Mutual of America honors Common Ground as Community Partner

Mutual of America recently recognized Common Ground as an important employment partner of the Doe Fund. Two senior staffers from Common Ground's Brook Residence - Paul Pavon, Building Director, and Ely Sepulveda, Facilities Maintenance Supervisor (pictured above) - accepted the 2014 Community Partnership Merit Finalist Award. Read more.

Common Ground employees advocate in Albany

On two snowy days this winter, Common Ground employees trekked to Albany, New York to advocate for increased public funding for supportive housing with our legislators. The Advocacy Days were organized by the Supportive Housing Network of New York, and attended by several Network members, of which Common Ground is one. Read more.

The city that never sleeps: HOPE Count 2015

It was 11:00 p.m. on a cold Monday night but instead of heading home, over 100 enthusiastic volunteers were just gathering in the lobby of the Times Square residence in the heart of midtown Manhattan. It was time for the annual overnight homelessness count. Read more.

Are you a Young Professional looking to make a difference?

Common Ground’s Young Professionals Committee (YPC) exists to help us broaden awareness of our mission to a younger audience that wants to improve the lives of society’s most vulnerable residents. The YPC also helps us raise funds to fulfill Common Ground’s crucial human services responsibilities. We are currently recruiting concerned, caring young professionals for YPC membership. Join us on Tuesday, February 24th from 6:30 p.m.- 9 p.m. for the 2015 YPC kick-off! Read more.

Governor Cuomo Announces NY/NY IV Agreement

Common Ground was honored to join Governor Andrew Cuomo this weekend as he outlined ten points to combat poverty and fight inequality, key economic proposals that will be included in tomorrow’s State of the State address. The Governor announced investments of more than $486 million in housing for vulnerable New Yorkers, an additional $220 million in homeless services, and $183 million to support the NY/NY IV housing program to create 5,000 new supportive housing units. Read more.

Join us at HOPE Count 2015

Each winter, we partner with the New York City Department of Homeless Services in their annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE), a unique overnight event during which volunteers fan out across the city and conduct a census of New Yorkers sleeping outside. The information gathered that night is invaluable, as it helps us adjust our efforts to make the greatest possible impact on helping the chronically homeless to realize better lives. Read more.

Young Professionals Committee raises $15,000 for Common Ground

On Friday, December 5th, the Common Ground Young Professionals Committee (YPC) held its first big fundraiser at The Prince George Ballroom. The holiday masquerade ball theme was in full effect with over 150 young professionals showing off their masks and supporting Common Ground’s mission. This singular event raised nearly $15,000 for Common Ground’s housing development and outreach programs. Read more.

Join us for a Holiday Masquerade Ball on Dec. 5th

Join the Common Ground Young Professionals Committee (YPC) on December 5th for our Holiday Masquerade Ball at the Prince George Ballroom. 100% of the net proceeds from our event will support Common Ground's housing development and outreach programs. General Admission $75 / Couples $125 / Group of 5 $300 Read more.

De Blasio calls Common Ground “part of the solution”

On Tuesday, November 11th, Mayor Bill de Blasio called Common Ground “part of the solution” to veterans’ homelessness. He was delivering remarks at a Mayoral Veterans Day Breakfast, which took place at the Prince George Ballroom, Common Ground’s famous event rental venue. Read more.

The Schermerhorn featured during Open House New York Weekend

For two days every October, OHNY Weekend unlocks the doors to some of New York’s most special privately-owned structures, offering an extraordinary opportunity to experience the city. For the first time, OHNY showcased Common Ground’s Schermerhorn residence. The 11-story Schermerhorn, designed by Ennead Architects, opened in 2009 as Common Ground’s first site built permanent supportive residence. Since then, it has collected numerous accolades, including The American Institute of Architects Housing Award and the Building Brooklyn Award. Read more.

The Christopher celebrates 10th Anniversary

Once made famous by The Village People, The Christopher residence on West 24th Street in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood is still a place where “you can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal.“ But, for the past 10 years, this site has been so much more than just a place to rent a room for the night. In 2004, Common Ground reconfigured the old McBurney YMCA as The Christopher residence, where we could provide urgently needed permanent supportive housing resources for some of New York’s most vulnerable populations. Read more.

Boston Road Tops Out

Common Ground recently marked the topping out of Boston Road, a 154-unit permanent supportive residence currently under construction at 1191 Boston Road in the Bronx. Read more.

Common Ground thanks Capital One!

In 2013, Capital One awarded a grant of $35,000 in support of Common Ground’s The Andrews transitional residence. Each day, The Andrews provides 146 units of safe, secure housing and wraparound social service supports to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents. Its 80 Safe Haven units are especially crucial – helping chronically homeless New Yorkers with significant barriers to housing stability to address outstanding needs and prepare for permanent housing placements. Since this grant award, The Andrews has already housed 286 people and helped 61 transition to permanent housing.

Common Ground thanks Capital One for their partnership and for the transformation they have helped to effect in the lives of so many of those we serve.

La Central: a shared vision for a revitalized South Bronx

Affordable housing is at the center of a massive development collaboration that will transform the city’s last large assemblage of vacant land in the South Bronx into a vibrant community hub. We’d like to show you the latest rendering of this exciting project. Read more.

Staff Profile: Samelys Lopez, Project Manager

At Common Ground, we feel fortunate to have so many talented employees who passionately live out our organization’s commitment to improving the communities in which we operate. Case in point: Project Manager Samelys Lopez, a member of Common Ground’s Real Estate Development department whose commitment to a better New York City extends well beyond the workday. Read more.

Webster Avenue development pairs affordable and supportive

Common Ground’s five-year strategic plan identified the South Bronx as an area in serious need of - and with strong local support for - more affordable housing. The plan also identified increased affordable housing development as a way to prevent homelessness among at-risk populations and to foster good community relationships for future supportive housing projects. Our newest project responds to this need with the goal of achieving these objectives. Read more.

Good Art for a Good Cause

Colorful paintings and collages mounted on easels and ready for a live auction weren’t the only attractions at a recent Common Ground event. On February 27, 2014, donors and new friends of Common Ground gathered in support of our mission to view one of New York’s renowned private contemporary art collections in a spectacular Upper East Side residence. Read more.

Hitting the streets in the name of HOPE

It was just after midnight on one of the coldest nights of the year when Common Ground staff and volunteers kicked off the 2014 HOPE Count, but that was nothing new. What was new was the night’s “Code Blue III” Winter Weather Emergency rating. Conditions were so extreme that it was highly possible for a homeless person to freeze to death. Read more.

Common Ground part of transformative development team for La Central in the Bronx

Common Ground is pleased to announce our selection to help construct and operate La Central – a new multi-property development that will bring affordable housing, retail, community and recreation space – including a YMCA – to the Bronxchester Urban Renewal site in the Melrose neighborhood of the Bronx. On December 21, 2013, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Common Ground will be part of a team that includes BRP Development Corporation, Hudson Companies Inc., and the YMCA to develop this project on the last large assemblage of City-owned vacant land in the South Bronx. Read more.

Wells Fargo shows its support of Common Ground

Wells Fargo Housing Foundation has provided Common Ground with a generous contribution in support of community facilities and services at our newest development under construction at 1191 Boston Road in the Bronx. Thank you, Wells Fargo, for the many ways that you strengthen our agency’s efforts to improve the lives of homeless and low-income New Yorkers. Read more.

#GivingTuesday with Common Ground

This year, on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, Common Ground will be celebrating a day dedicated to giving ‐‐ when charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, retailers and more will all come together for #GivingTuesday – a movement to celebrate giving and encourage more, better and smarter giving during the holiday season that we are proud to be part of. Giving Tuesday logo Read more.

Have your cake and support Common Ground too

Common Ground has once again teamed up with EMM Group, the restaurant and nightlife group behind New York hotspots La Cenita, Tenjune, The General, and Catch. EMM will donate partial proceeds from sales of desserts by Executive Pastry Chef Thiago Silva to Common Ground's outreach and housing programs.

This is our second partnership with EMM Group. It follows a successful campaign from earlier this year in which The General donated partial proceeds from sales of their unique cereal-encrusted donuts. The General, located at 199 Bowery, is open nightly for dinner.

The General dining room

Boston Road to bring 154 units of supportive housing to the Bronx

Common Ground held a ground-breaking ceremony for one of the first NYC supportive housing residences to begin construction using NYS Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) capital funding. The project, Boston Road, will bring 154 units of supportive housing to the Bronx. The residence will provide housing and services to a mix of low-income and formerly homeless individuals and seniors. Read more.

Get fresh, local veggies, dairy, and meat all winter long with the Prince George CSA

You probably knew that Common Ground brings beautifully-designed housing to communities throughout New York City, but did you know that we bring nutritious and delicious vegetables to the community too? Well, we do, through a partnership with Norwich Meadows Farms, Common Ground has been offering a year-round CSA (community-supported agriculture) program for several years now. And we're currently taking subscriptions for the 2013-2014 season. Which means that you can get delicious root vegetables, eggs, dairy products, and even meat, fresh from the farm from November through May. Pickups take place monthly at The Prince George residence on East 28th Street near Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Join our winter CSA. Read more.

Hegeman wins Building Brooklyn Award

Common Ground staff were honored to accept the 2013 Building Brooklyn Award for our newest Brooklyn residence, The Hegeman. The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce shone the spotlight on the winners of the 2013 Building Brooklyn Awards, which recognizes recently completed construction and renovation projects that enrich Brooklyn's diverse neighborhoods and economy. The Building Brooklyn Awards salutes a wide range of project types, budgets and neighborhoods. The ceremony took place this year on July 10th, at the Liberty Warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Read more.

Common Ground makes a sweet deal with EMM Group

Common Ground is happy to share that we have teamed up with EMM Group, the restaurant and nightlife group behind New York hotspots Tenjune, SL, The General, and Catch. EMM's The General has become known for the cereal-encrusted donuts — including Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Puffs — that are sold in the restaurant's bakery, and now a portion of sales from those donuts will go to Common Ground and our mission to end homelessness in NYC. Read more.

Common Ground wins “Best Company” for second year in a row

This year, Common Ground was once again named a Best Company to Work for in New York State. Sponsored by The New York State Society for Human Resources, the Best Companies program is a statewide survey and award designed to identify employers whose practices benefit the State's businesses, economy, and workforce. Read more.

Talking sustainable design at COOKFOX

Recently, Common Ground collaborated with COOKFOX Architects to put on a panel discussion on sustainable and local design moderated by design writer Kimberlie Birks. Our panelists included Rick Cook, partner at COOKFOX, Andrew Kotchen, Principal at workshop/apd, Steven Tupu, Principal at Terrain, and Elissa Winzelberg, Director of Design and Construction at Common Ground. We enjoyed a lively discussion that ran the gamut from what makes good design to to funding mechanisms to how formerly homeless tenants embrace "green" living. Read more.

Another successful HOPE Count complete

Late at night on January 28th, our Executive Director Brenda Rosen addressed a crowd of 100 volunteers and employees assembled in the lobby of the Times Square, “where it all began” twenty-three years ago. Not only was the Times Square Common Ground’s first supportive housing residence, she explained, but it was in the basement of this building that the Street-to-Home outreach program was started in 1993.

Staff and volunteers were assembled to receive training before they headed out for the annual HOPE (Homeless Outreach Population Estimate) census. Each year, New York City’s Department of Homeless Services enlists thousands of volunteers to canvass parks, subways, and other public spaces to count the number of people living unsheltered in the city. Again this year, Common Ground partnered with the city to conduct the count in midtown Manhattan. Read more.

Counting down to HOPE Count 2013

Thanks to all our volunteers who have signed up for the 2013 HOPE Count on January 28th. (If you haven’t yet, we’re still looking for a few more volunteers, so please hurry and register using the online form!) If this is your first HOPE Count, you may be wondering what to expect. Read more.

Requests for Proposals: Upgrades to the Lee

We are pleased to offer two Request For Proposal (RFP) opportunities for building upgrades to our Lee residence: an upgrade to our security camera system and an upgrade to the roof fence and rear courtyard rail. Read more.

Join us for the 2013 HOPE Count!

Registration for the 2013 HOPE Count is now open!

Each January, we partner with the New York City Department of Homeless Services in their annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE), a unique overnight event during which volunteers fan out across the city and conduct a census of New Yorkers sleeping outside. The information gathered that night is invaluable, as it helps us adjust our efforts to make the greatest possible impact on helping the chronically homeless to realize better lives. Read more.

The Blueprint: Common Ground in New York Magazine

This article appeared in New York Magazine on November 22, 2012 with the headline: Post-Sandy, New York’s homeless problem is even more daunting. One building in Brooklyn shows how it might be solved. By Justin Davidson

A few weeks ago, I watched a man who had spent much of his life living in doorways and cardboard boxes shamble into the sun-washed lobby of a new building on Hegeman Avenue in Brownsville, dig an I.D. card out of baggy jeans, swipe through the turnstile, and take the elevator up to a modest but clean room equipped with a bed, an ample window, a closet, and a kitchenette. He was home. Read more.

Common Ground, Hurricane Sandy and our Community

A message from Executive Director Brenda E. Rosen:

Dear friends:

While the immediate threat from Hurricane Sandy has passed, the memory and impact of the storm will remain with us for a very long time. As New York begins to return to normal, I hope you and your loved ones are well. Our hearts go out to those who suffered personal loss and injury, and pray that friends and family were able to support you in a time of need. Read more.

2012 Celebrating Home and Community video

We asked our employees, tenants, and partners to help us tell the story of Common Ground’s mission and impact in their own words. The result is our 2012 Celebrating Home and Community video.

Read more.

Still Housing the Needy, In a Changed Manhattan

This article appeared in October 9, 2012, on page A24 of the New York edition with the headline: Still Housing the Needy, In a Changed Manhattan. By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS In a wide-open ballroom in Manhattan last week, a room with gilded columns and dark herringbone floors, men and women in dark suits sat at a reception for a retiring city official, listening to speeches as they munched on tidy portions of chicken and salad greens.

They sat in an elegant early-20th-century building near Madison Square Park, where some of New York’s most expensive real estate and finest restaurants can be found. But the residents living above that fine golden ballroom did not shell out a few million dollars for their homes; far from it. The tenants of this building, called the Prince George, include formerly homeless New Yorkers, people with persistent mental illness and the very poor.

“‘The Real Housewives of New York’ shot here once,” said Brenda E. Rosen, the executive director of Common Ground, which owns the Prince George and rents out the ballroom to help support the organization. “I watched them yell at each other in the ballroom on TV!” Read more.

The Doe Fund Names Common Ground Employer Partner of the Year

Each year, The Doe Fund identifies an Employer Partner who has demonstrated a high level of commitment to breaking the cycles of poverty by providing not just jobs, but careers with opportunities for advancement. Common Ground not only provides job opportunities to deserving individuals but is also a partner in the broader fight to prevent and solve homelessness. This dedication and unyielding pursuit makes Common Ground the definitive choice for this year's selection.

For more information about The Doe Fund, visit their website at

2011 Gala Recap

As we look forward to the 2012 gala coming up in October, we are reflecting back on the beautiful and memorable evening that was last year's gala. In November 2011, friends of Common Ground came together for our annual celebration, to raise funds, and to honor outgoing board chair Peter Ezersky. The evening was capped off with a performance by original Dreamgirl Jennifer Holliday. Read more.

Our 2012 Celebrating Home and Community Gala

We are excited to announce that Common Ground's 10th Annual Celebrating Home and Community Gala will be held on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 in New York City at the exquisite Guastavino's, in midtown Manhattan. Common Ground will honor Michael C. Slocum, Commercial Banking & Northeast Regional President at Capital One, for his leadership and commitment to Common Ground’s mission.

Please click here for more information.

Common Ground is one of New York’s “Best Companies to Work For”

Common Ground was recently recognized for “Excellence in Organizational Vision & Management” and named a Best Company to Work For in New York State. Sponsored by the New York State Society of Human Resources Management, this award is based on surveys of current Common Ground staff and an assessment of our organizational practices and benefits packages. Common Ground was among 24 large companies named “Best Employer” in 2012. Read more.

“Celebrating Home” Annual Gala 2012

Common Ground’s annual gala provides crucial support for the housing development, property management and program initiatives described in this website. Last year’s event raised nearly $1.3 million in private funding to advance our mission to end homelessness in New York. Planning is underway now for our 2012 fall gala. For event details and information about sponsorship opportunities, check back soon.

Watch our 2011 Gala video

Last year’s event raised nearly $1.3 million in private funding to advance our mission to end homelessness in New York. This short video describes how Common Ground's unique supportive housing model helps thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers achieve the stability they need to maintain their housing, restore their health, and regain economic independence.

Read more.

SHNNY Names The Schermerhorn Residence of the Year

Every year, the Supportive Housing Network of New York honors two outstanding supportive housing residences at its Awards Gala. Likening it to "a high-concept, raucous and difficult-to- perform off-Broadway show that you want to see again and again," SHNNY named The Schermerhorn a 2011 Residence of the Year. Read more.

Schermerhorn Art Center Opening

On October 25, 2011, local officials and community partners joined Common Ground to celebrate the ribbon cutting of Downtown Brooklyn’s Schermerhorn, 216 units of affordable, supportive residence for single adults in the arts as well as the formerly homeless. The project was sponsored by Common Ground and the Actor’s Fund. Read more.