The Child Center of New York, a beloved youth counseling organization, revamped the outdoor space of their treatment facility on May 11 — enlisting the help of nearly 100 volunteers to beautify their Crown Heights facility.
Good samaritans from across Brooklyn spent the day constructing a new miniature football field and painting a mural that was designed by the kids, while installing new picnic benches, a vegetable garden and other outdoor equipment.
The work helped to spruce up the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) at 2050 Dean Street, which serves as a one stop shop for young individuals with intense emotional disabilities, and provides high-level behavioral health care.
With their new amenities, TCCNY will be able to provide even more services for their struggling young patients — as physical movement plays a big role in improving the children’s mental health, which is why the center chose to invest in their outdoor space.
“We’re all here today to renovate the entire courtyard and give the young people a safe place to be,”Sherri Romano, chief clinical officer for (TCCNY) told Brooklyn Paper. “Really just a great space to enjoy being outside in the community.”
Romano says the beautification project was supported with a grant from Kaboom, a national nonprofit that builds kids play spaces in marginalized communities.
The beautification project was supported with a grant from KABOOM! — a national nonprofit that builds kids play spaces in marginalized communities, such as Crown Heights, which lacks greenspace relative to more affluent areas in the Big Apple.
The day of good deeds was the culmination of a long process, said KABOOM! project manager Ted Friedman, who worked with the youth to pick the amenities they most wanted to add to the play area.
He says he is grateful for the hard work of every individual as they put their sweat equity into this project.
“It’s just amazing to see so many people come together for the youth here at The Child Center of New York,” Friedman said. “Anytime that you get people coming together and working on a project, you can really see transformative change.”
KABOOM! also partnered with the luxury clothing brand Hugo Boss to complete the project, with the fashion company supporting the build day with funds and bringing in over 70 volunteers on the day of service.
“We have been looking for an opportunity to work in a local community to create some impact so this is the perfect match up with Hugo Boss in Brooklyn,” Stephen Born, CEO of Hugo Boss said. “We’re trying to impact the lives of children. We’re trying to make this home for them nicer and precious so hopefully our contribution can make that happen.”
The Child Center helping the youth
The Brooklyn center specifically brings in kids between 12 and 18 years old, and provides comprehensive care including clinical coordinators, psychiatric providers, a pediatrician, 24-hour nursing staff, a District 75 school and programs to prepare the youth for the workforce.
“We really get them the treatment they need,” Romano said. “Part of our goal is really to increase high school graduation rates and for mental health, it’s often like you have to make it worth it for them to participate in their mental health.”
This latest upgrade is the biggest renovation project TCCNY has undergone at this facility, and will positively impact the children’s wellbeing, according to the group’s chief clinical office.
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years and it’s probably the best partnership I’ve seen to date. They really care for our kids,” Romano said. “[The kids] don’t feel like they’re worth it. The communities don’t really show them that they’re worth it and so for these folks to come out here and really take time out of their day and do this, it’s showing our kids how worth it they are that people care about them.”