Bricks and Mortals is a grassroots membership organization comprised of individuals and organizations from faith-based institutions and the development sector that provides resources, connections and trainings in order to empower congregations in NYC to maximize and monetize their real property to support mission, benefit the community and continue their good work.
Congregations provide physical infrastructure and complex social networks that can be leveraged for a wide range of issues. They also provide access to informal support, food, health care, and educational and job opportunities through extended social networks and linkages with other community institutions. Congregations play critical roles in underserved communities in the U.S. addressing food insecurity, mental health and substance use, and veteran re-integration
The intended purpose of Bricks and Mortals is fivefold:
1) To gather, educate, and advise faith-based institutions, predominantly in New York City, facing the challenge of staying open and mission-consistent in the context of aging buildings, declining revenue, and rising property costs;
2) To raise public awareness of the rich resources houses of worship provide to New York City and surrounding areas, regardless of faith, including social services, housing, social justice advocacy, cultural programming, arts space, after-school programs, and community meeting space;
3) To document the variety of creative strategies that religious institutions might develop to sustain themselves and continue to provide their essential services to New York City and surrounding areas;
4) To advocate for needs of faith-based institutions’ in New York City and surrounding areas regarding real property, mission, and community service, and educate the public and local officials regarding the same;
5) To consult with individuals and organizations in other localities to share knowledge, structures and materials, so that faith-based institutions in such localities can achieve the foregoing purposes for themselves.