Omnibus Bill Funds Local Antiviolence Measures and Homeless Prevention

At 2021’s March Against Gun Violence, Juan Ramos (center) exec. dir of Southside United HDFC- Los Sures and leader of The Wick Against Violence, an antiviolence program in local NYCHA housing; members of The Wick Against Violence; also pictured are U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and NYS Assembly Member Maritza Davilla

North Brooklyn will receive some of the funding from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 to curb violence and support for unhoused people.  $1M of this funding package was secured by U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and U.S. Representative Nydia Velázquez to go toward the North Brooklyn Anti-Violence and Homeless Prevention Initiative.  This initiative is a collaboration between area local organizations: St. Nicks Alliance, RiseBoro and The Wick Against Violence/Southside United HDFC- Los Sures; in addition to residents councils from Cooper Park Houses and Bushwick Houses.

“The funding we passed today is critical to the success of our community – from educating our youth, and providing after-school care, to improving the local environment and meeting the healthcare needs of our residents,” said Velázquez. “I look forward to seeing these funds being put to use to help grow and strengthen our neighborhoods.”

RiseBoro will support the effort with expansion of their homelessness prevention services.

When gun violence increased during COVID-19 lockdown periods, the previously mentioned community organizations, local elected officials, local tenant associations, and the NYPD held meetings to brainstorm solutions.  NYS Assembly Member Maritiza Davila organized a March Against Violence in late July 2021, which was attended by U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, and there has continued to be several community events to engage community to unite to stop street violence in a fun and neighborly way. 

“Together with Cooper Park Resident Council and Bushwick-Hylan Resident Council, these institutions will help to prevent violence and improve the quality-of-life for North Brooklyn residents while expanding resources to local residents facing the threat of homelessness with innovative strategies,” stated Michael Rochford, exec. dir. of St. Nicks Alliance.

RECENT SHOOTINGS

The need for funding this initiative couldn’t have been made more apparent by the two recent shootings that occurred outside Williamsburg schools within a month.  The first was a shooting nearby the Grand Street Campus on January 17.  Gunshots struck a 14-year-old girl in the arm and a 17-year-old boy in the leg.  The second shooting happened on February 8 on Varet and White Streets near Williamsburg Charter High School. This shooting was reported to be gang related and injured three: a security guard received a bullet wound to the neck and two students were struck in the legs.

“For decades, St. Nicks Alliance [along with RiseBoro and The Wick Against Violence/Southside United HDFC- Los Sures] has been leader in improving North Brooklyn and taking care of their neighbors through an era of immense change,” said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer. “I’m proud to support St. Nicks Alliance [along with RiseBoro and The Wick Against Violence/Southside United HDFC- Los Sures] with this $1 million grant to address the causes of violence by providing community-based services and diversionary programs that create jobs and keep people in their homes. We need to break the vicious cycle of violence, and there is no better organization than St. Nicks Alliance working on the ground to tackle this urgent issue in North Brooklyn.” 

Author: The Greenline

Your monthly source for North Brooklyn community news covering Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Currently 13,000 copies are distributed throughout the community free of charge. Articles published with The Greenline byline includes content cited directly from press releases or published statements and/or is the work of a combination of vetted authors or sources.

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