New York Shitty Day Starter: Manhattan Avenue

March 23, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Taken March 22, 2012.

Last Gasp: Five

December 29, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11211, 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

brooklynbureau: 5 Reported Deaths of Homeless in Greenpoint Bklyn in past 15 months:

Original Tweet:

This was brought to my attention by an anonymous tipster (thanks!). Those of you who are so inclined should take a moment to read Brooklyn Bureau’s piece about homelessness in Greenpoint and the proposed assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard. Follows is a breakdown of the five (I suspect preventable) deaths outlined therein:

…In October, reports of a homeless man hanging himself in McGolrick Park marked the fifth reported death of a homeless man in Greenpoint’s parks in the past 15 months. Two have taken their own lives (the second man in Barge Park off Commercial Street), one man drowned in McCarren Park, another died of hypothermia in the same park and a third died of unknown causes, also in McCarren Park.

“It’s a sick way of thinking because the person could die in the street and then no one’s responsible,” says McDonnell, “is that what we do, do we just let people die and not be responsible?”

Indeed. However, what what this tome overlooks is Greenpoint’s homeless will not simply be able to go to 400 McGuinness and receive shelter. They will have to go through a processing center in Manhattan and then come back here. Given the language gap many of our homeless face (as Polish speakers)— and the fact many of them have serious substance abuse problems— do I realistically see this arrangement working? No, I don’t.

Image Credits: The image at left was taken by yours truly at McCarren Park this summer.

New York Shitty Day Ender: Sweet Dreams

Manhattan Avenue: September 1, 2011

Jerzy Popieluszko Square: September 1, 2011

From the University of Texas’s web site:

The Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) has released a report entitled “Solutions for Homeless Chronic Alcoholics in Austin”. According to the report, 35-40% of the U.S. homeless population struggles with alcoholism as compared to just 5% of the housed population. The report estimated that out of the 3,451 homeless people in Austin, 1,208 homeless people had some form of alcohol problem and 875 suffered from chronic substance abuse.

At times, the addiction to alcohol is so great that when faced with the choice between sobering up for a shelter or staying on the streets, many alcoholics stay on the streets. Some are so addicted that they are willing to drink harmful substances like mouthwash to supplement their bodies’ need for alcohol. The report also states that 150 homeless people died due to alcohol-related deaths on the streets of Austin last year. Individuals with the most severe forms of alcoholism are the most in danger of dying on the streets and are the most frequent users of resources (i.e. hospitals, police, court systems). Severe alcoholics have a need to drink all day, which causes them to be unable to properly seek food, shelter, or aid.

One of the more surprising findings in the report was that shelters that allow alcohol (aka wet shelters) saved both money and lives. Wet shelters are a part of the “harm reduction” strategy, which aims to meet substance abusers “where they are at” as opposed to immediately imposing sobriety. Although the long-term goal of the strategy is to stop substance abuse, the immediate goal is to improve overall wellness. The ECHO study looked at other cities that have used “harm reduction” methods. One of the programs is based in Ottawa, and the results from a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal indicate clear benefits for the individuals involved in the program:

  • the average daily consumption of alcoholic drinks dropped from 46 to 8;
  • most participants indicated they had improved qualities of sleep, personal hygiene, nutrition and health;
  • employees reported that 88% of participants complied with their prescription medication requirements;
  • problems with the police decreased by 51%; and,
  • trips to the emergency department decreased by 36%.

Seattle also implemented a “harm reduction” strategy by creating a program where seventy-five rooms were offered to “individuals placing the greatest financial strain on city resources” as part of their “harm reduction strategy.” The program has been successful in not only reducing alcohol consumption, but has also saved $1.8 million in emergency room visits alone.

To read more about the study’s findings, you can read the ECHO report here or the article in the Austin-American Statesman here.

If this can be implemented in the Lone Star State, why not here?

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: Know Hope

May 21, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Street Art 

From India Street.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photos du Jour: Better Homes & Garbage, Part II

(Or: India Street Revisited)

As I have written previously, the soon-to-be initiated India Street ferry service has some serious safety concerns to address. Foremost among these is the fact the block from which it will disembark is desolate and uninhabited.

Sort of. The first thing I noticed when I swung by this morning is only one solitary trailer remains. As you can see it has undergone some renovations. Namely, having the door removed and a cheerful blue blanket hung it its place.

We would appear to have two inhabitants.

Once again the presence of reading material was noted. It appears that we have a baseball fan on our hands. I wonder if he/she is a Mets or Yankees fan?

Yours truly was really impressed with the array of healthy foodstuffs. Milk, fruit juice, apples, peanut butter and canned fruit were observed. And last— but hardly least— let’s inspect the crapper!

This pied-a-terre is appointed with (to bastardize Black Adder):

…the latest in fresh air orifices combined with asphalt.

In other words: you shit on the street.

Miss Heather

Sunnyside Photo Du Jour: Home

April 21, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11101, 11104, Sunnyside, Sunnyside Queens 

From the Long Island Expressway.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: Driggs Avenue

April 12, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This reminder that the age-old problem of homelessness is very much alive and well in the “new” Greenpoint comes courtesy of autovac.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Juxtaposition

September 5, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


From Manhattan Avenue.

Miss Heather

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