Rebuilding Together NYC
ADDRESSING ISSUES AT THE HEART OF SOCIAL DISPARITIES
Fast fact: Tweet her @NYC_RT
Kimberly George’s work at Rebuilding Together New York City is designed to better the living conditions of low income New Yorkers by improving the health and safety of their homes and revitalizing their communities through free critical home repairs, community renovations and workforce training. Prior to joining RT NYC, she worked for eight years as executive director of the Greater Brooklyn Health Coalition. She also previously served as program director at CAMBA.
NYN: HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN YOUR FIELD?
KG: Social justice issues have resonated with me since a very young age, and that drew me to a career in nonprofits. I transitioned to a job in public health, focused on Brooklyn’s diverse communities and meeting the challenges faced by Brooklyn’s public health system. Through that work I was exposed to the significant connection between housing and health. Ensuring that someone has a safe home is one of the best ways to guarantee their personal health – and that disparities in income lead to major health disparities. These all lead me to Rebuilding Together in New York City, where fortunately I am able to address the core issues at the heart of social disparities – being housing, health and wealth.
NYN: DESCRIBE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF.
KG: I have been fortunate to join rebuilding together New York City at a time when it was at the beginning of a gigantic growth curve. I have been able to help build the infrastructure for every Rebuilding Together New York City that allowed us to expand the number of families that we serve. Since joining in December of 2013 we have tripled the volume of annual health repairs, and we have created new programs.
NYN: WHAT CHANGE WOULD MOST HELP THE INDIVIDUALS YOUR ORGANIZATION SERVES?
KG: In order to maximize our impact we will continue to enhance our role as a partner in community vitalization, and we need to tailor our work to address the specific needs of New York City clients. This means directly addressing the city’s affordable housing crisis by expanding the work that we do to include repairs and renovations within affordable multifamily buildings, and public housing developments in both occupied and vacant units.
NYN: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU RETIRE?
KG: I would like to see us increasing the number of families and communities we serve through our programs dramatically. Having Rebuilding Together New York City be a partner in addressing the city’s housing crisis, to be seen as a vital partner to both other nonprofits, but also our government agencies.
NYN: WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB?
KG: I wish people knew that nonprofits exist because the world is a hard place, and this is not a level playing field. At Rebuilding Together New York City we address the core issues at the heart of social disparities in an effort to level the playing field.