are among the highest users of healthcare services in the city.


Using shared metrics and goals, the Collaborative will develop new solutions to improve care coordination and implement upgrades that aim to benefit healthcare providers, DHS, and most importantly, the people they serve.


“Improving health outcomes among New Yorkers experiencing homelessness is our top priority, which is why we welcome this new partnership between the Department of Homeless Services and three of our dedicated not-for-profit providers, supported by the Helmsley Charitable Trust,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “The city’s comprehensive plan to address the citywide challenge of homelessness is built around preventing homelessness whenever we can, sheltering homeless New Yorkers closer to support networks, and increasing connections to services in the community, including healthcare, to preserve stability during challenging times. This collaborative will strengthen our ability to improve healthcare access and quality of care that all New Yorkers need as they stabilize their lives.”


“Care For the Homeless is proud to join colleague organizations, the Department of Homeless Services, and leaders from the New York City philanthropy community in the Collaborative for Homeless Healthcare. We are grateful for the chance to step back from our day-to-day work demands to address larger, system-level questions about how people experiencing homeless gain access to and benefit from high-quality healthcare,” said George Nashak, CEO of Care for the Homeless. “The Collaborative affords us the opportunity to engage in high-level planning with intelligent, committed partners and we are confident that this will result in significant improvements to our patients’ health outcomes.”


“Project Renewal is thrilled to be part of the Collaborative for Homeless Healthcare’s vital mission to improve the healthcare system for homeless New Yorkers. Each year, through substance use disorder treatment programs, medical clinics and mobile vans, and psychiatric services, Project Renewal provides healthcare to nearly 13,000 people who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless,” said Jody Rudin, COO of Project Renewal. “We look forward to working with our tremendous partners to provide coordinated, high-quality care that will bring wellness and stability to the lives of our patients and to all New Yorkers experiencing homelessness.”


“The challenge of being homeless and, in many cases, having a major mental illness compounded by serious physical health problems is hard to imagine, but hundreds of New Yorkers live that reality,” said Tony Hannigan, President and CEO of CUCS. “CUCS provides housing, training, and health and social services to over 50,000 people in New York City each year. We believe the Collaborative for Homeless Healthcare holds great promise for improvements.” 


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 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s New York City Program funds efforts to improve the health and well-being of high-need New Yorkers. For more information, please visit helmsleytrust.org. 


Collaborative Launches to Address Health Needs of New Yorkers Experiencing Homelessness

The Plentiful App: Saving Time for Food Pantries and the People They Serve


Plentiful was developed by the Helmsley-funded New York City Food Assistance Collaborative and is the ...
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Published Thu May 7, 2020

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 ...
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Published Tue Jul 14, 2020

Helmsley Grants $6.5 Million to Support the Health of New Yorkers by Expanding Access to Green Space

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust today announced more than $6.5 million in ...
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Published Tue Jul 9, 2019

Crain’s New York: Why Helmsley Is Putting Money Behind Care Coordination

Crain's New York spotlights Tracy Perrizo, who leads Helmsley's New York City Program. In a ...
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Our Team

Tracy Perrizo is the Program Officer for Helmsley’s New York City Program. In this role, she helps to identify and design program grantmaking initiatives, as well as manage existing grants and s...
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Tracy Perrizo

Program Officer

Marci Gelb

Marci Gelb is the Administrative Assistant for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s New York City Program and Information Technology department.



Marci has an extensive bac...
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Marci Gelb

Administrative Assistant (also Information Technology)