'Clean-up Far Rock'
In a continuation of her efforts to clean-up downtown Far Rockaway, Assemblywoman Pauline Rhodd Cummings called a meeting of service providers in the community to assist in the homeless population that plagues the parking lot at Beach 19 street.
"The business district of Far Rockaway is in a blighted state," Cummings said. "Our streets are dirty, the storefronts are empty and our buildings are crumbling. We need to take a look at this business district and take immediate steps to make it attractive."
Cummings continued by saying, "To begin this clean-up, one of the major concerns is homeless who congregate. The area has become a proverbial Shanty Town. We can no longer allow the homeless to make our streets their bedroom."
Attending the meeting were representatives from the Queens Homeless Outreach Team, Methodist Center Soup Kitchen, Catholic Charities, St. Mary's Star of the Sea Church, JASA, Addabbo Health Center, Church of the Nazarene and Community Board 1q4. Each identified an area of concentration and agreed to immediately begin on Phase I.
As of Monday, November 22, teams of outreach workers were available at the Methodist Center Soup Kitchen and at the parking lot. These workers explained to the homeless that they could no longer "hang out" in the lot, as well as, introduced them to services that are available so they could have a better quality of life.
"Unlike another elected official who proposes jail for the homeless if they do not work, we being a humane community understand that other services must first be offered," Cummings said.
Further strategies will be undertaken by the 101 Precinct.
Part of Cummings' plan is to see these efforts bring results before the holiday lighting ceremony on Thursday, December 9. The lighting of a Christmas tree and Menorah will take place on Mott avenue and Beach 20 street at 4:30 p.m. that day.