VOCAL-NY is building a permanent home for justice, compassion & love.
We were founded in 1999 by AIDS activists that were quite literally fighting for their lives. Our first campaigns were about winning affordable housing for people living with HIV. We knew then, and we know that a home can transform a person’s life. A home brings stability, improved health, and a sense of community. We’ve never stopped fighting for housing for the most vulnerable among us, but today we need your support to build a home of our own.
As Brooklyn rapidly gentrifies, our long-time office space on 4th Avenue was sold to developers and will be replaced with luxury condos. After close to 20 years, we will be forced to move. But we are seizing this moment to secure ourselves a larger space and permanent home only blocks away from where we are today.
Once finished, we will own a newly renovated space, twice the size of our current office, where we can expand our life-saving harm reduction services and grow our capacity to build the power of low-income people directly impacted by HIV, drug use, mass incarceration, and homelessness.
Your support will put us on a path towards ownership and give VOCAL-NY the financial freedom and stability to continue our mission for decades to come.
Organizations like ours deserve a permanent place in New York City — with your generous support we can make that happen.
Expand harm reduction services to include medical offices, showers, laundry & more.
6,000 sq ft of office & meeting space for our staff to grow & for our members to strategize.
Create a new computer lab, phone bank , and library for our members to get connected & get informed.
Put down permanent roots in Brooklyn, and stay in the neighborhood we’ve called home for 20 years.
— OUR NEW HOME —
AT A GLANCE
- 6,000 square feet over two floors – doubling our office size
- Owned space in Brooklyn near the Atlantic Ave-Barclays transportation hub
- Fully ADA compliant with an elevator
- Showers, laundry, and bathrooms for homeless participants.
- Two kitchens for healthy, hot meals for our meetings & events.
- Meeting space for movement & community organizations.
- Computer lab, phones, and library for campaign work and community access.
- Plenty of office space for VOCAL staff, with room to grow.
OUR PATH TO ACQUISITION
VOCAL-NY has entered a lease-to-own agreement on a 6,000 square foot office space at 300 Douglass Street in Brooklyn. Over the next several years we are raising money to renovate and purchase the building. We plan to achieve this in two phases:
PHASE 1: RENOVATION
First, we will renovate the space so it is custom built to our needs. Ensuring that our lifesaving harm reduction services and transformative community organizing campaigns have the space they need to thrive. The renovation will include the build out of workspaces, phone banks, computer labs, and meeting rooms for the entire organization.
We are especially excited about what this renovation will mean for our direct services team. Our new space will allow us to provide showers, laundry, and hot meals for those without shelter, as well as offer medical services like hepatitis C treatment and buprenorphine access for people who use drugs. Many of our participants do not seek services in traditional settings because of stigma and shame. We are proud to offer our community the care and compassion they truly deserve.
Our new home will be built for the future, putting us on the path to having zero carbon footprint. It will operate on 100% electricity – utilizing no natural gas – with solar panels on the roof.
We need to raise $1.1 million dollars to cover the costs of the design and construction of our new space.
PHASE 2: ACQUISITION
Starting in January 2021, we will work with allies at the New York City Council to re-acquire the $2.25 million capital allocation that was rescinded from VOCAL-NY during budget negotiations last June.
With this money re-allocated – along with a $600,000 capital allocation already provided by Brooklyn Borough President Adams – we will have enough money to responsibly take out a mortgage and purchase our office space for $4 million.
From that point on, our capital campaign will prioritize raising the remaining $1.2 million to pay off our mortgage so that we can permanently own our home and secure our organization’s future.