Legal-name: City Fabrick
Address: 425 East 4th Street, Suite E
City: Long Beach
Organizational-status: 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Officer: Brian Ulaszewski – Principal/Executive Director
ContactName: Brian Ulaszewski
Title: Principal/Executive Director
GrantPurpose: Redeploying Creativity for Community temporarily employs recently laid off designer professionals during the duration of the crisis to support community enhancing initiatives.
Periodoftime: 3 months
Audienceserved: broader Long Beach community, and unemployed
Demoofaudience: broader Long Beach community, and architecture and planning professional
Numberofserved: 30,000 and 5
District: 1 and 7
Funding: 3 months
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? : During the current public health crisis City Fabrick continues to provide essential design and planning services related to expanding affordable housing and enhancing community health in collaboration with local governments and other nonprofit organizations. Our team has managed a relatively orderly transition to maintaining a collaborative working environment, while being remote. We have also been successfully adjusting to shifting demand and capacity of our partners as they respond to evolving conditions of their clients.
Not all design and planning organizations – local and across the industry are weathering the dramatic downturn in the economy as well as City Fabrick. In fact, City Fabrick has already taken on one new staff person that was recently laid off due to decreased workload, and will be expanding our internship program, specifically intended to help expand available apprenticeship opportunities that have otherwise largely evaporated. We have been fortunate to have a diverse array of work, while maintaining a financial reserve to help weather such treacherous conditions.
2. What disaster recovery service will be provided by this grant? : Primarily, the requested grant will be used to fund temporary employment of recently laid-off design and planning professional(s) to support local community-enhancing initiatives as part of City Fabrick. According to an American Institute of Architects two-thirds of the firms said projects had either stopped or slowed down as a result of COVID-19, and a whopping 94% said they anticipate revenue to dip. Respondents expected their losses to only deepen in April.
Anecdotally, half the cohort recent graduates from CSULB’s Interior Architecture Department have already been laid-off. They, and even those who remain employed maintain a constant state of stressful vigilance. When sharing this story among the team, it was essential to share administrative insight that City Fabrick is financial solvent and conservatively secured.
City Fabrick seeks to leverage recently unemployed design and planning professionals and/or emerging creative talent missing out on summer internships to dedicate toward community enhancing initiatives. The requested grant funds would support wages for temporary employees in a capacity greater than the enhanced California EDD unemployment benefits as part of the state COVID-19 economic stimulus effort. The temporary employment hourly wage would range from $15/hour (intern) to $35/hr (maximum temporary employee).
The intention would be to provide three months of employment to 2-3 individuals which would align with the duration of summer break for university interns, as well as – hopefully the worst economic conditions of pandemic. The total request would then be for $20-25,000 to support this initiative.
3. What individuals (and/or organizations) will you assist? : City Fabrick would leverage this additional creative and technical capacity to move forward community enhancing initiatives in West Long Beach related to enhancing open space access, housing affordability, active transportation, climate resiliency, and environmental justice. This would include large affordable housing communities: Villages at Cabrillo, Springdale West, and Gold Star Manor, as well as numerous neighborhoods and LBUSD campuses.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount?: City Fabrick has received a pledge of $5,000 from the California Endowment primarily to support technology upgrades and securing other tools to maintain and adapt necessary community engagement during periods of social distancing during the pandemic. We are also to be granted an additional $15,000 from the California Endowment for directly subgranting to partner organizations who lack fiscal sponsors.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for? City Fabrick has yet to apply for any additional assistance, but will be exploring other grant sources to further amplify our team’s ability to assist Long Beach during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will include similar employment opportunities as well as exploring means to enhance the physical, mental, social, and environmental health during and after the crisis.