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‘The Men in Blue’ to appear in ‘Hometown Heroes’ ticker tape parade

July 6, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Known for their iconic uniforms and their presence cleaning streets throughout New York City, the Men in Blue — participants in The Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able reentry program for homeless and formerly incarcerated men — will join fellow essential workers appearing in the “Hometown Heroes” ticker tape parade on Wednesday, July 7th.

From the outset of the pandemic, the Men in Blue served as frontline heroes, donning PPE and providing enhanced sanitation services to 115 miles of NYC streets daily. In the fall, they expanded their routes across all five boroughs through the CleaNYC initiative, predominantly in low-income neighborhoods hit hardest by the pandemic. Now, they will expand further through their participation in the City Cleanup Corps, the Mayor’s new initiative to supply 10,000 New Yorkers for comprehensive beautification efforts across the city.

The parade, meant to thank the essential workers who uplifted New Yorkers through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will take place at 11:00am on July 7, 2021. It will begin by Manhattan’s Battery Park, travel along the Canyon of Heroes, and end with a ceremony in City Hall Park.

“We can never thank our essential workers enough for all they’ve done for this city. But we can celebrate their heroism in our streets — and put on a safe, dynamic, unforgettable parade to show our appreciation,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Thanks to these essential workers, we’ve fought back COVID-19 and we’re on our way to building a recovery for all of us. I can’t wait to march alongside them.”

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“This great honor affirms what we have always known: that when provided with opportunity, the people we serve can become contributing members of society despite experiencing devastating hardship and systemic disenfranchisement,” said Harriet McDonald, President of The Doe Fund. “Through Ready, Willing & Able and their own hard work, the Men in Blue are rebuilding not only themselves, but their community and city.”

The parade will feature a variety of different floats, each of which representing a group of essential workers who served this city heroically throughout the pandemic. Other represented groups will include advocacy organizations, City workers, educators, emergency food providers, faith leaders, first responders, healthcare workers, hospitality and buildings workers, retail and bodega workers, social service and settlement house workers, transportation workers, and utilities workers.

Founded in 1985, The Doe Fund has provided over 28,000 individuals with the tools to break the devastating cycle of poverty, homelessness, and incarceration. The organization’s Ready, Willing & Able program provides paid work, career training, housing, and comprehensive supportive services to formerly homeless and incarcerated men in New York City. Graduates of Ready, Willing & Able are 62% less likely to reenter the criminal justice system compared to demographically-identical individuals, and the program’s Work Works model has been replicated in communities across the country.

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