Meet The Doe Fund: Pt. 1
A series on the guys that keep the neighborhood beautiful
As a BID based organization, keeping Downtown Brooklyn clean and safe is at the core of our mission, but we can’t do it without a little help. That’s where we turn to our friends at The Doe Fund. If you’ve ever walked through Downtown Brooklyn, you’ve seen the men in royal blue or firetruck red uniforms moving plaza furniture, changing trash bins, or sweeping the streets. Their shirts and bins feature the Downtown Brooklyn box, and we couldn’t be more proud that they are walking, talking representatives of our brand.
While many may notice how hard working and professional these men are, few know the background of the organization they belong to. The Doe Fund was founded in 1985 when homelessness in New York City had reached a catastrophic level, resulting in widespread death from disease, freezing temperatures, and suicide. A garment district executive named George T. McDonald sought to help those in need, but realized that free food and clothes weren’t what they needed. Instead, they needed an opportunity to get back on their feet.
Today, The Doe Fund provides the most comprehensive transitional program in the country, targeting three main tenets of poverty: homelessness, mass incarceration, and recidivism. Not only do they restore these men’s sense of responsibility through their Ready, Willing & Able work program, but they also provide housing, food, and the opportunity to take classes in various fields to complete their GED, receive certifications for technical skills, or obtain their driver’s license. The goal is to get these men back into mainstream society, so The Doe Fund also helps trainees find employment after they graduate from the program. Some of the trainees are hired by The Doe Fund itself to help run their Community Improvement Project teams like those that can be seen around Downtown Brooklyn.
Our employees from The Doe Fund make up a big part of the foundation of our neighborhood, so we want you to get to know them. We talked to three of our supervisors from The Doe Fund to hear what they had to say about Downtown Brooklyn, the organization, and the transitions that the programs at The Doe Fund helped them achieve. Check in each Wednesday for the next three weeks for a new blog post profiling various supervisors from the Downtown Brooklyn Doe Fund Crew.