Avalanche of Community Support Sways City to Save Nuestros Niños!

NN SAVED 2016 001
Nuestros Niños gets to stay!! (back row) far left: Ramon Peguero (E.D. Southside United HDFC – Los Sures®), center: Marty Needelman (co-E.D. & Chief Counsel for Brooklyn Legal Corp. A); (2nd to last row) center left: Miriam Cruz (E.D. Nuestros Niños), center right: Council Member Antonio Reynoso (Nuestros Niños alumnus); surrounded by relieved and happy Nuestros Niños children, parents, and staff!

It was a fairy tale ending to a scary story when Nuestros Niños was given solid faith that their lease will be renewed for 10 years.  Nuestros Niños, the 40-year-old institution in trusted child care was under threat of being evicted last year, and they have been fighting ever since. NYC and especially North Brooklyn has been experiencing an epidemic of child care center evictions some that were a fait accompli and the remainder working under the threat of being displaced. In many cases this is to make way for luxury condos.

Over 200 children attend Nuestros Niños every year. The impact of the loss of this center would have a trickle-down effect that would touch the families who need a trusted and affordable child care option in the neighborhood so they have the opportunity to work.

“Nuestros Ninos is a Southside institution and a crucial part of the lives of so many of our families.  I attended as a kid so I know this firsthand, and am so thankful that we were able to persevere and secure this vital community resource for at least 10 more years,” said Council Member Reynoso

In March of 2015 hundreds of North Brooklyn families, political leaders, community organizations took to the streets to protest the looming closings of Nuestros Niños and Small World Day Care to name two of the several child care centers at risk. Council Member Antonio Reynoso, a Nuestros Niños alumni, was arrested at this rally to wake City Hall up to the importance of protecting affordable child care.

The news of the City’s reversal on this impending eviction was interpreted by Adam Meyers, attorney in the Preserving Affordable Housing Program Group Representation Unit at Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A, as, “The real story is that people got together, got organized, marched the streets, and showed how important these centers were to the community.”

Miriam Cruz, Executive Director of Nuestros Niños, also gives credit to the group effort of children, parents, staff, local officials, community leaders, who worked, “very, very, very hard!” and brought success. When asked about 2026 (when the extension expires) and beyond, she said, “We’re here to stay! Nuestros Niños is an icon in the community, it has to continue.”

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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