LOWER MANHATTAN (PIX11) — New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams honored community leaders and organizers for their essential work around the city at the height of the pandemic. One honoree is a housing hero who raised over a million dollars for New York City’s homeless population.

Public advocate Jumaane Williams said so many times, when everyday heroes do extraordinary things, nobody see it. He added he wants to help change that by highlighting people doing good in their community.

“Thank God for people like Ceyenne, who are filling the gap when government is failing,” said Williams.

Ceyenne Doroshow is the founder and executive director of the grassroots organization Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society. She founded G.L.I.T.S. in 2015.

During COVID, she raised more than a million dollars toward opening housing and social services centers in Woodhaven, Queens for the LGBTQ+ community, creating a dozen affordable housing units.

“I believed,” and the community believed in me I’m just a helper,” she said. “I did what I was supposed to do as a Black trans woman.

Doroshow said she fights so hard for others because she herself knows what it’s like to be homeless in New York City.

The honorees included:

  • Newshin Ali, of Brooklyn, who worked to combat food insecurity
  • Marilyn Reyes, of the Bronx, who helped people struggling with addiction
  • Tanesha Grant, who worked citywide to help students access remote technology
  • Rasheedah Harris, who helped bring attention and action to the citywide educational inequities the pandemic exposed
  • Yajaira Saavedra, of the Bronx, who helped the immigrant community facing food insecurity
  • Timothy Castanza, of Staten Island, who ran a school focused on helping students with literacy issues even while remote
  • Rev. Paul Glover, of Brooklyn, who ran food and PPE drives while opening his church as a COVID testing site
  • Ceyenne Doroshow, who helped provide housing citywide for unsheltered transgender individuals
  • Tiffany Eason, of Queens, who ran “Mask and Meal” drives and distributions