Since our founding in 2009, Green City Force has run fourteen cohorts, engaging over 500 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 79% graduation rate, and 80% placement rate 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;
  • Launched Farms at NYCHA, based on the pilot farm at Red Hook Houses. The initiative is a project of the mayoral Building Healthy Communities initiative executed in partnership with NYCHA, the Fund for Public Health in NY, GCF, and local partners that has brought four large scale urban farms to public housing developments in Brooklyn and Manhattan. The Farms expand healthy food access, provide youth workforce and leadership development, and promote sustainable and connected public housing communities. To date, outcomes:
    • distributed over 25,500 lbs of organic local produce to NYCHA residents;
    • collected and diverted over 4,700 lbs. of compostable materials from the municipal waste stream;
    • processed over 200 tons of compost; and
    • educated over 800 local students in Farm Based Learning activities.
  • 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 Campaign in NYCHA’s Chelsea-Elliott development. Working in partnership with NYCHA to address their NextGen sustainability goals AmeriCorps Members educate and encourage residents to conserve power and water, increase recycling rates, and reduce environmentally harmful behavior in outreach modules designed in collaboration with city and nonprofit partners like GrowNYC, NYC Department of Sanitation and NYC Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Subsequently rolled out the Love Where You Live Campaign at developments in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Outcomes to date include:
    • Over 9,200 NYCHA units visited for LWYL outreach;
    • Over 19,800 NYCHA residents engaged;
    • Over 13,500 CFL light bulbs swapped in for incandescent bulbs.
  • Performed 700 Energy Reduction Audits and 8,000 Health and Safety audits in low-income homes in partnership with Community Environmental Center’s (CEC) Empower New York contract, 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;
  • Launched an in-house social enterprise program, building off our work with CEC, GCF became a direct Empower New York Contactor with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in 2016 and secured additional energy services contracts, enabling GCF to employ a cadre of recent GCF AmeriCorps graduates in part-time energy efficiency work. 2016 Outcomes:
    • employed 19 recent graduates;
    • conducted 720 in-home energy and safety audits;
    • over 5,600 LED light bulbs swapped in for incandescent bulbs
    • 485 water-saving shower heads installed;
    • over 1,000 smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed.
  • Partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice on the Mayor’s Action Plan (MAP) for Neighborhood Safety, through which GCF maintains a place-based focus in our recruitment and service initiatives on the 15 highest crime NYCHA developments as identified in the plan, which together account for almost 20% of violent crime across NYCHA.
  • In 2016, GCF joined the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project, an initiative convened by JobsFirstNYC to bring together workforce development organizations, foundations and employers to better serve constituents. Through this partnership GCF has worked to concretize our service to career pipeline, secure sectoral employer commitments and improve our trainings based on employer feedback.
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