Inez Dickens Demands Fair Share for Harlem

The empty and imposing building on Central Park North that began its existence in 1914 as a branch of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association (YWHA) (and housed recently immigrated Jewish women in need of assistance), was sold in 1942 to the U.S. Army and briefly used as a rest-and-relaxation center for local soldiers. After the war it was a school and a child development center. In 1976 it became a NY State prison.

Looking north from Central Park sidewalk across 110th Street at New York State facility.

Now Mayor Adams has just received permission from the governor to use this building as a shelter. Below is the statement by Inez E. Dickens on the plans to repurpose Lincoln Correctional Facility:

“Harlem is sick and tired of being sick and tired. Neighborhoods south of 96th Street must also share the responsibility of taking in the tired, poor and hungry. For years, taxpaying Harlemites have fled to other states because of a continued lack of affordability. We are currently oversaturated with pop up shelters, illegal cannabis shops and drug treatment facilities, and reassurances that these accommodations are temporary ring hollow. Already on that proposed block is a shelter and there are multiple social service facilities within a five-block radius. If the state chooses to overburden Harlem with these programs, then Harlem deserves an influx of funding and services for our residents that are bearing the brunt of the impact.

“We respect the long journey asylum-seekers have made, but for far too long our neighborhood has been seen as a dumping ground for the city’s sheltering issues. As New Yorkers, we must all exercise the words at the feet of the Statue of Liberty in deeds and actions.”