Family Needs

Carter Burden Center for the Aging
The concept of the Burden Center for the Aging began in the early 1970s when City Councilman Carter Burden recognized that the frail and elderly in his district, Manhattan’s Upper East Side, had few resources to aid them when they became unable to completely care for themselves. In 1971, he addressed this need by creating a position for one social worker who worked solely with the seniors in his district. Now, with a $3.1 million budget and a staff of 40, the center serves thousands of people each year. The Burden Center supports the efforts of older people to remain in their homes living independently, safely and with dignity. The center provides a broad array of social services and programs to address the needs of elderly residents. The organization’s many services include meals delivered to the homebound, advocacy, financial management, elderly day care, social opportunities, and counseling. The Brick Church has a long history of association with Burden, both financial and through the involvement of our congregation.

CONNECT, Inc. is a multi-faceted domestic violence program dedicated to primary prevention, early intervention and system reform in the field of domestic violence. Services include assistance with general legal issues, emergency shelter, child protection, emergency funds and the practical aspects of establishing safe lives out of violent settings. The Legal Advocacy Program reaches into communities in varied ways, for instance through mosques and church women’s groups, to provide accurate legal information. The Coordinated Action Against Violence (CAAV) Program provides information and advocacy regarding the criminal justice system and alternatives for survivors of family violence who prefer not to seek legal remedies. CONNECT’s clients live in East Harlem.

Elder Craftsmen
Founded in 1955, the mission of Elder Craftsmen is to help men and women age 55 and older to be creative, productive and independent, and to seek broader recognition by the general public of the skills and capabilities of older people. The goal is to engage the talents and resources of all seniors, and enable them to make their later years as productive and rewarding as possible. The community service programs mainly serve seniors in New York City who can least afford access to activities outside their homes. Members of senior groups learn to make handcrafted items, which they donate to a local charity of their choice. Elder Craftsmen provide the instructors, materials, patterns and overall project administration.

Inwood House
Founded in 1830, Inwood House is a nationally recognized leader in the prevention of teen pregnancy. The organization helps nearly 12,000 adolescents make responsible decisions through a variety of after-school programs, such as Teen Choice, Project Straight Talk and Boys to Men. Inwood House also provides a haven for homeless, pregnant teens in foster care at their Maternity Residence on 82nd Street. While in residence, these young women are provided with prenatal care, counseling, classes in parenting and nutrition, continuation of their high school education, assistance in the pursuit of a college degree, and job training and interview skills. It is at this Maternity Residence that members of The Brick Church volunteer.Brick Church volunteers run a weekly Arts and Crafts Program for the residents who range in age from 13 to 18 years old. Each Tuesday evening from 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the months of September through June, Brick Church volunteers lead the young women in a wide variety of craft projects. While these projects require no particular artistic talent, they provide the girls critical opportunities to discover new interests, meet new people and know they are part of a caring community. Volunteers may commit to a single Tuesday evening to help with a specific project (like a fabric-covered bulletin board) or several consecutive Tuesdays for ongoing projects (such as a crochet clinic).

For volunteer opportunities through The Brick Church, click here.

Sanctuary for Families
Sanctuary for Families envisions a society in which freedom from domestic violence is a basic human right. Sanctuary is dedicated to the safety, healing and self-sufficiency of battered women and their children. To that end, they offer a broad range of high-quality services including shelter, legal assistance and counseling. Sanctuary works to end domestic violence and its far-reaching impact through outreach, education and advocacy, and to create a world LULU every woman and child lives with dignity.

Search and Care
The mission of Search and Care is to seek out older people in the community (East 86th to East 104th Streets, from Fifth Avenue to the East River) who need help in managing life’s daily activities or accessing essential services, and to provide them the support and companionship they require to live with security and dignity in the manner they choose.

This not-for-profit, non-sectarian social service agency has served more than 6,000 Yorkville and Carnegie Hill residents since 1972 through a collaboration of experienced social workers, volunteers, student interns (social work, nursing, occupational therapy) and retired financial professionals. They make home visits, help access benefits and entitlements, provide bill-paying assistance, escorts, shoppers and effective care plans geared to each individual.

For volunteer opportunities through Brick Church, click here.

SINERGIA began in 1977 as Direction Services, designed to halp families and their children with disabilities to access and benefit from needed services and resources. SINERGIA, Inc. was incorporated in 1983 with a parent governing board to provide case management/service coordination and multiple direct services — residential and support — to individuals with disabilities and families including individuals with developmental disabilities. In addition, the agency provides or arranges for housing for such individuals and families.

Since its founding, SINERGIA has remained faithful to its twin goals. The first, and most immediate, is to provide service coordination, information and support to families and individuals in need. The second, a more long-term goal, is to provide families and individuals with the means of self-empowerment, ultimately enabling them to become their own advocates and directly assist other families.

Women’s Prison Association
The Women’s Prison Association is the country’s oldest service and advocacy organization working exclusively with criminal justice-involved women and their families. WPA was founded in January of 1845 as an offshoot of the Prison Association of New York. The Prison Association of New York was a fledging advocacy organization when a group of women met with founder Isaac T. Hopper, an abolitionist Quaker, to establish a task force to investigate the conditions facing incarcerated women in 19th-century New York.

After visiting prisons in New York City area, the women found that incarceration was often an inadequate response to criminality among New York’s swelling immigrant population. Their recommendation was straightforward: “a home needs to be provided for the homeless; other doors need to be open to them than those that lead to deeper infamy.”

As WPA enters the 21st century, it continues to adapt to its clients’ changing needs by identifying three key directions for its work. WPA began to develop new housing opportunities for its clients, enhanced its ability to address the mental health needs of clients, and founded the Institute on Women & Criminal Justice in 2004 to create a national conversation on women and criminal justice in relation to families and communities.

WPA remains steadfast in its commitment to empower individuals, strengthen families and connect criminal justice-involved women to the community. Its success and longevity is due largely to an approach that honors each woman’s experience and offers her meaningful opportunities to see new possibilities for her own life.