Move Over Silicon Valley: Hamilton Brings “The Campus” To Public Housing


California may have the Silicon Valley, but Brownsville’s Howard Houses will soon have “The Campus”.

The brainchild of State Sen. Jesse Hamilton (Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, and Sunset Park) the Campus is set to become the first technology and wellness hub at a public housing site in the country when it opens in the Autumn of this year.

State Sen. Jesse Hamilton
State Sen. Jesse Hamilton

“The Campus” will serve as a pathway for our youth in Brownsville. The goal is to provide for a safe havan for kids after school where they can learn about technology, career development, entrepreneurship and wellness,” said Hamilton.

The project envisions creating co-working space for local tech startups and entrepreneurs, hosting coding and app development workshops, providing e-workforce development skills building, and including a wellness focus to help confront local public health challenges, to include overcoming stress and anxiety. The Campus’ programs will be open to the community, with a particular focus on neighborhood youth ages 12-18.

In the works are plans for app development workshops at Howard Houses, technology and coding workshops at P.S. 298/Brownsville Collaborative Middle School, workforce readiness and wellness programming at the Brooklyn Public Library (Brownsville Branch), counseling at the Mount Ollie Baptist Church and the YWCA, regular visits by a mobile food pantry provided by the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, and fitness classes at Howard Playground.

The project’s lead partners are both government agencies and community based organizations including Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, and Assembly Members Nick Perry and Latrice Walker.

Other organizations involved in “The Campus” include the City’s Department of Youth and Community Development, the New York City Housing Authority, Academy of Medical & Public Health Services, Howard Houses Community Center, Brooklyn Public Library, Police Athletic League NYC, Brooklyn Pitbulls, YWCA, CAMBA, Uncommon Schools, Brownsville Collaborative Middle School, P.S. 298, New York State Afterschool Network, Advocates for Children of New York and Families on the Move.

Local organizations involved are Mount Ollie Baptist Church, Brownsville Partnership, Brownsville Community Justice Center, GTR’s Trauma Center at Haitian-American Community Coalition, Center for Anti-Violence Education, Lay your Guns Down Foundation, Wheelchairs Against Guns, Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, Hunger Free America, Good Shepherd Services, Made in Brownsville, Brownsville In Violence Out, South Brooklyn Legal Services, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, Brooklyn Workforce 1, Codesters, Blue1647, and the Dream Big Foundation.

“The Campus” project will kick off with a community engagement event and press conference, at 12 noon, this Friday, March 18 at the Howard Houses Community Center, 90 Watkins St (Btw Pitkin Ave and Glenmore Ave).