By Bill Parry
Two formerly homeless men will work full-time cleaning Roosevelt Avenue between 82nd Street and 90th Street, beginning July 1.
State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) secured a $75,000 state allocation for the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless, the non-profit that helps homeless people get back into the workforce by offering them jobs where they sweep the streets and pick up trash.
“New York City has been facing a homeless crisis for years, but I am sure this initiative will help some of our less fortunate New Yorkers get a job and job training to get out of that cycle and back into the workforce,” Peralta said. “In addition, these workers will also contribute to increase the quality of life in the community — in this particular case, along a busy stretch of Roosevelt Avenue, one of the most active thoroughfares in the city.”
The two workers, Robert Perez and Louis Robertson, will alternate weeks and one of them will clean between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Peralta called the arrangement a win-win for the community.
“This work experience will provide the participants with a safety net, and hopefully lead them to full-time, permanent jobs,” Peralta said. “In this case, the same team will be operating in this area of Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, allowing for neighbors, shoppers and business owners to know the workers who will keep the place nice and clean.”
ACE has been helping homeless New Yorkers get back into the workforce for 25 years.
“We re very proud to join Sen. Peralta in his efforts to keep the district looking beautiful,” ACE Executive Director Jim Martin said. “We consider it an honor and a privilege to be invited into this community and we look forward to getting to work.”
Meanwhile, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) joined the Department of Sanitation and Woodside on the Move last Friday to announce 108 new trash bins in his district. Van Bramer allocated nearly $60,000 from the City Council discretionary fund to have 32 new trash bins installed in Woodside, 27 in Sunnyside, 34 in Long Island City and 15 more in Dutch Kills and Astoria.
“After allocating nearly $60,000 for 108 new trash bins throughout western Queens, I’m thrilled to join with DSNY and Woodside on the Move to unveil a beautiful new bin right here on Woodside Avenue,” Van Bramer said. “With more than a hundred new trash bins in Woodside, Sunnyside, Long Island City, Dutch Kills and Astoria, it will be easier than ever to throw trash in a bin rather than on the ground, keeping our streets clean for all.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr