Sometimes, even an organization that’s been around for more than four decades needs help to rise to new challenges.
The Center for Family Life of Sunset Park (CFL) was established in 1978 by Sister Mary Paul Janchill and Sister Geraldine Tobias, two Sisters of the Good Shepherd with extensive social work and community development experience. They arrived in Sunset Park in Brooklyn with a belief in the dignity of families and the value of living in community.
Sponsored by St. Christopher’s Home (now SCO Family of Services), the Center for Family life has provided intensive family-centered services to children and families in Sunset Park and throughout the five boroughs of New York City ever since.
In 2021, to better meet the needs of the people they serve, the Center spun off as an independent 501c3 corporation. While much beloved in the community, they lacked a track record or credit history as a new, standalone nonprofit. The Center’s leadership team knew they needed capital reserves – sufficient liquidity to support expenses in their first few years of operations.
That’s where the Leviticus Fund stepped in. Our Loan Committee recently approved a $3 million, ten-year term loan to the newly independent Center for Family Life of Sunset Park, Inc.
This loan will allow them to continue as a stabilizing force in a neighborhood plagued by persistent poverty. The Center provides integrated social and human services that promote the development of families and children and increase the quality of life for neighborhood residents.
Further, the Leviticus loan will help the Center maintain a community economic development center that provides adult employment programming to help unemployed and underemployed residents find full-time work. The Center also operates the Cooperative Development Program, empowering members to create worker-owned cooperative businesses with the mission of economic and social justice. This program has incubated 21 new cooperatives over the past decade.
The Sisters of the Good Shepherd were among the original investors in the Leviticus Fund in 1983, and the very first investors in our Legacy Fund nearly 40 years later. We are honored to continue to support the Good Shepherd mission of empowering lives, restoring rights, and upholding dignity.
Pictured above: At PS 503/506, the Center for Family Life is spotlighting the importance of keeping the “lights on” for After School programs that help youth develop their social emotional skills, be creative, and build relationships. Students participated in the light bulb challenge in Team Building, made art and discussed why After School is important to them in Art, and learned how to make light bulb shaped cookies from scratch in Food Justice class.