With the COVID-19 health crisis in the Bronx having a significant impact on the community, and especially on housing, The Bronx Community Relief Effort is proud to announce that Shaun Donovan, former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Budget Director under the Obama Administration, and former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and Julissa Reynoso, former United States Ambassador to Uruguay under the Obama Administration and current Partner at Winston & Strawn, LLP, have joined The Bronx Community Relief Effort as Co-Chairs with a special focus on our Housing Stability, and Equity & Justice areas of need, respectively.
The Bronx is considered the epicenter as it pertains to the impact of COVID-19. Along with access to healthy meals, and support required to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The Bronx is also seeing the impact COVID-19 is having on the affordable housing development organizations and the residents of the Bronx.
The Bronx Community Relief Effort is accepting monetary donations here.
“The Bronx Community is at a crossroad. Many of our residents, small business owners, and nonprofit leaders are having to make a tough decision on which bill to pay, whether they have enough funding to keep their doors open and pay employees, and which constituents to support due to limited resources. They are having to make these decisions while also trying to navigate the complex support options being offered at the federal level.” said Derrick H. Lewis, Senior Manager, EY, and Chair and convener of The Bronx Community Relief Effort. “Having two of the nation’s foremost experts in housing and public policy, Shaun Donovan and Julissa Reynoso, as Co-Chairs will allow us to significantly broaden our much-needed resources and provide connectivity between key decision makers in Washington and the activities happening on the ground in the Bronx.”
“I am honored to join The Bronx Community Relief Effort at such a pivotal time,” said Shaun Donovan. “Since working in the Bronx at a nonprofit in my first job after finishing school, I have felt a deep connection to the borough and its residents. COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted the Bronx, and further illuminated already deep disparities in healthcare, housing, education, food access and economic opportunity. Together with leaders from across New York City, we will address the immediate crisis and tackle the systemic inequity that has plagued the Bronx for far too long.”
“I am proud to participate in The Bronx Community Relief Effort as The Bronx faces one of its greatest challenges.” said Julissa Reynoso. “Collectively, we must address this crisis and the underlying realities which have brought incredible suffering to the people of the Bronx. Growing up in the Bronx, I am very familiar with its grit and resilience. I look forward to working with leaders from throughout the City to actively address these complex challenges and help build towards a better future for Bronx residents.”
To join The Bronx Community Relief Effort, please visit here and follow us on social media via @BXReliefEffort.
About The Bronx Community Relief Effort
The Bronx Community Relief Effort was born in the South Bronx immediately after the Coronavirus hit New York City. The Effort aims to raise $10 million to support effective, on-the-ground operations that are focused on meeting the most essential needs of the Bronx community. This includes filling gaps in public financing and broader grant programs. Donations collected are distributed in real-time within the community to eight critical areas of need: Food Insecurity, Small Business Relief, Distributing Microgrants, Personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline responders, Nonprofit Economic Relief, Connectivity and Technology Gaps, Equity & Justice, Housing Stability.
About Shaun Donovan
Shaun served in President Obama’s Cabinet for his full eight years in office. From January, 2009 to July, 2014, Shaun was the 15th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he led the fight against the nation’s unprecedented foreclosure crisis. Under his leadership, HUD helped families rent or buy affordable homes, revitalized distressed communities, fought discrimination and dramatically reduced homelessness. After Hurricane Sandy hit his hometown, President Obama asked him to lead the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, leaving a stronger, more resilient region than before the storm hit.
In July 2014, he was sworn in as the 40th Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. At OMB, Shaun increased investment in key domestic and national security priorities that grew the economy, protected our country and increased opportunity. And he oversaw regulations that reduced inequality, expanded health care, improved education and fought climate change.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Donovan served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. He also served in the Clinton administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing at HUD and as acting FHA Commissioner.
Deeply affected by the crisis he saw around him growing up in New York City, he volunteered in a homeless shelter during college and interned for the National Coalition for the Homeless when he graduated. After studying housing in graduate school, he returned to work for the nonprofit Community Preservation Corporation in the Bronx and across New York City.
About Julissa Reynoso
Julissa is the former United States Ambassador to Uruguay. She also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central American, Caribbean and Cuban Affairs in the US Department of State. While in this role, Julissa was charged with developing comprehensive security and rule of law strategies for Central America and the Caribbean. Prior to joining the US Department of State, Julissa practiced at a major international law firm, where she specialized in antitrust law, international commercial arbitration and international investment arbitration.
Julissa Reynoso is a multilingual Partner at Winston & Strawn, LLP who focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation, regulatory enforcement and international arbitration. She also provides U.S. and international clients with strategic advice and risk assessment in managing transnational issues.
She advises a wide variety of clients, including governments, financial institutions, companies and individuals. She has managed diverse transnational matters involving the energy, media, sports, real estate, food and telecommunications sectors.