2015 Top 25
City of New York, NY
Innovations in American Government Awards
New York

Red Hook Initiative (RHI) is a community-based youth and community development organization in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Located across the street from the Red Hook Houses, Brooklyn’s largest public housing development, RHI’s focus is to ensure that young people and families have access to resources and opportunities that can empower them to break the cycle of poverty that has plagued Red Hook for decades. While the origins of the WiFi project date back to 2011, the project took off in 2012 when RHI used the WiFi network to propel Red Hook's recovery from Superstorm Sandy. In 2013, with support from the city of New York’s Center for Economic Opportunity Work Progress Program, RHI began to hire and train local young adults, ages 19–24, to build, maintain, and promote a free wireless network for residents of the under-resourced area, where broadband adoption rates are lower than the city average.