• Report: How New York City Can Increase Housing Stability for Survivors of Domestic Violence
    October 23, 2019

    Domestic violence accounted for more than 40 percent of the family population entering Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelters in Fiscal Year 2018 – by far the single largest cause of homelessness for people entering the system. The growing number of survivors in DHS shelters is even more stunning when one considers that the City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) runs an entirely separate shelter system geared explicitly toward domestic violence survivors that, with more than 2,500 beds, is already the largest such system in the nation. Nevertheless, despite this vast physical safety net, there is considerably more the City could be doing to help survivors build strong, independent lives and obtain permanent housing, as other cities already are. This report, by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, analyzes New York City Department of Social Services’ (DSS) data from July 2013 through June 2018 (Fiscal Years 2014-2018) and assesses existing policies and services to better understand the dynamics within the shelter system, the scope of domestic violence as a driver of housing instability, and identify potential gaps in State- and City-funded services. The result is the most comprehensive look to date of survivors who utilize residential services in New York City.

  • Helping Low-Income Students Navigate College
    October 16, 2019

    A small but growing band of elite college prep programs is garnering success by turning themselves into one-stop shopping outlets, offering their students, over the span of many years, the same high-end support as their upper-middle-class peers. The hallmark of all of these programs is a disheartening reality: Students, no matter how capable, who attend low-performing high schools are often held to lower standards that make success in college nearly out of reach.

  • 19 Undergraduates Complete the 2019 Summer Research Program at Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

    Nineteen undergraduates who are interested in a career in biomedical science completed the 2019 Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) at the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSK). The highly competitive program gives outstanding college students the opportunity to perform hands-on research in cutting-edge biomedical research laboratories at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, sponsors SURP, a ten-week research program for outstanding undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in the biomedical sciences.

  • UPS, Mastercard, Etsy, Brightside, Arizona State University, and Acorns Join BlackRock’s Emergency Savings Initiative
    October 4, 2019

    UPS, Mastercard, Etsy, Brightside, Arizona State University, and Acorns will join BlackRock’s Emergency Savings Initiative to help their employees, customers, gig workers, and college students take the essential first step towards long-term financial well-being. With nearly 40% of Americans lacking enough savings to cover a $400 emergency expense without selling something or borrowing money, BlackRock’s flagship philanthropic initiative aims to help one million people establish a financial safety net. Each partner participating in the Initiative will work with experts from Common Cents Lab, Commonwealth, and/or the Financial Health Network, three nonprofits focused on consumer financial health. Funded by BlackRock’s previously announced $50 million philanthropic commitment, the nonprofits will work with these organizations to build, test, and pilot custom solutions. Proven innovations will be used, such as behavioral nudges, prize-linked savings, rounding up transactions or rounding down deposits, and percent-based automatic savings transfers aligned with income.

  • Gerstner Family Foundation Attends 2019 #RealCollege Convening
    October 4, 2019

    Sarah Persily, our Program Director, was invited to participate in this year’s #RealCollege Convening in Houston, TX. #RealCollege is a national movement, focused on the struggles of modern-day students, seeking to change the landscape of higher education to ensure all students can afford their studies and complete their degrees. The movement is led by Sara Goldrick-Rab and her colleagues at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Their two-day annual convening assembles students, practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and activists to raise awareness, develop strategies and take action to secure students' basic needs. In addition to attending a number of illuminating and powerful sessions addressing student experiences and the overall struggles they face, Sarah spoke on a panel highlighting the impact of emergency aid for college students, where she discussed the benefits and challenges of our student emergency fund programs. Sarah also got to hear directly from staff currently administering or who are interested in implementing emergency grant programs at their college to better understand the challenges that they encounter. Video of the Emergency Aid panel, along with video of many of the other informative sessions, are available at the Hope Center’s vimeo page:

    Watch #RealCollege Emergency Aid Panel at