Paid Avenue Clean Up - ACE Employees

Update 10/3  We are so grateful for the donations we received  from all of our generous ONE BLOCK supporters. The initial GOFUND Me enabled us to buy our ONE BLOCK branded bags, basic supplies,  apply for our nonprofit status and incorporate. 

We need your help again to continue our mission to clean up the Upper West Side. We have hired ACE (Association for Community Employment Programs for the Homeless) to tackle the Avenue cleanup from approximately 70-96th (Columbus, Amsterdam, Broadway). These men were formally homeless, and or incarcerated, but now have full time employment and access to health care and even a 401K. 

These three men will be working 5 days a week picking up trash along the avenues, and making sure that the trash cans at each corner do not overflow. This is a critical aspect of keeping our streets clean, and supporting our local businesses. The increase in the GoFundMe goal will pay for their full time salaries for a month, along with supervision and the supplies they need to do their job.

ONE BLOCK Co-founder Ann Cutbill Lenane is  generously sponsoring the first month of this program but we will need your help too!

Thank you to the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLC for helping us with all of our legal work, especially Alex Southwell. 

Please also give a big shout out to these three men (Jerry, Sherman & Louis) if you see them on the street. They welcome your encouragement and support and so do we! 50900526_1601732002613944_r.jpeg

Update 9/3/20 10:30 am. The generosity of so many people has been amazing!! Thank you all so much for giving. It has been an incredible encouragement to see so many people willing to trust us, and invest in OneBlock. We have updated the goal amount to $13,000.

Why would we do this? OneBlock wants to file for 501c3 certification and this requires an attorney, additional paperwork, and fees. The additional $3,500 would be used to this end. Once we have the 501c3 designation it increases our accountability to donors, and allows donors in the future to receive a tax write off. We are dedicated to accountability, and creating an organization that donors, volunteers, and the community can be proud of. Raising the additional money to pay for the 501c3 certification would be a huge step in that direction.

What is OneBlock? OneBlock believes in the power of simple actions. OneBlock believes that a community of volunteers can make an immediate impact on their community. We are focusing our efforts on the simple task of picking up trash.

The Department of Sanitation has had their weekend budget cut by 60% and weekday budget cut by 30%. This decrease in pickups, plus the increase in take out food orders, has led to an increase in trash on the streets of the UWS.

So what do we do about it? OneBlock has organized a team of almost 200 volunteers who have agreed to cover over 120 blocks of the UWS with the pledge of picking up the trash on their block twice a week. While this effort will make an incredible difference it does not address the incredible need for trash pickup on Columbus, Amsterdam and Broadway.

So our next project involves a 3 person crew, with a 16 foot sprinter van, who will be going to each trash can on the corners of those three avenues, bagging the trash that is in the can, placing a new bag in the can, and repeating that process as the bags get close to full.

The picture below is an example of what happens when there is no trash bag in the can and it is not picked up often enough. It overflows, it gets blown into the street, onto the sidewalk, and many times will end up in our rivers and drainage system. 

What would that corner look like after OneBlock comes through? It would look like this.


So what is this money specifically going to pay for?

This money will pay for 20,000 trash bags and 300 t-shirts.

What blocks are going to be covered?

73rd to 96th on Amsterdam and Broadway. 83rd to 96th on Columbus. 73rd to 83rd on Columbus is being covered by the DOE Fund with a similar program.

Why put the logo on the bag, doesn't that increase the cost?
Yes, branding the trash bags does increase the cost. By branding the bags we accomplish two things. Number one we let more people know about the organization and increase our number of volunteers. Number two we can show future donors exactly where their money is going to and that will allow us to continue the program. 

Who is paying for the workers and the truck? 
Ann Cutbill Lenane, Co-founder of OneBlock and real estate agent with Douglass Elliman, has generously donated to cover the labor costs for the first month of the project!

How long will 20,000 bags last?
In our test run last weekend we went through 200 bags in one day. So we believe this gives us an approximately 2-3 month supply. 

What is the breakout of the costs?
20,000 bags will cost $7,779.12. The image below is the quote from the supplier. The difference between the two numbers shown and the total given above is sales tax. The areas that have been blotted out contain personal information for the person ordering.
300 tshirts will cost approximately $1300.

What will be on the tshirt?
The OneBlock logo will be on the front of the tshirt.

Who gets a tshirt?
The tshirts will be handed out to volunteers at our group trash pick ups for free. 

Why support this gofundme?
Anyone who gives to a program likes to see the result of their giving and that is what we are dedicated to. You will see our volunteers wearing these shirts picking up trash all over the UWS, and you will begin seeing these trash bags in trash bins. What will you see less of? You will see less trash on your block. You will see less trash bins overflowing. You will step over less trash on your way to get a bagel, or on your walk to the park. 

Finally, we would like to speak to accountability. When you give money to an organization you are placing trust in that organization, and we will live up to that trust. The paid for invoices will be posted in our facebook group (OneBlockUWS) and on our instagram (@oneblockuws) so everyone knows exactly where the money went. Ann Cutbill Lenane and Jake Russell founded OneBlock because we believe that we could make a difference in our community today. 

Thank you for rallying around us towards that goal.

Ann Cutbill Lenane and Jake Russell



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Jake Russell 
New York, NY
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