Recognizing Manhattan Community Board 4
For the last three years, Coalition for the Homeless has presented a Compassionate Communities Award meant to highlight the extraordinary efforts of community members who treat their homeless neighbors with kindness and respect, rather than the knee-jerk resistance that often occurs when a shelter opens nearby. This year CFH nominated Manhattan Community Board 4 (MCB4) in order to recognize their partnership in fostering a collaborative dialogue with several community stakeholders in preparation for the opening of our new women’s shelter in the area. MCB4 represents a community that understands the value and necessity of providing services to our most vulnerable neighbors and we are delighted that they were recognized with the award this year.
CFH Executive Director, George Nashak, said, “In our current environment of fear of homeless people and intolerance of homeless services, it is a great pleasure to recognize Manhattan Community Board 4 and the neighbors of CFH’s west midtown women’s center with the Compassionate Communities Award. Our experience with the west midtown community was the opposite of NIMBY. They constructively worked with CFH as partners to ensure that our program and the surrounding community can co-exist, understanding that they are participating in improving the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors. The board, staff, and clients of CFH will always remember the warm welcome we received.”
MCB4 continues to be an integral component of our community engagement efforts by participating in our quarterly Community Advisory Board meetings, a forum that updates the community on the operation of the shelter as well as encourages feedback from all those involved. Also, one of the community board members, Delores Rubin, has started conducting financial literacy classes for the women at the shelter in order to teach financial skills such as saving, budgeting, banking and credit. All important tools that ensure independence for the residents after they exit the shelter system.
A big thank you to MCB4 for welcoming Care For the Homeless into their community.