We’ve experienced both inspiring successes and daunting challenges in 2014. Our most notable successes have helped renew our momentum and our deep sense of purpose, and the ongoing challenges have inspired us to dig deeper and fight harder to help the 1.8 million New Yorkers living in poverty.
Thanks to the support of generous donors, we take great pride in our 26-year record of funding and strengthening the most effective poverty-fighting programs, from established institutions to start-ups.
We remain committed to growing this core grant-making work. We also know that systemic change requires fresh thinking. That’s why Robin Hood doesn’t only rely on what currently exists. More than treating symptoms, we attack the root causes of poverty. We have taken bold steps to develop innovative programs with the potential to help those in greatest need in New York City and across the country.
We’ve convened a group of the smartest minds in real estate to help us partner with the city to create a completely new vision of providing affordable and low-income housing in N.Y.C.
Robin Hood launched the first in a series of prize initiatives with the $5 million College Success competition, designed to unleash scalable tech solutions to help increase the graduation rates—and future earning potential—for underprepared community-college students.
We’re working with education and technology all-stars to create leading-edge tools to help teachers prepare their students for lives of opportunity and success. Once deployed, these new solutions will scale to reach hundreds of thousands (even millions) of students in this country and beyond.
Robin Hood incubated the country’s first fellowship program dedicated to providing high-quality legal assistance for immigrants seeking citizenship and fighting deportation. This program will revolutionize the quality and funding model for immigrant representation.
In partnership with Columbia University’s Population Research Center, Robin Hood is implementing a two-year quarterly survey of 2,300 N.Y.C. residents across the five boroughs living in poverty. The Poverty Tracker goes beyond the official income levels to glean a more dynamic—and more accurate—picture of what it means to be poor in New York City. While the true power of the work will be revealed after a year or two, the first two surveys produced startling findings that will be used to better design more targeted programs to help New Yorkers in greatest need.
Together, with you our supporters, we plan to keep moving forward—for children, for young adults, for families, for immigrants, for veterans and for all of our great city’s most vulnerable residents. It’s good—and essential—to have you by our side as we continue to fight poverty in New York City.
Barry S. Sternlicht, board chair 2012–2014