Hearts to Homes Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic with Critical Support

Housing Statistics Show Why Such Support is Needed

  • 77% of Hearts to Homes alumni live in NYCHA buildings throughout New York City.
  • 30 of our alumni live within the 10 New York City COVID-19 “hot spot” zip codes.
  • Layoffs were likely to impact our youth at higher rates than the general population. 60% of our youth have a high school diploma or GED as their highest level of education.

Recognizing the impact that the virus and its economic fallout would have on the youth we have previously assisted, Hearts to Homes developed a program to address anticipated needs. Your support of our May Challenge helped ease financial burdens for these youth. Their needs were critical, and what they told us was not surprising.

Since May 1, we have provided over $17,700 of COVID relief stipends to 149 of our alumni and recent referrals. Thanks to your generosity and care, our COVID-19 Assistance Program has helped young people pay rent, cover transportation costs, and purchase life-sustaining items like groceries and cleaning supplies. Your kindness has softened the impact of these past few months.

71% of youth who responded to our offer said that they were out of work or furloughed. Just 25% still had a part-time or full-time job. Showing perseverance, fifteen of our young adults were continuing their college studies as part-time (6) or full-time (9) students.

When asked what their most pressing needs were, over 70% of responding youth identified groceries as their primary need. “I mainly need food as there is not much in my refrigerator, and I was wondering how I would eat,” said one of our young adults. Other needs included making payments for medicine, license renewal fees, paying a phone bill so that they could “stay in touch with family members” during the stay-at-home order, and clothing. Over half of our youth identified cleaning supplies as a need. The college students and those who were still working most frequently identified transportation costs as their most pressing need.

In additional to being able to offer a bit of financial help, Hearts to Homes was able to share information about additional resources, from other organizations, that our alumni might be able to apply for. Every little bit of help, guidance and reassurance can be meaningful to someone who is trying to navigate an experience like this pandemic on their own. For many of us, this crisis has caused us to reach out to our family for help, advice or even for company. When a young adult might not have family to rely on, Hearts to Homes donors were there to help with groceries, cleaning supplies and other important needs!