Make the Road New York, Inc.

Name of Grantee: Make the Road New York, Inc.

Federal Project Officer:
Paul Maiers 

(202) 401-9284

Grants Management Specialist:
Ms. Ruth Hopkins 

(202) 401-5468

Point of Contact:
Ms. Deborah Axt

(718) 418-7690, Ext. 1205 

Deputy Director 
Make the Road New York, Inc. 

301 Grove Street 

Brooklyn, NY 11237

Federal Award Amount: $300,000

Program Name: Make the Road New York, Inc.

Project Period: 9/30/2010 - 2/29/2012

Organization Description:  MRNY is a membership organization and network of community centers that combines adult education, youth programming, legal and support services, leadership development, and community organizing, in a holistic approach to helping low income New York residents improve their lives and neighborhoods. MRNY is based on the communities of Bushwick, Brooklyn, Elmhurst, Queens, Port Richmond, and Staten Island. 

Program Summary:  The program was founded in 1997 in a Bushwick church basement by local residents and New York University law students to address the effects of welfare reform on poor and immigrant communities. It soon expanded its focus to combat workplace abuse, deteriorating housing conditions, obstacles to healthcare access, and a full range of other problems facing Bushwick residents. In less than a decade, Make the Road grew from an all volunteer organization to a staff of 25 fulltime and 20 part-time employees, and provides a full range of legal and support services as well as adult and youth education programs.

The program provides direct legal representation, case management, facilitated enrollment into public health insurance programs, legal trainings, and services such as a free notary public and emergency food pantry. Their attorneys specialize in labor and employment law, public benefits, disability benefits, housing law, health care and health insurance access, immigration, public education, domestic violence, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender civil rights issues. Their attorneys and advocates resolve over 2300 cases annually and train over 3000 families through community education programs. Their Legal and Support Services Dept. collects over $34,000,000 annually in unlawfully withheld wages and benefits. They help clients apply for, maintain, and correct problems in Food Stamps, Public Assistance and other benefits. The MRNY neighborhood based community centers serve as a frontline defense.