Working to disrupt concentrated poverty in targeted Syracuse neighborhoods by empowering residents to reach their full potential, while contributing to the wellbeing of their families and the revitalization of their neighborhoods.

As the Greater Syracuse region begins to experience economic growth, rates of poverty, particularly in inner city neighborhoods, are also rising sharply. This dynamic leaves individuals and families struggling at the margins of our community, while undermining the long-term health of our region. When it comes to combatting poverty, there are no easy answers. However, we must recognize that poverty is ultimately an economic condition, which requires economic solutions, first and foremost. We also acknowledge that poverty is not evenly distributed; it exists in concentrated geographies, where vicious cycles are reinforced over years and generations. We, therefore, must pursue solutions that concentrate efforts and resources in these places. Most importantly, we recognize that poverty is exemplified by countless individuals who have the talent and motivation to succeed but struggle to access opportunity and find the footing they need to succeed over time. 

At the Allyn Family Foundation, we are pairing philanthropic support with strong, proactive partnerships, bringing together residents, community organizations, business, and government towards three common goals:


As part of the work of economic development, the Allyn Family Foundation is working collaboratively to empower individuals and furthering prosperity in the Syracuse community by providing career pathways to low-income individuals while fulfilling As part of the work of economic empowerment, the Allyn Family Foundation is working collaboratively to empower individuals and furthering prosperity in the Syracuse community by providing career pathways to low-income individuals while fulfilling employment needs of local employers. One long-term collaboration that exemplifies this is Work Train. Work Train, spearheaded by CenterState CEO, fosters shared prosperity in Central New York by creating career opportunities for individuals who are unemployed and underemployed, while helping companies build strong workforces. They serve as a workforce intermediary and strategist, convening partnerships that drive solutions to persistent workforce problems.


Likewise, the Allyn Family Foundation is focused on creating economic opportunity for low-income residents by developing a multi-dimensional community economic development platform that aggressively drives growth that is inclusive, and intentionally assists black and brown, and women-owned businesses. The central project that embodies this is the Salt City Market, located at the intersection of 3 neighborhoods in Syracuse, New York.  The project features 26 mixed-income apartments, office space for the Allyn Foundation and other not-for-profit partners, and a first-floor food hall open to the public that further builds on the momentum of downtown Syracuse, while creating economic opportunities for start-up entrepreneurs coming out of our most economically challenged communities.  Since opening in 2021, the Salt City Market has helped launch over 15 businesses, and has helped to employ over 100 people within its four walls.

All of these efforts aim at building generational wealth for individuals, and it also aims to build vibrancy and prosperity in neighborhoods and communities. By assisting entrepreneurs to bring their businesses to fruition, more and more commercial spaces are becoming occupied in and around our communities. By renovating and reoccupying previously vacant spaces, our communities become more vibrant, safe, and productive. As such, the Allyn Foundation assists not-for-profit community development and benevolent real estate developers to reinvigorate local real estate.

One example highlighting this work is Cake Bar.  Cake Bar launched their business of January 2021 at the Salt City Market.  After just one year of operation, they opened a second location inside the City of Syracuse in a previously vacant storefront. In doing so, Cake Bar has gone from a two-person business, to a small business employing over a dozen people.

Social Impact Real Estate Development

Building off the success of the Salt City Market, and recognizing the growing need for mixed-income apartments in the City of Syracuse, the Allyn Foundation created a new 501c3 social impact real estate development corp. known as SEED Syracuse.  SEED Syracuse works to develop distressed mix-use properties in marginalized neighborhoods that attract, grow, or create businesses and mixed-income housing that is accessible to all.  As it’s first signature project, SEED Syracuse has purchased and begun redeveloping the historic Chimes Building across the street from Salt City Market. 

The 152,000-square-foot Chimes building opened at the southwest corner of South Salina and West Onondaga streets in 1929, becoming one of Syracuse’s most prominent office buildings. The building stands 12 stories high and was designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon architects, the same New York City firm that designed the Empire State Building two years later.

SEED will restore the first floor of the Chimes Building back into a bustling commercial/retail area, recreating an experience like the one when the building was first opened in 1929. The second floor of the Chimes Building will be home to two existing telecommunications tenants, additional office tenants and will serve as communal space available to the residential tenants living above.

For floors 3 through 12, SEED will develop roughly 152 mixed-income apartment units ranging from studio apartments to three-bedroom units. Each apartment will be open, airy, modern, and will include state of the art  appliances, solid surface countertops, and high-quality construction materials.

 It is critical to SEED that all residential units, on all floors, are truly mixed-income apartments meaning that people of all income levels can live in the units regardless of income.  All units will be integrated and built to the same standard.

The building is slated to be under construction by the summer of 2024 and completed  by the end of 2025.


Similar to supporting economic opportunities for adults, the Allyn Foundation is supporting efforts to provide youth employment opportunities around the City of Syracuse.  In 2020, NYS delayed funding to Onondaga County for their summer youth employment program. Opportunities for youth to be employed during the summer months is critical to build work/life skills, provide income, prevent/deter crime, instill work habits, build social skills, and keep youth engaged in meaningful activities.  Youth have been especially adversely affected by the Covid pandemic.  In response to the delay in funding, The Allyn Foundation and other philanthropic partners and 30 youth serving organizations came together to pilot an educational and career development program.  The program, known as the Bea Gonzalez Summer Fellows Program, provided a 4-week educational program to 847 youth in the City of Syracuse and provided each youth with a stipend of $599 upon completion of the program. 

Similar to supporting economic opportunities for adults, the Allyn Foundation is supporting efforts to provide youth employment opportunities around the City of Syracuse.  Since 2020, the Allyn Foundation, in partnership with the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, and the Syracuse City School District, has created an educational and career development program, known as the Bea Gonzalez Summer Fellows Program. It is a 4-week educational program for roughly 800 youth a summer, run across more than 25 organizations in the City, providing programming related to financial literacy, work readiness skills, mental health/social emotional behavior, self-care and health/wellness and career exploration. Youth ages 10-18 were eligible to participate and receive a stipend between $299 and $599 upon completion of the program.