Politico has an article on the new safe injection site on East 126th Street.
Rev. Al Sharpton and Rep. Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat who represents Northern Manhattan and the Bronx, have raised concerns about the large number of social service programs in Harlem compared to other parts of the city that have equally high rates of drug addiction and overdose.
“We are compassionate and want to help all the vulnerable population in New York City, however, we cannot be complacent regarding the decades-long process of systemic racism that has oversaturated our community,” Sharpton said in an email about his National Action Network’s December 2021 protest outside of the facility.
Shawn Hill, a Harlem community activist and co-founder of The Greater Harlem Coalition, said in an interview that, although the Harlem facility is “doing God’s work” and helping New Yorkers with addictions, it has also brought more drug activity to the area.
“The concerns of families taking children to school, families living across the street … remain,” he said in an interview. “Just to get to the subway or to Metro-North they’re essentially forced to walk through a drug dealing gauntlet of people hustling, selling, procuring and distributing narcotics.”
“The hypocrisy of wealthy and whiter neighborhoods who repeatedly voice their support for this kind of program — as long as this kind of program isn’t located in their neighborhood — leaves a very bad taste in our mouths,” he said. “It’s always Harlem and East Harlem that have to bear this burden.”
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