COVID-19 Response

Union Settlement is committed to serving the East Harlem community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. Although the outbreak is being felt everywhere, East Harlem residents are especially vulnerable to this unprecedented medical and financial crisis. As we have for the past 125 years, Union Settlement is providing vital resources to protect the safety and well-being of the neighborhood.

Click through the slides to see examples of our response to the pandemic.

COVID-19 Program Updates Donate
Virtual Art Exhibit

This year’s Rising Stars elementary-aged afterschool visual art exhibit is virtual. View the amazing work by our budding artists!

View Gallery
Statement on Death of George Floyd

Union Settlement condemns in the strongest possible terms the killing of George Floyd. The actions taken by the Minneapolis police officers were inexcusable, indefensible, and illegal, and everyone involved must be brought to justice immediately.

Read more from our Executive Director.

Read Statement
Op-Ed: The Recovery plan we deserve: Get help to the people in deepest need

by Union Settlement Executive Director, David Nocenti
Published in the New York Daily News on May 14, 2020

“At long last, significant media attention is being focused on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on low-income communities of color. Unfortunately, those press reports woefully understate the depth and breadth of the problem. In truth, government was astonishingly slow to recognize and respond to the easily predictable impact of this pandemic on low-income neighborhoods…”

Read Op-Ed
Business Development: Serving Heroes, Supporting Businesses

Through a new initiative – spearheaded by Union Settlement’s Business Development Center – East Harlem restaurants provided meals to Metropolitan Hospital’s health care workers who are saving lives during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Read Press Release
Mental Health Services: Remote support being offered

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has greatly increased the stress, trauma and anxiety experienced by East Harlem residents, and has underscored the great importance of the mental health services that we offer in this community.  

Union Settlement’s outpatient mental health clinic is now offering services remotely. Individual, family, couples and group therapy, crisis intervention, psychiatric evaluation, medication management, case management and other services are all being conducted via telephone and internet.


Senior Services: Extended home meal delivery to senior citizens

We are continuing to prepare and deliver meals to 500 homebound seniors through our Meals on Wheels program. In addition, we are working with New York City in coordinating delivery of boxed meals to seniors who previously received and ate group meals in our senior centers.

Adult Education: Virtual Classes being offered

Adult Education students are taking classes virtually on Zoom and Whatsapp. Their usual class schedule is being followed. Packets are being mailed on a weekly basis to students with handouts for class. Students who are unable to access the class online have the option of doing independent study and returning homework for credit.  

Youth Services: Remote engagement activities in effect

Although all of Union Settlement’s school- and center-based programs are closed, we are implementing creative and innovative ways to engage our young participants with enriching, supportive services through remote technology.

We are determined to continue supporting the thousands of young people we serve each year—many of whom face challenging circumstances even in the best of times—through this difficult time.

Early Childhood Education: Distance Learning and outreach services offered

Although our six early childhood centers are temporarily closed, our teachers are providing services remotely to the children and their parents through apps, telephone calls, emails and text messages. Families receive activities for their children to complete, outreach and engagement with families is ongoing, and staff continue to develop enhanced remote learning curricula for the upcoming weeks.

View our current services and efforts in the East Harlem community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Response

Especially during the COVID-19 crisis, your support is vital in helping us continue to empower the underserved families in East Harlem.

Support East Harlem

Sign up for our email list to be sure you’re receiving communications on what we’re doing to support East Harlem during the pandemic.

Sign-up for Our Email List

Empowering East Harlem Since 1895

Through vital programs, we equip our East Harlem neighbors to better their lives and achieve their dreams.