Building MCCNY Charities, Inc. from the ground up hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes, it has been downright messy! But what Charities programs once lacked in money and expertise, we made up for in a community strongly committed to doing the right thing.
Now it is MCCNY Charities, Inc.’s responsibility to protect the development of each of these programs. MCCNY Charities, Inc. now needs to raise $50,000 as a first step towards strengthening our services. ALL GIFTS MADE BEFORE OCT. 1ST WILL BE MATCHED UP TO $50,000!
The snack bag program began in 1985 with little more than some extra food and brown paper bags. As the program grew, Ali Stafford carried on Sylvia Rivera’s role as a provider for thousands of New Yorkers in need. Chris Stadmeyer then brought innovation to the pantry, introducing the client-choice pantry to protect the dignity and independence of pantry customers. MCCNY Homeless Youth Services also had a modest start. The first official director, Kate Barnhart, was fueled by fierce dedication to the youth, spening many nights in the hospital with youth, advocating in court and listening to the their stories. Lucky Michaels then brought structure to the program by introducing comprehensive mental health services and advocating for LGBTQI inclusion within the National Network for Youth. Through it all, client services assistants LaDedra Brown and Naomi Green have done the exhausting work of seeing that the youth have the daily encouragement they need to move forward. Our loyal volunteers, including Aida, James, Leon and Bernard, have freely given of their time on behalf of the community. All this time, we have been building something out of our dream of radical inclusion.
Today, a team of dedicated innovators has made services blossom.
Sylvia Rivera Food Pantry Director Steve Johnson coordinates Spanish and Mandarin translators for pantry distribution. Under the director of Noah Haspray, Homeless Youth Services, direct service staff are actively involved in program planning and evaluation. Social Worker Sarah Wilson is the foundation for the new Mental Health Services program, helping youth work through trauma and connecting them with jobs and long-term housing. The youth turn to Residential Services Coordinator Christopher Collazo for access to supportive programming like job training and medical services. Administrator Frances Wood has helped guide the formation of the new late-night HIV testing and expanded syringe access program. Queer Elder Spirit is connecting LGBTQI elders with in-home care by LGBTQI providers, led by Maribelle Vazquez. Kristen Lovell has revived our trans empowerment group, Trans in Action, which has shared their message of equality with service providers at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference. Through teamwork, we help thousands transition to health, employment and new living situations each year.
In the past year, MCCNY Charities received independent non-profit status. With this milestone came the establishment of the MCCNY Charities, Inc. board of directors. Your help will sustain the programs and provide not only stability for clients but also job stability for staff. MCCNY Charities, Inc. staff and volunteers will also develop day-long LGBTQI sensitivity trainings for the outside community.
Help us protect the future of the Sylvia Rivera Food Pantry, MCCNY Homeless Youth Services, Rev. Pat’s Finishing School, Queer Elder Spirit, Rapid HIV Testing and all the services MCCNY Charities, Inc. nurtures and protects for this community.
Thank you for your support and we look forward to a bright future!
Executive Director, MCCNY Charities, Inc.