Newsworthy Articles

News and Media Update January 22, 2024

Preservation grants

31 historic Black churches are set to receive funding as part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. Since 2021 the Action Fund has given $9.8 million to over 80 congregations nationwide. The funding provinces churches the means to restore and preserve their buildings, build future projects, and establish new programming. 

One of those churches, Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia, PA,  is receiving a $90,000 grant to help with building preservation. See the full list of recipients here.

The doors to Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. | Mother Bethel

The landmarked church, St. Paul & St. Andrew United Methodist Church (a Bricks and Mortals member) has been awarded a grant which will be used to restore its Spanish-tile roof, to ultimately restore the building’s exterior. The current church building is around 125 years old and the church’s history dates back nearly two centuries in Manhattan. 

St. Paul & St. Andrew United Methodist Church. Photo from Google Maps

Synagogues win ADC Awards 

The 2023 Design & Architecture Collection (ADC) Awards announced that three of Studio ST Architects’ projects are winners for their intelligent, creative designs—two of which are synagogues. Ansche Chesed Synagogue received its first design award and was distinguished as the Gold Winner in the Structural Renewal and Revitalization category. Skokie Valley Synagogue picked up its fourth design award with a Gold in the Building Rehabilitation and Conservation category. Studio ST Architects renovated both synagogues to accommodate 21st century needs while encouraging a greater sense of community.

December 2023’s Bricks and Mortals membership meeting featured Studio ST Architects as our case study to discuss security issues and renovations for the Ansche Chesed synagogue. 

Main lobby of Ansche Chesed. Photography: © Bilyana Dimitrova

Skokie Valley Synagogue sanctuary. Photography: © Andrew Bruah, © Kendall McCaugherty

Migrant Crisis Updates 

Due to a policy change, migrant families with children will have to start leaving New York City shelters. This policy will limit families to 60-day stays in a shelter before having to reapply. Adult migrants are already restricted to shelter stays of 30 days, causing some to resort to sleeping in cars parked outside of various shelters.  

Migrant families with kids will have to leave NYC shelters starting this week. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Meanwhile, a recent poll shows that 80% of New Yorkers support the right to shelter mandate, which requires the city to provide shelter to anyone in need. 

“There's no question, as this poll shows clearly, that New Yorkers know this is a crisis,” said Christine Quinn, the former City Council Speaker, who currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Win the homeless services organization. “What we see here is that New Yorkers support the idea of helping asylum-seekers even when it costs money, notwithstanding the budget cuts the mayor is calling for."

In Tukwila, Washington, volunteers at Riverton Park United Methodist Church are helping to keep migrants warm as temperatures drop. Hundreds of migrants are living on the church’s property in tents and tarps, with some in the church’s social hall as temperatures remain below freezing. Homeless service organizations and mutual aid groups have been assisting the church as they scramble to meet the needs of the migrant population. 

New York Disaster Interfaith Services’ (NYDIS) Emergency Shelter Network, in partnership with NYC, will fund 50 shelters in houses of worship or faith-based spaces, of any faith tradition, to operate 19 bed shelters for single adult men over the next 12-24 months. Shelters must be open 365 days per year from 7PM to 7AM.


We are looking specifically for houses of worship that are “shovel ready” with showers and fire sprinkler systems in place.  Use the links below to apply for either the faith-bed overnight or hospitality center.

To apply: 

Shelter Screening

Hospitality Center Screening

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