Good Morning, Brooklyn: Wednesday, December 15, 2021
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: The New York City Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in tracking down the unidentified male who is seen in the attached photos and video and is sought in connection with an assault in Transit within the confines of the 84th Precinct/Transit District 30. Last Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 at 12:10 hours aboard a southbound R-Train en route to the Court Street station, the unidentified male became involved in a verbal dispute with the victim, a 34-year-old female. After slapping her, damaging her eyeglasses and causing pain and swelling to her face and nose, the male fled upon arrival at the Court Street station.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at https://crimestoppers.nypdonline.org/ or on Twitter @NYPDTips.
NEWLY-OPENED EMMAUS CENTER HOSTS CHRISTMAS CONCERT: The Roman Catholic Diocese’s Futures in Education program presented “Spirit of Christmas Concert,” Monday night at the newly renovated Emmaus Center in Williamsburg. Contemporary Christian music artist and songwriter Matt Maher, and American operatic tenor Danny Rodriguez were principal performers, and the show also featured entertainment from one of the three New York Tenors, Christopher Macchio, as well as movie star Daniel Roebuck.
The newly refurbished and named 600-seat Emmaus Center is housed in the historic Williamsburg Opera House which was built in 1897. Many of the historical details of the theater were maintained in the renovation.
OVERDOSE PREVENTION WEBINAR: NYC Office of Nightlife will host its Overdose Prevention and Naloxone Training Webinar this Thursday, December 16, at 3 p.m., at the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment. The Office of Nightlife manages Narcan Behind Every Bar campaign, in partnership with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DOHMH) Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention, Care, and Treatment, which brings life-saving overdose presentation tools and resources to NYC’s nightlife community.
In addition to the trainings, the campaign aims to encourage signing up to receive free Overdose Rescue Kits by mail and enable the safe and legal purchase of Fentanyl test strips at websites like dancesafe.org.
LEGAL AID SOCIETY: REOPEN RENTAL ASSISTANCE APPLICATIONS: The Legal Aid Society has filed a class action lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court to force the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to reopen the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) web portal to resume accepting applications, and contact potential applicants whose attempts to apply were rejected due to OTDA’s unlawful policy. The lawsuit was filed against OTDA on behalf of four individual plaintiffs; Housing Court Answers, Coalition for the Homeless, and all tenants in New York State who owe rent to their landlords, are eligible for ERAP, but who are now barred from applying for relief due to OTDA’s premature closure of the program to new applicants.
Under the state’s ERAP statute, tenants who have submitted ERAP applications are protected against eviction proceedings pending a decision on their application. However, due to the closure of the ERAP portal, families who otherwise could have applied for ERAP will be vulnerable to eviction when the state’s eviction moratorium expires on Jan. 15, 2022, even though federal funds may not yet have been fully allocated, much less distributed.
IPS NEWS: HOCHUL MAKES $100 MILLION AVAILABLE FOR RENTAL ASSISTANCE: Meanwhile, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday that $100 million is available for counties to help homeless individuals and families leave the shelter system for a permanent home by providing rental assistance. The funds may also help very low-income New Yorkers pay their rent and increase their housing security. Administered by the state (OTDA), the New York State Rental Supplement Program, administered by the aforementioned Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, will provide funding to localities in all 57 counties and New York City to offer rental assistance to individuals and families who are currently experiencing homelessness or facing the imminent loss of housing.
Adopted as part of the FY2022 budget, the program is providing nearly $68 million for New York City, and more than $32 million to all other counties throughout the state. Counties will have the flexibility to develop a program that meets the needs of their underserved populations.
BROOKLYN PROGRESS MAKERS: Citi Foundation has selected Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue Committee as a Community Progress Maker, which supports visionary organizations across the U.S. that are working to connect low-income communities and communities of color to greater social and economic opportunities. As a Community Progress Maker, FAC will receive a multi-year, unrestricted grant of $500,000 and access to technical assistance and a supportive learning community from 2022 – 2023.
Other Brooklyn organizations were awarded grants also, including the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and the Bridge Street Development Corporation .
NEW RESOURCE FOR COMMUNITY BOARDS: Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Anita Laremont, announced a “Community District Needs” online resource space. The webpage is designed to empower communities seeking to increase equitable investment in city services, improve transparency and make government more accountable and to give a stronger voice to New York City’s 59 Community Boards and advocacy groups, especially those in lower-income neighborhoods that often face challenges accessing city resources and services,” said DCP Director Anita Laremont.
Once submitted, the Community District needs statements and budget requests are sent to relevant city agencies and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as they prepare the Preliminary Budget, typically released in January. The final submissions can be found on Community District Profiles by choosing a district and selecting “Community Board.”
FEMA DISASTER ASSISTANCE: Community Board 16 announces that residents of Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and several exurb counties have until Tuesday, Jan. 4, to apply for FEMA disaster assistance. Affected constituents can visit Disasterassistance.gov, use the FEMA mobile app or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.
Helpline operators are available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for an interpreter who speaks other languages.
DISABLED COMMUTERS FIGHT FOR ACCESSIBILITY: Demanding rider accessibility and claiming that the MTA is circumventing ADA law, Rise and Resist’s Elevator Action Group, Center for Independence of the Disabled New York (CIDNY), Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled (BCID), Riders Alliance and other coalition allies will hold a rally today outside the MTA headquarters before their December monthly board meeting to demand that the MTA obey the law. The groups demand, among other provisions, that MTA leadership sign a binding legal agreement and settle multiple civil rights lawsuits to create a roadmap for 100% accessibility, appoint a disabled riders advocate to the MTA board of directors, preferably someone with experience using Access-A-Ride paratransit service, and permanently extend virtual public comments at board meetings to allow disabled people who are unable to attend have the chance to weigh in on decisions that affect their lives.
The coalitions point out that in the 31 years since the American with Disabilities Act became law, almost five years have passed since the lawsuits were filed against the MTA regarding accessibility, with no tangible resolution.
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