Doe Fund To Clean Up Far Rockaway Business District
By Miriam Rosenberg
While Sanders secured the money to bring the agency to Far Rockaway, Curtis Archer, (the executive director of Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corp. – RDRC, credits the hard work and determination of the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce for making it a reality.
Lepore continued by saying “We saw how successful it was on the West End. We had such tremendous results.”
In the beginning, Sanders was not convinced the Doe Fund was the answer for the East End.
Saying it was more of a gentle nudge than a push, Omeste explained the concept was introduced to Sanders at a meeting between her, Lepore and Linda Plummer (of RDRC).
“[Sanders] saw what it had done for Beach 116 Street, beginning in July 2004, and was impressed,” Omeste said. “The lag time was in organizing everything. The Doe Fund is so popular, they had to [develop the] manpower, but because they knew us before [from other projects] they knew it would be good.”
The Doe Fund began working in the Rockaway Park area last year after Councilman Joseph Addabbo, Jr. brought the organization to the chamber’s attention.
The nonprofit Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able program offers homeless men several types of job training opportunities, including the Community Improvement Project.
“We help [them] get their lives back together and become self-sufficient,” said Joanna West a representative of the Doe Fund. “It combines housing, social service, work and training opportunities.”
Workers would supplement the job done by the Department of Sanitation – such as bagging garbage and refuse, sweeping streets, removing flyers from poles and clearing snow from fire hydrants and bus stops. Once a-year street furniture – mailboxes and street poles – get a fresh coat of paint.
West said we should start seeing the workers in their distinctive blue uniforms begin work in the Far Rockaway business district on September 15.