New York City


The Helmsley Charitable Trust is quite literally a product of New York City – proceeds from the Helmsleys’ vast real estate holdings across the city now fund our efforts to improve lives in the U.S. and around the world. Our New York City Program launched in early 2014 to identify and solve specific problems to help the region’s residents meet basic needs, maintain economic security, and utilize public goods and services that improve economic well-being, security, and quality of life.


Working closely with local experts and community leaders, we develop initiatives to address pressing needs that are identified as “solvable problems.” We look to support solutions and services that enhance quality of life and improve sustainable access to basic necessities such as food, health, and shelter. We take a highly data-driven approach to both identifying addressable issues and designing initiatives that set clear milestones and metrics for successful outcomes. 

Active Initiatives

Harnessing Data to Advance Social Services

This initiative seeks to better aggregate and present broad sets of data for use in improving services for New York City’s neediest citizens. 

A major result of this initiative is the launch of DATA2GO.NYC, a mapping and data tool that brings together for the first time federal, state, and local data vital to understanding inequality and well-being in New York City. With Helmsley support, the Social Science Research Center developed DATA2GO.NYC to provide an organized portrait of social and economic need in New York City, allowing nonprofit and community leaders, policymakers, funders, and citizens to use data to track the city’s health, education, and other outcomes over time, identify gaps in service delivery, and advocate for increased efficiency in expenditures. Visit DATA2GO.NYC to access the free, easy-to-use mapping tool.

Our New York City Program additionally funds projects that seek to analyze and ultimately improve how nonprofit organizations and city and state governments can more effectively leverage data to advance services for communities and people in need.

Improving Emergency Food Assistance

Our emergency food assistance grantmaking focuses on making systemic changes to help the neediest New Yorkers access the food they require. 

A key development of this initiative is the New York City Food Assistance Collaborative. With support from Helmsley and in partnership with the Mayor’s Office for Food Policy, local hunger relief organizations are working together on a new collective effort to increase equity and efficiency in emergency food assistance services across the city. The Collaborative is committed to increasing capacity in underserved neighborhoods, improving information sharing, and enhancing client experience in order to ensure that food can reach New Yorkers in need.