Photos by Gabriel Hernández Solano @gabriel.himself and This Bushwick Life
When was Bushwick Ayuda Mutua created?
Bushwick Ayuda Mutua was born out of the 2020 COVID-19 crisis in response to a lack of government support and resources for the most vulnerable in our community. Many Bushwick residents were left without work and a means of supporting themselves and their families. To address this gap, local organizers came together and set up a hotline for neighbors in need of assistance.
Through calls to the hotline, the team quickly discovered that folks were in need of basic necessities: food, masks, diapers, etc. In a little under three months, we’ve partnered with other amazing community organizations including Mil Mundos Books, Mayday Space, Latinos Unidos, and many more to develop an infrastructure for addressing these requests through bulk deliveries of food and other essential goods.
The COVID-19 crisis was the impetus for the creation of Bushwick Ayuda Mutua and has highlighted the rampant structural inequalities and systemic racism that is pervasive across NYC and the United States as a whole. We believe that mutual aid work is a key component of combating these systems and building a more equitable future.
We are a collective group of Bushwick residents including recent arrivals and long-time residents. We aim to empower, prioritize, and give space to long-time residents of our community.
We are an entirely volunteer-run project rooted in the mission of creating a local network for neighbors to support neighbors in this pivotal moment and beyond.
What type of services are offered by Bushwick Ayuda Mutua?
Bushwick Ayuda Mutua offers a physical manifestation of the radical idea that a community can care for itself when the government falls short of executing this responsibility. This work currently looks like:
Sunday Food Deliveries: Serving approximately 200 households each week in partnership with Latinos Unidos.
Gift Cards for Urgent Cases: Supplying neighbors in urgent need of groceries and supplies with gift cards provided by a partnership between Council member Antonio Reynoso and Food Bazaar.
Mil Mundos Depot: Mil Mundos Books has opened their storefront to be a depot for donations of masks, food, and other essential items. Donations to the depot have allowed us to kick off weekly mask deliveries to any neighbors requesting masks. We plan to begin including other essential goods in these weekly deliveries such as feminine hygiene products and diapers.
Supporting Local Organizations: Assisting Community Dialogue NYC in setting up a food pantry in United Revival Mennonite Church which is serving food to 300+ neighbors on a weekly basis. Supporting Estela’s Messengers in setting up food distribution at Knickerbocker United Church that serves 300+ neighbors on Saturdays in collaboration with University City NYC.
Tell us something that you made you proud to be in Bushwick?
We are incredibly proud to be part of a community that sprung into action so quickly to support its most vulnerable members. The empathy and love that folks are bringing to this work is beautiful and gives us hope for the future.
Where do you see Bushwick in the future?
Our ideal future Bushwick looks like Black, Latinx, and Indigenous culture celebrated everywhere. Safety and freedom for LGBTQIA+ folks. Voices of all ages are heard.
All bodies are celebrated and have access. Murals cover the streets. Community gardens, community composting, mutual aid, and healthcare for all. Equity for all. No ICE. No cops.
Music playing ~loud~.
Describe Bushwick in one word?
Where do you like to hangout in Bushwick?
A huge shoutout to:
Mil Mundos Books
Community Dialogue NYC
Ti Toro Miko
and the many other organizations we’ve had the opportunity to partner with in the past few months.
We’d also like to shout out the Black-owned restaurants in the community:
How can we help or donate to bushwick ayuda mutua?
we are accepting donations - click link below:
Bushwick Ayuda Mutua