ATD Fourth World was invited to New York City’s Lower East Side in 1964 as part of the United States’ War on Poverty. Projects such as preschool and cultural activities were born from daily life shared with people living in the tenements. For the past sixty years, they have evolved following the reality of people who have been pushed away from Manhattan. Current projects and presence develop with families in the shelter system and Public Housing Developments. Our actions are designed to support the community efforts. Long-term relationships are built through recognition and respect of community members and a desire to learn from them the aspirations they hold for their families and children.
New York’s work is guided by 3 principles:
Building thriving communities
Every person has the right to live in a place where she or he can build the future they dream of for their family and children. Weekly activities bring reading, educational, artistic, and cultural activities into a family homeless shelter and an underserved public housing development. They are carried out with residents of each community so that they support the efforts families make to live together and offer a better future for their children.
Recognizing and Merging Knowledge
ATD Fourth World believes everyone’s knowledge and experience is valuable and that people with an experience of poverty need to be decision makers on issues related to their lives. Monthly gatherings bring together people from diverse walks of life to discuss and address a societal issue directly affecting their lives and to learn or practice together an artistic or creative work of art.
ATD Fourth World activists with an experience of poverty, service providers, policy makers, and politicians all learn to become trainees and trainers. Bringing their knowledge together, they are able to better advocate for human rights in their local communities and at the United Nations.
Leaving no one behind
No person should be left behind, so ATD Fourth World reaches out to those in most need of support to break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion. Joining forces with people silenced and left out of building a future for our society, we work so that those who daily face the violence of poverty are recognized and treated with the dignity we all strive for.
The Fourth World House in Manhattan remains a central place for gatherings and discussion among members from different backgrounds from throughout the city and around the world. To contact the New York office please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (212)228-1339.