Healthy Lives: Health & Behavioral Health / People With Special Needs

New York Community Trust

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Next deadline: Sep 8, 2020

Later deadlines: Feb 11, 2021, May 12, 2021

Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $200,000

Fields of work: Addiction & Substance Abuse Health Care Access & Delivery Preventative Healthcare Environmental Health Parks & Public Spaces Food Access & Hunger Physical Fitness Nutrition & Healthy Eating Mental Health & Psychiatric Diseases Senior Services Children With Disabilities Vision Impairment Care & Services Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Show all

Applicant type: Nonprofit, Indigenous Group, Government Entity, College / University

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building, Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in New York: Bronx County, Kings County, New York County, Queens County, Richmond County

Location of residency: Counties in New York: Bronx County, Kings County, New York County, Queens County, Richmond County

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About this funder:



NOTE: You may submit a proposal anytime. We build in a long lead time to review proposals and prepare grant recommendations for five board meetings each year. Program staff weigh many considerations in preparing grant recommendations and cannot promise that any proposal will be considered at a particular board meeting. The deadlines above indicate that applicants can expect a decision on their grant application as described here

NYCT: Healthy Lives

We help providers deliver efficient, patient-focused, equitable, and cost-effective health and behavioral health services to all New Yorkers. We support projects that develop the skills and independence of four groups of people with special needs: the elderly, the blind or visually impaired, children and youth with disabilities, and people with developmental disabilities. We also support biomedical research and projects for animal welfare. 

Funding Areas

Health and Behavioral Health

Program goal: to promote an equitable, patient-focused, and cost-effective health and behavioral health care delivery system.

Grants are made to:

1. Advocate for successful health care reform implementation to ensure:

  • maintenance of a strong and viable health and behavioral health care safety net;
  • access to comprehensive and coordinated care for those who remain uninsured or underinsured; and
  • availability of screening, early intervention, and referral for effective treatment of disease.

2. Build the capacity of New York City’s health, behavioral health, and human service sectors to succeed in a reformed health care system by:

  • developing effective skills training for the professional and paraprofessional health care workforce; and
  • strengthening financial and information technology systems to allow transition to value-based payments.

3. Reduce health disparities between low- and higher-income neighborhoods through investments in disadvantaged communities that:

  • improve indoor and outdoor air quality;
  • provide safe and inviting parks and open space;
  • promote access to affordable and healthy food; and
  • engage residents in efforts to encourage physical activity and healthy diets.

4. Foster the independence of people with mental illness and substance use histories by:

  • expanding innovative programs that offer clinical care as well as practical services, such as housing, employment, and education; and
  • advocating for expansion of participant-led or informed service models that are sustainable and effective.

People With Special Needs

The Trust has a coordinated approach that reflects the common challenges and opportunities for four groups of people with special needs: the elderly, children and youth with disabilities, people with blindness and visual disabilities, and people with developmental disabilities. We support projects that target low-income individuals and communities.

Grants are made to:

1. Make New York City communities—especially those that are under-resourced—accessible, welcoming, and inclusive for people with special needs by:

  • supporting research and pilot efforts that demonstrate these principles; and
  • ensuring that laws that fund services and expand opportunities are implemented fully and effectively.

2. Ensure that health, social, education, and vocational services allow people with special needs to live up to their fullest potential by:

  • supporting and replicating proven strategies that help these populations receive appropriate education, high quality vocational preparation, and equal employment opportunities;
  • testing new approaches that use technology and other innovations to help people with special needs remain as independent as possible; and
  • supporting families and caregivers of people with special needs.

3. Build the capacity of nonprofits serving people with special needs by:

  • ensuring the workforce serving these populations is provided effective training, better career pathways, and increased job quality;
  • helping agencies create appropriate financial and management systems, and partnerships to benefit from new financing mechanisms through Medicaid and Medicare.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Most of our competitive grants go to public charities, or groups sponsored by one. 
  • Grantees (or fiscal agents) should have a board of directors with at least five members, and no more than one paid board member. 
  • We fund programs that promote change in policy or systems, build capacity of organizations, and expand and/or improve direct service.


  • The Health and Behavioral Health and People with Special Needs strategies give preference to projects that offer sector-wide, systemic, and multi-agency solutions, and whenever possible, make grants in partnership with other Trust program areas to ensure the greatest impact.


  • We do not make grants to individuals, or for general operating support, capital and building campaigns, endowments, equipment, deficit financing, or religious purposes.