Fund Youth NYC Sign On Letter

Testimony & Public Comments

May 8, 2020

Dear Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Johnson,

As nonprofit youth service providers and advocates concerned with the well-being of New York City’s young people, we stand united in calling for a comprehensive youth recovery plan for Summer 2020. Mayor de Blasio’s FY2021 Executive Budget eliminated over $213 million in summer funding for Beacons, COMPASS summer camp, SONYC summer camp, NYCHA Cornerstones, and the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). These cuts will leave nearly 175,000 New Yorkers below the age of 24 with little to no supports and activities this summer.

The Mayor and all of our elected leaders—at the City, State, and Federal levels—must ensure that families have the summer programs that they need as part of our City’s broader COVID-19 recovery efforts.

New York City’s young people and their families have already had to adapt to multiple challenges in recent months, including shifting education to remote learning, experiencing economic setbacks such as job loss, food insecurity, and housing instability, and watching loved ones get sick and pass away from COVID-19. The CBO network of providers who run youth programs have played a vital role for children and their families during COVID-19 and will be an essential part of the City’s recovery efforts over the summer and into the fall. Families that rely on summer programming for childcare will need access to these services if and when it is safe to return in person to work. In communities with a high concentration of essential workers, this need will be even more acute. Furthermore, the educational benefits of summer programming will be more important than ever after months of distance learning.

To eliminate the summer camps, Beacon, and Cornerstone Programs without an alternative recovery plan in place is to abandon the individual children, young people, and families who rely on these programs at a time when families are facing both emotional trauma and economic hardship.

Summer recovery programming must address the following needs that have emerged in light of COVID-19:

  1. Education – helping students build and strengthen cognitive skills through project-based learning activities and workforce development opportunities;
  2. Social Emotional – offering youth opportunities to build positive and rewarding relationships with others and strengthen their self-efficacy and resilience;
  3. Health – providing opportunities for safe and regular physical activity and health and nutrition education; and
  4. Family and Home – supporting parents, caregivers, and families to help promote learning and healthy development in safe and stable homes.

The Campaign for Children, Campaign for Summer Jobs, and the Neighborhood Family Services Roundtable, alongside the undersigned organizations, stand ready to coordinate with the City to ensure that this comprehensive recovery plan addresses the educational, economic, and health needs of young people and their families. We must ensure that creative solutions are in place to support young people and their families throughout the summer, and that all services are delivered safely and are responsive to the recommendations of public health professionals.

We need New York City’s elected leaders to invest in a summer recovery plan and #FundYouthNYC.

Signed by the following organizations as of May 4, 2020:

82nd Street Academics
African Refuge, Inc.
America On Tech
Beam Center
Boys & Girls Club of Harlem
Boys’ Club of New York
Bronx Arts Ensemble
Bronx House
Brooklyn Community Services
Business Center for New Americans
Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services
Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services Inc./Charles F. Murphy ECDC
Center for Court Innovation
Center for Family Life/SCO Family of Services
Change Impact
Children of Promise, NYC
Children’s Aid
Children’s Arts and Science Workshops Inc.
Chinese-American Planning Council
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York
City Growers, Inc.
City Parks Foundation
Claremont Neighborhood Centers, Inc.
Coalition for Hispanic Family Services
College Access: Research & Action (CARA)
Community League of the Heights, Inc.
Community Service Society of New York
Community Youth Care Services
Concrete Safaris, Inc.
Coro New York Leadership Center
Council of Family & Child Caring Agencies
Crossroads Connection, Inc.
CUNY School of Professional Studies
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation
Day Care Council of New York
Deep Outcomes
Directions for Our Youth
El Puente
Elite Learners, Inc.
Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities
Epic Theatre Ensemble
ExpandED Schools
Flanbwayan Haitian Literacy Project
Flatbush Development Corporation
Fort Greene Sports
Friends of the High Line
The Fresh Air Fund
Futures and Options
Girl Vow
Global Kids
Goddard Riverside Community Center
Good Shepherd Services
Grand Street Settlement
Hamilton-Madison House
Hands That Make A Difference
Harlem Children’s Zone
HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services
Henry Street Settlement
Highbridge Advisory Council Family Services, Inc.
Hudson Guild
Human Services Council
Ice Hockey in Harlem
In Arms Reach, Inc.
Inwood Community Services, Inc.
Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement
Junior Achievement of New York
Kids Creative 404, Inc.
Kingsbridge Heights Community Center
LEAP, Inc.
Literacy for Incarcerated Teens (LIT)
Little Flower Children and Family Services of NY
Madison Square Boys & Girls Club
Manhattan Youth
Medgar Evers College
Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center
Mosholu Montefiore Community Center (MMCC)
National Summer Learning Association
Neighborhood Initiatives Development Corporation
New Settlement Apartments
New York Cares
New York Edge (Formerly Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation)
New York Junior Tennis & Learning
New York State Network for Youth Success
Nonprofit New York
Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp.
NYC Employment and Training Coalition
NYU Metto Center College Prep Academy
Oliver Scholars
Opus Dance Theatre & Community Services, Inc.
Partnership for After School Education (PASE)
Phipps Neighborhoods
Police Athletic League
Prince Hall Colonial Park Daycare Center
Prison Writes
Queens Community House
Red Hook Initiative
Riseboro Community Partnership, Inc.
Rocking the Boat
Row New York
Sadie Nash Leadership Project
Samuel Field Y dba Commonpoint Queens
SCAN-Harbor, Inc.
School Settlement Association
SCO Family of Services
Sheltering Arms
South Asian Fund for Education, Scholarship and Training (SAFEST)
South Asian Youth Action
South Bronx Economic Development Nonprofit Corporation (SoBro)
South Bronx Overall Economic Development Cooperation
South East Bronx Neighborhood Centers (SEBNC)
Southern Queens Park Association, Inc.
St. Nicks Alliance
Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center
Staten Island Urban Center, Inc.
Student Success Network
Sunnyside Community Services
Talk Hiring
Teens Take Charge
The Child Center of NY
The Childrens Village
The Fresh Air Fund
The Greater Ridgewood Youth Council
The Knowledge House
Thurgood Marshall Academy
UJA-Federation of New York
Union Settlement Association, Inc.
United Activities Unlimited, Inc.
United Neighborhood Houses
University Settlement Society
Uptown Stories
Urban Dove
Violence Intervention Program
Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation
YMCA of Greater New York
Youth Development Institute
Zone 126
List in Formation

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