Ellen Baxter, Founder and Executive Director
Ellen Baxter has committed more than 30 years to advocacy and housing development to redress the inhumanity of inequality and homelessness in New York City and nationally. A pioneer of supportive housing, Ellen founded Broadway Housing Communities, then known as the Committee for the Heights- Inwood Homeless, in 1983. Under Ellen’s leadership, this nonprofit community-based organization has developed and manages seven buildings in Washington Heights and West Harlem; two early childhood centers; three community art galleries and a new cultural institution, the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling. BHC’s model provides permanent, affordable housing that integrates the formerly homeless, those with special needs and the working poor, single adults, seniors and families with children; urgently needed early childhood education and educational advocacy services and remarkable access to the arts to improve outcomes for children, families and entire communities. The innovative quality of BHC’s work has been widely recognized in both the private and public sectors, including a Governor’s Award for Excellence in Housing (1994), a Banker’s Trust Award for Non-Profit Management (1993), a Citizen’s Housing & Planning Council Public Service Award (1994), the Robin Hood Foundation (2004), Resourceful Women (1998), and the Environmental Crusaders Award from West Harlem Environmental Action (2004). Ellen received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Mount Holyoke and Bowdoin College, her alma mater. She is the recipient of a 2006 James A. Johnson Fellowship Award from the Fannie Mae Foundation and a 2008 Equity Champion honoree of the Educational Equity Center. In 2010, she received the Neighborhood Activist Award from the New York Women’s Foundation. In 2011, Broadway Housing Communities became New York City’s newest and 27th settlement house, and in 2012 received a prestigious national ArtPlace award for strategic community investment in the arts.