Our Vision:

One day we will live in green cities where everyone can thrive.

We are working toward a “green city” rooted in social, economic, and environmental justice. We view young adults from frontline communities as the essential force for driving the emergence of sustainable and resilient cities—by transforming their own lives, leading community transition, and promoting the values of a new regenerative and inclusive economy.

We envision young people building the green cities we want to see through engagement in service years that also lead them on a path to satisfying and rewarding careers.  We view service, purposefully designed, as a systemic solution to create a just, collaborative and connected society. Our ambition: that service to help build green and equitable cities becomes an avenue to opportunity for a generation of young residents of public and low-income housing.


Our Mission:

We train young leaders to power a green and inclusive economy, through service. 

Our model corps in New York City enlists and trains young people from low income housing communities for a new and more equitable economy. We equip them with the tools to change the trajectory of their lives and access good jobs.  Corps Members develop a passion for sustainability and service through driving large-scale environmental and health initiatives in public housing and other frontline communities. We design service as a path to greater well being and means to enlist young people to become contributors and leaders in the movement to build a greener, fairer and more just world. Graduates go on to jobs or college, directly or through alumni initiatives that build towards sectoral jobs and apprenticeships, via social enterprise contracts or advanced training developed with employers. Our network of alumni, partners and supporters constitutes a growing ecosystem anchored in our corps.

Our Pillars: 

Service. Training. Sustainability. Justice. 

Our Values

People. Passion. Perseverance. 

We’re Building

Love. Power. Equity. 

Workforce Impacts


Watch our Executive Director in conversation with journalist Vinson Cunningham

Click here to watch the entire interview.

Service Impacts

Our Staff

Open Positions

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Green City Force’s AmeriCorps program prepares young adults aged 18-24 who reside in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) or low-income housing in NYC and have a high school diploma or equivalency for careers through green service. Being part of the Service Corps is a full-time commitment encompassing service, training and skills-building experiences related to sustainable buildings and communities. GCF is committed to the ongoing success of our alumni.

The Service Corps responds to climate resilience and community cohesion through environmental stewardship, building green infrastructure and urban farming, and resident education at NYCHA. We have a holistic approach to sustainability and pride ourselves in training our corps in a range of areas, from composting techniques and energy efficiency to behavior change outreach. Alumni initiatives build inroads into targeted aspects of the green economy, such as solar and energy efficiency. GCF operates an all-alumni Social Enterprise focused on energy efficiency improvements for low-to-moderate income families.

GCF’s programs are rooted in the belief that young NYC residents are uniquely positioned through leadership, training, and service to drive change in public housing communities while building skills, earning certifications and gaining experience to help achieve economic prosperity. Partnerships with residents, agencies, local and city-wide organizations, funders and employers are essential for the holistic approach required to realize the change we envision.


2018 Annual Report

Financial Information

Partners and Funders

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GCF was founded in 2009 by Lisbeth Shepherd, Erika Symmonds and Lucian Cohen, with the goal of modeling a citywide corps that could make the promise of an inclusive green economy real for young adults in low-income communities of color in NYC. GCF was incubated by Blue Ridge Labs and the pilot program was launched in partnership with Community Environmental Center, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation and The Corps Network. Starting in Earth Week 2010, GCF began recruiting in partnership with NYCHA, the start to a unique partnership.


Legacy Highlights

NYCHA Sustainability Agenda

NYCHA Partnership

Farms at NYCHA Report

NYC Cool Roofs

Love Where You Live

Clean Energy Corps White Paper

NYCHA Farm at Red Hook Houses West

Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project

Justin Baker Corps Member of the Year

Graduate Testimonial

“The first time I wore my uniform, I walked with a sense of purpose and I realized how important being a Corps Member was to me.”

Anisa McMillan, Cohort 20, 2020 Graduate