May 6, 2015

Announcing Our New Executive Director, Robert Cordero!

The Grand Street Settlement Board of Directors is proud to announce the appointment of Robert Cordero as executive director of the historic human services nonprofit.

"Robert is a true community leader whose vision and expertise have roots in the Settlement House movement. We are thrilled to have him join the Grand Street Settlement family," stated Sylvia M. Montero, President of the Board of Directors. "His vast experience in city-wide and community-based collaboration will help Grand St. Settlement expand our impact and propel our mission to empower individuals, support families and advocate for communities."

As executive director of Grand Street Settlement, Cordero will work to respond to community interests and needs through the agency's continuum of vital human services and programs for all ages. His initiatives will work across program areas from early childhood through aging adults, extend to all agency neighborhood locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and incorporate a citywide network of partnerships and collaborations – all to create a more effective continuum of services for thousands of New Yorkers. In addition, Cordero will assume overall responsibility for the organization's featured role as community partner of the Essex Crossing development project.

Prior to joining Grand Street Settlement, Cordero was President and Chief Program Officer of BOOM!Health, the product of the merger and rebranding of two organizations, CitiWide Harm Reduction and Bronx AIDS Services. Before leading BOOM!Health, he served as Executive Director of CitiWide Harm Reduction in the South Bronx, where he successfully guided CitiWide Harm Reduction to fiscal and programmatic stability, resulting in the expansion of services, innovative partnerships and a successful three-year strategic plan. He holds a master's degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and also completed the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Program at the Anderson School of Management, a program exclusively for executive directors of community-based health care organizations. Awarded the prestigious Joan H. Tisch Community Health Leadership Prize in 2011-2012, Cordero has worked on issues affecting low-income and minority New Yorkers, especially those relating to education, access to medical care, and HIV and viral hepatitis prevention and care services.

"The BOOM!Health Board of Directors is grateful to Robert for his visionary role in brokering the merger which created a new organization committed to transforming lives through health and wellness. He will be missed but the foundation he created will remain and continue on. The Grand Street Settlement community is lucky to have Robert and we wish him only the best in this next phase of his career," remarked Sidney B. Joyner, Chair of the BOOM!Health Board of Directors.

"I am thankful to the BOOM!Health community and now humbled by the honor of joining Grand Street Settlement. I grew up in Chicago's Erie House day care program and will now lead Grand Street's amazing array of impactful early childhood, youth and aging adult programs in the 21st century. It is a dream come true!" exclaimed Robert Cordero. Cordero will officially start at Grand Street Settlement on June 22, 2015.

Download Press Release
March 31, 2015

Announcing Centennial RFPs

It's nearly time to break out the party hats and bubbly! 
In 2016, Grand St. Settlement will celebrate 100 years of service in New York City. It's time to toast the past century and look ahead to a new vision of community building in the future. 
That's why we're excited to open the Requests For Proposals processes for two projects.

The first is a Media Relations consultancy that will propel a dynamic call to action, maximize singular special events, and support a dynamic community as it anticipates a new chapter in its history. This 18-month project will expand the reach and impact of Grand St. Settlement's vital human services and programming during its most exciting anniversary.

The second is a Visual Production project designed to tell the story of who we are and what we do through the voices and experiences of our community. A team of photographers and videographers will help us capture our programming and projects, special events, and a series of interviews and personal stories throughout the next 18 months. We want to harness the creative vision of visual storytellers who understand how film can transcend cultures, languages, and generations - just as Grand St. Settlement has. The project's crowning achievement, in addition to creating fantastic archives, will be a short video that conveys our mission and inspires viewers to live it. 

 The field for submissions will remain open through April and early May; in May, competitive proposals will move forward in the process via pitch or interview. We hope to select partners for both projects by the end of June or early July.

Have a question about the projects or process? Ask it!
Elise Hanks, Strategic Communications This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click to download Media Relations RFP
Click to download Visual Production RFP
February 13, 2015


After Twenty Years, Margarita Rosa steps down as Executive Director

MR Head Shot August 2013

February 13, 2015

NEW YORK, NY -   Margarita Rosa, the Executive Director of Grand St. Settlement (GSS) since May 15, 1995, has announced that she will step down from that position within the next few months to continue her work in the field of social justice advocacy. She will join the National Center for Law and Economic Justice as Executive Director. In an email to agency staff announcing her departure, Rosa said, "Grand St. Settlement is a strong and vibrant organization with a solid leadership team and a committed Board of Directors. I feel pride and pleasure in having had the opportunity to serve as the leader of a diverse group of talented and committed professionals for the past twenty years." The GSS Board of Directors will ensure continuity of administrative and operational actions, and has retained Machlowitz Consultants, Inc. to conduct the search for a new Executive Director (see the posting here).

“Margarita has led our organization with intelligence, effectiveness, and heart for nearly 20 years – one-fifth of the Settlement’s entire existence. Her commitment to serving low-income families is unparalleled," says Board President Sylvia M. Montero. "With Grand St. Settlement’s one hundredth anniversary coming up in 2016, we are especially grateful for her leadership and her service, and we look forward to the opportunity to acknowledge that as part of our year-long Centennial celebration. We wish her every good thing personally, and every success in her continuing works.”

Margarita Rosa has helped Grand St. Settlement in its evolution as it continues to support new generations and communities through vigorous advocacy for vulnerable populations; expansion of the agency’s visibility with the addition of service sites and branding; retention and expansion of traditional funding streams; and cultivation of a new generation of supporters. She has been instrumental in forging the organization’s role in the upcoming development of Essex Crossing, positioning Grand St. Settlement for significant capital and programmatic growth once construction is completed. 
The Grand St. Settlement family will miss Margarita Rosa. We thank her for her many years of devoted service, and wish her success and happiness in all her future endeavors.

The  Grand St. Settlement Board of Directors, with input from executive staff, is pleased to announce the appointment of Willing Chin-Ma as Acting Executive Director, effective March 21, 2015. Willing Chin-Ma will work with Margarita Rosa, the executive and senior staff, and the Board of Directors to ensure a seamless transition as a new Executive Director is named. Ms. Chin-Ma has an impressive history of dedicated social justice and community service work with over 20 years’ experience in non-profit management in social services. She received a BA in Sociology and Counseling from Hunter College and completed her Masters of Social Work from New York University. Willing joined GSS in 1998 as the Director of Operations and has served on the Executive team since then; in 2004 she was made Associate Executive Director. Willing has been the driving force in creating high-quality early childhood care and education at Grand St. Settlement, where over 350 children and their families receive services in five centers. She is leading efforts to expand early childhood services in Brooklyn, through a new Federal Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership contract. She has also been a tremendous asset to the development of our services for older adults, as she was responsible for managing the $11+ million construction of the GSS Senior Apartments, a 74-unit housing complex for low-income seniors completed in 2006 with the Federal Housing and Urban Development grant. Willing has been instrumental in forging the organization’s role in the upcoming development of Essex Crossing, positioning Grand St. Settlement for significant capital and programmatic growth once construction is completed.

The Board of Directors, staff, and key stakeholders are thrilled to have a leader with extensive experience and unparalleled dedication help guide GSS during this transition. We ask that you join us in support of Willing’s new role as Acting Executive Director.

Download Press Release

Download Executive Director Posting 
October 30, 2014

AmeriCorps Recruiting at GSS!

Calling all young people looking to make a difference!
AmeriCorps at Grand St. Settlement is now recruiting - and we want YOU to join our team and start building and supporting the kinds of growth and changes you want to see in our community. You'll be working in innovative solutions to community problems in areas like education, public safety, sustainability, and more. 

helps lead President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. AmeriCorps' mission to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering, in turn helps Grand St. Settlement to achieve ourmission: to expand opportunities for low-income families and individuals by providing culturally relevant services that support community-building, self-determination, and an enriched quality of life.
With AmeriCorps, you can develop life-long skills, gain work experience, learn how to network, and have access to a living allowance - all while earning hours towards a Segal Education Award, which can help you pay for school in the future. This program does good in the community, feels good to be a part of, and looks good on your resume - whether you're interested in pursuing higher education or a career.

SERVE your community          BUILD your capacity               IMPACT on our nation
There are a few requirements to enroll in the program, including:
• Be at least 17 years of age and older
• Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident alien
• Have attended some high school and is working towards a diploma, GED, or attended some college
• Be able to dedicate 900 hrs. of service
• Have served no more than 3 terms in another AmeriCorps, NCCC, or VISTA program
• Agree to a background or security check
For more information, contact
Sue-Naina Lalchan, AmeriCorps Program Director   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (646) 201-4281
October 27, 2014

Let's Pretend Ball 2014

gs lp2014

A sensational milestone is fast approaching Grand St. Settlement.

For nearly one hundred years, we have empowered community members to share our founding belief: we have the power to help our neighbors and community while enriching the fabric of our own lives. 
Sewn into the history of New York City as the thread connecting generations, Grand St. Settlement has made encouragement, progress, and success into enduring traditions.
In a century of traditions, our most treasured and time-honored is the Let’s Pretend Ball. Born of the efforts and hardship of the Second World War, this legacy embodies the power of a community working together. By only pretending to host a gala, Grand St. Settlement can honor and empower our supporters’ desire to give with their whole hearts – and ensure their entire gift goes directly to those who need it most.
We invite you to join us for this year’s Let’s Pretend Ball. This pretend gala is a night when we imagine all that is possible together, and, in pretending, make change into reality. A ticket to the Let’s Pretend Ball connects your heart and imagination to the impact Grand St. Settlement has on the lives of our constituents, neighbors, and family. 

Join us, and pretend. 

Be swept up in the rhythms of our best dancers – seniors twirling and stomping to salsa, the dragon dance, and the foxtrot, all to music that spans generations and continents. Share dinner with families from every corner of the world and discover they are, in fact, your very own neighbors. Clink glasses and make a toast to a future of opportunity and growth. Laugh and play games with children allowed to stay up past their bedtime. Help them believe in the power of imagination to inspire who they will become.
We hope you can join us at the Let’s Pretend BallThe difference you will make is real.

Donate Now
September 29, 2014

Support and Savor: Tea Tasting Gala

TeaFeast on Chinese dim sum, Latin specialties and other homemade cultural foods, including a specialty dessert prepared by our older adults. 

Relax to the exotic sounds of authentic Chinese instruments.
 Enjoy live musical performances and a Chinese poetry recitation accompanied by live, illustrative calligraphy.

Most importantly, heighten your senses by savoring thirteen imported teas of a special, hand-selected variety

Join Our Seniors for a truly unique experience 

5:30 pm to 8:30 pm 
Grand St. Settlement Senior Housing
Community Room and Garden
711 East 6th Street
New York, NY 10009

Join community members in a gathering of peace and serenity in the beautiful gardens of Grand St. Settlement's Senior Housing located on East Sixth Street, and share stories spanning generations and continents. This gourmet tea tasting is a fundraising gala organized by our senior community for whom our established programs are a second family and home.

Tickets to attend are $100, which includes tastings of 13 imported, gourmet teas, a buffet of cultural delicacies, and a traditional, commemorative tea cup brought to Grand St. Settlement just for you.

Tickets will be sold at the door. Cash and check are preferred. Please contact Audrey Campbell at (646) 201-4287 with any questions.


July 8, 2014

Mayor de Blasio + GSS Kick Off a Summer of Enrichment

July 8, 2014

NEW YORK, NY – On July 7th, the Grand St. Settlement (GSS) welcomed Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong to its 80 Pitt Street Community Center to kick off summer enrichment activities for middle school students. The Mayor’s visit to GSS’s Out of School Time and Summer Day Camp focused on enrichment and expanded learning opportunities, which he affirmed are what make all the difference when it comes to achievement and success.

Mayor de Blasio joined middle school summer campers in the GSS Computer Clubhouse, which, as part of an international network of Computer Clubhouses funded by Intel and others, serves as the home base and headquarters for STEM learning at GSS. This summer, GSS has dialed in on what the STEM education model has to offer young people: deeper and broader connections to the community around them and to horizons expanding into their futures.

The Mayor surveyed the catapults the middle school children constructed and admired their hard work and team efforts as they tackled real-world engineering challenges, applied math and science concepts, and honed their critical thinking skills. He also commended GSS and its staff for creating an environment where young people know they aren’t just playing – they are learning – and loving everything about it. As a cornerstone of the Lower East Side community for the past 97 years, GSS understands the acute needs of youth growing up in communities impacted by growing income disparities – and remains determined not to see these disparities reflected in the opportunities available to youth. All summer long over 550 campers at five different GSS locations will work to earn STEM Skill Badges for their participation in applying the scientific method, creative problem solving, group collaboration, and leadership.

For more photos, check out our Facebook album here!
May 22, 2014

Help Us Reach Our Goal!

Thank you for making Grand St. Settlement's 14th Annual Taste of the Lower East Side® a great success! As the result of your generosity, we are very close to reaching our $500,000 goal. So far, we have raised a total of $470,000 and counting (!) for our wide range of programs and services!


May 12, 2014

The Lower East Side: A Pocket of Resilience and Regeneration

In yesterday's The New York Times, David Gonzales delved into the sense of loss a community "disappeared" can experience. Here in the Lower East Side, community is a word strung together by many ties: the ties of traditions inherited from generations and homes past; the ties of cultures both preserved and blended; the ties born of a sense of belonging that join neighbors who share a market, a block, a playground. All of these ties are knitted to both our past and future, creating a rich and vibrant fabric of life unique to the Lower East Side. 


April 10, 2014

Nothing Brings a Community Together Like Good Food...

Nothing brings a community together like good food - and with over 50 of the most delicious, vibrant and famous restaurants in New York City, Taste of the Lower East Side® does it best. On Thursday, April 24th, at 82Mercer, Grand St. Settlement will host an event celebrating food - the tie to our inherited traditions and cultures, our source of sustenance and the warmth that brings everyone to the table. Since its inception in 2000, this event has presented guests with a palate as diverse and flavorful as the community it brings together.


March 26, 2014

Enter to Win a VIP Experience!

Grand St. Settlement is giving away a pair of VIP tickets to Taste of the Lower East Side, its annual event celebrating the tie to our inherited traditions and cultures, our source of sustenance and the warmth that brings everyone to the table. The event features over 50 of New York City's best restaurants, a four-hour open bar, luxury auction and great music.

Part of bringing the community together on behalf of the New Yorkers and neighborhoods we serve means connecting with you - your traditions, your culture, what keeps you going and what you love about your community.


March 19, 2014

A big thanks from GSS to The Ted Arison Family Foundation

Our Executive Director is proud to share this very thoughtful and much appreciated letter of thanks from The Ted Arison Family Foundation for hosting their voluntEARS on Good Deeds Day here in NYC! 

Our early education classrooms are so happy to have new additions to their libraries and loved spending time reading with over 60 volunteers. Thanks, Good Deeds Day and First Book!


March 7, 2014

Good Deeds Day Comes to Grand St. Settlement

good deeds day picstitch

With books in their hands, with good deeds in their heads,66 volunteers found themselves in demandThey arrived in a bright colored, big printed busThey arrived Wednesday morning to read just to us!In their bright matching blue they came through the doorTo our Early Education classes at Delancey 294 They skipped down the halls All covered in fishes of red and of blue They smiled and pointed at the Suess art we drew They burst in the classrooms with new books and grins The children all cried, "Let the stories begin!"So each volunteer took a little one's hand And set off to read stories some small and some grand. Good Deeds Day brought friends and hugs and high-fives! Good Deeds Day brought love - what makes Grand Settlement thrive.


February 3, 2014

Roots that Stem from the Community

Everyone wants to know what brings Dr. Christina López to Grand St. Settlement. Our 80 Pitt Street Community Center has a new Youth Services Center Director who is getting everybody fired up, though no one is more enthusiastic than Christina herself. As a teen she participated in afterschool and summer programs that served as stepping stones to her future as an educator and youth advocate, and now she has returned to her community equipped to make a lasting impact. 
Christina is quick to aver that her accumulation of accomplishments and triumphs (success at an engineering university where she was one of the few women of color in her courses; co-founding a project to create a library in a disadvantaged community in South Africa; being named a Gates Millennium Scholar) could only lead her back to the Lower East Side.  “I grew up in the LES in a predominantly low-income community. The schools I attended were under-resourced – even teachers weren’t interested in inspiring learning – and so my lived experiences made me resilient.” Christina credits heavy involvement in summer and afterschool programs that focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives with preparing her for success.


December 16, 2013

Celebrating the Light & Warmth of Feeling Home

 One of the most vibrant elements of the Grand St. Settlement family and our community is our group of seniors. They are empowered, they are active and they are passionate. Last week, after many weeks of preparation, practice and collaboration, our senior community hosted Spirit of the Season, a holiday celebration at Jing Fong restaurant, complete with an impressive run of show full of singing and dancing. The lively bunch planned the evening in order to raise funds for GSS’s beloved senior programming and services; dancing classes, Chinese macramé and painting sessions, congregate meals and support from visiting nurses and case workers are just some of the activities and services our seniors value.

grand street settlement j2a4699The result of all their hard work was a wonderful evening that celebrated the warmth and light that comes from that feeling of home, of belonging, of being cared for. Our seniors brought the house down with dances like the rumba and cha-cha and songs such as “Amor, Amor”; guests stormed the dance floor to join in the fun. The performances were punctuated by heartfelt thanks from GSS Executive Director Margarita Rosa and Board President Sylvia M. Montero, as well as the presentation of the Grand Settlement Angel Award by our senior community to the night’s honoree Jason Scherr, board member and owner of Think Coffee.


December 10, 2013


NEW YORK, NY - Grand St. Settlement’s vibrant senior community is proud to host Spirit of the Season, a celebration of the holiday spirit and season of light on Thursday, December 12th, at Jing Fong Restaurant in the Lower East Side.  This festive dinner is organized by seniors who are working to generate support and funding for our established programs and services that are a second family and home for thousands of older adults. The evening will be a heartfelt celebratory event delivered in multiple languages, featuring a wonderful meal, conversation and performances that showcase our senior community’s vitality and diversity. We would like to extend an invitation to the Grand St. Settlement family and all members of the community – we hope you can join us!

Last year we witnessed an outpouring of love and support for our seniors and neighbors who were impacted by Superstorm Sandy. This year we will honor Jason Scherr and Think Coffee, who provide 10% of their after-tax profits from their stores on the east side of Manhattan to Grand St. Settlement every day. Jason and Think Coffee are much loved by our seniors; following the storm and blackout, they provided meals, blankets and other supplies to our BEST seniors.

At Grand St. Settlement, we believe in life-long health and learning. Over 3,000 seniors are active, connected and supported through programs run by our agency. Since the 1970s the Grand Coalition of Seniors at 80 Pitt Street on the Lower East Side has provided culturally relevant activities and services. In 2002, Grand St. Settlement expanded to the Bernard M. Baruch Houses at 72 Columbia Street, a naturally occurring retirement community (NORC). Here seniors support one another and the Baruch Elders Service Team (BEST) staff provides case management and support for seniors to live in their own homes. In 2006, we built a 74-unit Senior Supportive Housing Building located on 711 East 6th Street. In an unprecedented partnership between the community, city, developers and Grand St. Settlement, this September we became the lead community partner in Essex Crossing, the Seward Park community development project, which will create additional supportive housing for seniors. Our seniors work hard to raise funds to support their beloved community and are constantly finding new ways to give back to the community.

We invite the community to join us at the table for a night celebrating just how much we have to be thankful for.Tickets and tables for sponsors are available online and at the door - we hope you will be able show your support and help us secure much needed funds so we can continue to offer robust programs every weekday and meet every senior’s individualized needs for health care and case management.

What:              Spirit of the Season celebratory dinner

Where:            Jing Fong Restaurant | 20 Elizabeth Street |New York, NY

When:             6:00 – 9:00pm

Why:               To raise support and funds for our vital community of thousands of seniors

                        … and to celebrate the season!


Media Contact

Elise Hanks | 646.201.4287 (o) | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
September 18, 2013

A Grand Endeavor

Grand St. Settlement to be 
Lead Community Partner of Essex Crossing

NEW YORK, NY - Grand St. Settlement is thrilled to be the lead community partner of Essex Crossing, the thematically-planned, multi-use development project selected by the City of New York to rejuvenate and uplift the Seward Park neighborhood.

As a cornerstone of the Lower East Side community for the past 97 years, Grand St. Settlement understands the acute needs of a neighborhood built by immigrants and strengthened by diversity. Margarita Rosa, Esq., Executive Director, is proud of our history: “We have had the great fortune of working collaboratively with countless community groups and individuals to amass a dedicated and extensive network of partners and supporters. Our programs and services, staff and constituents reflect the best that this culturally rich community has to offer.”

That the construction of Essex Crossing and Grand St. Settlement’s Centennial Anniversary will coincide is more than serendipitous. We cannot think of a better gift to the City of New York and our Grand St. Settlement Family than the opportunity to transform our agency to better serve tens of thousands of New Yorkers. The potential for the type of immense growth that addresses poverty, education, healthcare, jobs and quality of life is the perfect energy to propel Grand St. Settlement, and the community it serves, into the next century of social justice and service work.  Essex Crossing is founded upon four of our fundamental priorities: diversity and inclusiveness; opportunity through entrepreneurship; art, culture and recreation; and life-long learning.


September 11, 2013

Head of the Class

September brings the first day of school, a day often anticipated with both excitement and a little anxiety and heralded with much fanfare.

This is perhaps most true for the parents of young children just beginning their academic careers. This week, nearly 300 three and four year-olds will bound, skip and toddle their way into an Early Learn, Early Head Start or Head Start classroom with Grand St. Settlement, and we don't know who is more excited - us, them or their parents! Early childhood education is something we are passionate about at Grand St. Settlement - children who get the attention they need early in life do better in school, are likely to have higher long-term earnings, better social status and a happier life. 

Early Head Start's new Director Leslie CapelloWe are so pleased and proud to introduce to you Leslie Capello, our new Early Head Start Director. When asked what career accomplishment she is most proud of, Leslie shared that she is proud of the work she has had  the privilege of contributing to in Early Childhood  Education over the past 16 years. "Supporting current teachers and future teachers with higher  education and professional development has been  very rewarding," Leslie explains "Developing systems for delivering consistent quality programming for children and families has been the outcome of experience, education, and opportunity, and I very much enjoy my chosen career."  Leslie can still recall the thrill of empowerment she felt as a child pretending to be a grown up and she remembers how much she loved the scaled-down furniture and the over-sized dress-up clothes she never tired of playing with.  When asked about her favorite children's book, Leslie smiles and laughs. "I absolutely love, and cannot get enough of The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood and Audrey Wood.  The illustrations bring the story to life and the perspective is of the reader having a conversation with the mouse. I think it is brilliant." We are certainly hoping to get to witness at least one read aloud with Leslie and her favorite book this fall. 

We would also like to share with you reports from Early Head Start for the past three years. This reading material also brings a story to life: the story of the power of investing in early education. Here you can find reports for the following school years: 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13.

July 23, 2013

Speaking OUT

Adolescence is often synonymous with struggle; the search for self and the pursuit of acceptance are simultaneous, yet for many they create dissonance. This is perhaps most true for young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ). These young people face the challenges of adolescence with the additional obstacles of discrimination, ostracism, abandonment, severe family conflict and an increased risk for physical and emotional abuse stemming from their sexual orientation or gender identity. Luckily, Grand St. Settlement has found an ardent and tireless advocacy partner in the New York State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute, and has built a program that serves as a safe haven and support system for local LGBTQ youth and their allies.

Project Speak Out Loud for LGBTQ youth, or Project SOL, offers a safe space for some of the city’s most at-risk youth. “LGBTQ kids on the LES often don’t have anywhere to go to have their identities accepted and affirmed. This is a safe space for young people to develop positively and holistically and ensures they have support,” explains Ashwini Hardikar, assistant program director. And support is in abundance; staff, peer groups and caseworkers tackle crises on a regular basis: bullying, suicide, teen pregnancy, STDs, HIV, substance abuse, violence in relationships, neglect and also physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

In the face of these crises, Project SOL has not only found resilience, but burst into what can only be described as efflorescence. Creative expression through art and fashion, outreach campaigns with Planned Parenthood of New York City and other community partners and singular events such as Pride Prom and the World AIDs Ball have become the hallmarks of this critical program.


May 8, 2013

The 13th Annual Taste of the Lower East Side


(photo by © Dast Studio)

Not even popping flash bulbs, spinning records nor the rush of the Wheel of Good Fortune could distract guests of this year’s Taste of the Lower East Side from the main event. The event very nearly sold out; ticket sales reached a record high and scores of guests clamored at the door for the chance to attend. But the restaurants were ready. The chefs de cuisine from 48 LES restaurants brought their A-Games and teams to this year’s Taste of the Lower East Side, and the venue was a sight – and smell – and taste – to behold. Not many guests paused to look and linger, however; instead, they dove fork-first into the fray, wending between Chinese chicken tacos, octopus spiedini, steak tartare, boozy cupcakes and flourless chocolate cake, specialty cocktails and drinks. Our generous restaurants and bartenders made sure plates and glasses were always at least half-full and DJ Ron Harley kept records spinning well into the night.


March 6, 2013

Shooting the Moon: The impact of one program on one woman’s life


Nataly is a force as inescapable as gravity. An ebullient ball of energy, her personality zings around the room, making it hard to imagine that not long ago she felt her life unraveling. Today, as she explains her latest venture- writing a song for children about playing with yo-yos- the uncanny metaphor resonates: Nataly is shooting the moon.


January 30, 2013

Save the Date

Save the Date! Taste of the Lower East Side 2013 will be held on Thursday, April 25th at 82Mercer. 


January 17, 2013

Stories from the Settlement

The Possibilities are Endless...

The Duran siblings are a close-knit dynamo tag-team. Anthony, Sharilyn and Juan are a mutual-support system and they all credit Grand St. Settlement’s Beacon Community Center for helping them get where they are today. The Beacon Community Center’s programs helped them set their sights on where they wanted to go and enabled them to get there. “Beacon really prepared us for facing so many challenges, not just getting into college, but for teaching us strategies for being successful.”


January 16, 2013

LES Unity Rally

Join Grand St. Settlement, elected officials, and other local LES Organizations on January 31, 2013 for a Unity Rally. Join us as we "call for an end to the violence on the Lower East Side." Unite and let's together say, "no more violence!" More information here.


December 23, 2012

December Volunteering at Grand St. Settlement

We want to thank all those who came down to volunteer their time this month - our entire community thanks you!  Check out some pictures here.


December 16, 2012

The Tiny Bushwick Project: Art Show at Bushwick-Hylan Community Center

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program participants at our Bushwick-Hylan Community Center curated and exhibited a unique show on December 4th – "The Tiny Bushwick Project."


December 6, 2012

Stories from the Settlement

When the Hurricane Hit …
Everyone knew a storm was coming—but few people realized how destructive Superstorm Sandy would be or how long its terrible effects would linger. Because of its location close to the East River, on the far edge of the Lower East Side, the Grand St. Settlement community was especially hard hit. By the evening of October 29, the buildings in the area were without power, light, heat, hot water and phone service. The elderly residents in the 23-story building at 72 Columbia Street, the Grand St. Settlement NORC (Naturally Occurring Senior Community) in the Baruch Housing Projects, and the residents in the 6th Street Senior Apartments were especially hard-hit. Many of the seniors in these buildings are homebound. Some are bedridden. For many, going down and up stairs to retrieve water and other necessary supplies was out of the question.


December 5, 2012

World AIDS Day: A Day of Community & Service

Grand St. Settlement’s Youth Services honored World AIDS Day last Saturday, December 1st with an open house and day of service at our community center at 80 Pitt Street on the Lower East Side. 


November 29, 2012

Youth Services Honors World AIDS Day with an Open House

Join Grand St. Settlement in commemorating World AIDS Day this Saturday, December 1st starting at 1pm at our community center located at 80 Pitt Street on the Lower East Side. Grand St. Settlement will be hosting an open house and free HIV testing. 

World AIDS Day was established in 1988 as a day to raise awareness, a day of commemoration, and a day of celebration for the successes made toward “getting the number to zero.”


November 20, 2012

Relief Concert: A Smashing Success

Grand St. Settlement held a Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert on November 15th at the Lillie Devereaux Blake School on the Upper East Side. The event was hosted by Wendy Liebman and featured the University Glee Club of New York City


November 13, 2012

Press Release: November 15th Relief Concert

We are honored to celebrate the resilience of our community as well as raise funds for the continued recovery of our neighbors this Thursday, November 15th at 7:30pm, with a concert at the Lillie Devereaux Blake School (PS 6) at 45 East 81st Street, New York City 10028.



November 9, 2012

Rebuilding After Sandy: Relief Concert November 15th

Our "Fun Night Out" has become more important than ever - as the funds raised will be used for Hurricane Sandy relief for our neighbors and community, on both sides of the Williamsburg Bridge who have been affected by the storm.

"A Fun Night Out," November 15th at 7:30pm 
P.S. 6 – The Lillie Devereaux Blake School
45 East 81st Street
New York City 10028 Map


November 7, 2012

10 Days In and Our Neighbors are Still Without Essentials

Today, Grand St. Settlement was a distribution site for blankets for the Gompers Housing community with the help of elected officials and NYCHA. Gompers is one largest housing g facilities on the Lower East Side with 1,182 residents in two buildings still living without heat or hot water. 


November 5, 2012

Grand St. Settlement's Programs Are Open

We are happy to report that Grand St. Settlement's programs are open today, Monday, November 5th.


October 31, 2012

Grand St. Settlement's Programs Closed Until Further Notice

Regretfully Grand St. Settlement is closed to the loss of power due to Hurricane Sandy. We are doing everything we can to assess how to best get our program sites back in operation, and we are hopeful that we'll be back to serving our constituents very soon, said Sylvia M. Montero, Board President. "We hope every family and the communities we serve is safe knowing many are without power.


September 26, 2012

Wendy Liebman Presents the University Glee Club

Join us November 15th for an evening with funny woman, Wendy Liebman presenting the University Glee Club of New York City in what will surely be a "Fun Night Out."


September 21, 2012

September is National Senior Center Month

According to the National Council on Aging, September is National Senior Center Month. Every day, over 1 million older adults get connected at their local senior center, reports NCOA. Grand St. Settlement proudly operates three thriving senior centers that on a daily basis offer a multitude of activities and learning opportunities for some of the City's most vulnerable older adults living in the Lower East Side.

This month Voices of NY, a project from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism did a special report called Graying in Color, featuring senior members of Grand St. Settlement. This video shows how life-changing senior centers can be for the older population of New York City.

September 6, 2012

Building an Advocacy Board

Executive Director Margarita Rosa's piece on building a Board of Directors who are not just donors, but advocates for an organization was recently published in New York Nonprofit Press. 


Read more about her thoughts on what such a Board of Directors looks like.
March 20, 2012

Spring Festival Celebration a big success!

Grand St. Settlement's Senior Programs held its first Spring Festival Celebration fundraiser on March 15 at the Jing Fong Restaurant in Chinatown. The evening was a huge success, bringing in more than $50,000 to support Grand St. Settlement and it's three signature senior programs.