Making a Difference in NYC

Making a Difference in NYC

By W.A. Muller

Founded in 1812, New York City Mission Society is one of the most vital human services agencies in the city, providing support for children, youth and adults who live in New York's most underserved communities. Our programs provide participants with the knowledge and life skills necessary to succeed as independent members of society, and make positive contributions to their communities. Each year, nearly 14,000 people in Harlem, the Lower East Side, the Bronx, and Brooklyn directly participate in programs and/or attend events.

As an organization distinguished by over two centuries of service, New York City Mission Society has helped shape social services and influence institutions. Having once established systems of relief in the city, supported immigrant groups and promoted academic achievement, we have incubated and launched some of the best-known and most innovative programs in the nonprofit sector today such as The Fresh Air Fund, Children's Aid Society, Community Service Society and Visiting Nurses. Today we continue our work by delivering services that encourage critical thinking, self-confidence and resilience in those we serve. We have four main service areas: education, workforce development, prevention, and youth development/ community-building programs.

Since 1965, New York City Mission Society has owned and operated Minisink Townhouse, our flagship community center in Harlem. Built on the original site of the famed Cotton Club, Minisink has provided vital services to the Harlem community for 50 years.

Each year, thousands of New Yorkers are provided with a safe space to learn, grow and play, helping them to create a brighter future. Our programs are all non-religious and work on behalf of all children.

Recent achievements include:

  • Maintaining or improving academic skills: achieved by 80% of our participants who either maintained or improved their ability to independently complete homework assignments; and 95% of Power Academy 1st graders improved writing scores over the summer;
  • Promoting higher education as a value for youth: 80% of the graduates applied to college, and 78% of those who applied were admitted;
  • Instilling responsibility: 90 teens spent another year without incidences of teen pregnancy, while attending workshops on sex education, financial literacy, and self-expression;
  • Establishing work as a value: last year, we facilitated internships for 647 teens, who earned more than $717,158 while learning workplace skills and building their resumes;
  • Combating health challenges such as diabetes through fitness: 89% of our Power Academy Summer Day Camp participants improved their fitness skills;

• Anti-Gang activities: working with 100% high-risk participants (including key gang members recently released from prison), we mediated 83 conflicts including responding to 18 shootings, 9 stabbings, and 9 assaults to prevent further escalation.

To learn more about New York City Mission Society and how you can become involved please visit

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