Here's How This Trust Became a Key LGBT Community Ally

The New York Community Trust (NYCT) which has awarded more than $136 million since being established nearly 90 years ago, has announced its latest wave of grants. This series includes $6.5 million in funding to 81 nonprofits working in or around the New York metropolitan area. 

LGBT funding at the NYCT has always been about aiding those who are in most need of legal, economic, or medical assistance, of whom there is no shortage in New York City's five boroughs. This philosophy again reveals itself in these most recent grant announcements. The Trust remains uninterested in spending its resources to participate in the high-profile, nationalized LGBT issues, such as the struggle for marriage equality. Instead, the Trust continues to fund grassroots organizations and programs that are providing practical, often desperately needed help to LGBT's and their families.

The Hetrick-Martin Institute, an organization working in Manhattan, has been awarded $71,000 "to provide homeless gay youth with housing, mental health, and addiction services." Helping homeless gay youth will not result in glamorous headlines, or national attention, but it's necessary work that is tangible and meaningful for people who are in dire need. This is what the Trust has tried to do with its grantmaking for many decades.

The Trust awarded $75,000 to the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, the only health center in New York City specifically for gays and lesbians. The grant will be used to help LGBT patients navigate the changes brought about by the ongoing implementation of the health care reform legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2010. This is one of two grants the Trust is awarding to help city residents "adapt" to the law.

The Trust also continues its long-standing commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS. A citywide organization called Alpha Workshops will be awarded $75,000 to "expand its revenue base." Alpha Workshops "trains and employs people with HIV/AIDS in the decorative arts." 

Of the dozens of new grants that are part of this announcement, many will help LGBT's in ways not directly related to the cause of LGBT rights. The Trust is supporting the ongoing rebuilding effort in the wake of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, expanding opportunities in education and the arts, and increasing access to vital public health services. These are just a few examples of how this $6.5 million is being put to use in the metropolitan area. The NYCT is continuing to provide important services to the people of New York, as it has been doing since its founding, and will continue to do in the future.

Unlike some of its peers, the NYCT accepts grant proposals throughout the year.