Over the past six months, Neighbors Together has had a lot of changes! We wanted to take some time and get you all up to speed on exactly what we’ve been up to these past few months.
Below you’ll find updates on our renovations, our fundraising achievements this year, and in the coming weeks you’ll hear more about the accomplishments of our three core programs at Neighbors Together—the Community Cafe, Empowerment Program, and our Community Action Program. We hope you’re as excited as we are to see what’s been going on at Neighbors Together!
This year, Neighbors Together finally had a chance to extensively renovate its space. The project officially ran for 11 weeks, and we officially re-opened to the public in early June. So what did we do to the space? Here’s a list of our exciting renovation updates below:
We are now enjoying:
- All new carpentry work in the Café to stabilize our flooring.
- New plumbing work throughout the facility.
- New electrical work throughout the facility.
- The installation of a new energy efficient HVAC system to ensure efficient cooling and heating in the space in the Summer and Winter months.
- New storefront windows which are much thicker for increased temperature control.
- All new gates outside which function smoothly and allow light into the space at all times.
- New concrete floor work downstairs to level our basement where we store all of our food and Cafe supplies.
- A new awning which is much more visible to the general public.
- New tables & chairs in the Café which have increased our seating capacity.
- New equipment in the kitchen, including new prep tables, new storage areas, additional shelving, and even a new grill – all of which are helping to improve our day-to-day operations and expand our menu options!
- A new conveyor belt that runs from the cellar hatch directly to our basement storage area ensuring that deliveries no longer disrupt our meal services.
- In the conference room we have all new furniture and design work to help increase our ability to utilize Neighbors Together’s conference room to accommodate our growing staff, ongoing clinics and regular program activities.
- New industrial toilets, new vanities and mirrors in member & staff bathrooms.
- We also installed a photo gallery wall in the Cafe to showcase the beauty, humanity, and resilience of our members.
We are thrilled to share our new space with our members, supporters, and the community of central Brooklyn. We can’t wait to see you soon!
Neighbors Together attracted 3 large new grants over the past year that have allowed us to expand both our program and administrative staff as we focus on deepening and sustaining our community impact.
- Through a new grant from the New York Women’s Foundation, we hired a new part-time Community Organizer to focus on increasing women’s engagement in Neighbors Together’s
- community organizing, policy advocacy and leadership development efforts.
- Through a new 3-year grant from The Oak Foundation, three new positions have been funded:
- In January, 2017, we hired a full-time Development & Communications Manager, who has begun to work with the Board and staff to carry out a robust development and communications plan that will keep our stakeholders informed of the services we provide, the policy issues we are addressing and ways that they can get involved with and support the organization.
- A new full-time Community Organizer, is to be hired in fall 2017 with a focus on implementing a new organizing campaign related to the affordable housing crisis in NYC.
- A new part-time Supportive Housing Specialist, is to be hired in fall/winter 2017 to augment our efforts to place more of our members in permanent supportive housing and significantly increase stability in their lives.
In February 2017, Neighbors Together was named one of 5 Brooklyn non-profits to receive the inaugural Spark Prize from the Brooklyn Community Foundation, in recognition of our work to, “make Brooklyn stronger, fairer, and more just for all”. The prize came with $100,000 in general operating support. We were honored to be selected from a pool of over 150 applicants across the nonprofit sector in Brooklyn.
Our 4th annual gala, Plates for Change, which took place on May 4th, 2017, was sold out and surpassed our fundraising goal of $125,000, raising $150,000!
Guests enjoyed tastings from over 20 of Brooklyn’s finest restaurants! Restaurants included: A&E Supply Co., Ample Hills, Buttermilk Bakery, Buttermilk Channel, Chavela’s, Dough Doughnuts, Four & Twenty Blackbirds, Freek’s Mill, French Louie, Gather Kitchen, Grindhaus, Insa, La Grange Délice, Little Neck, Lot 2, Palo Santo, Pies ‘n’ Thighs, Sidecar, Stone Park Cafe, Talde, Untamed Sandwiches.
Sponsors included Suffolk Construction, Blue Sky Alternative Investments, Perkins Eastman, Roux Associates Incorporated, Thompson Hine, Jigsaw Productions, Kivvit, Postmark Café (customer supported contributions), Off Duty Chef, Signature Bank, a contribution in loving memory of Marian Wood, and contributions from Perri Peltz & Eric Ruttenberg and Susan & Richard Davidson.
As we move into FY2018 beginning July 1st, Neighbors Together’s annual income budget has grown to over $1M, a reflection of our strong programmatic work, focused financial planning and board development efforts over the past few years.