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Support Us

Support Us

Our Impact

As a nonprofit organization, Breaking Ground relies on the financial support of companies, foundations and individuals to realize our mission. With your generous donation, Breaking Ground can consistently meet the following annual benchmarks:

Ensure that 98%* of individuals remain housed 12 months later

*Clients entering our special needs supportive housing units

Help more than 400 homeless New Yorkers come indoors to transitional or permanent housing.
Make progress on nearly 1,000 new units of supportive and affordable housing in our development pipeline

Ways to Give

Thank you for your contribution to Breaking Ground's mission. Together, we can help thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers restore their lives.

Donate Online

Giving online is quick, easy and secure. Donate today!


Donate via PayPal

If you prefer to give via PayPal, please click the link below.

Donate via PayPal

Amazon.com Purchases

There is no cost to you, 0.5% of eligible purchases are donated (applies to nearly everything on Amazon), and no maximum payout to Breaking Ground. Win-win!

Donate via Amazon

By Mail

Please make checks payable to Breaking Ground, and mail to:

External Affairs Department
Breaking Ground

505 8th Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10018


Group Volunteering

Volunteering with Breaking Ground offers a great way to do team building with a purpose. We provide a variety of opportunities throughout the year for groups of corporate volunteers. When your group volunteers with us, you help to enrich the lives of our residents through events such as serving meals or repainting portions of our buildings. In addition, groups are vital to our largest volunteer event of the year, the HOPE (Homeless Outreach Population Estimate) Count.

Please contact Vanessa Miller to inquire about group opportunities, or with any other questions regarding volunteering: 212.389.9391 or [email protected].

Individual Volunteers

Check out our current opportunities for individual volunteers through our Volunteer Match profile. Have questions? Please reach out to us at [email protected].

Junior Board

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The Junior Board is a group of young and committed leaders who volunteer their time and effort on behalf of vulnerable New Yorkers, as well as making monetary contributions and raising significant funding in support of Breaking Ground's programs. The committee’s mission is to:

  1. Raise awareness for Breaking Ground’s innovative and industry leading affordable housing solutions through educational programming.
  2. Fundraise to support street outreach, supportive housing programs, and any other Breaking Ground programs.
  3. Build a network of like-minded individuals who believe that “everyone deserves a home” and are passionate about creating a more livable city.

Member Benefits

Improve NYC: Volunteer at tenant buildings and organizational events.

Network: Meet, socialize, and work with motivated peers.

Educate: Learn and teach others about supportive housing and homelessness in NYC. Members have a firsthand opportunity to meet Breaking Ground tenants.

Give back: Raise funds to provide a variety of homelessness solutions to those in need and to prevent new instances of homelessness.

For more information, or to learn how to join us, please reach out to Vanessa Miller, Director of Special Events and Community Engagement.


Betsy Durst

Vice President


Betsy Durst, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, joined the Junior Board in April 2018 to help build a better life for New York City’s most vulnerable. Betsy holds a law degree from Brooklyn Law School and a Bachelor’s of Science in Business and Commercial Real Estate from the College of Charleston. Outside of work, Betsy enjoys trying new restaurants, traveling, and cheering on the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Betsy joined the Junior Board in 2018 and currently leads the group, serving as its President.

Nicole Arminio

Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker

Nicole Arminio is an Associate Real Estate Broker with Keller Williams. Specializing in residential sales across Westchester and Long Island. Born and raised in The Bronx she saw first hand the effects low income and homelessness has on communities. Nicole is passionate about life changing programs for the homeless. She became involved with Breaking Ground to help support and empower others to become self sufficient and promote positive community engagement.

Nicole joined the Junior Board in 2018 and currently serves as a Member At-Large.

Benjamin Clyburn


FSA Management LLC

Ben is a Managing Director at FSA Capital where he oversees a diverse portfolio of assets and real estate development projects throughout NYC. Ben is originally from Baltimore and moved to New York City to attend Parsons School of Design. As a developer, Ben is an advocate for the creation and preservation of affordable housing and joined Breaking Ground's Junior Board to support pioneering initiatives aimed at ending homelessness within the NYC community.

Ben joined the Junior Board in 2018 and currently serves as a Member At-Large.

Lucas Durst

Financial Associate

The Durst Organization

Lucas grew up in northern Westchester County and joined the Junior Board in February 2018 to help break the cycle of perpetual homelessness and improve the New York City community in which he now lives. He is a 4th generation member of the Durst family and works as a financial associate for the organization. Lucas holds a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Finance from NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate and a Bachelor’s of Arts and Science Degree from Tufts University. In his free time Lucas loves to ski, kayak, and spend time on the beach.

Lucas joined the Junior Board in 2018 and is a Member At-Large.

Brad Elkin

Principal Associate, Commercial Real Estate Group

Capital One

Brad is originally from the Philadelphia area and joined the junior board in June 2018 to help improve the New York City community. He proactively works to create a positive impact through service with the Breaking Ground organization. Brad is a Principal Associate in the Commercial Real Estate group at Capital One. Brad holds a Bachelors Degree in Finance from The University of Scranton. In his free time he enjoys playing sports, snowboarding, reading, and fishing.

Brad joined the Junior Board in 2018 and currently serves as a Member At-Large.

Alex Engel

Project Manager

Plaza Construction

Alex is a Project Manager for Plaza Construction where he is responsible for leading a construction project in Jersey City, NJ. Alex grew up in New Jersey and moved to New York City after graduating from Purdue University with a B.S. in Construction Engineering. He enjoys running, hiking and spending time with family and friends. Alex joined the Junior Board to raise awareness of Breaking Ground and its housing and outreach programs.

Alex joined the Junior Board in 2018 and currently serves as a Member At Large.

Gary Evans

Vice President, Real Estate Investing

Morgan Stanley

Gary Evans is a Vice President in Morgan Stanley's Real Estate Investing group, focusing on sourcing, evaluating, and executing on new investments in the eastern United States. Gary grew up in Washington, DC and has lived in Brooklyn since 2014. He joined the Junior Board in July 2018 to support Breaking Ground in combating homelessness in New York City. Gary earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, an MA in Economics from Boston University, and a BSE in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He enjoys playing soccer, watching movies, and traveling.

Gary joined the Junior Board in 2018 and currently serves as a Member At Large.

Andrew Graffy


Centerview Partners

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Andrew currently works in New York City as an investment banking analyst at Centerview Partners, advising clients on mergers and acquisitions and various strategic initiatives. Andrew first became involved with Breaking Ground in October 2018 through the Greater NY Analyst Corps program. Andrew graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and minor in Computer Science.

Andrew joined the Junior Board in 2019, and currently serves a a Member At Large.

Caroline Haines

Account Manager


Caroline got involved with Breaking Ground after participating in Hope Count 2018 and seeing the impact Breaking Ground’s Street Outreach team can have first hand. Caroline spends much of her free time volunteering with organizations that serve the homeless population here in NYC and is passionate about Breaking Ground’s housing first mission. Caroline grew up in South Dakota, graduated from Scripps College, one of the Claremont Colleges out in California, and is currently an Account Manager at Google.

Caroline joined the Junior Board in 2018 and serves as a Member At Large.

Beth Kaskel Hinman

Executive Assistant


Beth works as an Executive Assistant at Zocdoc, a healthcare tech company. She has been volunteering as part of Breaking Ground’s Junior Board since January 2016. Beth currently serves as the group’s Fundraising and Events Chair. Working in various branches of health divisions and companies throughout her career, Beth discovered her passion for supporting underserved individuals. Breaking Ground has been able to provide her with a place to volunteer time and help build a better future for those suffering from homelessness in New York City.

Beth serves as Chairperson of the Engagement Committee.

Erika Hinman


Kroll Bond Rating Agency, Inc.

A native of the New York region, Erika returned to New York City in May 2013 after graduating from Colby College (located in the woods of rural Maine) with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a strong passion for skiing. She joined Breaking Ground’s Junior Board in May 2014 as a means to give back to the NYC community and meet other like-minded young professionals. Erika graduated from NYU Stern in May 2017, with an MBA in Finance and Real Estate, and currently works as an Associate within Kroll Bond Rating Agency’s Commercial Mortgaged Backed Securities group. Besides working, volunteering, and organizing events for her friends, she also enjoys hiking, traveling, and brunching.

Erika previously served as Junior Board President, and currently serves as a Member At Large.

Liz Johnson


Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Liz joined the Junior Board in 2019, and currently serves as a Member At Large.

Zachary Kadden

Vice President, Development

Madison Realty Capital

Zach is a Vice President of Development for Madison Realty Capital. He started working with Breaking Ground in 2014, when Madison Realty Capital hired Breaking Ground to be the Administering Agent for Madison’s mixed income rental development projects in Brooklyn. After working closely together with Breaking Ground for four years, Zach, firsthand, saw the impact of Breaking Ground’s mission to solve homelessness in New York City, and he wanted to be part of it.

Zach earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He is a member of the New York State Bar.

Zach joined the Junior Board in 2018 and currently serves as Chairperson of the Events & Fundraising Committee.

Tara King Brown

Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker


Tara King-Brown heads ‘The King-Brown Team’ at The Corcoran Group, the residential real estate brokerage based in New York City. She grew up and attended college in Vancouver, Canada but has lived in New York City for nearly a decade, a city she is proud to call home. As a Junior Board member she is able to support Breaking Grounds impactful initiatives towards safe and secure housing for all and contribute to underserved residents.

Tara joined the Junior Board in 2018 and currently serves as a Member At Large.

Mike Kusy

Vice President

Square Mile Capital

Mike is a Vice President on the acquisitions team at Square Mile Capital, a real estate investment firm based in Manhattan. As an admirer of Breaking Ground’s approach to providing safe and secure housing for New York City’s homeless men and women, Mike joined the Junior Board in April 2018 in order to support underserved New Yorkers and work towards ending chronic homelessness within the local community. Born and raised outside of Boston, MA, Mike is a proud alumnus of Villanova University and enjoys traveling, playing soccer, and spending time with his family and friends in his free time.

Mike joined the Junior Board in 2018 and serves as a Member At Large.

Christian Mutone


Sidley Austin LLP

After graduating from Boston College Law School, Christian returned to New York City to pursue his legal career. As a real estate associate at Sidley Austin LLP, Christian’s practice includes representing lenders in connection with affordable housing transactions. In January 2018, Christian joined the Breaking Ground Junior Board, and coordinated a team of Sidley attorneys to participate in the annual HOPE Count event. A trilingual, first-generation American, Christian enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Christian is a Member At Large of the Junior Board.

Nicole Napolitano

Associate, CRE Capital Markets

Annaly Capital Management

Nicole is an Associate on the Capital Markets team in Annaly Capital Management’s Commercial Real Estate Group. Prior to joining Annaly, Nicole worked in the Commercial Real Estate Finance group at CIT Bank. Nicole graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Management from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, where she majored in Finance and Marketing. Nicole joined the Junior Board to utilize her background in real estate to better serve under-represented populations within her community.

Nicole joined the Junior Board in 2019, and currently serves as a Member At Large.

Taylor Nelson

Senior Associate

Capital One

Taylor is a senior associate with Capital One’s Commercial Real Estate asset management group where he is responsible for managing a commercial portfolio of $700M across the Greater New York City area. Originally from Cincinnati, he moved to New York City after graduating from Elon University and quickly fell love with the city’s real estate. Taylor joined Breaking Ground’s Junior Board in June 2018 with the strong belief that a safe and stable home is central to every person’s wellbeing.

Taylor currently serves as a Member At Large of the Junior Board.

Joshua Neustadter


Cushman & Wakefield

Josh is an Associate in the New York Middle Market Investment Sales Group of Cushman & Wakefield, focusing on building and land sales in Manhattan’s Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood neighborhoods, as well as in the borough of the Bronx. After seeing first hand Breaking Ground’s impactful work and commitment to those most in need, Josh decided to join the Junior Board as a way to volunteer time and give back to the community.

Josh joined the Junior Board in 2019 and serves as a Member At Large.

Matthew Picket

Associate, Development

Gotham Organziation

Matthew Picket is an Associate in Gotham Organization’s development group, focusing on the financial analysis and due diligence of new and existing developments and acquisitions. Prior to joining Gotham, Matthew worked for Norges Bank Real Estate Management (NBREM), where he focused on acquisitions in New York City. Matthew graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University, where he majored in History. He enjoys traveling, collecting historical documents, golf, baseball and basketball.

Matt joined the Junior Board in 2018 and currently serves as a Member At Large.

Christine Shin

Vice President - Structured Real Estate

Wells Fargo

Christine Shin works at Wells Fargo within the Real Estate Capital Markets group. Born and raised in L.A., Christine moved to the east coast for college at Penn and has been living in NYC since 2010. Christine has volunteered with and raised funds for various non-profit organizations focusing on underserved and disadvantaged communities and joined the Junior Board to continue this work and support Breaking Ground’s mission of combating homelessness in NYC.

Christine joined the Junior Board in 2019 and serves as a Member At Large.

Avery Silverstein

Director, Capital Markets

Cushman & Wakefield

Avery Silverstein is a Director with Cushman & Wakefield’s Institutional Capital Markets Team, with a focus on commercial real estate sale transactions in New York City. Avery holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics from Brown University, where she played four years of Division I Women’s Softball. Avery has lived in New York City since 2013 and became interested in Breaking Ground’s mission, particularly the way in which the Organization uses real estate as a way to serve the city she loves.

Avery joined the Junior Board in 2018 and currently serves as a Member At Large.

Jared Toothman

Vice President, Acquisitions & Capital Markets

Vornado Realty Trust

Jared Toothman helps execute commercial real estate acquisitions, financings, and development projects at Vornado Realty Trust, a leading Real Estate Investment Trust with prominent holdings in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Jared previously worked for real estate investment sales and investment banking firms. He earned a BA from Duke University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Jared joined the Junior Board in 2018 and currently serves as a Member At Large.

Mason Vincent

Senior Partnerships and Program Manager

Robofun, Vision Education and Media

Mason grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and joined the Junior Board in March 2019 to support people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness within the New York City community. Mason holds a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy from Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design and a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree from Auckland University of Technology. In his free time Mason enjoys visiting galleries, going to concerts and eating his way around New York City.

Danielle Yatco

Consultant, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services


Danielle Schwarz is a legal consultant in EY's Fraud and Investigations practice. She has been an active member of the Junior Board for three years, serving as a Gala co-chair and member at large. Danielle is proud to be a member of Breaking Ground's Junior Board because it is a great organization that makes a real impact on the community.

Danielle is currently as a Member At Large.