FirstService Residential New York, the largest property management firm in New York City, is no stranger to making a difference every day for each and every one of the 225,000 residents that reside in the properties it manages. Now the organization, led by President Dan Wurtzel, has taken its brand slogan and applied it to New York’s often underserved and forgotten residents: People experiencing homelessness.
An integral part of FirstService Residential’s Social Purpose Initiative for 2019 was an alignment with Community Access — a nonprofit organization whose core mission is to provide affordable housing, training, advocacy and healing-focused services for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and New Yorkers who live with mental health concerns.
The partnership between the two organizations goes beyond a financial contribution. Every associate in the New York City office has been invited to volunteer their time for a number of initiatives that range from urban gardening at a Community Access residential building to reviewing submissions for the New York City Mental Health Film Festival which takes place every October at the Village East Cinema in Manhattan.
“One of FirstService Residential’s core values is ‘Doing What’s Right.’ Many companies offer sponsorships or donate money to different organizations but that is simply a financial donation,” Wurtzel said. “We wanted to offer our associates the opportunity to get personally involved and feel good about giving to a cause they are very passionate about.”
Founded in 1974 in response to the mass release of patients from New York psychiatric hospitals, Community Access is one of the oldest organizations and the leader in providing housing and services for those with mental health concerns. Over the past four decades, Community Access’ mission has expanded to include education and job-readiness programs as well as recovery and crisis services. These programs seek to ensure basic dignity and self-determination for those with mental health concerns, including providing spaces safe from stigma and discrimination, where people are free to create the lives of their choosing.
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