Since our founding in 2009, Green City Force has run nine cohorts, engaging over 300 young adults living below the poverty line in NYC. GCF Corps Members are high school graduates or GED-holders who are unemployed or under-employed in part-time jobs. Seventy-five percent of our recruits had no income in the year leading up to the program, and of those who did, their average annual income was $2,000.
Since our founding, we have maintained an overall 80% graduation rate, and 80% placement in employment or college six months post-graduation. Along the way, our Corps Members have helped reduce the carbon footprints of thousands of New Yorkers. They have:
- Coated and cleaned nearly 1.5 million square feet of rooftop in New York City with reflective paint as part of the NYC °CoolRoofs campaign. A coated roof with reflective paint can have up to an 18% saving in its energy usage in peak hours during the summer;
- Built the first large-scale urban farm on NYC public housing property, the NYCHA Farm at Red Hook West Houses, in partnership with Added Value and NYCHA’s Gardening and Greening program; grew 1.7 tons of food there in the farm’s inaugural year;
- Grown fresh food and educated hundreds of children on Red Hook Community Farm and NYCHA Farm in partnership with Added Value;
- Performed 700 Energy Reduction Audits and 8,000 Health and Safety audits in low-income homes in partnership with Community Environmental Center, preventing thousands of tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere annually and leading to retrofits that saved residents an average of $110 on annual utility bills;
- Successfully opened a new park on public housing property, Planters Grove Park at Lillian Wald Houses, in partnership with the New York City Housing Authority and Planters, with an opening ceremony attended by federal, state, and city officials and covered in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal;
- Piloted the Love Where You Live Challenge in NYCHA’s Chelsea-Elliott development; visited 730 apartments, delivering 2324 energy efficient light bulbs and educating over 1000 residents in sustainable choices in their homes;
- Subsequently rolled out the Love Where You Live Challenge at developments in the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn, educating the residents in more than 3,000 apartments in public and affordable housing developments on ways to conserve energy and water in their homes;
- Conducted outreach to low-income families for free energy efficiency upgrades: Knocked on doors and tabled in low-income neighborhoods, engaged over 400 interested residents in evaluation for energy retrofit services; and performed energy reduction audits; and
- Diverted hundreds of tons of food waste from landfills each year while simultaneously creating healthy soil amendments in partnership with Added Value’s community composting program.