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Brush with Kindness kick off event. (Photo by Pete Mikoleski)
NYCHA, Habitat for Humanity, Bring Volunteers Together to “Brush with Kindness”

A number of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) community centers will have fresh paint jobs over the next couple of months. The Brush with Kindness program brings public housing residents together with NYCHA employees and Habitat for Humanity volunteers to paint community centers throughout the city.

"We want residents to be enthusiastic and see that we're keeping up with the times," said Tyree Stanback, Resident Association President at Lafayette Gardens in Brooklyn, the first development to receive a new coat of paint in its community center. "We're offering them an opportunity to participate and take ownership of their community center. People are less likely to treat their surroundings poorly if they put it together."

Brush with Kindness is part of the Housing for Housing Initiative, a partnership among NYCHA, Habitat for Humanity NYC, Habitat for Humanity International and the NYCHA Haitian-American Employee Association. Housing for Housing supports the rebuilding efforts in Haiti by raising funds and having participants travel to Haiti to rebuild permanent housing for families struck by the devastating earthquake in 2010. The Brush with Kindness kickoff was held at the Lafayette Gardens Community Center on January 11, 2011, the day before the one-year anniversary of the earthquake.

"Today we celebrate the power of communities coming together and, person by person, transforming their neighborhoods to ensure that the foundation for strong families and strong futures will endure," said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea.

"Together we will make NYCHA better and we will make housing better for others as well," said New York City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, Chair of the Council's Public Housing Committee.

Since 2007, NYCHA and Habitat NYC volunteers have assisted in revitalizing public housing facilities. Brush with Kindness connects communities through simple acts of kindness so that families can live in safe and decent neighborhoods. The NYCHA /Habitat NYC partnership expanded in 2010 to include joint fundraising for the Haiti earthquake relief.

"We love to be joined by NYCHA residents and staff. We want it to be a true partnership, not just a handout from Habitat," said Habitat NYC Executive Director Joshua Lockwood.

For more information about the Housing for Housing Initiative, send an e-mail to

View pictures from the event (Flickr)

Successfully painted community centers are listed below:

Monterey/Twin Parks Community Center (2100 Monterey Ave, Bronx): Dec. 12-23, 2011Sedgwick Community Center (1553 University Ave, Bronx): Nov. 30-Dec. 10, 2011
Williamsburg Community Center (204 Graham Ave, Brooklyn): Nov. 16-20, 2011
Frederick E. Samuel Community Center (669 Lennox Ave, Manhattan): Nov. 2-13, 2011
De Hostos Community Center (696 Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan): March 8-20, 2011
Wagner Community Center (435 East 120th St., Manhattan): March 23-27, 2011 
Wyckoff Gardens Community Center (280 Wyckoff Ave., Brooklyn): March 30-April 3, 2011
Meltzer Tower Senior Center (94 East 1st St., Manhattan): April 6-10, 2011
Manhattanville Community Center (530 West 133rd St., Manhattan): April 13-May 14, 2011
Gun Hill Community Center (711 Magenta Street, Bronx): Feb. 22-26, 2011
Riis Community Center (154 Avenue D, Manhattan): Feb. 8-19, 2011
Baruch Community Center (300 Delancey St, Manhattan): Feb. 2-5, 2011
Campos Plaza Community Center (611 East 13th Street, Manhattan) Jan. 18-29, 2011
Lafayette Gardens Community Center (442 DeKalb Avenue, Brooklyn) Jan. 11, 2011

By Eric Deutsch
January 11, 2011

Couples Spend Valentine's Weekend Doing East Village Volunteer Work (