Habitat for Humanity - New York City

A Brush with Kindness


About the A Brush with Kindness Program

Habitat NYC’s A Brush with Kindness (BWK) program consists of multi-day projects of painting, planting, or doing light “fix-up” work in all five boroughs at community, afterschool, and senior centers, homeless shelters, and non-profit community gardens, which have limited funds to pay for refurbishments.. The program serves over 6,000 New Yorkers each year and has revitalized more than 100 neighborhood spaces since it began in 2009.

Why It Matters

Brush with Kindness is a natural extension of Habitat NYC's housing ministry, allowing our organization to ensure overall neighborhood revitalization and that low-income and very low-income New Yorkers who might not qualify for homeownership have beautiful, well-maintained homes and communities, whether "home" be public housing, a shelter or a rented apartment.

See Before and After Photos of Brush with Kindness Sites

How We Do It

Groups of volunteers, led by AmeriCorps members and Habitat NYC staff, complete the scope of work in the space.

In addition to volunteers, Habitat NYC uses donated materials and takes no profit for their services.

Volunteering with Habitat NYC's A Brush with Kindness Program

Volunteers age 14 & up may participate with a signed waiver by a parent or guardian.

We rehabilitate public schools, playgrounds, community centers and public parks, many in partnership with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

Brush with Kindness typically includes:

• Painting interiors and murals
• Landscaping and gardening
• Minor construction tasks

As part of our sustainable building practices, we also only use low-VOC paint in the BWK program.

Learn About Volunteering as an Individual

Learn About Volunteering with a Corporate Group

Learn About Volunteering with a Faith or Community Group

Learn About Volunteering with a Military or Veteran Group

Learn About Volunteering with a School Group

If you have questions about volunteering, please email us at volunteer@habitatnyc.org.

Apply to Have Your Community Space be a Brush with Kindness Project

Please contact bwk@habitatnyc.org to apply for our program.

Habitat for Humanity New York City transforms lives by building quality homes with families in need and by uniting all New Yorkers around the cause of affordable housing.

What would you like to learn about?

Homeownership Information Sessions

Learn more about our homeownership program by attending one of our information sessions!

For more information about upcoming sessions, email homeownership@habitatnyc.org or call (646) 779-8846.

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