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District 37


Council District 37 continues to serve the residents with constituent
services.

Office Address: 1945 Broadway, Brooklyn, New York 11207
Constituent Hours of Operation: 9:30am – 4:30pm
Tel: (718) 642-8664
Fax: (718) 889-8017
Email: District37@council.nyc.gov

It takes less than 10 minutes! You can do it! Fill out the census! my2020census.gov
At least $121 billion in funding is at stake for vital services, including public education, roads, housing, nutrition programs, and healthcare. The census also determines political representation, and New York is in danger of losing up to two Congressional seats without an accurate count. Now more than ever, it is important for all of us to fill out the census.

If you haven’t filled out your census form yet, you can do so securely by completing your form online or over the phone by calling (844) 330-2020. Click here for phone numbers serving non-English speakers. By completing the census, you will help ensure that New York receives our fair share of essential resources.

Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the U.S. Census Bureau must protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. The answers you provide can only be used to produce statistics. Furthermore, the law ensures that your private information is never published and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.

Click here to complete your census form online!

COVID-19 Updates & Resources

The information provided below are to assist residents of the 37th Council District. If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office or email district37@council.nyc.gov.

Health

NYS Travel Advisory

As a reminder, Governor Cuomo’s travel advisory is still in effect for individuals traveling to New York from states with increased COVID-19 infection rates. Individuals returning from states on the travel advisory must fill out a Traveler Health Form and quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and. Click here to view the list of states on the travel advisory and read the full executive order.

Flu Shots

As fall approaches, make sure you and your family get vaccinated for the flu. Health experts believe COVID-19 and the flu will circulate at the same time, therefore, it is important to prepare ahead of time. Click here for more information from NYC Health, including prevention and treatment for the flu, along with locations offering vaccination to New Yorkers.

COVID-19 Testing Sites

All New Yorkers can receive a free COVID-19 test, whether or not they have symptoms or are at increased risk. The following locations offer free tests in Council District 37:

  • East New York ACPNY
    101 Pennsylvania Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11207
    Phone: (833) 422-7369
  • CityMD Urgent Care Bushwick
    399 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237
    Phone: (718) 571-9168
  • ModernMD Urgent Care Bushwick
    366 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237
    Phone: (646) 604-8160
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health East New York
    2094 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11207
    Phone: (844) 692-4692

Click here for additional information from NYC Health + Hospitals (H + H), including frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other testing locations across New York City.

H+H Antibody Testing Sites

New Yorkers can also receive a free antibody test at select Gotham Community Health Center and NYC H + H locations. The following sites offer antibody tests in Brooklyn:

  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Cumberland
    100 North Portland Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205
    Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM-3:30 PM
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Ida G. Israel Community Health Center
    2925 W 19th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11214
    Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM-4:00 PM; Saturday: 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Jonathan Williams Houses
    333 Roebling Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
    Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM-3:30 PM; Saturday-Sunday: 9:00 AM-3:30 PM
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, East New York
    2094 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11207
    Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM-3:30 PM

Click here for more information, including FAQs and additional testing locations across New York City.


Test and Trace Corps

New York City’s Test and Trace Corps, in partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals, is continuing to operate to contain the spread of COVID-19. If you receive a call from “NYC Test + Trace”, “(212) 540-****” or “(212) 242-****” a representative is trying to reach you and you should answer your phone.

Test and Trace Corps also provides direct assistance to individuals who test positive for COVID-19. This includes a hotel, if an individual is unable to quarantine at home. Click here for additional information, including an FAQ section, from Test and Trace Corps.


Seniors & At-Risk Neighbors

DFTA Social Isolation PSA

The NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) a is raising awareness about social isolation affecting older adults during COVID-19. By volunteering with DFTA’s Social Isolation campaign, you will make calls to older adults and see how they’re doing. Click here to learn more about volunteering or call Aging Connect at (212) AGING-NYC (212) 244-6469.

Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program Redemption

The NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) has partnered with the NYPD Explorers to redeem produce vouchers on behalf of older adults and deliver goods to their homes. To receive assistance from an NYPD Explorer, call Aging Connect at 212-AGING-NYC (212) 244-6469.

LiveOn NY

LiveOn NY is continuing to provide virtual programming for older adults and caregivers during COVID-19. Through their programming, older adults can connect to their peers and attend classes and activities online over platforms such as Zoom, or over the phone. Click here for more information on virtual activities.


Immigrant New Yorkers

Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA)

If you have a question about immigration or how to access city services during the COVID-19 crisis, reach out to the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) by calling (212) 788-7654, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM-5:00 PM, or send an email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov for assistance.
Additionally, refer to MOIA’s COVID-19 Resource Guide, with up-to-date resources available to immigrant communities. This website is available in ten languages, with additional languages available through Google Translate.

Make the Road NY

Make the Road New York (MRNY) is continuing to support immigrants across New York City through programming, including adult education, youth training and college access, legal services and health services.

MRNY’s Bushwick location offers legal assistance for housing, public benefits, employment/workplace justice, civil rights/LGBTQ justice and immigration issues. Call (718) 418-7690 to speak with an intake officer. Click here for additional programming from Make the Road New York.


Housing

2020 Tax Lien Sale

Per Mayor de Blasio, the annual lien sale auction will take place on September 25th through the NYC Department of Finance (DOF). Therefore, the last day to pay your debt or enter a payment agreement is Thursday, September 24th. Property owners can pay what they owe through the CityPay portal or enter a payment agreement.

Please note that some property owners may qualify for an exemption, including the Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE), the Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE), or the Veterans’ Exemption. The Department of Finance will be hosting additional events for homeowners, providing resources and advice on how to avoid lien sales in the future.

Upcoming Events:

  • September 17, 2020, 12:00 PM
    Join by WebEx or Telephone: 1-408-418-9388
    Access/Event Code: 173 690 8386 | Password: 2020LS
  • September 21, 2020, 5:00 PM
    Join by WebEx or Telephone: 1-408-418-9388
    Access/Event Code: 173 875 2063 | Password: 2020LS
  • September 24, 2020, 12:00 PM
    Join by WebEx or Telephone: 1-408-418-9388
    Access/Event Code: 173 356 0696 | Password: 2020LS

Click here for more information, including a list of properties eligible for the lien sale (by borough) and additional resources for homeowners.

Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants Helpline

The City of New York has created a Tenant Resource Portal through the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants. This portal is intended to help tenants navigate public and private resources that can stabilize their housing situation. The Tenant Resource Portal includes resources from multiple city agencies, legal service providers and community-based organizations.

Additionally, tenants can reach the “Tenant Helpline” by calling 311 or filling out an online form to be connected with a specialist.


Education

Return to School 2020-21

Between Wednesday, September 16, 2020 and Friday, September 18, 2020, schools will undergo an instructional orientation period. This will be fully remote and partial instructional days.

On September 17, 2020, Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza provided an update on in-person learning start dates.

  • Children enrolled in fully remote programs will still begin full-day instruction on Monday, September 21, 2020.
  • Children enrolled in blended learning will be learning remotely on Monday, September 21, 2020 until their in-person start date begins. Parents and guardians should check with their child’s school to see when they should report to school.
    • Students in Grades 3K and Pre-K: In-person learning begins on Monday, September 21, 2020
    • All grades in District 75 schools: In-person learning begins on Monday, September 21, 2020
    • All Elementary Schools (K-5 and K-8) including students in Grades 6-8 in K-8 schools: In-person learning begins on Tuesday, September 29, 2020
    • Middle Schools (Grades 6-8): In-person learning begins on Thursday, October 1, 2020
    • High Schools (Grades 9-12): In-person learning begins on Thursday, October 1, 2020
    • Secondary Schools (Grades 6-12): In-person learning begins on Thursday, October 1, 2020
    • Transfer Schools, Adult Education, Evening Schools: In-person learning begins on Thursday, October 1, 2020
    • K-2 and K-3 Schools: In-person learning begins on Tuesday, September 29, 2020
    • K-12 Schools:
      • Grades K-8: In-person learning begins on Tuesday, September 29, 2020
      • Grades 9-12: In-person learning begins on Thursday, October 1, 2020

Click here for the DOE’s ‘Return to School’ plan, including safety measures in place, learning schedules, and additional resources in place for students.
Note: For the safety of teachers, students and school staff, this information may be subject to change. Please to the DOE’s main website for any updates.

2020-21 School Year Calendar

The DOE has finalized and released the 2020-21 school year calendar. Parents and guardians can now access the calendar and plan ahead. Note: This calendar is available in all DOE languages.

School Building Ventilation Survey

As of this week, the school ventilation assessment teams have completed their inspections of all DOE schools. 1485 buildings have been inspected, with 10 buildings being temporarily taken offline so that they can be remediated. Additionally, 64,550 classrooms have been surveyed, and 96% (61,568) classrooms have operational ventilation. Repairs must be made to classrooms before the first day of classes or they won’t be used for school. Click here to review the School Building Ventilation Survey and review the results for your child’s school.

Learning Bridges Program

Due to COVID-19, the DOE has launched the Learning Bridges Program. This program will provide free childcare options for children from 3-K through 8th grade on days when they are scheduled for remote learning. Click here for additional information, including eligibility and enrollment into this program. If you are interested in enrolling your child to the Learning Bridges program, click here. If you need assistance completing the online application, call 311.

COVID Response Situation Room

Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza recently announced the formation of the DOE COVID Response Situation Room–a multi-agency partnership between the Department of Education, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Test and Trace Corps– to facilitate a rapid response to positive COVID-19 cases in public schools. This initiative will provide a direct hotline for principals, assistance six days a week and daily public reporting for COVID-19 cases.

Technical Support for Families

The DOE is providing technical support families to support learning at home. This includes setting up your DOE-issued iPad, TeachHub, Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams and more. Fill out an online form to be connected with a specialist.


Human, Social and Legal Services + Health Insurance

NYC Care

The City of New York recently launched NYC Care, a health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services to New Yorkers. Enroll in NYC Care by calling 1-646-NYC-CARE (1-646-692-2273). Click here for more information, including ways to enroll and documents needed.

NY State of Health

The deadline for health insurance special enrollment in New York State has been extended through December 31, 2020. New Yorkers without health insurance can apply for coverage through NY State of Health Marketplace. Call 1-855-355-5777 to be connected with a free enrollment assister.

Legal Services NYC

Legal Services NYC is continuing to serve New Yorkers through their legal assistance hotline. Their hotline is open Monday through Friday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Call (917) 661-4500 to speak with an intake officer in any language. Additionally, refer to Legal Services NYC’s COVID-19 Resources for Clients, available in multiple languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Haitian Creole and Bengali.

Safe Horizon

If you are experiencing domestic or sexual violence, contact Safe Horizon’s hotline for confidential assistance. Call 1-800-621-HOPE (4673) to reach the 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-212-227-3000 to reach the 24/7 Rape and Sexual Assault Hotline. Click here if you wish to chat with an advocate via SafeChat.

NYC Anti-Violence Project

The NYC Anti-Violence Project is serving LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities throughout New York City. Their 24/7 English-Spanish hotline is up and running to assist with counseling, safety planning, and finding resources, including medical care, and take reports on any violence you are experiencing. You can reach the Hotline at 212-714-1141. You can report bias, discrimination, or other violence you witness or experience online. You can remain anonymous or give your contact information for a counselor to reach out to you via phone or email to offer additional support.

Free Financial Counseling

The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) is providing financial counseling to all New Yorkers. Sign up for a free one-on-one session to support you in reaching your goals. Sessions are currently being conducted over the phone. Click here to book an appointment online. Note: Clients will be required to create a Financial Empowerment Portal account.

Brooklyn Public Library Lobby Service

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has begun to offer lobby service at the Washington Irving Library (360 Irving Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237). Patrons can retrieve holds at this location and return books in the branch lobby. Click here for more information from BPL, including an FAQ section on lobby service and additional virtual resources.

Note: Masks will be required for both patrons and staff.

NYS DOL

The NYS Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced individuals eligible for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program will begin to receive payments during the week of September 14th.

Eligible New Yorkers will receive an email and/or text message about their LWA benefits. No action is needed on their behalf. New Yorkers who need to certify for LWA benefits will receive a secure DocuSign email that must be filled out and submitted or call 833-491-0632 to certify via an automated phone system. Click here for an FAQ section about LWA benefits in English and Spanish.


Mental Health Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is offering a helpline for families and individuals during COVID-19. The helpline is available by calling (212) 684-3264, Monday through Friday, from 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. If you are in a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741 for 24/7, confidential, free crisis counseling. Click here for their COVID-19 Resource Guide, which provides helpful content and information.

NYS Office of Mental Health

The NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) is supporting New Yorkers impacted by COVID-19. OMH’s emotional support helpline is available by calling 1-844-863-9314 or visiting NY Project Hope’s website. NYS OMH also provides Coping Circles to those overwhelmed by the pandemic, including first responders, people who have had COVID-19, or lost a loved one. Click here for more information, including tips for mental wellness and additional mental health resources.

NYC Well

NYC Well is providing free, confidential mental health support to all New Yorkers. Text ‘WELL’ to 65173 or call 1-888-NYC-WELL for assistance. There is also an FAQ section with links to find services and seeking a peer support specialist. Additionally, NYC Well has compiled free mental health resources to combat the effects of COVID-19.


Food

Met Council SNAP Program

The Met Council has launched their SNAP program in the NYC area, where trained specialists can help community members apply for SNAP benefits, recertify existing benefits, and answer any eligibility questions. Call (212) 453-9532 for assistance. Operators are available Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 AM-5:00 PM and Friday from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM. You may also email benefits@metcouncil.org for assistance, as well.

GetFoodNYC: Free Food Locations

Click here for a map of food resources across the city, including free food pantries and Grab & Go meals at NYC Schools, available for all children or adults in need, as well as grocery stores and farmer’s markets locations.

Farmers Market Health Bucks

Health Bucks are $2 coupons that can be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at all NYC farmers markets. SNAP recipients are eligible to receive Health Bucks. For every $5 spent at farmers markets using SNAP on an EBT card, individuals can receive $2 in Health Bucks. Health Bucks are available year-round at NYC farmers markets that accept SNAP. Find a farmers market here.

HRA-Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP)

Organizations can apply to be Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) providers. Applicant organizations are now required to have operated a pantry for four months rather than six originally. The application and eligibility criteria to operate a food pantry can be accessed here and more information can be found here.


Small Businesses

NYC Small Business Services (SBS)

NYC SBS is continuing to assist businesses in the midst of COVID-19. There are a number of resources offered by SBS, including guidance for business and jobseekers. Additionally, there is a guide for businesses that have reopened and ways to stay safe at work.

Indoor Dining

Governor Cuomo recently announced indoor dining can resume in New York City on September 30th at 25% capacity with strict restrictions. Upon entry into a restaurant, patrons will be required to undergo temperature checks, wear a mask when not seated at a table, practice social distancing, and provide contact information for tracing if needed. There will be no bar service and restaurants must adhere to state-issued guidance. Outdoor dining will continue in the interim. Click here to read the full executive order. Note: Further guidance and resources will be provided by the City of New York over the next few days.

New York Forward Loan Fund

The New York Forward Loan Fund is continuing to accept applications to assist those impacted by COVID-19. This program will target small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, nonprofits and small landlords that have seen a loss of income or rental income. If approved, these loans will need to be paid back over a 5-year term with interest. Click here for more information, including eligibility and application.

Note: This loan is available to those who did not receive a loan for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) from the Small Business Administration.


Voting

Register to Vote: There is still time for you to register to vote. The deadline to register for the upcoming November election is October 9, 2020. Click here to learn more.

Absentee Ballot: You can now request an absentee ballot to avoid traveling to a poll site due to COVID-19. Just complete the application online. You can also apply over the phone, by email, or by postal mail.

The NYC Board of Elections (BOE) will begin mailing out absentee ballots on September 18. Once you receive your ballot, send it back as soon as you can. Please don’t forget to sign the envelope! You will receive instructions in the mail on how to ensure your envelope is complete. You can also drop off your absentee ballot IN PERSON at your local BOE office or at your poll site during Early Voting and on Election Day.

You can track the status of your absentee ballot as well at via the new Absentee Tracking Portal.

Early Voting: Early Voting begins on October 24 and ends on November 1, followed by Election Day on November 3. The BOE will be announcing early voting sites soon. Please check here for updates.

Important Dates:

  • October 9: Voter registration deadline
  • October 24: Early voting starts
  • October 27: Absentee ballot request deadline
  • November 1: Early voting ends
  • November 3: Absentee ballot postmark deadline
  • November 3: Election Day

Become a Poll Worker: If you are a New York voter and a New York City resident, you may be eligible to work as a poll worker. And if you speak Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Bengali, Punjabi or Hindi, you may be eligible to work as a poll site interpreter even if you are not registered to vote. November’s General Election is critical, and we need to ensure that it’s a safe election. To apply to be a poll worker or an interpreter, click here.

Youth Poll Workers: If you are a 17-year-old who would like to apply to be a poll worker, please contact the district office for an application.

Resources for Council District 37

Health and Social Services

HITE/Health and Social Services Resources in New York City
Information: Online Resource Directory that connects New Yorkers with free and low-cost health and social providers. This website uses distance as a measure of how far the provider is located from the address seeking assistance.


Coronavirus NYC Neighborhood Food Resources Guide

Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center
Information: Council District 37 appears on two guides.


Education

Advocates for Children of New York
Information: Organization dedicated to anything education-related, they are the key advocates in New York City.


Benefits Plus

Community Service Society
Information: City, State and Federal benefits up-to-date information.


Housing Advocacy

Metropolitan Council on Housing
Information: Advocacy for tenants, updates and referral information.

NYS Tenants and Neighbors
Information: Housing advocacy organization for tenants in New York City.

Housing Court Answers
Information: Guidance for tenants, landlords and advocates on housing court.


Homeowners

Center for New York City Neighborhoods
Information: Information and referral for homeowners in New York City.

Click here to download the NYC Tax Lien Sale Information
Click here to download the Property Tax Lien Sale Virtual Outreach Sessions flier


Unemployment Assistance

Legal Services NYC
Information: Pro bono unemployment insurance hearings.


Brooklyn Community Board 4

Neighborhoods: Bushwick
Address: 1420 Bushwick Avenue, Suite 370, Brooklyn, NY 11207-1422
Phone: 718-628-8400 Fax: 718-628-8619
Email: bk04@cb.nyc.gov
Chair: Julie Dent District Manager: Celestina Leon
Board Meeting: Third Wednesday, 6:00pm
Cabinet Meeting: Second Wednesday, 10:00am
Precinct(s) 83 Precinct Phone(s) 718-574-1605

Brooklyn Community Board 5

Neighborhoods: East New York, Cypress Hills, Highland Park, New Lots, City Line, Starrett City, and Ridgewood
Address: 404 Pine Street, 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11208
Phone: 929-221-8261 Fax: 718-827-7374
Email: bk05@cb.nyc.gov
Chair: AT Mitchell District Manager: Melinda Perkins
Board Meeting: Fourth Wednesday, 6:30pm
Cabinet Meeting: Third Wednesday, 10:00am
Precinct(s) 75 Precinct Phone(s) 718-827-3511

Brooklyn Community Board 16

Neighborhoods: Ocean Hill, Brownsville
Address: 444 Thomas S. Boyland Street, Room 103, Brooklyn, NY 11212
Phone: 718-385-0323 Fax: 718-342-6714
Email: bk16@cb.nyc.gov
Chair: Genese Morgan District Manager: Viola D. Greene-Walker
Board Meeting:
Cabinet Meeting:
Precinct(s) 73 Precinct Phone(s) 718-495-5411

83rd Precinct

Commanding Officer: Deputy Inspector Daniel A. Dooley
The 83rd Precinct serves a northern region in Brooklyn comprising Bushwick.

Contact Information

480 Knickerbocker Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11237-5132
Precinct: (718) 574-1605
Community Affairs: (718) 574-1697
Crime Prevention:

Domestic Violence: (718) 574-1830
Youth Officer: (718) 574-1735
Auxiliary Coordinator: (718) 574-1688
Detective Squad: (718) 574-1796

Community Council

President: Barbara Smith
Meetings: Community Council meetings typically take place on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM in the precinct.


75th Precinct

Commanding Officer: Deputy Inspector John A. Mastronardi
The 75th Precinct serves the easternmost portion of Brooklyn and envelopes East New York and Cypress Hills.

Contact Information

1000 Sutter Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11208-3553
Precinct: (718) 827-3511 / 3512
Community Affairs: (718) 827-3529
Crime Prevention:

Domestic Violence: (718) 827-3502
Youth Officer: (718) 827-3524
Auxiliary Coordinator: (718) 827-3545
Detective Squad: (718) 827-3548 / 3549

Community Council

President: Alberto Ramos
Meetings: Community Council meetings typically take place on the first Wednesday of each month
at 7:00 PM, at 127 Pennsylvania Avenue NYPD Community Center Brooklyn, NY 11207-2428.


Police Service Area 2

Commanding Officer: Deputy Inspector Rohan Griffith
Location: 560 Sutter Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11207
Police Service Area 2 serves the New York City Housing Authority developments located within the confines of Patrol Borough Brooklyn North. The command patrols a total of 42 developments within the confines of the 73rd, 75th and 77th precincts.

Contact Information

Police Service Area: (718) 922-8001
Domestic Violence: (718) 922-8019
Auxiliary Coordinator: (718) 922-3912
Community Affairs: (718) 922-8033
Crime Prevention:

Community Council

President: Marie Boone
Meetings: Community Council meetings typically take place on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM at the Tilden Community Center, located at 630 Mother Gaston Boulevard.

Local Electeds that cover Council District 37 and also offer constituent services:

  • State Senate District #18 Julia Salazar
    212 Evergreen Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY 11221
    Phone: 718-573-1726
  • State Assembly District #54 Erik M. Dilan
    366 Cornelia St
    Brooklyn, NY 11237
    Phone: 718-386-4576
  • US Congressional District #7 Nydia M. Velázquez
    266 Broadway, Suite 201
    Brooklyn, NY. 11211
    Phone: 718-599-3658

2020 Tax Lien Sale

The NYC Department of Finance (DOF) is hosting virtual events to assist property owners with any unpaid tax, water or emergency repair charges before the upcoming 2020 tax lien sale on Friday, September 25, 2020. Representatives from DOF will assist residents, provide resources and advice to avoid lien sales in the future.
Note: You can attend any event, in any borough, regardless of where your property is located.

Upcoming Events:

  • September 17, 2020, 12:00 PM
    Join by WebEx or Telephone: 1-408-418-9388
    Access/Event Code: 173 690 8386 | Password: 2020LS
  • September 21, 2020, 5:00 PM
    Join by WebEx or Telephone: 1-408-418-9388
    Access/Event Code: 173 875 2063 | Password: 2020LS
  • September 24, 2020, 12:00 PM
    Join by WebEx or Telephone: 1-408-418-9388
    Access/Event Code: 173 356 0696 | Password: 2020LS

Census Countdown

On Saturday, September 19, 2020, Council District 37 will be partnering with the US Census Bureau to help residents complete their 2020 census.

Date: Saturday September 19, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Where: Irving Square Park, Brooklyn NY

Dear Council District 37,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones in good health. A lot has happened in New York City over the last month, namely the reopening of our public schools, the resumption of limited indoor dining, and the rise of COVID-19 cases in certain parts of the City.

When COVID-19 first hit New York City in March, our strength was put to the test. Yet, with tremendous effort and sacrifice, we were able to successfully flatten the curve. Now as we face an inevitable second wave, we must continue to follow guidance from public health experts by staying home if sick, wearing a face mask in public, practicing social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, and washing our hands. These simple actions will help save lives and prevent the spread of the virus.

Over the next few weeks, we face an important turning point that will shape our country for the next few years: the upcoming general election. The general election falls on November 3. This year, New Yorkers can vote via an absentee ballot (mail-in), early in-person voting, or in-person on Election Day. It is important to make a plan to ensure that your vote is counted in this crucial election. Make sure you exercise your right to vote.

This month, the Council District 37 Office has compiled the following resources for your convenience, including COVID-19 updates, education, food, housing, and more. We hope you find the information below helpful and ask that you share it with your friends and neighbors in Council District 37, which encompasses parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick, Crown Heights, Cypress Hills, and East New York.

Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that the Council District 37 Office is available to assist residents remotely via telephone or email. Below is the office’s contact information, including hours of operation:

Council District 37
Constituent Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Tel: (718) 642-8664
Fax: (718) 889-8017
Email: District37@council.nyc.gov

Thank you and, as always, stay safe!

Sincerely,

Faiza Ali
Director, Community Engagement Division
New York City Council

COVID-19 Updates

NYS Cluster Action Initiative

Last week, Governor Cuomo announced a new Cluster Action Initiative to address COVID-19 hot spots across New York State, specifically in Queens, Brooklyn, Orange County, Rockland County and Broome County. Rather than using zip codes, the initiative divides clusters and the areas around them into three color-coded zones (red, orange and yellow) with restrictions on certain activities.

On October 8th, the City of New York announced restrictions would take place in clusters for a minimum of 14 days. New York State will then reevaluate the situation.

Type of Activity RED ORANGE YELLOW
Worship 25% capacity
10 people maximum
33% capacity
25 people maximum
50% capacity
Mass Gathering Prohibited 10 people maximum, indoor and outdoor 25 people maximum, indoors and outdoors
Businesses Only essential businesses open Closing high-risk non-essential business (gyms, personal care, etc.) Open
Dining Takeout only Outdoor dining only, 4 person maximum per table Indoor and outding dining, 4 person maximum per table
School CLOSED
Remote-only
Open
Mandatory weekly testing of students and teachers/staff for in-person settings. DOH will set percent by Friday

In response to Governor Cuomo’s cluster initiative, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) released a document to help residents and businesses learn about localized restrictions. This document is available in both English and Spanish.

COVID-19 Zone Finder

In addition to DOHMH’s “What You Need to Know About NYC’s Localized Restrictions” document, the City of New York has released an interactive COVID-19 Zone Finder. This map will help New Yorkers determine if they live in a NYS-designated COVID-19 zone and learn more about proper precautions.

Activity Restrictions in NYC

Each document highlights restrictions placed upon red, orange and yellow zones, including any precautions that must be taken despite having businesses open, in some scenarios (yellow zone).

COVID Alert App

New York State recently announced the launch of a new smartphone application called COVID Alert NY. This application is voluntary, anonymous and will alert you if you were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. This application is available for anyone who lives, works or attends college in New York or New Jersey. Note: This application is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Korean, Russian and Haitian-Creole.

NYS Travel Advisory

As a reminder, New York State’s travel advisory is still in effect for individuals traveling to New York from states with increased COVID-19 infection rates. Individuals returning from states on the travel advisory must fill out a Traveler Health Form and quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Click here to view the list of states on the travel advisory and read the full executive order. For more information, call the hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or Ask a Question online.

Note: The list of restricted states is updated every Tuesday.

Independent Clinical Advisory Task Force

Governor Cuomo announced the creation of an independent Clinical Advisory Task Force. This task force will be composed of leading scientists, doctors, and health experts who will review every COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the federal government and will advise New York State on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness in fighting the virus. It will also be in charge of designing the best COVID-19 vaccination administration program. Click here for more information from the press release.

Eviction Moratorium

Governor Cuomo announced on Monday, September 28, 2020 that the Tenant Safe Harbor Act will be expanded until January 1, 2021. This act protects residential tenants from eviction who are suffering from financial hardships caused by the ongoing pandemic. For more information and to read the press release, click here.

NYS Plastic Bag Ban

New York’s plastic bag ban will go back into effect on October 19th. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the department will begin enforcing the statewide ban over the next few weeks. Click here for more information from NYS DEC.

Flu Shots

With the rise of COVID-19 infections across NYC, it is critical to get a flu vaccine this year. Although the flu vaccine will not prevent COVID-19, it will decrease the risk of mistaking one for another and needing flu-related medical care. Vaccines are available to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status or whether you have insurance. Click here to find a site offering the flu vaccine on DOHMH’s interactive map.

Rapid Testing

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) is offering a free rapid COVID-19 virus test at multiple COVID Express sites. Test results are available within 24 hours and free to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status. Testing will be available by appointment only. Click here for more information and to schedule your appointment online.

Note: There are no testing locations in Council District 37, however, test sites can be found in other parts of Brooklyn, including Crown Heights and Fort Green.

COVID-19 Testing Sites

All New Yorkers can receive a free COVID-19 test, whether or not they have symptoms or are at increased risk. The following locations offer free tests in Council District 37:

  • East New York ACPNY
    101 Pennsylvania Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11207
    Phone: (833) 422-7369
  • CityMD Urgent Care Bushwick
    399 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237
    Phone: (718) 571-9168
  • ModernMD Urgent Care Bushwick
    366 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237
    Phone: (646) 604-8160
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health East New York
    2094 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11207
    Phone: (844) 692-4692

Click here for additional information from NYC Health + Hospitals (H + H), including frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other testing locations across New York City.

H + H Antibody Testing

New Yorkers can also receive a free antibody test at select Gotham Community Health Center and NYC H + H locations. The following sites offer antibody tests in Brooklyn:

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Cumberland
100 North Portland Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205
Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM-3:30 PM

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Ida G. Israel Community Health Center
2925 W 19th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11214
Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM-4:00 PM; Saturday: 8:00 AM-4:00 PM

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Jonathan Williams Houses
333 Roebling Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM-3:30 PM; Saturday-Sunday: 9:00 AM-3:30 PM

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, East New York
2094 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11207
Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM-3:30 PM

Click here for more information, including FAQs and additional testing locations across New York City.

Test and Trace Corps

New York City’s Test and Trace Corps, in partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals, is continuing to operate to contain the spread of COVID-19. If you receive a call from “NYC Test + Trace”, “(212) 540-****” or “(212) 242-****” a representative is trying to reach you and you should answer your phone.

Test and Trace Corps also provides direct assistance to individuals who test positive for COVID-19. This includes a hotel, if an individual is unable to quarantine at home. Click here for additional information, including an FAQ section, from Test and Trace Corps.

COVID Resources

The NYC COVID-19 Citywide Information Portal and 311 have created COVID specific resource guides for New Yorkers. These resource guides contain information relating to emotional well-being, rent and housing, NYCHA residents, and more. To access the guides, click here for the Citywide Information Portal and here for 311.

DSNY

The NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is now hiring emergency snow laborers for the winter season. Emergency snow laborers are per-diem workers who shovel snow and clear ice from bus stops, crosswalks, fire hydrants and step streets around NYC after heavy snowfalls.

Snow Laborers earn $15 per hour to start, and $22.50 per hour after 40 hours are worked in a week. Individuals must register for a 15-minute session here. More information, including responsibilities, can be found on DSNY’s Snow Response website.

SENIORS & AT RISK NEIGHBORS

Department for the Aging (DFTA)

The NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) is raising awareness about social isolation affecting older adults during COVID-19. By volunteering with DFTA’s Social Isolation campaign, you will make calls to older adults and see how they’re doing. Click here to learn more about volunteering or call Aging Connect at (212) AGING-NYC (212) 244-6469.

LiveOn NY

LiveOn NY is continuing to provide virtual programming for older adults and caregivers during COVID-19. Older adults can connect to their peers and attend classes and activities online over platforms such as Zoom, or over the phone. Click here for more information on virtual activities. Note: Refer back to this website for more events as they become available.

CDC Guidance for At-Risk Individuals

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revised guidance for individuals with underlying medical conditions, including those who are overweight, smoke or have a history of smoking. Adults of any age are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 if they have cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, immunocompromised state, sickle cell disease, type 2 diabetes and more. Click here to review all guidance from the CDC, including how to avoid contracting COVID-19, staying healthy and actions you can take based on your medical conditions and other risk factors.

IMMIGRANT NEW YORKERS

Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA)

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) is available to help all New Yorkers with questions about immigration or how to access city services during the COVID-19 crisis. MOIA’s hotline is available Monday through Friday, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM by calling (212) 788-7654 or by emailing AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov directly.

New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) Resources

New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) is providing New Yorkers with up-to-date information and comprehensive information. Click here to view their COVID-19 website, which covers a wide range of issues, including education, health, social services, civic engagement and more. Resources are available in multiple languages.

Informed Immigrant Resources

Informed Immigrants is continuing to provide updates and resources for immigrants impacted by COVID-19. Resources offered discuss how to take care of yourself, protesting as undoculeaders, family preparedness and more.

Note: Resources are normally separated by state and federal resources.

Make the Road NY

Make the Road NY (MRNY) is offering legal assistance for housing, public benefits, employment/workplace justice, civil rights/LGBTQ justice and immigration issues at their Bushwick office. Call (718) 418-7690 to speak with an intake officer. Click here for additional programming from MRNY.

Additional Legal Services for Immigrant NYers:

New York Immigrant Family Unity Project: The New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) is offering services for detained immigrant New Yorkers during COVID-19. If you need emergency legal support for an individual in detention, please call (347) 778-1266 for the Bronx Defenders, (718) 254-0700 for Brooklyn Defender Services, or (844) 955-3425 for the Legal Aid Society.

ActionNYC: Free legal screenings and application assistance is available to New Yorkers. To make an appointment, call (800) 354-0365, Monday-Friday between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM. You may also call 311 and say ‘ActionNYC.’

CUNY Citizenship Now!: Assistance with applications is available to immigrant New Yorkers. For general questions, call (646) 664-9400, text (929) 334-3784 or email citizenshipnowinfo@cuny.edu.

HOUSING: TENANTS & PROPERTY OWNERS

Following the extension of the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, The Right to Counsel NYC Coalition released an FAQ page on the moratorium, pre-COVID cases and court openings. To learn more about this act (moratorium), click here to read the full press release.

Filing a Complaint with HPD

Before filing a complaint, contact your property owner or landlord first — this is the easiest way to resolve a housing quality or safety issue. If your landlord is unresponsive, file a complaint with 311. More information on HPD’s process can be found here.

Tax Lien Update

Per Governor Cuomo’s executive order, the NYC Department of Finance (DOF) cannot engage in the sale of tax liens until November 3rd. Until then, property owners are encouraged to pay their tax lien through the CityPay portal or enter a payment agreement. DOF will continue to conduct outreach and work with property owners whose tax lien is at risk of being sold.

Additionally, please note that some property owners may qualify for an exemption, including the Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE), the Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE), or the Veterans’ Exemption. Click here to watch a recording of a recent NYC Tax Lien Sale Outreach Event hosted by DOF.

Click here for more information, including a list of properties eligible for the lien sale (by borough) and additional resources for homeowners.

Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants

The City of New York has created a Tenant Resource Portal through the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants. This portal is intended to help tenants navigate public and private resources that can stabilize their housing situation. The Tenant Resource Portal includes resources from multiple city agencies, legal service providers and community-based organizations.

Additionally, tenants can reach the “Tenant Helpline” by calling 311 or filling out an online form to be connected with a specialist.

Met Council on Housing

The Met Council on Housing continues to serve tenants through their hotline on Tenants’ Rights. This hotline is free and open to any tenant living in New York City. Click here for additional information, including an FAQ section. For assistance, call (212) 979-0611 in accordance with the day and time below:

  • Monday – 1:30 PM-8:00 PM
  • Tuesday – 5:30 PM-8:00 PM
  • Wednesday – 1:30 PM-8:00 PM
  • Friday – 1:30 PM-5:00 PM

Center for NYC Neighborhoods

Center for NYC Neighborhoods is continuing to serve homeowners through their Homeowner Hub hotline. For free financial counseling and legal services, call 646-786-0888. An operator will connect you to a nonprofit partner. Additionally, Center for NYC Neighborhoods will assist homeowners with other issues, including mortgage help, foreclosure, scam prevention and more.

HPD Borough Office

The HPD borough offices are temporarily closed to encourage social distancing and help keep New Yorkers safe from coronavirus (COVID-19). For assistance from borough office staff, you can still reach us by phone or mail. Contact information can be found below.

Through the Division of Code Enforcement, you can do the following:

  • Obtain information on the requirements of the Housing Maintenance Code and Multiple Dwelling Law.
  • Obtain information about housing code violations existing at your property and guidance on how to address them.
  • Request inspections for the dismissal of corrected violations.
  • Obtain complaint information.
  • Use designated computers to access information about your property or HPD services.
  • Obtain Departmental forms, including Property Registration.
  • Learn more about services

You can contact the Brooklyn Borough Office for additional information:
Address: 701 Euclid Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11208, Phone: (212) 863-6620

Heat and Hot Water

As of October 1st, building owners are legally required to provide heat and hot water to their tenants. Click here for more information on heat protocols and how to file a complaint against your building owner.

HPD New Housing Connect 2.0

The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) released a new version of NYC Housing Connect over the summer. This portal will now make the affordable housing application process easier, more accessible and user-friendly. You will need to create a new account on the new NYC Housing Connect in order to apply for affordable housing. If you have an account on the original NYC Housing Connect website, your applicant profile information will not be carried over to the new website.

Public Housing:

NYCHA Ombudsperson Call Center

NYCHA is under a court order to effectively remediate mold and excessive moisture in a timely fashion. The Court has appointed César de Castro as the independent Ombudsperson to consider complaints from residents if NYCHA fails to comply with that order. Mr. de Castro and the Ombudsperson Call Center (OCC) are completely independent of NYCHA. The OCC is now active at all NYCHA Consolidations.

The independent OCC receives complaints by residents who have already contacted NYCHA but still have concerns about mold, leaks and any associated repairs that have not been completed properly or have not been completed on time. Residents with such concerns can contact the independent OCC at 1-888-341-7152 or at https://ombnyc.com/. Residents should not call the OCC unless they have first contacted NYCHA regarding a particular mold or leak problem and are dissatisfied with NYCHA’s performance.

Please refer to the OCC Flyer or www.ombnyc.com for additional information regarding Mr. de Castro and the Ombudsperson Call Center (OCC).

NYCHA Rent Hardship Program:

If you are a NYCHA resident and you’re seeking assistance lowering your rent due to COVID19 or any other matter, you can apply to the Rent Hardship Program. For policy guidelines visit their website.

NYCHA Customer Contact Center (CCC)

If you have a repair need in your NYCHA apartment, please call the Customer Contact Center. Residents can now call the CCC at 718-707-7771 (option 5) to complete the Interim Recertification application over the phone. A NYCHA customer service representative will guide you through a brief set of questions; you can self-certify your income loss and submit the Interim Recertification application over the phone. Residents who require translation services will be simultaneously connected with the Language Helpline, which will assist throughout the process.

VOTING

Absentee Ballot:

If you received an incorrect envelope for your absentee ballot, second absentee ballots with envelopes are being mailed by the NYC Board of Elections. You can track your absentee ballot here. Note that your ballot is also titled “OFFICIAL ABSENTEE MILITARY BALLOT”. That is the correct ballot.

From now until Election Day the Board is offering three absentee ballot drop off options:

  • Board Offices Absentee Ballot Drop Off
  • Early Voting Absentee Ballot Drop Off
  • Election Day Absentee Ballot Drop Off

Voters may drop off their ballots at any of the seven offices from 9:00am – 5:00pm. You will not have to wait on a line to do so.

  • Manhattan Borough Office: 200 Varick Street, 10th Floor, NY 10014
  • Bronx Borough Office: 1780 Grand Concourse, 5th Floor, Bronx NY 10457
  • Brooklyn Borough Office: 345 Adams Street, 4th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
  • Queens Borough Office: 118-35 Queens Boulevard, 11 Floor, Forest Hills NY 11375
  • Staten Island Borough Office: 1 Edgewater Plaza, 4th Floor, Staten Island NY 10305
  • General Office: 32 Broadway, 7th Floor, NY 10004
  • Executive Office: 42 Broadway, 7th Floor, NY 10004

Early Voting:

Early Voting begins on October 24 and ends on November 1, followed by Election Day on November 3. The BOE will be announcing early voting sites soon. Please check here for updates.

Important Dates:

  • October 24: Early voting starts
  • October 27: Absentee ballot request deadline
  • November 1: Early voting ends
  • November 3: Absentee ballot postmark deadline
  • November 3: Election Day

Become a Poll Worker:

If you are a New York voter and a New York City resident, you may be eligible to work as a poll worker. And if you speak Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Bengali, Punjabi or Hindi, you may be eligible to work as a poll site interpreter even if you are not registered to vote. November’s General Election is critical, and we need to ensure that it’s a safe election. To apply to be a poll worker or an interpreter, visit here.

17 year old Student Poll Workers:

If you are a 17 year old student who would like to apply to be a poll worker, please visit here.

General Election Poll Workers:

Governor Cuomo recently signed an executive order allowing New Yorkers, who are currently unemployed, to become paid poll workers without losing their unemployment benefits. Click here to learn more about becoming a poll worker for the upcoming general election in New York City.

EDUCATION

Schools Closures in Orange and Red Zones

Due to rising COVID-19 cases across Brooklyn and Queens, all schools located within red and orange zones will remain closed for a minimum of two weeks. This includes NYC public schools, which closed on October 8th. The NYC Department of Education (DOE) has listed all schools that have closed in accordance with New York State guidance by DBN, school name, grades, address and zip code.

COVID-19 Tracker

The DOE recently launched a Daily COVID Case Map. This map displays all known cases of COVID-19 at NYC public schools. It is updated Sunday through Friday at 5:30 PM. Updates are compiled by the DOE COVID Response Situation Room to facilitate a rapid response to positive COVID-19 cases. For protocols in schools, visit DOE’s Health and Safety page.

School-Based COVID-19 Tests

Beginning in October, the DOE will begin testing students and staff in school buildings. Testing partners will go to school districts and test a randomly selected group of individuals from grades 1-12. The number of tests will depend on the size of the school. The test is easy, quick, and safe. Rather than using the “long swab” this test uses a short, small swab that goes in the front of the nose. The DOE will eventually employ a test that collects a small amount of saliva in the school year.

In order for testing partners to administer a COVID-19 test, schools need a parent (or guardian) to sign a consent form. The consent form, available in all DOE languages, can be found online. The consent form can also be filled out electronically through a NYC Schools Account (NYCSA). Although consent to testing is not mandatory, a sufficient monthly sample size will help identify the prevalence of COVID-19 in school buildings. Click here to visit the DOE’s COVID-19 Testing website, including an FAQ section, priority testing outside of schools and testing locations.

Technical Support

The DOE is continuing to provide technical support families to support remote learning at home. This includes setting up your DOE-issued iPad, TeachHub, Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams and more. Fill out an online form to be connected with a specialist.

Dial-A-Teacher

The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Dial-A-Teacher program is up and running for the current school year. Homework help is available Monday through Thursday, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM (when school is in session). To request assistance, you can fill out an online form or call (212) 777-3380 to speak with a teacher. Due to limitations caused by school closures, help is only available for English and Math homework for elementary students.

Note: For the time being, English is the only language spoken, however, the UFT is hoping to expand to other subjects, grades and languages soon.

Advocates for Children Reading Milestones

Advocates for Children of New York recently released a document highlighting reading milestones for children of all ages. This guide encompasses critical reading levels, specifically Pre-K, Kindergarten, First and Second Grade. Click here to review the guide. AFC also has an educational helpline for information and guidance on all education-related matters in NYC. The line is active between Monday through Thursday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM by calling (866)-427-6033 or by sending a message via their website.

HUMAN, SOCIAL & LEGAL SERVICES

NYC Care

The City of New York recently launched NYC Care, a health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services to New Yorkers. Enroll in NYC Care by calling 1-646-NYC-CARE (1-646-692-2273). Click here for more information, including ways to enroll and documents needed.

The Legal Aid Society COVID-19 Info

The Legal Aid Society is continuing to serve New Yorkers remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Operators are assisting in a number of different areas, including housing, unemployment, benefits and employment matters. Click here to access their COVID-19 information page with additional resources and contact information.

NYC Anti-Violence Project

The NYC Anti-Violence Project is serving LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities throughout New York City. Their 24/7 English-Spanish hotline is up and running to assist with counseling, safety planning, and finding resources, including medical care, and take reports on any violence you are experiencing. You can reach the Hotline at 212-714-1141. You can report bias, discrimination, or other violence you witness or experience online at avp.org/get-help. You can remain anonymous or give your contact information for a counselor to reach out to you via phone or email to offer additional support.

Domestic and Gender-Based Violence

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call 311 for New York City’s Domestic Violence Hotline. In emergencies, call 911. Many city agencies provide support to victims of domestic violence. The Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) works with community leaders, health care providers, City agencies, and others to help prevent domestic violence. Visit the ENDGBV website to learn more.

NYC Commission on Human Rights

The Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau (LEB) enforces the NYC Human Rights Law. Allegations of discrimination come to LEB for investigation in several ways. Members of the public may file a complaint with LEB about their own experience. A lawyer may file a complaint with LEB on a client’s behalf. Service providers, community organizations, elected officials, or individuals may bring specific incidents or potential patterns of discrimination to LEB’s attention, and LEB can initiate its own investigation. For more information on how to report discrimination, how to file a complaint, or about the complaint process, call 311 or (212) 416-0197

Center for Independence of the Disabled

CIDNY is a nonprofit organization, part of the Independent Living Centers movement: a national network of grassroots and community-based organizations that enhance opportunities for all people with disabilities to direct their own lives. CIDNY provides counseling, independent living skills development, direct services (e.g., housing assistance, employment-related assistance, healthcare access, peer counseling, nursing home transition and diversion, and youth transition), information and referrals, and recreational activities. All of the services are free. Call 646-442-1520 or 646-849-8079 to reach the intake line and refer to a counselor.

Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has begun to offer lobby service at the Washington Irving Library (360 Irving Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237). Patrons can retrieve holds at this location and return books in the branch lobby. Click here for more information from BPL, including an FAQ section on lobby service and additional virtual resources. Note: Bushwick Library (340 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206) is also available for lobby service.

Free Financial Counseling

The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) is providing financial counseling to all New Yorkers. Sign up for a free one-on-one session to support you in reaching your goals. Sessions are currently being conducted over the phone. Click here to book an appointment online. Note: Clients will be required to create a Financial Empowerment Portal account.

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

NYS Office of Mental Health

The NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) is supporting New Yorkers impacted by COVID-19. OMH’s emotional support helpline is available by calling 1-844-863-9314 or visiting NY Project Hope’s website. NYS OMH also provides Coping Circles to those overwhelmed by the pandemic, including first responders, people who have had COVID-19, or lost a loved one. Click here for more information, including tips for mental wellness and additional mental health resources.

NYC Well

NYC Well is providing free, confidential mental health support to all New Yorkers. Text ‘WELL’ to 65173 or call 1-888-NYC-WELL for assistance. There is also an FAQ section with links to find services and seeking a peer support specialist. Additionally, NYC Well has compiled free mental health resources to combat the effects of COVID-19.

Mental Health Resources for Veterans

ThriveNYC and the Department of Veterans’ Services have collaborated to create Mission: VetCheck. This initiative allows volunteers from the veteran community to make check-in calls to veterans across NYC. Click here for more information, including how to request a check-in or sign-up to volunteer.

The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project, a leading national organization for LGBTQ+ youth, is continuing to serve their confidential hotline 24/7. Counselors are available to support those who are in a crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgement-free place to talk. Call 1-866-488-7386 to speak with a counselor or visit their home page for alternative support methods.

Exponents

EXPONENTS is compassionately dedicated to serving those impacted by HIV/AIDS, substance use, incarceration, and behavioral health challenges. Their mission is to deliver these services through a client-centered, strength-based approach, which greatly improves health outcomes and promotes overall wellness in communities. If you’re seeking assistance, contact the Exponents Crisis Intervention (24 Hour): 917.681.8531.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is offering a helpline for families and individuals during COVID-19. The helpline is available by calling (212) 684-3264, Monday through Friday, from 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. If you are in a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741 for 24/7, confidential, free crisis counseling. Click here for their COVID-19 Resource Guide, which provides helpful content and information.

IGNY and Virtual NA Resources

Maintaining sobriety from drugs and alcohol can be especially challenging during the COVID-19 crisis. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous offer a variety of online resources including texts, chats and virtual Zoom meetings so “you don’t have to do it alone.”

FOOD EQUITY

GetFoodNYC: Free Food Locations

Click here for a map of food resources across the city, including free food pantries and Grab & Go meals at NYC Schools, available for all children or adults in need, as well as grocery stores and farmer’s markets locations.

DOE Grab and Go Meals

The Office of Food and Nutrition Services (OSFNS) has been doing all it can do to provide high quality meal service to students and the community. Operations such as custodial and food services continue even in a COVID19 hot zone. When schools are closed, it means they are closed for instruction only.

Grab and Go take away meals continue to be provided for all virtual learners in these neighborhoods. When there is a confirmed outbreak in a school, the kitchen will close. Meals are available for pick up for students Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon. Please continue to check here for updates.

ACCESS NYC:

Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) | NYC Human Resources Administration

For urgent food and hunger needs, call the Emergency Food Hotline at 866-888-8777 or 311. You’ll be provided with hours of operation and directions to the nearest food pantries and community kitchens. Everyone is eligible for emergency food assistance, regardless of immigration status or how much money you have. For more information on ACCESS NYC, click here.

SNAP and Cash Assistance Interviews and On-Demand

The SNAP partial interview waiver for new SNAP applications ended in September. The appropriations continuing resolution puts the partial interview waiver back in place through June 30, 2021. As a result of this reinstatement of the SNAP partial interview waiver, plans to activate On Demand interviews for SNAP applications have been postponed because interviews will not be required for all applicants. Interviews required for SNAP recertifications and new applications will continue. There is no need for clients to contact or visit an HRA Center for recertification or new application interviews. If an interview is required, HRA will contact clients.

SNAP clients who are re-certifying or submitting a new application for SNAP do not need an interview. Clients submitting Cash Assistance applications and recertifications need an interview by telephone. The waiver permitting the telephone interview for Cash Assistance will continue through December 31, 2020. HRA will contact Cash Assistance applicants to conduct an interview.

Pandemic EBT

Pandemic-EBT benefits will continue through September 2021, and the program will expand to include younger children who might have received meals at daycare programs that are closed or operating on reduced hours. Please visit nyc.gov/getfood to get more information.

Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center

To help connect community members in need of food, the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center has created the COVID-19 NYC Neighborhood Food Resource Guide. This guide includes all food-related efforts to keep New Yorkers from going hungry. The list is divided by both Council District and zip code, making it easy to sort through and access resources that are already in your community. Click here for more information.

SMALL BUSINESS & NON-PROFITS

Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19 Cluster

The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) has identified neighborhoods within the new Cluster Action Initiative by Governor Cuomo. If you have a question about this initiative, or have a question related to reopening, you can call SBS’ hotline at (888) SBS-4NYC, review their Restaurant Reopening Guide or Business Reopening Guide. Both SBS and DOT have reached out to restaurants and businesses impacted by the clusters in Brooklyn and Queens.

Outdoor Dining Resources

NYC’s Open Restaurant is continuing to accept applications from restaurants seeking to serve customers in outdoor spaces, including public sidewalks, curb lanes and outdoor private areas on premises. The application is available through the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and accepted on a rolling basis. For help completing the application, you can call SBS’ hotline at 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692). Click here to access the application and obtain more information.

Following the Mayor’s announcement that the Open Restaurants program will be made permanent, the City Council has worked to pass legislation that would set regulatory changes and guidance for restaurants as winter approaches. To hear from SBS, click here to sign up for their e-mailing list.

Indoor Dining Resources

SBS has released guidance on indoor dining, which began on September 30th. Some requirements include: 25% maximum capacity, temperature check for customers at the front door, contact tracing information, social distancing and masks when a party is not seated. If you would like to report a complaint, you can call 833-208-4160 or text ‘VIOLATION’ to 855-904-5036. Click here for more guidance on indoor dining.

Note: If NYC hits 2% in COVID-19 positivity rates, the City of New York will reassess indoor dining restrictions.

SBS Webinars

NYC Small Business Services (SBS) is continuing to provide webinars on a wide range of topics for small businesses regarding reopening, how to obtain certifications, how to start a business, and more. Click here for more information and to register for a webinar you would like to attend.

New York Forward Loan Fund

The New York Forward Loan Fund is continuing to accept applications to assist those impacted by COVID-19. This program will target small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, nonprofits and small landlords that have seen a loss of income or rental income. If approved, these loans will need to be paid back over a 5-year term with interest. Click here for more information, including eligibility and application. Note: The NYFLF applies to small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund (CCNPSF)

The Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund (CCNPSF) Council-funded initiative supports capacity building, strengthening and rescuing of nonprofit human service providers that serve communities of color including, Muslim and Immigrant communities, and community outreach. Grants may be used for projects related to financial management, board development, technology, facilitated collaborations and merger planning, and outcomes.

Loan Opportunity for Small Businesses

Empire State Development announced that low-interest loans through the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) are now available to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recipients who received $50,000 or less in PPP assistance.

Through NYFLF, eligible small businesses and small residential landlords can apply for a 60-month, no-fee loan with a 3% fixed interest rate; while eligible nonprofits can apply for a 60-month, no-fee loan at 2% fixed interest. The maximum loan amount is $100,000, and funds can be used for working capital expenses associated with reopening, including payroll, operating and emergency maintenance, property taxes, utilities and costs associated with refitting physical space to follow social distancing guidelines.

Five Community Development Financial Institutions are processing applications under this program: Action East, Community Preservation Corporation, National Development Council, Pursuit and TruFund Financial Services. For more information, click here. Please also keep in mind that small businesses that did not receive any federal assistance are still eligible and encouraged to apply.

Contact a Pace SBDC Business Advisor at sbdc@pace.edu with any questions.

The NYC Office of Nightlife

The NYC Office of Nightlife, at the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, is a liaison for New York City’s nightlife industry and community to all City agencies. This Office’s purpose is to help establish and coordinate systemic solutions to support the nighttime economy, culture, and quality of life. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns or for support at nightlife@media.nyc.gov.

NYN Media

NYN Media, a sister publication of City & State NY, is hosting webinars for nonprofit organizations. The following events are intended to assist nonprofits navigate the current COVID-19 crisis and obtain helpful information. NYN Media also has recordings from previous events, including topics on financial sustainability and 2020 Nonprofit OpCon.

Nonprofit Efficiency and Electronic Payments: October 29, 2020, 2:00 PM-3:00 PM
Virtual Nonprofit CheckUp: November 24, 2020, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM

Robin Hood Foundation

The Robin Hood Foundation is continuing to help nonprofit organizations through their COVID-19 Relief Fund. So far, 676 grants have been distributed, totaling $51,366 million. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply, even if they are not a member of the Robin Hood Foundation. Funds are distributed on a rolling basis, specifically to nonprofits who serve vulnerable populations, emergency assistance, incurred unexpected expenses or have a track record of administering emergency cash grants to individuals and families. Click here to access the Robin Hood 2020 Relief Fund Application.

COMMUNITY UPDATES

Look up your Community Board to find out when the next meeting is:

Community Education Council

Community Education Councils (CECs) are education policy advisory bodies responsible for, among other things, reviewing and evaluating the district’s educational programs, approving zoning lines, and holding public hearings on certain matters. In Council District 37 there are two CECs: CEC 19 and CEC 32.

HeARTwork Against Hate Contest

The HeARTwork Against Hate is a creative initiative for New York City youth launched by the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes in September 2020. Young artists ages 10-18 can share their HeARTwork Against Hate! Submit your HeARTwork to the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes by the EXTENDED DEADLINE of October 31 — details can be found here.

NYCHA Criminal Justice Policies

Public Comment Period for NYCHA Policies Related to Criminal Justice: DEADLINE EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 28TH.

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is working to modernize criminal justice-related policies to create a fairer system for our residents – one that promotes healthy families and stable housing while ensuring community safety at developments and within communities.

In efforts to engage with public review on the admission and occupancy policies related to these criminal justice policies, NYCHA has made a public comment period available for all external stakeholders. This deadline has been extended from October 14th, 2020 to October 28th, 2020. The policy recommendations and call for comments can be found here.

Please submit your comments to cjus.comments@nycha.nyc.gov by October 28, 2020. Please also provide comments on any other policies you would like NYCHA to consider changing.

DISTRICT 37 RESOLVES!

Street Co-Naming for Det. Joseph D. Taylor

This past weekend, the 83rd Precinct honored Detective Joseph D. Taylor Jr. for making the ultimate sacrifice on August 29, 1977. The intersection of Knickerbocker Avenue and Menahan Street was renamed to Detective Joseph D. Taylor Jr. Way. With assistance from Council District 37, the community of Bushwick was able to honor Detective Taylor Jr. in coordination with Community Board 4, DEA, Ms. Smith and the NYC Department of Transportation.

Street Co-Naming for Detective Joseph D. Taylor

Abandoned School Bus

A constituent contacted the Council District 37 office because there was an abandoned school bus in front of one of the markets on 1781 Broadway. The school bus was in bad condition and giving an eye sore to the local neighborhood. The team at CD37 contacted the Deputy Inspector of the local precinct, as well as, the Department of Sanitation about the issue. The school bus was then tagged for removal. NYPD responded and removed the bus out in front of the market.

Tree Pruning

A constituent contacted Council District 37 via email requesting an update for a tree pruning request. Despite making a 311 request, the homeowner was unable to receive an update from the parks department. After contacting the Brooklyn Forestry Division, a staff member was able to confirm that a portion of the work was completed, and the rest would be done afterwards. Additionally, NYC Parks provided alternative options for the homeowner and said they would follow up with the constituent if the problem persisted.

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