You may have heard of Project Renewal’s Support and Connection Center (SCC) which was located on East 116th Street. This innovative project was supposed to allow officers of the 25th Precinct to bring men and women experiencing a crisis, into a supportive dormitory where trained staff members could help with a wide range of resources and assistance (both short and long term).
At a community advisory board meeting, it was announced that the Department of Health (DOHMH) had expanded the catchment area of the East Harlem pilot project to include the 28th and 32nd Precincts. This move was explained by a Department of Health official as a way to “address the underutilization of the beds.”
There was no mention that this move may be in response to the scathing press from May of this year that noted:
Here is the full article in The City:
The press coverage of the SCC debacle was a huge blow to New York’s DOHMH and the administration of Mayor Deblasio. Many members of HBNA noted how yet again New Yorkers paid millions for a mental health program with little to no result.
To see the full minutes of the SCC CAB meeting and the justification for bringing more men and women in crisis to East Harlem, see:
As a member of the SCC CAB I have written the following response:
Thank you for these minutes.
- Could we please have a discussion at the next CAB meeting centered on how the decision by DOHMH to take on referrals from neighboring precincts contributes to (bureaucratic) systems of structural racism? In particular, I would like to hear how the decision by DOHMH to add referrals from neighboring precincts helps an already oversaturated and already extremely vulnerable community. Perhaps we could all take a look at: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/dpho/race-to-justice-action-kit-impacts-of-racism-on-health.pdf and discuss this in light of the NYC Department of Health’s “Race to Justice internal reform effort to help [their] staff learn what they can do to better address racial health gaps and improve health outcomes” (see: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/race-to-justice.page)
- I would also like to know if when SCC was being proposed and presented to the East Harlem community, was it made clear that the East Harlem SCC would/could take on referrals from neighboring precincts?
- Lastly, I would like to know if this is now the SCC/Community workflow; that SCC will make (or be told to make) programmatic and policy changes and then present these changes to the CAB as a fait accompli? I’m trying to understand whether or not the members of the CAB are partners that are consulted and engaged, or if the SCC CAB is simply a forum for SCC to announce changes, milestones etc.
Our block association (HNBA.org) looks forward to hearing more about these issues.
Run For Justice
|JOIN US FOR THE 4TH ANNUAL #RUNFORJUSTICE World Day For International Justice is 7/17 and we invite you to join us for the 4th annual Run for Justice 5K! For the 2nd year in a row, Latinos Run and Black Men Run are teaming up for this great event. By participating, not only will you further our missions to increase health and fitness in communities of color, but you will help us bring awareness to social justice issues and promote equity, diversity, and access to resources. A portion of our proceeds will support two organizations at the forefront of social justice: ACLU and Equal Justice Initiative. Don’t forget to share your pics and hashtag us#RunForJustice #LatinosRun #BlackMenRun|