NY1 Report – Not-for-Profit Helping Homeless Individuals Gets a New Home in LIC

This computer class is hard at work, while taking steps to get back to work. The students have overcome hardships to be here. Some used to be homeless; others like Anthony Antoine are in treatment programs.

“What they’ve helped me do here is prepare my resume, dissect it a little. Get it updated,” said Antoine.

The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless or ACE provides job training programs, work experience as well as counseling and mental health treatment.

“ACE is like a family. It applies to business side of the things but it’s a family thing. And they teach you not to ever give up on life,” said Delvon Sewer, a graduate of the ACE program.

ACE graduate Delvon Sewer now works in Long Island City cleaning the streets. He was once homeless, now he has an apartment and a new lease on life.

“It feels wonderful. I can’t complain, you know, I don’t do it for the paycheck. I just do it to put a smile on people’s faces because they like it,” said Sewer.

ACE recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and moved to a new headquarters in Long Island City. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer provides more than $100,000 in funding for the group, to employ street cleaning workers in his district.

“We’re training; we’re providing jobs, providing income, providing stability and actually working one-on-one with these individuals, who are well on their way,” said Van Bramer, who represents the area.

Organizers say Long Island City is the perfect location for the new headquarters because of nearby employment opportunities and more space for programming.

“People know that they are welcome here and that the space kind of echoes that. Plus it gives us the opportunity to have movie nights and different events for our graduates,” said Elizabeth McNierney, the director of programs for ACE.​

Video and report courtesy of NY1

Our Mission and History


Our Mission Statement:

The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE) works with homeless men and women throughout New York City, providing job training, work experience and a lifetime support network to help our program participants achieve their goals and establish economic independence.

Our History:

On a summer morning in 1992, Henry Buhl was leaving his loft on Greene Street in SoHo when a homeless man asked him for $20. Figuring, “if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime,” Henry offered the man $20 in exchange for sweeping the sidewalk in front of his building, and then rallied the stores in his neighborhood to follow suit. Within months, word had spread about the new initiative. Recovering homeless men and women were eager to get accepted on the sweeping crew and start rebuilding their lives. Henry began to accept referrals from homeless shelters and charities, and soon founded the SoHo Partnership, which was followed by the TriBeCa and NoHo/Bowery Partnerships. In 1997, the Association of Community Employment Programs (ACE) was created as an umbrella organization to unify the New York City initiatives.

Today, ACE has grown to serve more than 400 people each year with workforce development, Adult Basic Education and job readiness/life skills training in our vocational rehabilitation program, Project Comeback, lifetime support services and opportunities for career growth in our aftercare program, Project Stay, and access to affordable housing through one of our most recent initiatives, Project Home. Since 1992, we have helped over 2,500 homeless New Yorkers find full-time jobs and start new lives.

NY1 Report – Homeless New Yorkers Get Back to Work by Cleaning Jackson Heights Streets

As Robert Perez helps to beautify Jackson Heights, he’s getting a chance at a clean slate.

“Before I came to this program, I was a mess. Legal problems, I was homeless. I had really no hope,” said Perez.

Perez is referring to the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless or ACE. It’s a work experience program designed to give homeless people a new lease on life.

Perez says getting paid to clean the streets helped raise his self-esteem.

“I didn’t care before, now you know I want to do something good. I’m an older guy, you know they say it’s never too late, but it gets to be a little too late. But they’re giving me hope,” said Perez.

It goes beyond just employment. ACE also offers job training and certifications.

“Things they’re going to add to their tool box, their employment toolbox it’s going to make it easier for them to transfer from this job street sweeping, to something higher paying and a little more competitive,” said Jim Martin, the executive director of ACE.

State Senator Jose Peralta gave ACE a $75,000 grant Friday. It’ll be used to hire two workers, to clean the stretch of Roosevelt Avenue between 82nd Street and 90th Street. Peralta calls it a win-win for the workers restarting their lives, as well as the community.

“It improves not only first impressions of visitors that come here in this area, that are many that come and eat at our ethnic restaurants but at the same time, it helps those individuals who live here and make them feel proud to see that our streets are clean,” said Peralta, who represents the area.

That’s pride Perez can certainly relate to. He says he’s become more aware of what littering does to a neighborhood.

“I’m a proud New Yorker and I want the city to be clean. It looks a lot better,” said Perez.

And Perez says, thanks to ACE, his future looks a lot better too.​

Video and report courtesy of NY1

Hire From ACE

Donald B and InterviewerHiring? Looking For Workers Immediately?

Save on time spent reviewing hundreds of resumes. ACE will send you a short list of pre-screened candidates who meet your business’s needs, saving your company thousands of dollars.

ACE participants are work-ready.  Each referral to your business has 4-6 months of industry-specific training and recent work experience.  We send only the most dedicated workers who we know will be a fit for your company.

Let ACE offer the following benefits to your business at no cost to you:

Human Resources

  • ACE offers free background checks and drug testing.
  • Careful screening of applicants results in reliable, capable and qualified employees for your business.

Tax Credits

  • Employers can earn up to $2400 in federal tax credits.
  • ACE can guide you through the process of claiming tax credits for your hires, and will handle worker’s paperwork.

Certifications & Trainings

  • ACE offers customized industry-specific certifications and trainings.
  • Tell us what your training needs are! ACE can customize offerings to create a pool of candidates who have both the work ethic and technical proficiencies your business needs.  We can conduct onsite or offsite new hire orientations, upon request.

Retention Services

  • ACE offers financial incentives to your staff for remaining employed at no cost to you, resulting in greater staffing consistency and providing peace of mind for businesses with high turnover rates.
  • ACE provides coaching and on-going support to help employees succeed on the job, as well as access to continuous training to enhance their skill sets.  ACE staff is always there for employers, ready to hear feedback, helping you handle any workplace issues that may arise, navigating the terrain and providing additional support where needed.

Staffing Specialties:

  • Custodial Services
  • Food Service
  • Hospitality
  • Inventory/Stock
  • Sales and Retail
  • Security
  • Transportation
  • Warehouse


For more information, please contact ACE Job Developer Manny Fernandez:


(212) 274-0550 Ext. 17