Covid-19

The Brotherhood/Sister Sol Response
to the COVID-19 Crisis

On Tuesday, March 17th, Bro/Sis began serving our young people remotely through internet-based meetings and support services.

For our young people, Bro/Sis is a second home and our commitment to them is our highest priority. This is the first time in our 25-year history that we have been forced to temporarily close our doors and move to remote support services for our young people. In these unprecedented times, however, we must do our part to protect our members and community by taking the necessary steps to ensure everyone’s safety.

Rest assured, Bro/Sis will remain a support system for our young people and we are here to serve them as they navigate these difficult times. Our core themes of Positivity, Community, Knowledge, and Future will continue to guide our work every day as our staff brings Bro/Sis programming to our members through internet-based meetings and support services.

We know that these difficult and dark times will have a great effect on our members – they have already seen their schools closed, their part-time jobs ended, and family members have already lost employment. We know that economically distressed New Yorkers – those living in poverty and near its edge – will have an exponentially more difficult time facing this pandemic. In addition, this unprecedented situation is difficult for anyone to process and we must continue to support our young people to understand this new world.

Our members need us now, more than ever, and that is why it was so difficult to close our doors at this time. Our commitment to our young people is unwavering, and our staff will be working full time to provide any and all supports that we can provide, to help our young people understand and navigate this crisis – and emerge from it.

Temporarily Closed but Fully Operational

Although Bro/Sis has temporarily closed the doors to our offices for the first time in 25 years, we have never felt more connected to our community. We are fully operational, thanks to:

  • Extensive board support
  • Regular correspondence with public health experts
  • Crisis communications support from our PR consultant, Lead PR
  • The aid of Kasirer and Malkin & Ross, our NYC and NYS government consultants
  • Our long-tenured, talented, and dedicated staff

We are getting through this challenging time together.

We rely heavily on the generosity of individuals and organizations to sustain our innovative programming.

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Creating Changemakers

Creating Changemakers

A black-led nonprofit in Harlem is keeping kids in school and out of trouble by giving them the tools they need to transcend racism, poverty, and now the coronavirus.

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

i

Online Resource Guide for Staff

Statistics

In Emergency Financial Assistance Allocated to Our Members & Families

Laptops & 8 Wifi Hotspots Provided To Support Remote Learning

Meals Distributed, with Plans to Continue Every Few Weeks

Timeline of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol’s Response to the Covid Crisis

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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.

Support » Covid-19