As the country’s first and oldest community development organization, the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in the past half-century has become a vital hub for Central Brooklyn residents for many aspects of their lives– arts and entertainment, economic development, employment and housing sustainability.
So, with the temporary shuttering of “non-essential” businesses due to Covid-19, what is happening with this very essential non-profit that is the glue that binds so many to free and low-cost essential services, including its free tax program?
The answer is that although most of its operations are suspended, the outdoor plaza and food business remain open, while several of its offerings are now via phone or online. Here’s the breakdown:
Restoration Plaza: Restoration Plaza will remain open until further notice. Many of Restorationís commercial tenants provide essential services, such as the supermarket, financial services and postal service, and are likely to remain open. Restoration Plazaís maintenance staff will intensify cleaning and disinfecting based on CDC recommendations.
RestorationArt and The Billie Holiday Theatre: All arts and culture events and educational programming, including theater productions, Skylight Open, Youth Arts Academy and Black Arts Institute, run by The Billie Holiday Theatre at Restoration or in partnership with neighborhood nonprofits and other organizations are temporarily suspended until further notice or, where possible, conducted online. Tickets purchased for upcoming productions through this time frame will be refunded.
Restoration Economic Solutions Center: Whether you are looking to access public benefits or anxious about your finances and family or just need someone to speak to, we are here for you. In the coming days, we will be rolling out an online portal to complete intake forms and schedule appointments. In the meantime, please take a minute to complete our brief survey so we can see how we might help and support you. Or you may call 718-636-6994, or email [email protected]
- Free Tax Prep Services will be suspended until further notice. We are committed to processing all of the tax returns that have been submitted to date. You will be contacted by phone when it is completed and instructed on how to sign up on your phone to complete the process. Please stay tuned at our website Restorationplaza.org for updates on when we will reopen.
- Financial Empowerment Center will be offered by phone. Please go to the website: nyc.gov/talkmoney to make an appointment, and select Bed Stuy Restoration Corporation as the service provider.
- Our Job Training and Placement team can help you with updating your resume or interview coaching through remote offerings, including telephone appointments, videoconferencing and training sessions. We are also actively working with employers to fill immediate needs for: Maintenance and Environmental Services; Medical staff – all levels and specialties; Security; Dietary Aides and Food Services; Warehouse and Delivery Services. The hiring process for many of these roles have been expedited in light of the urgent situation. For resume/interview consultation and training, please contact [email protected]; and/or reach Nadine Mullings, Assistant Director, Training and Placement at [email protected] or (917) 275-0418 about immediate employment opportunities.
Restoration Brooklyn Business Center: BBC will provide services on a remote basis. Brooklyn Business Center will be working with New York City and New York State to provide emergency services to Brooklyn small businesses. To contact the Brooklyn Business Center please email: Bishara J. Handal at [email protected] or Kevin Edwards at [email protected]
Census 2020: Restorationís 2020 Census Project will continue its outreach activities during the coronavirus crisis, but will shift its activities from in-person Teach-ins to activities that can be performed remotely, consistent with the direction of NYS. We will be conducting outreach via phone banking and text-banking.
Weatherization Assistance Program: Going forward, our work may be impacted by coronavirus constraints. We will keep you updated as NYCHA and other stakeholders provide guidance. WAP is dedicated to completing our WAP work, while providing maximum safety for our workers, contractors and of course – the residents we serve.