Covid-19

Our Response

to the COVID-19 Crisis


Our work to ensure that our young people emerge from the Covid crisis healthy and whole.

The need for The Brotherhood Sister Sol’s unique model of comprehensive youth development has only grown since the Covid pandemic began, as the disproportionate effects of Covid on low-income communities and communities of color have been clear for all to see. Our community’s health – physical and mental – is under acute attack, and it is critical that we continue to expand our programming to meet the need. Our support in the coming year – and our commitment to engaging in in-person programming, will be crucial, as we work to ensure that our young women and young men emerge from this crisis healthy, whole, and equipped to become change agents who transform brokenness with love, community, and power.

And so, we’ve responded to the Covid crisis in a deep and far reaching manner, providing critical and robust emergency supports including food distributions, technology assistance, direct financial disbursements, increased access to mental healthcare, and more. All of this is being conducted in addition to our usual wrap-around support programming, mentorship, and love.

After a year of hybrid programming – with remote programming and in person programming at three different sites in Harlem to allow for sufficient social distancing – BroSis is now conducting the vast majority of our programming in person.

Your Support

Your contribution helps us provide essential
services to the youth of Harlem.

Pre-COVID Challenges

Economic Poverty

In our community, the mean family income is $26,271 with over a third of residents living below poverty level. Many of our members live in households struggling to make ends meet.

Food Insecurity

Over 14 % of New Yorkers experience food insecurity, leading to a City-wide meal gap of 207 million in 2018. Bro/Sis provides over 14,000 meals to our youth members each year.

Youth Development

Insufficient educational opportunity, a lack of job skills & opportunities, and a sense of hopelessness are all part of the cycle of unfulfilled potential experienced by our youth members.

Manhattan has the largest income gap of any county in the country – according to the last Census, the top 5% of households earned $864,394, 88x as much as the poorest 20%, $9,822.

As is the case with any emergency situation, the community we serve – economically poor and lacking access to resources – will be hit especially hard.

Our Response

Emergency Food Distribution

Laptops & Hotspots

Financial Support

Mental Health Support

Virtual Sessions, Check-ins, & Tutoring

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Training & resources for staff

Statistics

In Emergency Financial Assistance Allocated to Our Members & Families

Laptops & 8 Wifi Hotspots Provided To Support Remote Learning

Meals Distributed during weekly food distributions to both our youth and our the general public *As of 9/8/21

Timeline of Our Response to the Covid Crisis

Summer 2021

BroSis summer programming – the majority of which will take place in-person – begins on June 28!

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September - June

Bro/Sis continues to facilitate the portfolio of programs we customarily provide – including Rites of Passage, Environmental Programming, an array of arts programs, training of activists and organizers, college access and academic support, tutoring and wellness, and political education. Our youth run farmers market continues as does our weekly food distribution that provides about 500,000 meals to thousands of youth and community members.

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August

Bro/Sis summer programming concludes, with members participating in various educational experiences centered on social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement, the arts, environmental education, health, and wellness. 30,000 lbs of fresh fruit and vegetables distributed through our youth-run farmers’ market, which serves over 2,000 people. 40,000 meals provided through our weekly emergency food distributions. Check out our blog for additional updates.

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July

After shifting to remote programming since March, Bro/Sis resumes in-person programming. The safety of our youth and staff is our utmost priority and we have planned for this reopening and are adhering to all NYC and NYS regulations. Summer programming provided includes a Summer Day Camp, workforce training, environmental education and programming, creative arts, college bootcamp, and fitness programming. For more information, please click here. Emergency support continues, including about 53,600 meals provided.

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June

Bro/Sis holds weekly emergency food distributions, providing about 40,000 meals to Bro/Sis families and to the general public.  Emergency financial assistance, laptops & hotspots, and increased access to mental healthcare all continue. Bro/Sis also plans for in-person summer programming, with a priority on maintaining the safety of members and staff.

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May 27

Bro/Sis holds 6th food distribution for the immediate community with contributions from our partners Colonial Verde/Basbaas Sauce, and Grow NYC

 

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May 20

Bro/Sis begins to distribute weekly meals to youth members and the community. Our partnership with Grow NYC expands from our seasonal Bro/Sis Green Youth Market on Wednesdays to now support our food pantry with a contribution of boxes that include potatoes, fruits, vegetables, fruits, beans, and lentils until the end of August. West Harlem Group Assistance and Corbin Hill Food Project also contributed to the effort. 15,000 meals distributed up to this date.

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May 6

Over 4,000 meals distributed to about 100 members and their families, as well as to almost 200 community members unaffiliated with Bro/Sis, in direct response to the increasing food insecurity we are seeing. In addition to community partners West Harlem Group Assistance and Corbin Hill Food Project, Harlem restaurant Field Trip and Brooklyn restaurant Colonial Verde contributed food to this effort. 

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April 22

About 3,000 meals distributed to 500 individuals, including youth members, their families, and members of the local community. Brooklyn restaurant Colonial Verde generously donated a quart of stew for youth members – their dinner for the night.

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April 8

Bro/Sis holds a 2nd food distribution, providing another 2,500 meals, with plans to continue every few weeks.

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March 30 – April 3

All chapters and programs move to holding virtual sessions, tutoring, mental health counseling, and an online Resource Guide has been developed to provide a tool-box of community resources for members.

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March 23 – 27

50 laptops & 8 wifi hotspots provided to members to support online learning. About 500 members are surveyed by staff to assess needs across housing, food, technology, mental health, physical health, and finances.

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March 23

Bro/Sis distributes 200 bags of food to members, alumni & community members, providing about 600 people with 8 meals, 4,800 meals in total.

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March 16

Bro/Sis temporarily closes our doors, fast-tracking $15,000 in emergency financial assistance to about 75 youth members, with another $40k expected in April.