The NYC Volunteer Group Housing Program (VGHP) was designed to help congregations and nonprofits build the capacity to host large volunteer groups from out-of-town after a disaster. From 2013 to 2016, the VGHP helped coordinate housing availability and reservation services for rebuild volunteer groups.
The program offered comprehensive materials and tools to help houses of worship build the capacities and means to ensure culturally and religiously appropriate housing for all volunteers. Furthermore, the program offered training for all host sites and their volunteers and staff.
In total, the program assisted housing 429 individual volunteers and supported 23 different volunteer housing sites with a total of 961 beds. NYDIS’ outreach efforts resulted in 132 volunteer inquiries. Through the program, we were able to help 53 Sandy-affected homes in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island being improved by volunteers.
VGHP Capital Grants
With a $64,000 grant from the United Way NYC, the VGHP was able to offer 6 sub-grants of up to $10,000 to assist new houses of worship to become volunteer host sites or improve their existing volunteer host sites. Not only did these sub-grants allowed the VGHP to expand the overall volunteer housing capacity, but they also assisted in the recovery of houses of worship that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Sheepshead Bay United Methodist Church and Naomi A.M.E. Zion Church were all heavily affected by the storm. Through these sub-grants, all three are actively serving their local communities again.