Of the 20,000 residents who live within the 11206 zip code — which includes parts of East Williamsburg, Bushwick and Bed-Stuy — over 30% live below the poverty line, and only 38% have earned a high school diploma, according to recent census data. That may be about to change: the New York Change Capital Fund has pledged to give up to $1 million over the next four years to five different areas of New York City, including the impoverished zip.
The CCF—comprised of foundations and financial institutions like the United Way of New York and the Brooklyn Community Foundation—will fund assistance to the area through St. Nicks Alliance, a nonprofit on the Bushwick-Bed Stuy border. Founded in 1975, the organization operates the Brooklyn Business Center in Williamsburg, four after-school programs in public schools nearby, and it has developed 1,800 units of affordable housing throughout North Brooklyn.
St. Nicks predicts that, with the grant, it will help over 350 unemployed adults in the area secure and maintain a job, it will help over 130 residents receive High School Equivalency diplomas, and it will provide nearly 200 children in its after-school programs with 1:1 coaching to improve academic outcomes.
The nonprofit also hopes to provide over 1,000 residents with housing support services that will help them create and stick with household budgets, straighten out credit issues, and prevent eviction.
St. Nicks has already been active in combating landlord harassment, a fight recently taken up by Borough President Eric Adams: earlier this year, it filed a lawsuit on behalf of Greenpoint residents who claimed they were wrongfully forced out of their homes by their landlords.