New York City


The Helmsley Charitable Trust is quite literally a product of New York City – proceeds from the Helmsley’s vast real estate holdings now fund our efforts to improve lives in the U.S. and around the world, including in New York City.

The vitality of any city depends on healthy residents. When it comes to health, those with greatest need often have multiple chronic illnesses spanning mental and physical health, in addition to unmet social needs. All of this impedes their ability to lead strong, productive lives. Yet with the right care at the right time, even the highest-need individuals can move towards health stability and well-being. Supporting them on that path to well-being and beyond is an urgent priority both for New York City and for Helmsley.

COVID-19 Update: May 11, 2020

In New York City, we have increased our support to meet some of the growing urgent needs for homeless healthcare and emergency food assistance – two of our current and previous focus areas. As the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact the health and safety of New Yorkers, our grants aim to help key service providers cover revenue losses and shift their focus to where they are most needed right now. At Helmsley, we pride ourselves on being nimble, listening to our grantees, and responding to needs in our communities of focus. Check back on this page for updates on how we are continuing to support the solutions that this crisis demands. 


We believe in systems change, working closely with local experts and community leaders, investing where we see a problem that can be addressed through better collaboration, testing a new approach, or both.  The New York City Program’s grantmaking supports ideas that have the potential to make great strides in how healthcare is delivered – and could lead to better health for those with the greatest need.

Currently, our grantmaking addresses new approaches for closing gaps in care so that high-need patients can attain health stability and well-being. Grantmaking spans one or more of the four following areas:


Addressing the health of high-need New Yorkers is particularly hard when they also face challenges such as unstable housing and food insecurity, in addition to inconsistent access to healthcare. People with the greatest needs, including the City’s homeless population, can also be the hardest to find and support on a path to better health and overall stability. At the same time, many homeless people in New York do use the shelter system, offering a unique opportunity – with Helmsley support - for homeless healthcare providers to collaborate, share data, and make it easier to locate and follow up with high-need patients. Through better coordination, a goal is to provide increased, holistic, and more consistent care – an important step towards better health and overall stability for this vulnerable population.


Effectively addressing mental health is often a critical unmet need, especially for New Yorkers managing multiple health conditions. Helmsley’s New York City Program supports better access to mental health services in underserved areas, as well as training and education to better integrate mental health care within primary care settings. 


Leaving a hospital is only one step to return to full health, especially for high-need patients. Coordinated care is essential, and Helmsley supports efforts aimed at improving transitions in care toward long-term, continuous health and well-being.   


The Program supports the development of models that help high-need patients find more dignified and efficient ways of receiving care. Our approach spans from planning and piloting innovative ideas, to scaling those that have shown promise, to improving the systems designed to handle care delivery.