A Little About Us
In 2017, FoMH’s founders, Pete Eikenberry and Dr. Bonnie Nuzum met with U.S. Congresswoman Nydia Velàzquez and her staff to facilitate connections with Marcy Houses resident leaders and community partners. They had been inspired by a presentation delivered by Cecilia Clark, the President of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, describing adverse community experiences and statistics which were negatively impacting life outcomes of the youth and families in Marcy Houses, NYCHA development. From these conversations, the idea for Friends of Marcy Houses was formed and a mission statement backed by research based program guidelines were established. A diverse board of directors was assembled.
Friends of Marcy Houses (FoMH) would become the first of kind, nonprofit dedicated to a single community within a NYCHA development, endeavoring to leverage the strengths and untapped potential of its youth and families to make impactful social change collaboratively.
FoMH was incorporated as a not for profit in 2017. Its 501(c)(3) application was approved by the IRS in 2018.
Marcy Houses is a New York Housing Authority (NYCHA) project built in 1949. It has 27 six-story buildings with 1,705 apartments housing 4,200 residents on 28 acres in an isolated area of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. In various reports, Marcy has been rated, e.g., as the third worst housing project in Brooklyn (unitedgangs.com) or second worst in the US (Newsone).
Friends of Marcy Houses has set its mission to therefore transform the lives of Marcy Houses youth so that they may flourish in school, build resilience, learn to collaborate, and develop the skills needed to advocate, create better lives for themselves.