BHA Launches “The Brooklyn Heights Together Community Relief Fund”

The Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) has launched the “Brooklyn Heights Together Community Relief Fund” to support hourly workers who have lost or been furloughed from their jobs in Brooklyn Heights. The fund will pay out grants of $250 to each qualifying hourly worker, helping recipients to buy groceries, medicine, diapers/baby items, and pay utility or other bills.

The grants will be administered through the Arab-American Family Support Center (AAFSC), a non-profit, non-sectarian organization located at 150 Court St. The AAFSC has been providing social services to a variety of immigrant and refugee communities throughout New York City since 1994. Its work was nationally recognized in 2019 by the USA Today Network and the Gannet Foundation. Many of our neighbors, including the families of the Yemeni immigrants who enrich the area around Atlantic Avenue with their fantastic cuisine and culture, rely on AAFSC.

“Our members began reaching out to us in the very first days of the crisis to see how they could help, especially right here in the neighborhood,” said BHA Executive Director Lara Birnback. “We knew we wanted to focus on some of the most vulnerable members of the larger community, the people who helped make our restaurants, shops, salons and other businesses such wonderful places.”

“Hourly wage earners, so many of whom are immigrants and refugees, have been hard hit by this crisis and are turning to the AAFSC as a trusted, culturally and linguistically competent resource for help,” said AAFSC President and CEO, Rawaa Nancy Albilal. “We are deeply grateful to be working with the BHA and our generous neighbors in reaching people who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.”

The BHA is working with additional local organizations and business owners to identify qualifying individuals and encourage them to apply for the grant. In particular, the Montague Street BID has been helpful in providing contact information for many businesses and is supportive of the Brooklyn Heights Together initiative. “Brooklyn Heights is more than the people who live here, it’s also the people who work here — and we have come together to support them now,” said Birnback.

Visit the BHA’s website to make a tax-deductible, secure online donation. Or send a check to:

The Brooklyn Heights Association
Attn: Brooklyn Heights Together Fund
55 Pierrepont Street, #17D
Brooklyn, NY 11201

If you would like to apply for assistance from the Brooklyn Heights Together fund or wish to refer an applicant, contact:

Kerry Sesil | Director of Development and Communications
Arab-American Family Support Center
150 Court St, 3rd Fl, Brooklyn, NY 11201
kerry@aafscny.org
Tel: 718-643-8000

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