In 1982, Roshi Bernard Tetsugen Glassman founded Greyston Bakery as a means to employ a handful of his Zen students. As the Bakery grew, Glassman and his wife, Greyston co-founder Sensei Sandra Jishu Holmes, expanded its mission to include providing jobs to residents of the neighboring inner city area. These individuals were deemed "hard to employ" due to a lack of education and skills and histories of homelessness, drug addiction and incarceration.
Greyston has since evolved into a Yonkers-based community development organization serving the economically disenfranchised. Programs include:
- supportive affordable housing
- workforce development
- community gardens
- NAYCE-accredited child care
- youth entrepreneurship programming
- HIV-related healthcare
Greyston's mission is to help people visualize and realize their path to self-sufficiency. From the beginning Greyston recognized that housing, job opportunities and a sense of community need to co-exist in order for individuals and families to break the cycle of poverty.