Project FIND, a 50-year-old nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing and supportive social services to low- and moderate-income seniors on Manhattan's west side, is honoring Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church for its long-time volunteer and financial support.
The award will be presented on June 14, when Project FIND holds its annual fundraising gala and wine reception in Bonnell Hall. Project FIND is among FAPC's heritage mission partners, recognizing the close relationship between the two organizations for almost half a century.
Now in its fifth decade, FAPC's Project FIND ministry is one of our longest sustained Outreach programs. And one of our most vital. One out of eight New Yorkers is an older adult, and 17 percent of those who live alone are at risk of social isolation. A third live in poverty. This is where Project FIND (Friendless, Isolated, Needy and Disabled) comes into play.
Founded in 1969, Project FIND provides affordable housing for 600 low- and moderate-income older adults, some formerly homeless. Through its five senior centers on Manhattan’s west side, Project FIND provides thousands of seniors every year with nutritious meals, stimulating activities, and social services, all designed to stimulate body, mind and spirit.
When one of the seniors centers, the Coffeehouse, opened in 1971 near Times Square, it was only available on weekdays. Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church and three other west side churches banded together to keep the center open on Sunday afternoons as well—providing additional hours of community and fellowship on an otherwise lonely day for many elderly New Yorkers.
More than 40 years later, FAPC continues to send volunteers to the Coffeehouse. On the second Thursday of the month, beginning at 4:45 pm, we arrive to serve dinner to upwards of 200 older adults. FAPC also helps staff Project FIND’s Thanksgiving dinner and delivers meals to the homebound.
“Over the decades Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church and Project FIND have worked together to help the most vulnerable of our fellow New Yorkers—homeless people, the mentally ill, the elderly—to find the shelter and services they need," says David Gillcrist, executive director. "FAPC volunteers are famed not only for their hard work preparing and serving meals, the only food many of our seniors will have, but also for going above and beyond, always bringing a joyful atmosphere to their time at Project FIND. We are thrilled to be able to honor this historic and rich fellowship between our organizations."