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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Save the Date - 11.1.2018

Join us on November 1, 2018 to celebrate Breaking Ground's 28 years of service to New York City and honor two distinguished individuals whose work helps to create a more vibrant and livable city for all New Yorkers, especially our most vulnerable neighbors.

Each year, the Celebrating Home & Community Gala raises more than $1.5 million to strengthen Breaking Ground's street outreach, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing programs serving New York's most vulnerable street homeless citizens.

Event Details:
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Cipriani 42nd Street
6:30 PM - Cocktails
7:30 PM - Dinner & Program

Sponsorship and ticket information will be available soon. In the meantime, meet our 2018 honorees:


Jeffrey E. Levine
Chairman, Douglaston Development, Levine Builders and Clinton Management

Jeffrey E. Levine is the Founding Principal and Chairman of The Douglaston Companies consisting of Douglaston Development, Levine Builders, and Clinton Management. Since founding the organization in 1979, Mr. Levine has directed new construction or rehabilitation of thousands of residential units, including both affordable and luxury housing, student housing, hotels, senior living, healthcare facilities, and millions of square feet of commercial retail, office, and institutional spaces.

Some of Mr. Levine’s many professional recognitions include the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, the National Association of Home Builders Affordable Builder of the Year, the Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York Developer of the Year, and the Phipps Housing Community Builder of the Year. The New York Housing Conference also named Mr. Levine Developer of the Year in 2000. In 2010, Mr. Levine was recognized at a Tribute Dinner for St. Mary’s Health Care System for Children. In 2011 he was honored with the Met Council’s Builder of the Year Award.   Mr. Levine, together with his son Benjamin, received the “Generation-to-Generation Award” from the Jewish Community Relations Council. He has also received the 2012 Israel Peace Medal from the Development Corporation for Israel. 

Mr. Levine is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York’s Executive Committee and in 2016 was honored with the Kenneth Gerrity Humanitarian Award as well as being given the Impact Award for Housing by the Citizens Housing and Planning Council at their Annual Luncheon.  Mr. Levine is currently Chairman of the Board of the Jewish National Fund as well as, a member of the Jewish National Fund’s National Board, which recently honored him with its Tree of Life, a humanitarian award given in recognition of outstanding community involvement.

Mr. Levine graduated from the City University of New York’s City College.


RuthAnne Visnauskas
Commissioner and CEO,
New York State Homes and Community Renewal

RuthAnne Visnauskas currently serves as the Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal. RuthAnne previously served as HCR’s Executive Deputy Commissioner for Housing Development, where she was responsible for strategic leadership and oversight of multi-family housing finance programs, the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA), the Mortgage Insurance Fund (MIF), the Office of Community Renewal and the Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services. 

Prior to joining HCR, RuthAnne was Managing Director of the Housing Advisory Board for the Robin Hood Foundation, New York's largest poverty-fighting organization. The Housing Advisory Board was established to fund initiatives to advance the quantity and quality of affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers.  

RuthAnne held also several key positions at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), including the role of Commissioner from September 2014 to February 2015.  HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing agency, in charge of the development and preservation of affordable housing and the enforcement of the City’s Housing Maintenance Code.

Prior to taking the helm at HPD, RuthAnne served as Deputy Commissioner for Development, spearheading  innovative development programs, including the Preserving City Neighborhoods (PCN) initiative, designed to purchase the notes of overleveraged buildings, and stabilize them by ultimately transferring them to responsible not-for-profit owners. 

She received her Bachelor degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. 

RuthAnne lives in Manhattan with her husband and three children.

Have questions or interested in learning more about the gala? Please reach out to Vanessa Miller, Director of Special Events and Community Engagement, via email or at (212) 389-9391.

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