Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter
The Brick Presbyterian Church is proud to have been one of the early supporters of The Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter (NCS) when it was founded 25 years ago. Located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, NCS was created in 1981 by religious and civic organizations who were concerned about the growing problem of homelessness in the neighborhood. This community came together to help the homeless people on its streets by establishing soup kitchens serving lunch and dinner daily, operating an information and referral program in a local church, and opening a women’s shelter. NCS was formally incorporated in 1982 and began its search for a building to provide permanent housing to homeless men and women. This residence on 81st Street houses men and women who are gaining personal and financial independence and becoming active members in the community once again.
New York Common Pantry
New York Common Pantry (NYCP) is the largest nonsectarian neighborhood-based provider of emergency food in New York City, providing more than two million meals annually to individuals and families in and around the Upper East Side and East Harlem communities. NYCP was founded in 1980 by a coalition of Upper East Side churches and synagogues to reduce hunger and promote dignity and self-sufficiency, and receives strong support from its 40 member board of directors.
Each week, NYCP provides hundreds of emergency food packages through its 24/7 program called ‘24|7 NYCP’. It is the city’s only emergency food pantry open 7 days a week. NYCP serves 1,350 hot meals per week and distributes nutritious grocery packages containing 33,000 meals to 1600 low-income families, or approximately 3,700 individuals. In addition NYCP provides on-site showers and laundry facilities, haircuts, psychiatric assessments, emergency shelter and social service aid.
West Side Campaign Against Hunger
Through a supermarket-style food pantry, West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH) alleviates hunger and creates a culture that promotes self-reliance and works for change. WSCAH changes our perception of hungry people by working in partnership with them, providing emergency food with dignity and empowering customers to find solutions. WSCAH provides 80,000 low-income people with emergency food for 740,000 meals annually.
Customer volunteers are active participants in the pantry. They help with food deliveries, stock shelves, bag bread, break down boxes, assist customers in selecting food and do checkout. WSCAH offers interested customer volunteers the opportunity to participate in its Customer Chef Training Program. All of this provides customer volunteers with work experience from which some move on to gain paid employment. Five customer volunteers serve on the board of directors. With each monthly customer visit, social service counselors also assess customer needs such as housing and health services, referring them to appropriate agencies. All customers are encouraged to participate in the Wellness Program, which encourages them to adopt a healthy lifestyle through nutrition, cooking and exercise classes.
WSCAH has received support from Brick Church grants for several years. Brick Church members volunteer and serve on the board.