NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - November 10, 2015) - Robin Hood, New York City's largest poverty-fighting organization, celebrated its 2015 Heroes Award at an event at Cipriani in midtown Manhattan this morning. Robin Hood honored three non-profits -- iMentor, Coalition for the Homeless and Lawyers For Children -- with $50,000 grants and a ceremony recognizing their heroic work improving the lives of low-income New Yorkers. Robin Hood funds 200+ of New York's most effective organizations battling poverty.

Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric, Jeffrey Immelt and Purnima Puri introduced the audience of Robin Hood supporters to three people whose lives have been transformed by the organizations' work. The stories about education/mentorship, affordable housing and advocacy for children in foster care focused on:

  • The virtuous cycle iMentor created by pairing copy editor Debbie with Julia, a student who, post-college, became a mentor to Fidelia, an immigrant. All three -- bound by their love of books and guided by iMentor's program -- were the first in their families to go to college.
  • How the Coalition for the Homeless helped Jessie and her children find the apartment they desperately needed in order to stay afloat. The struggle many New Yorkers face when trying to find affordable housing is getting worse. Between 2000 and 2012 the city's median rents increased by an astronomical 75 percent, while median household income declined by 5 percent.
  • The work Lawyers For Children did to help Demetrius, a 21-year-old who lived in 25 different foster homes, find a stable family, get into college and get on track to achieve his dream of becoming an attorney. Robin Hood funds Lawyers For Children's work with the approximately 700 young adults who "age out" of foster care annually.

"The Robin Hood Heroes Award is an opportunity for us to celebrate the programs that we support and the people they assist," said David Saltzman, executive director of Robin Hood. "The special New Yorkers we honored this year have overcome tremendous obstacles and shown us the resiliency of the human spirit. They embody the thousands of people iMentor, Coalition for the Homeless and Lawyers For Children are helping."

More about the Hero organizations:

  • iMentor is a college success organization that partners with schools in low-income communities to pair every student in a high school with a college educated mentor. The iMentor curriculum guides mentors and students in forging long-term relationships that help students successfully get to college and graduate. Last year, 92% of iMentor seniors applied to college and 79% of them will be the first in their families to attend college.
  • Kids in foster care face tough circumstances: higher rates of homelessness, weaker academic performance and other challenges. Lawyers For Children changes these odds. They provide each young person with an attorney, a social worker and a youth advocate who secure services for these young adults, including housing, access to benefits and counseling.
  • The Coalition for the Homeless is the nation's oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping homeless men, women and children. The Coalition addresses the immediate needs of 3,500 low-income people each day and helps them overcome obstacles to employment and housing stability.

About Robin Hood

Robin Hood, New York's largest poverty-fighting organization, creates and funds over 200 of the most effective programs, to help 1.8 million New Yorkers learn and earn their way out of poverty. Robin Hood's board underwrites all operating costs, so 100% of every donation goes directly to serve New Yorkers in need. Facebook: Twitter: @robinhoodnyc

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Victoria Grantham