Approximately 80% of those staying in NYC shelters are families. (Source: Coalition for the Homeless)

Helping Hands

We provide a “helping hand” to people in need by making grants to social service agencies, whose staff then applies strict criteria and distributes grants averaging approximately $1,000 each to clients who have suffered a temporary setback and need such financial assistance for a short period of time while they get back on their feet.

In selecting grant recipients, we give priority to organizations that provide those they are helping with additional support services.

We focus on programs that work directly with individuals one-by-one, though we make a limited number of grants to programs that link individuals to additional community resources to help them move from crisis to sustainability. Our grants to food banks support food distribution and SNAP benefit outreach. We make a limited number of disaster relief grants.

The majority of our Helping Hands grants go toward rent, particularly needed in the areas where we fund – New York City, Boston, and Palm Beach County – where there is not enough affordable housing. We also help with expenses such as utilities, transportation, moving, furniture, or clothing that an individual is temporarily unable to pay for because of an unexpected hardship.

“I remember being a young person working in New York and reading the newspaper one morning. There was a terrible tragedy: a house had burned down and put a family out on the street, a mother and her young children. They had no money and no place to go. I said to myself, ‘I would love to be able to write a check and give it to that mother sitting on the street.’ That is the ultimate meaning: helping someone in terrible need. That’s what we’re trying to do – to make an impact at a critical moment.” - Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.

Our Grantees


Major Helping Hands Grants


Amounts below may reflect cumulative annual grants rather than multi-year grants. To see annual amounts, please see listings of grants paid each year.

  • Adopt-A-Family

    Lake Worth, FL | Visit Website

    To support the Housing Stabilization Program.

    $900,000

  • The Bridge Fund of New York

    New York and Westchester, NY | Visit Website

    To support the emergency cash grant/loan program to prevent homelessness.

    $1,295,000

  • The Havens Relief Fund Society

    New York, NY | Visit Website

    To support the emergency cash grant program.

    $950,000

  • Safe Horizon

    New York, NY | Visit Website

    To fund the Emergency Client Assistance Program.

    $1,532,500