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Friday, November 2, 2018

Celebrating Home & Community Gala 2018 Breaks Records

Last night, nearly 700 guests joined us at Cipriani 42nd Street for our Celebrating Home & Community Gala. We honored two distinguished New Yorkers who have had an extraordinary impact on affordable and supportive housing in New York City - Jeffrey Levine, Chairman of the Douglaston Companies, and RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner and CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal. And we premiered a new video with stories from our Drop In Center in Queens.

In fact, we're expanding the Drop In Center from a small pilot program, to a 24-hour-per-day operation that can serve up to 75 people at any given time. There are still opportunities to support our efforts to make the Drop In Center a warm and welcoming space for homeless New Yorkers.

Breaking Ground President and CEO, Brenda Rosen, delivered a moving and compelling message on the importance of family, and how Breaking Ground's professional staff fill that role for people who are on the streets of New York City and have lost or been disconnected from their own families.

Breaking Ground board member David Picket, President of the Gotham Organization, introduced honoree Jeffrey Levine, Chairmain of the Douglaston Companies, with a wonderful, personal story of their friendship and Jeff's career-long record of creating affordable housing. The honoree reflected on what home means to him and his family and thanked everyone in the room for their commitment to helping those who have not been as fortunate through their support of Breaking Ground.

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Jamie Rubin, CEO of Meridiam North America, introduced honoree RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, as the smartest, funniest, and most talented developer of affordable housing that HCR has been fortunate to have at the helm. RuthAnne recounted the early inspiration of Breaking Ground's bold Times Square residence. She praised the organization's continual commitment to projects that push the envelope and reshape the possibilities supportive and affordable housing can achieve, including our latest project at 90 Sands Street in DUMBO.

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We extend a very special thanks to our generous sponsors, who made it a record year and helped us raise nearly $1.8 million for our street outreach and transitional housing programs that serve the most vulnerable homeless New Yorkers. People just like Frank, Sholanda and Edward will receive vital services thanks to your support.

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