Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, April 28, 2022
POPE FRANCIS APARTMENTS OPEN ON FORMER LORETO CHURCH SITE: Today, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens holds the inaugural opening of the Pope Francis Apartments at Loreto at 2377 Pacific Street, site of the former Our Lady of Loreto Church, in Brownsville/Ocean Hill. The Catholic Charities Pope Francis Apartments at Loreto feature an 8-story, 83,683 square foot building and provide 135 affordable apartments and case management for low-income and formerly homeless seniors, enabling them to live safely, comfortably, and independently for as long as possible. The new construction includes 24-hour security, lounge, tenant activity rooms, laundry facilities and rooftop solar panels to reduce the cost of electricity and the building’s carbon footprint.
The new facility is the second phase of redevelopment of the former Our Lady of Loreto Church and will integrate 40 percent of the units to affordable independent residences for seniors, with 60 percent of the units designated as senior supportive housing.
FUNDING TO HELP HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS : The Holocaust Survivors Initiative will benefit from $2.6 million in funding from the state’s Fiscal Year Enacted Budget. Administering the funds will be the New York State Office for the Aging, which will be utilized to increase access to health care related services that community-based organizations provide those who suffered in the Holocaust, particularly case managers who are specially trained in the psychological impact of the Holocaust, as well as crisis prevention in food and housing insecurity, legal services and end-of-life document preparation.
New York State is home to nearly 40,000 Holocaust survivors.
FUNDING FOR TWO BROOKLYN ANTI-GUN VIOLENCE PROGRAMS: As New York State marks National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced more than $6.3 million in federal funding that will allow seven programs in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Upstate counties to expand their anti-gun violence work and increase critical services for victims and families. The two Brooklyn organizations are Elite Learners, which is receiving $1.5 million, and Kings Against Violence Initiative, receiving $980,000.
The two-year grants will fund outreach staff to connect with victims and families, crisis responders, licensed social workers and other staff, as well as training, equipment and emergency funding for essential items such as clothing, housing and transportation expenses.
BIKE TOUR AFFECTS STREETS THROUGH BROOKLYN: Several roadways around Brooklyn, from Greenpoint to the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge, will be closed this Sunday, May 1, for the Bike NY Five Borough Bike Tour, which is expected to bring out 32,000 participating cyclists, as well as thousands of spectators. Residents and businesses are being alerted that parking will be off-limits, and roads closed along the following routes: McGuiness Blvd. between Freeman St. and Greenpoint Ave.; Greenpoint Ave. between McGuiness Blvd. and Franklin St.; Kent Ave. between North 14th St. and Williamsburg St. West, portions of Franklin St., Flushing Ave., York St., Navy St., Gold St. and Front St. in the Brooklyn Navy Yard vicinity and DUMBO; Old Fulton St., Furman St. and Columbia St. along the waterfront from DUMBO to Red Hook; the Brooklyn Queens Expressway from Atlantic Ave. to the Gowanus Expressway, and the Gowanus Expressway to the Verrazzano Bridge.
MTA Bus routes along those roads will also be affected.
ARMY RELIEF PROGRAM MARKS 80TH ANNIVERSARY WITH CAMPAIGN: Fort Hamilton’s Army Community Services will host an Army Emergency Relief Campaign Kick-Off this week to mark the program’s 80th anniversary. Since 1942, AER provided a total of $2 billion to nearly four million soldiers; moreover, about $1 billion was distributed since 9/11. Through zero-interest loans, grants and educational scholarships, AER ensures that no soldier faces financial hardship on their own.
The 2022 AER campaign has two main goals: monetary, to raise $50K in donations; and educational, to ensure that 100% of the local military force is educated and informed about this assistance program.
NAVAL YEOMAN DRAWS ON BROOKLYN STREETSMARTS: Chief Petty Officer David Bracero, a Brooklyn native, is stationed at Naval Base Kitsap (NBK), homeport to west coast ballistic-missile and guided-missile submarines. Now serving as a yeoman, Bracero attended the Navy Boot Camp American Council on Education (ACE) Program and says he uses skills and values similar to those found in Brooklyn, as he serves with Commander Submarine Group 9.
“My hometown taught me the importance of being street smart, having situational awareness of my surroundings and working hard,” said Bracero.
BILL WOULD DEDICATE SEPTEMEBER TO EMERGENCY PERSONNEL: Assemblymember William Colton (D – 47th District/Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) has introduced Bill A-3951 in the Assembly to designate the month of September to first responders. “Currently, there is no statutory procedure for designating a month of commemoration and, thus, there is no month that is designated as “Firefighter, Police Officer, and Emergency Medical Technician Appreciation Month,” Colton stated.
“Our brave and devoted firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical technicians should not receive our appreciation only as a result of tragic occurrences,” Colton said.
SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION DEADLINE NEARS: Time is running out for students who may want to apply for scholarships through The Congressional Black Caucus Spouses, in partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Applications are due this Saturday, April 30, 2022, via https://www.cbcfinc.org/programs/scholarships.
This scholarship offers financial assistance to outstanding African American college students residing or attending college in a Congressional Black Caucus member district, including that of Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-9/Flatbush and Central Brooklyn.)
HARSH WORDS ON DISTRICT MAP REJECTION: New York City’s Public Advocate Jumaane Williams had harsh words yesterday for the State Court of Appeals’ rejection of the district maps, saying that their decision and its timing, hurts voters. “Splitting primaries will raise costs and lower voter turnout, undoing the reforms of years past and causing voters to become disillusioned and disengaged,” said Williams, who recommended that the unused Unity Maps, which had widespread support, should now be considered while new district maps are drafted.
Williams added, “Regardless of where district lines ultimately fall, it now falls to the state to conduct a massive voter engagement and education effort…It is important to create accommodations so that neither voters nor the people seeking to represent them are disenfranchised.”
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