Safer Cities

Healthier Futures


Janelle Robinson (she/her) MPH, CPH
Program Manager

Janelle is guided by hope and optimism of worlds that could and should be, and seeks to address health disparities among underserved communities of color. Born and raised in New Bedford, MA, Janelle now calls Brooklyn, NY home. Her interests include caring for her Shiba Inu puppy, hiking, and camping with friends.

jr6054@nyu.edu l (347) 467-0505

Wilson Tosta (he/him)
Project Coordinator

Wilson is a highly organized and ambitious linguistics alumni of the University of Virginia with six years of experience teaching English to immigrants. He is multilingual and multicultural with a passion for initiating, planning, and spearheading projects. He is also passionate about creating impact by building relationships with people of different professional, socioeconomic, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds to solve problems through innovation, education, and technology.

wmt224@nyu l (718) 290-4416

Karen Alvarado (she/her)
Project Coordinator

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Karen is seeking to make a difference within her own community. With the goal of advocating for community member’s needs and enhancing people’s well-being, Karen set out to earn her Bachelors in Psychology, and is now pursuing her Masters in Social Work. With a background of counseling students, Karen hopes to continue to assist adolescents with their education, career, and social needs.

ka3019@nyu.edu I (718) 316-8041

Katerina “Kat” Belkin (she/her)
Community Outreach Assistant in Data Management

Kat works full time at NYC Health + Hospitals as Associate Director of Healthcare Standards. She has worked across a diverse range of public health disciplines and healthcare delivery settings. She is committed to building data-driven and equitable models of health care delivery and is passionate about harm reduction and community engagement. Kat attended the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, where she studied Epidemiology, and Williams College, where she studied Psychology and Philosophy. Her hobbies include roller skating, trivia, and hanging out with her cat, Mochi.


Christian Narvaez (he/him)
Community Outreach Assistant in Social Media

Chris was born and raised in Harlem, NY. As a graduate from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Chris understands the criminal justice system, and how to address the problems of a society within an unjust ruling system. Throughout his academic and professional experiences, he has been a part of nonprofits and foundations that aided different social groups. In addition, Chris is a music-loving enthusiast of all genres and is a big sneakerhead that is into fashion culture.


Dr. Lance Keene (he/him) Ph.D., M.S.W.
Program Director

Dr. Lance Keene is an Assistant Professor at the New York University Silver School of Social Work, and affiliate researcher at the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU. The main focus of Dr. Keene's research is to deepen our understanding of the intersections of race, gender and sexuality, and develop culturally congruent interventions to improve health outcomes for sexual minority youth and men of color. Dr. Keene is Principal Investigator for several studies that assess substance use and HIV risk among this population, utilizing a collaborative approach to develop tailored interventions to strengthen prevention at the community level. Collectively, these studies are documenting ways in which family engagement and youth empowerment can be supported through community partnerships to provide prevention resources and support for sexual minority youth and men of color..


Dr. Jennifer Manuel (she/her) Ph.D., M.S.W.
Program Director

Jennifer I. Manuel is an associate professor and the Associate Dean for Research at the UConn School of Social Work. She earned her MSW and Ph.D. from Columbia University School of Social Work, where she was funded by an NIMH T32 predoctoral fellowship. Dr. Manuel completed postdoctoral work at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, where she led a statewide initiative to develop, implement, and evaluate a model for transitioning clients from assertive community treatment to less intensive services. Dr. Manuel is a service and intervention researcher using quantitative and mixed method approaches. Her research broadly addresses health disparities and poor access to and transitions in care among youth, young adults and adults with substance use, mental health, and other critical needs (housing, employment, health, trauma). Dr. Manuel’s current work focuses on implementation research to optimize the delivery of evidence-based interventions for multiple contexts in community practice.


OUR FUnders

S.A.F.E.R. Haven & E.T.N.

Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the NYCC4H S.A.F.E.R. Haven and E.T.N. projects provide prevention education and health referrals to Bronx youth to address underage drinking, substance use, and HIV/STIs.

Overdose F.R.E.E.

Funded by the NYC Department of Health (DOH), the Overdose F.R.E.E. project raises awareness of fentanyl, fentanyl test strips (FTS), and naloxone (NARCAN®).

The New York Times (2022): Fentanyl Test Strips Highlight Rift in Nation’s Struggle to Combat Drug Deaths

Monday – Friday

9 AM – 5 PM


(347) 467 – 0505

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