BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A new initiative from a Brooklyn nonprofit looks to improve life for residents in northern Bed-Stuy with local services tailored to individuals' needs.
The Coalition to Improve Bedford-Stuyvesant launched “All For One” this summer, a project seeking to change the community from the ground-up with a customized menu of resources.
Through data-driven surveys targeting two of the area's census tracts, the organization gauges specific needs of neighborhood residents to provide a variety of assistance for families, ranging from health services, to legal help and employment.
"In the last two or three years, the pockets of poverty have become really concentrated in northern Bed-Stuy," said Chiwoniso Kaitano, managing director for CIBS. "The community has changed a lot, including the economics of the neighborhood."
The main locales of All For One’s focus include the Marcy Houses, as well as a six-block radius bordered by Myrtle Avenue, Hart Street, Throop Avenue and Lewis Avenue.
As nonprofits reach out to communities, the support they provide can sometimes fall on assumptions about a neighborhood’s needs, whether it’s a general outlook on jobs, financial aid or education, Kaitano said.
With the pilot program, data gathered from locals can help target what individual households really require and how agencies can best provide support.
“The residents are involved in their own empowerment,” she added.
All For One also allows economic development organizations and community partners to refer their services to clients in a streamlined fashion, organizers said.
Through surveys, CIBS can discover that a longtime resident is a senior who cares for several youth under the age of 18. One might be college-bound, the other has had brushes with the criminal justice system, and another might be under the age of four.
The collected information allows the nonprofit to offer services for internships, legal aid and registration for universal pre-K for the household, Kaitano explained.
The project is a collaboration between Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Bridge Street Development Corporation and Pratt Area Community Council and hopes to reach 1,000 residents by the end of the year.
To best offer their services, organizers are looking for individuals living in northern Bed-Stuy to complete surveys, Kaitano said. Community coaches facilitate the 20-minute questionnaire and are often residents of the neighborhood. Participants will be compensated for their time.
For more information, visit the CIBS website here.