2010-08-13 / Community

The Doe Fund Comes To Far Rockaway

Councilman James Sanders Jr. recently joined with Jonathan Gaska, district manager of Community Board 14, to welcome back to Far Rockaway the “men in blue” of The Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able program. The Councilman has appropriated $50,000 from the City for a three-person Doe Fund cleanup crew to continue to provide supplemental street sanitation to the area’s business district. The formerly homeless “men in blue” of The Doe Fund will earn above minimum wage in these transitional jobs, helping to revitalize Far Rockaway while they work their way to permanent self-sufficiency through Ready, Willing & Able (RWA).

Sanders joined The Doe Fund’s crew on the corner of Beach 20 Street and Mott Avenue. Sporting a signature bright blue RWA T-shirt and hat, the Councilman helped workers to clean up the sidewalks on both sides of the busy Mott Avenue intersection by sweeping up garbage, keeping store fronts accessible, and allowing foot and car traffic to flow more freely.

Cleanup crews had been absent from the area since funding for the program was dropped by the City last year. By restarting the program, the Councilman hopes to jump start the beautification of the downtown and business centers of Far Rockaway, making the entire area more appealing to residents and businesses alike.

“Losing our clean-up crew in Far Rockaway was a blow not only to the cleanliness of our business district, but also to the potential for economic development in the area,” said Sanders. “With this money, our ‘men in blue’ can once again keep our sidewalks, streets and busy storefronts clear and clean for our pedestrians and business owners.”

“The ‘men in blue’ of Ready, Willing & Able are thrilled to help Councilman Sanders achieve his goal of making Far Rockaway a cleaner and more inviting place for all who live and work there. At the same time, we are providing an opportunity for formerly homeless individuals to rebuild their lives. They have truly become assets to the neighborhood,” said Doe Fund founder and president George T. McDonald.

Jonathan Gaska, district manger for Community Board 14 said, “Councilman Sanders really stepped up to the plate for us by funding the Doe Fund cleaners. This has been a top priority for the Community Board for over a year.”

The money that the Councilman secured will go towards supporting a three man clean-up crew in Far Rockaway’s business district for another year.

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