Borough Park

Greenfield funds cleanup of Borough Park

Non-profit group hires homeless people to remove litter

May 13, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember David Greenfield (at podium) announces the new cleanup effort by the Doe Fund. At left is Doe Fund Founder George McDonald. At right is Community Board 12 District Manager Barry Spitzer. Photo courtesy of Greenfield’s office
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A non-profit organization that gives jobs to homeless people to help get them back on their feet is teaming up with a Brooklyn councilmember to tidy up commercial streets in his district.

Councilman David G. Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst) announced on May 7 that the Doe Fund is cleaning streets in his council district.

The Doe Fund’s workers, known as the Men in Blue, are busy at work at the following locations: 13th Avenue between 44th Street and 54th Street; 16th Avenue between 44th Street and 56th Street; Avenue M between McDonald Avenue and Ocean Parkway; Kings Highway between McDonald Avenue and Ocean Parkway; and Coney Island Avenue between Avenue M and Kings Highway.

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The workers are on the job five days a week, according to Greenfield.

“I am thrilled that this community clean-up program is now in full force,” said Greenfield, who is funding the $100,000 cleanup project.

Greenfield said the condition of streets is an important quality of life issue for the city’s residents.

“Streets in our community are dirtier than ever. With this investment we are already seeing noticeably cleaner streets. The Doe Fund’s incredible impact is twofold: beautifying our streets while also helping reduce unemployment,” he said.

The Doe Fund provides homeless people with jobs and transitional housing.

“We offer a pathway. We put long-term unemployed people to work — people with barriers. Let’s face it, our economy has shifted, so people need to be retrained and they can’t live if we don’t have transitional employment,” Doe Fund Founder George McDonald said.

Greenfield, an influential member of the City Council, launched a city-wide effort known as NYC Cleanup, securing more than $3.5 million for the council’s 51 members to promote cleaner streets in their respective districts. Under this initiative, each council member is allocated funding to distribute to the organization of their choice to provide cleaning services.

In the past, Greenfield has obtained funding for programs to improve conditions and cleanliness along the major commercial corridors throughout his council district. In Fiscal Year 2014, he targeted the commercial strips of 13th, 16th, and 18th avenues in Borough Park, with a pilot program that was run by Midwood Development Corporation’s Project Sweep program. Another cleanup effort took place on Bay Parkway.

Street cleanliness is also vitally important to the city’s economy, according to Barry Spitzer, district manager of Community Board 12 (Borough Park). “A clean district is what drives business,” he said.

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