Sunday, June 7, 2009

Commenting On The Issues: DHS, The Budget, and Central Brooklyn

We just came back from this press conference, which went very well (although we all almost melted). With regards to the issues of homelessness, we thought one of our recent comments deserved to be posted:

From David Scott:
I have been homeless at several points in my life. Contrary to popular belief, most homeless did not become so out of choice and not because they are lazy, stupid, or immoral. Many homeless people are victims of abuse in the form of neglect and abandonment by their parents or other caregivers. Some of them are simply victims of life’s tragedies, such as hurricanes, fires, or other catastrophes from which they simply don’t have the resources to recover. I invite you to my blog devoted to raising awareness on homelessness: There you will find an article I wrote on homelessness and pictures I have taken of homeless people. I always give them a dollar or two for the privilege of photographing them. I am often surprised by their cheerfulness and sense of pride. Often, they will show themselves to have some kind of talent. There is a fine line between genius and insanity.

Our response:

Working with the 35th community on a very direct level, we [teamtish] don't make assumptions about the life situations our residents often find themselves in. We are very aware of the problems associated with how homeless individuals are treated in this society. We see the issue surrounding the Brooklyn Intake Center as yet another example of how this administration does not fully address the concerns and needs of non-Manhattanites (and the poor and working-class specifically). We maintain that, considering the fact that a number of factors make Crown Heights an inappropriate area to house Citywide homeless individuals, this was a poorly-conceived plan to begin with. To add insult to injury, the fact that the additional intake center for Manhattan (which was promised to Brooklyn elected officials) was not earmarked in the budget-- constitutes yet another broken promise. Please search through this blog to find more information about the (long) history of this issue. Thanks

We also encourage readers to check out the history of the Brooklyn Intake Center's proposed expansion into a Citywide center here; the posts outline the many reasons that elected officials, the Crown Heights community, and homeless advocates have rallied against this proposal. Council Member James has been involved in this issue from the beginning, and feels strongly that the administration should treat both New York City's homeless population and the Crown Heights community with the respect they deserve.

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