The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Sick Twist In the Saga of 60 Clarkson

Yesterday was quite something, even in the ragged story of a single apartment building on my block. Dozens of current residents, many single moms who've been there with multiple children for a year or more, convened in the lobby to express outrage and fear over being (once again) moved through the Homeless Services system with little regard for the realities of raising children. The treatment, as I've come to learn through countless interactions with the residents through the years, is basically that of refugees in their own country. Make no mistake, Capitalism exacts a toll on those least able to fend for themselves, and sometimes it looks this. A report from WPIX on the shenanigans of one greedy and cruel landlord - Barry Hers - doing his best to make tons of money off the misery of others. And make a good living he has. Because after social services provider CAMBA left the building, Hers formed his OWN social services organization called, darkly ironically, WE CARES. I snapped a picture of the vacate notice given to all the homeless tenants:

And where precisely are these families going to go? 250 Clarkson for one (ugh). Or, as in the case of my friend Merlinda and her six kids, to one of the worst, roach and rat infested heaps of filth you can imagine. Trust me, I've seen the pictures and videos. It's a hellhole, over on East 21st, near Cortelyou. Hola, Ditmas Park Corner! Have fun. Oh, and homeless families, don't forget Farm on Adderley does a killer brunch!

More soon, when I find some internet. Happy 4th!


Anonymous said...

This scumbag should be in handcuffs. what's taking so long?

Douglas Singleton said...

You meant The Farm on Adderly (not that it matters).

Margaret said...

Wow, how horrible. Is there a way others in the community can help protest this?

ctrldwn said...

This man has more shit on him than a fecalpheliac. Why is he getting away with this? And why is he phasing out these tenants?

Alex said...

Sounds like a horribly unethical, elaborate, and profitable method of warehousing.

MikeF said...

With the exploding homelesss population, DHS is in a tough position. Shelter contracts require providers to offer housing and social services, but reputable providers (like CAMBA) can't do both on the funding available.

As a result, DHS has been forced by the market to allow landlords to create their own social service agencies. Social services are then barely (if at all) provided. The contracts are very short term in nature, allowing the landlord to exit when a more profitable use becomes available.

Those worried about the families can take some comfort in the NYC has an established legal right to shelter, so the city has to find the families somewhere else to stay. However, the new location is likely to very similar to the prior one.

Anonymous said...

MikeF, why would CAMBA pull out of 60 Clarkson in the first place?

Anonymous said...

Given their track record at 60, I would never call CAMBA a "reputable provider" of anything but paychecks to no-show, no-care employees.

MikeF said...

Nonprofits like CAMBA pull out of such arrangements for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons could be that the landlord is demanding too large of a share of the available DHS funding.

The nonprofit is then in the position of continuing to provide services at a financial loss, or in a way that it believes are excessively crappy, or exiting the relationship.

Unless they have a good independent funding stream (foundations, individual donors, etc), most reputable non-profits in that situation will choose exit.

They tend help poor people who have at least some money associated with them.

Jpowbk said...

If anyone has contact with the tenants and they feel their rights have been violated have them call David Obele at The Coalition for the Homeless (212) 776-2003

Anonymous said...

Ironically, the right to shelter law is a big part of the reason landlords have the city and the social service agencies over a barrel when it comes to how much they charge to house homeless families. Since there are nowhere near enough shelter beds but the city HAS to find housing for these families, they usually have to pay more than full market rate for apartments that were likely previously occupied by Section 8 or rent stabilized tenants. In addition to how the homeless families might be treated, landlords who participate in this program have an incentive to kick out the much lower paying rent regulated tenants. A very well meaning law that was the result of litigation by several homeless advocacy groups, but it has had unintended consequences.

The deBlasio administration and various council people have made noises about how they now want to pay landlords much less than $1000 per homeless person/room, but I don't know whether anything has come of this.

I read somewhere that the typical family in the system spends 9 months in such temporary housing. At $3000 per month for a 3 bedroom apartment, that's $27,000. Enough to buy that family a house and a car in some counties of upstate New York. If we can't do better at negotiating with these landlords, perhaps families should be offered a choice of taking the money or being dumped in some rat infested hellhole run by a greedy slumlord.