Survey conducted by Citizens Committee for New York City reveals greatest needs, challenges among the city's most vulnerable communities

Dear friend and fellow New Yorker,
As you know, Citizens Committee for New York City has been conducting a survey of our grantees and grassroots community groups to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting you and your community, and what your needs and challenges are at this time.

We are humbled by the overwhelming number of responses that we have received so far. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to amplify your voice.

We're pleased to share some preliminary results of the survey:
  • More than 800 respondents, representing all five boroughs of New York City
  • The majority of respondents identified as black (47.5%) and Latino/a/x (24%)
  • 15.3% of respondents are older adults 
  • 7.7% of respondents identify as LGBTQ+
We've heard from so many New Yorkers in the last two weeks about how they are responding to the current crisis—even in the face of struggle. Groups are instituting daily check-ins, delivering food to senior citizens, initiating platforms for addressing mental health needs, sewing masks for healthcare workers on the front lines, and much more.

Here's just a sampling of the resilience we're hearing about across the city:

Lower East Side (Manhattan):
  • "I live in a massive co-op. During the sleet storm, residents went outside onto their balconies and stood at their windows and belted out "Happy Birthday" to a resident who is sheltering at home, and was celebrating her 99th birthday."
Harlem (Manhattan):
  • "At the NYC Fair Trade Coalition [Harlem], our sewers, seamstresses and tailors have come together, 70 in total, to make masks for a variety of different groups."
Washington Heights (Manhattan):
  • "Residents in our co-op set up a volunteer group to provide services to our home-bound and/or elderly residents, including delivery from a local bakery that had a 90% drop in demand, personalized book selection and delivery from the co-op's used-book 'library,' elevator button Cloroxing after the porters go home, kitchen-scrap pickup, grocery shopping, etc."
Pelham Gardens (Bronx):
  • "A bunch [of] neighbors got together to move forward with our vision to turn a derelict yard into a thriving garden. We managed to practice social distancing while cleaning up the space. It felt normal and surreal at the same time. Other neighbors looked perplexed, and some were eager to join. It was a beautiful way to get through this unfolding reality."
What's Next
In our nearly 50 years of existence as one of the country's oldest micro-funding organizations, we've been providing small grants of up to $3,000 to block associations, community gardens, beautification projects, after-school programs, skills workshops, and more. Now more than ever, this is the moment for us at Citizens Committee to leverage the outsized impact of that work: a highly engaged network of community leaders like you who are on the front lines of change in neighborhoods across New York City. We know that what we do now could have powerful implications for our communities for years to come.

That being said, we are working to analyze the survey data so that we can determine how to most effectively inform key stakeholders and, ultimately, continue our mission of helping you keep improving the quality of life in your neighborhood.

We will keep you informed of our next steps.

Stay strong. Stay healthy.

—Citizens Committee for New York City

Get connected to resources

We have gathered a list of resources and services to help you navigate the COVID-19 crisis. These resources directly address priorities identified in the survey. Priorities include: Financial Resources, Food Access, Services for Older Adults, Social/Emotional/Mental Health Services, Healthcare, Services for Youth, Domestic Abuse Services, Housing Resources, and Immigrant Resources.
Find resources

Take the survey

It’s not too late to let us know how you’re doing. We hear you—and we’re here for you.
Take the survey

Get accurate information about COVID-19

Text COVID to 692-692 to receive real-time updates or go to

If you are sick, stay home at all times. If you do not feel better in three to four days, consult your health care provider. 

Contact us

The best way to reach the staff at Citizens Committee for New York City at this time is through email (though we will also be checking our voicemail regularly). Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.
Contact us
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