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Community Project Funding FY22

Representative Ocasio-Cortez has submitted funding requests for important community projects in New York’s 14th Congressional District to the House Appropriations Committee.

Under guidelines issued by the Appropriations Committee, each Representative may request funding for up to 10 projects in their community for fiscal year 2022 – although only a handful may actually be funded. Funding is restricted to a limited number of project categories, and only state and local governments and eligible non-profit entities are permitted to receive funding. Additional information on the reforms governing Community Project Funding is available here.

If your project was not selected, or you missed the deadline to apply, there may be an opportunity for funding next year - though Congressional leaders have not yet confirmed that this process will repeat in 2022. If approved for next year, some of the considerations for strong proposals include depth of project planning, clear objectives and scope of work, demonstration of community support, and ability to manage federal grants. 

The ten projects that were selected are outlined below, along with an explanation of the Office’s selection process and criteria. The italicized portion of the project description notes which federal funding stream would be allocated towards the project.

Outreach: In order to inform our funding requests, our office posted widely about the opportunity and scheduled conversations with eligible groups to discuss possible projects and field questions. We then requested 1 paragraph proposals from interested groups which we vetted with the appropriate congressional subcommittee to confirm eligibility. We then encouraged groups to complete the appropriate forms on our website for further consideration.

We shared the funding opportunity with community boards, in our newsletter, social media and our March town hall.

Evaluation process: After our submission deadline of April 5th, 2021, our internal team screened applications according to 1) non profit status 2) proximity to NY14 and 3) cost. We then had a short list of applications which team members scored against the following criteria: alignment with office’s legislative priorities, service to historically underserved communities, project justification, project feasibility, and project sustainability. Project justification criteria included rationale and significance of proposed work, whether it addresses specific need(s) in the community. Multiple considerations went into determining feasibility criteria such as an organization’s ability to manage federal funding, project detail and scope. Sustainability consideration included whether the project or its impact can be sustained locally beyond funds period, if results warrant.

We then presented the top 10 projects to the Congresswoman, who relayed her feedback to the projects. After further discussion and input from subcommittee staff, we arrived at the ten projects listed below.

Compliance:

In compliance with House Rules and Committee requirements, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has certified that she, her spouse, and her immediate family have no financial interest in any of the projects she has requested. 
 
The following 10 projects were submitted:
 
Obstetrical Inpatient Facilities Renovation
$3,000,000
New York City Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, 79-01 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373
Elmhurst hospital requests $3 million towards the renovation of its Obstetrical Inpatient facilities in order to provide a more modern, safe, and comfortable family-centered environment, one which meets current privacy standards. There will be two basic enhancements to their Obstetric Suite: privacy and comfort. When giving birth, privacy leads to a quieter environment which promotes recovery; it provides for better infection control; it is better for bonding between moms/parents and their babies. Healthy breastfeeding is fostered in single rooms. A patient and family centered environment leads to increased patient satisfaction and better health outcomes. It is imperative to provide equitable maternal care to the working class and immigrant communities surrounding Elmhurst hospital. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies 
 
Stand Up to Violence Mental Health Services Expansion
$393,839
New York City Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, 1400 Pelham Pkwy S, The Bronx, NY 10461
Jacobi Hospital requests funding to add mental health services under the umbrella of their Stand Up to Violence (SUV) Program. Modeled after the Chicago based Cure Violence program, SUV addresses youth violence in the Bronx by deploying outreach workers to respond to shootings to prevent retaliation and to assist family members of those who have been injured or killed. Additionally, they mentor at risk youth on educational and job opportunities. They are proposing the addition of an emergency room social worker, case worker, part time psychiatrist and a creative arts or music therapist, all who are experienced in treating trauma/violence. It would allow them to offer wraparound therapeutic treatment to patients to help address root causes of youth violence. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies 
 
Offshore Wind Workforce Development
$795,000
State University of New York Maritime College, 6 Pennyfield Ave, The Bronx, NY 10465
SUNY Maritime requests funding to provide entry level training for high-wage earning jobs in the emerging regional offshore wind industry sector for New York State residents. Recognizing the growth in the offshore renewable energy sector, Maritime College established the Center of Excellence for Offshore Energy to focus on building a clean energy workforce and encouraging research in this growing area. Offshore Wind workforce training will be provided by their Professional Mariner Training Department, which has more than 20 years of providing professional training and education. Per New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) nearly 5,000 New York jobs could be created by the year 2035 through regional offshore wind deployment. If fully funded, for the first year, they will have the capacity to provide 24 classes and train/certify nearly 300 workers. SUNY Maritime is a member of NYSERDA’s Jobs and Supply Chain Technical Working Group, along with unions and other labor groups, to ensure best labor practices within the emerging sector. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Member certification of no financial interest for Offshore Wind Workforce Development. Submitted jointly with Representative Tom Suozzi.
 
Chhaya Community Development Corporation’s Capacity Building
$2,000,000
Chhaya Community Development Corporation, 37-43 77th St #2, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Chhaya seeks $2million in funding to expand its capacity and service provision which includes securing a long term solution for their current accommodations in which they provide homeowner and housing assistance while also expanding their level of said services. Procuring a long term home for Chhaya—which includes acquisition of property either in whole, or in part by purchase, long-term lease, donation, or otherwise for public purpose—that can house front line and administrative staff and create a community space will help them expand their services to more than the 3,000 clients per year they currently serve. For the last two decades, Chhaya has served as one of the only pan-South Asian, HUD-certified Housing Counseling Agencies in the nation.
 
Creation of Family Support Counselors
$225,000
Queens Community House, 108-25 62nd Dr, Queens, NY 11375
Queens Community House is seeking funding to create a Family Support Counselor (FSC) position at each of the two alternative high schools they operate in Corona and Elmhurst in partnership with the NYC Department of Education for students who have either dropped out or fallen substantially behind in credits and are at risk of dropping out. Currently, QCH has one FSC who provides case management support across five different schools. Last year, enrollment in those five programs and the Youth Development Center was 1,434 students. A dedicated FSC position at each of the alternative high schools would deepen and enhance the support they provide to students and their families while they continue to feel the effects of the pandemic. With this additional case management capacity, students and their families will have better access to the services they need to ensure that each of these students is empowered to earn their high school diploma. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Member certification of no financial interest for Creation of Family Support Counselors.
 
Telehealth Technology Upgrade
$96,150
Urban Health Plan - Plaza Del Sol Family Health Center, 37-16 108th Street, Corona NY 11368
Urban Health Plan is requesting funding to expand its technology capability and provide more teleheath services. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, community health centers had to pivot quickly and make major technological shifts to ensure that they were able to provide telehealth services at a time when people were social distancing and/or unable to leave their homes due to illness or disability. An investment in telehealth services will allow Urban Health Plan to increase the number of individuals and families it serves, make services more readily available and convenient for people with limited mobility or transportation options, enhance patient care services, improve communication and coordination of care among members of a health care team and the patient, and provide support for self-management of health care. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Member certification of no financial interest for Telehealth Technology Upgrade.
 
Home Health Aide (HHA) Training Program
$175,000
Sunnyside Community Services, 43-31 39th St, Sunnyside, NY 11104
Sunnyside Community Services (SCS) requests funding to complete their home health aide (HHA) training program. It is an innovative workforce development program that helps un/underemployed individuals, primarily immigrant women, enter a career ladder in the healthcare field. They directly employ program graduates in unionized jobs within their two affiliated home care agencies. The requested funding will allow 300 community members to receive training, wrap-around services like the assistance of the job coach, soft skills training, and linkages to supportive services. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Member certification of no financial interest for Home Health Aide (HHA) Training Program.
 
Expansion of Workforce Development Program
$55,000
Emerald Isle Immigration Center, 59-26 Woodside Ave, Woodside, NY 11377
Emerald Isle Immigration Center has been a service provider in Queens and the Bronx for over 30 years. They request funding to further develop their workforce development services. This program would help register and assist 250 clients with Job Counseling and training. This project, if successfully funded, also leverages other investments already made to our community through the support of the USCIS Citizenship and Integration grant and will have a measurable impact on our community in Queens and in the Bronx. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Member certification of no financial interest for Expansion of Workforce Development Program.
 
Restoration & Stabilization of Two On-Water Platforms on Flushing Bay​
$262,150
Coastal Preservation Network, 9-22 119th St, College Point, NY 11356
Coastal Preservation Network requests funding to stabilize and restore two public access platforms that are in dire need of repair on Flushing Bay, NY. There are currently very few sites where College Point residents can go and safely enjoy the views available in their coastal community. Refurbishing and stabilizing these platforms would enhance safety and provide waterfront access to a community that has limited open spaces.
 
Safety, Learning, and College Access Program
$100,000
Sunnyside Community Services, 43-31 39th St, Sunnyside, NY 11104
Sunnyside Community Services (SCS) requests funding to institute the Safety, Learning, and College Access program at the Woodside Houses Cornerstone community center, a public housing-based community center in Woodside, Queens. Funding would go towards supporting 70 young people who are primarily low-income people of color, supplementing existing educational services to offer the “Too Good for Violence” curriculum, which utilizes social learning theory to develop interpersonal, pro-social, and peaceful behaviors facilitated by trained staff in order to build safer relationships and communities.
Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Member certification of no financial interest for Safety, Learning, and College Access Program.