HARLEM — The West Harlem Development Corporation awarded $1 million in grants to 27 area groups Thursday night, bringing the total of their grant-giving this year to $3 million.
The money is the group's second disbursement from a pool of $76 million in cash that is part of a community benefits agreement that Columbia University signed with West Harlem as part of its $6.3 billion, 17-acre campus expansion.
So far, 110 non-profit groups have been funded in 2013.
The grants, which range from $14,000 to $48,000 a piece were given to groups who work in areas ranging from education to arts and culture and housing.
"These 27 grant recipients together bring a holistic approach to improving the quality of life in West Harlem," said WHDC Executive Director Kofi Boateng.
Boateng has said he sees the monies as a sort of community trust and wants groups to use them to secure more funding.
Grantees such as African Voices Communications, Inc. will use their $19,802 award to serve 2,000 artists and residents in Community Board 9 while expanding their fundraising base.
Harlem Pride, an LGBT organization was awarded $35,000 to expand it's board of directors, launch a fundraising program and to seek support from other foundations.
The largest award of $48,000 went to Bank Street College of Education to fund and educational enhancement after-school program for 50 kids from Community Board 9.
Other grantees will use their funds to launch a job training program for pharmacy technicians while another group will provide free legal advice and representation for those living in SROs or low-income housing.
The West Harlem Local Development Corporation had come under scrutiny from elected officials and community members for failing to accomplish basic tasks such as launching a website, organizing as a nonprofit or hiring an executive director since its inception in May 2009.
Schneiderman's investigation found that the group did nothing illegal, but was in disarray and had failed to develop policies on how the money would be distributed.
Those issues have been resolved and Boateng said the group has gone on to fund 950 summer youth and senior employment jobs, host a grant-writing workshop and sponsor an anti-violence rally, among other accomplishments.
As of the end of August, the group had received $9.7 million in payments from Columbia University and has spent $4.7 million on grant-giving, other activities and expenses. The organization has $5 million on hand.