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Press Release

NYCEDC Expands Quality Of Life Program To Employ More Formerly Homeless And Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

Aug 01 2016

Expansion includes partnership with The Doe Fund to create jobs for CleaNYC, Graffiti-Free NYC and Citywide Ferry Service

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced that it will partner with The Doe Fund to expand its Quality of Life (QOL) program, which will employ formerly homeless, formerly incarcerated and low-income individuals to work on a range of City-led initiatives. NYCEDC’s QOL program partners with not-for-profit organizations to train, employ and provide social services to participants. NYCEDC’s current QOL program employs 86 individuals and expects to make 20-25 additional hires for the City’s CleaNYC and Graffiti-Free NYC initiatives and Citywide Ferry Service.

NYCEDC issued an RFP for this contract in March 2016. The Doe Fund responded to the RFP’s criteria to provide expansive social services for the employees, such as career development, educational services and occupational training. All individuals employed through NYCEDC’s QOL program will benefit from Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to increasing the minimum living wage to $15/hour for City government workers and employees who provide contracted work, which was announced earlier this year. The Doe Fund’s contract takes effect in October 2016. Employees currently contracted through NYCEDC’s QOL program will have the option to transfer their employment to The Doe Fund at the same wage rate with comprehensive benefits.

“We are very proud to expand our Quality of Life program with a new partnership with The Doe Fund,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “Through this program which provides New Yorkers with an opportunity to both improve our city and rebuild their own lives, we are continuing to make strides toward our goal of a more fair, equitable and vibrant New York City.”

"Viable economic opportunities provide pathways to stability and success for New Yorkers in need, including our homeless, formerly incarcerated, and lower-income communities. NYCEDC's Quality of Life program, in partnership with The Doe Fund, will help over 100 New Yorkers get back on their feet and contribute meaningfully and productively to their families, neighborhood, and city they call home. Crucially, the program also connects at-risk New Yorkers with much-needed social services, career training, and other tools to ensure that participants have the tools and resources they need to build lives they can be proud of. I thank NYCEDC and The Doe Fund for their continued commitment to a brighter future for New York City,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

“I applaud this partnership,” said Council Member Andy King, noting Doe Fund workers have been contracted to work his community of the 12th Council District. “The expansion of NYCEDC’s QOL Program comes at a time when the City of New York, through various initiatives, has boosted its efforts to assist the homeless and formerly incarcerated residents find employment. The Doe Fund motto is “A hand up, not a hand out,” thus, creating self-esteem beyond a paycheck for the many individuals who have come through their doors. This is a good partnership.”

“We commend the New York City Economic Development Corporation and The Doe Fund for their invaluable commitment to help homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals by providing them with the opportunity to develop their skills to earn a living and find permanent housing,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “As we continue to look for innovative and effective ways to address the many complex aspects of homelessness, we value the additional support that partnerships with organizations like the Doe Fund bring to our mission.”

"Many homeless, formerly incarcerated, and low income New Yorkers face unnecessary obstacles to employment, discrimination among them,” said Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights, Carmelyn P. Malalis. “Although the City now has stronger laws to protect individuals against credit and criminal history discrimination in employment, it is equally important that these vulnerable communities receive the tools and training they need to find and maintain stable employment. We applaud the New York City Economic Development Corporation and The Doe Fund for partnering to expand this critical program.”

"The Doe Fund is so proud to have been selected by the NYCEDC to support the expansion of its Quality of Life program," said George McDonald, Founder and President of The Doe Fund. "For more than twenty-five years, The Doe Fund's Ready, Willing & Able program has proven that economic opportunity--the chance to go to work and have the value of that work recognized--transforms lives. Our partnership with NYCEDC will mean more opportunity for New Yorkers in need; a better, brighter future for their families; and a cleaner, safer city for all New Yorkers. We're gratified and humbled to serve our communities and help deliver on Mayor de Blasio's and the NYCEDC's vision for a fairer, more prosperous, more beautiful New York."​

NYCEDC’s expanded QOL Program will employ individuals through a range of City initiatives, including:

  • Graffiti-Free NYC Program, created by NYCEDC in 1999 to address the widespread problem of graffiti vandalized properties in the City’s industrial parks. The program has since expanded to become the City’s first ever street-by-street graffiti removal service for public and private properties at no cost. Since 1999, Graffiti-Free NYC has cleaned more than 95,000 properties and over 185 million square feet of graffiti.
  • CleaNYC, a holistic effort to keep communities clean in all five boroughs through advanced Graffiti-Free NYC efforts and sidewalk power washing in commercial corridors, as well as the expansion of Sunday and holiday litter basket collection service and highway shoulder and ramp cleanup. The CleaNYC initiative was announced in February 2016. Since the program launched in April 2016, over 1.2 million square feet of sidewalk surface has been power washed.
  • Citywide Ferry Service, an expanded ferry service that will integrate the existing East River Ferry and add five new routes. The expanded service will include 21 new City-owned ferry landings that will require cleaning maintenance. Citywide Ferry Service is projected to provide an estimated 4.6 million trips per year across the system, providing a new, affordable transportation option to communities where transit options are limited and housing and jobs are growing fast.
  • Area Maintenance Program (AMP), a program led in coordination with the Department of Small Business Services (SBS), which provides general maintenance services to the City’s Industrial Business Zones (IBZ), including street cleaning, painting, sidewalk replacement, landscaping, carpentry, among other services.
  • General Maintenance Services, include cleaning, trash collection and snow removal of NYCEDC-managed properties and other public facilities such as City markets, esplanades and parks.

Past participants from NYCEDC’s QOL program have gone on to obtain career-track employment with private sector companies as well as with the MTA, NYPD, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and other City agencies. The QOL program builds on a robust effort by the de Blasio Administration to address homelessness in New York City. In April 2016, Mayor de Blasio announced that HOME-STAT, the City’s street homelessness outreach effort, was fully-operational with 500 employees. The Administration has also made a focused effort to increase workforce development opportunities through Workforce1, a service provided by the Department of Small Business Services that prepares and connects qualified candidates to job opportunities in New York City.

New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.