Bronxscape: Roof Top Community Garden for the Homeless


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Bronxscape: Roof Top Community Garden for the Homeless

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Bronxscape: Roof Top Community Garden for the Homeless

  1. 1. VOLUME 15 Number 2 FALL 2008 86 Helping New Yorkers Find Their Way Home Bronxscape: An Exciting New Green Project“We did something incredible here and Bronxscape far exceeds NCS’s expectations.we made someplace beautiful for a bunch The enhanced rooftop offers green spacesof kids who need more beautiful places in for group activities and shaded areas fortheir lives.” reflection, reading or conversation. A large —Ed May, Parsons School of Design 2008 Design Workshop participant open pavilion, with an area for dining and food preparation, is the centerpieceLouis Nine House, NCS’s new “green” resi- of Bronxscape. Attached to the paviliondence for young adults who are aging out of is a greenhouse, where residents can sowfoster care or are homeless, was selected and care for seedlings, which they lateras the 2008 project for Parsons School of transplant into their own personal plant-Design’s annual Design Workshop. This The 2008 Parsons Design Workshop class with a model of Louis Nine House’s Bronxscape. ing boxes. For many residents, this mayintensive 15-week course provides the op- be their ‘first experience eating vegetablesportunity for architectural and design gradu- or pieces of fruit that they have grown andate students to work directly with a client to nurtured. The lush gardens are sustaineddesign and then fabricate a project. through an irrigation system, which col-The 14 students have transformed the build- lects and redistributes rain water, and theing’s basic green roof into “Bronxscape”, pavilion’s roof has photovoltaic cells to3,500 square feet of communal rooftop capture solar energy that will light the roofspace where residents can relax, socialize in the evenings.and even plant their own garden. In line NCS is grateful to Parsons School of Design,with the ‘green’ design and construction faculty members David J. Lewis and Kentused throughout the building, the vegetation Kleinman and the students who partici-on the roof keeps the building cooler, saves Under construction: a Design Workshop pated in Design Workshop 2008. Portionsenergy, and extends the life of the roof. participant atop the Pavilion. of this project have been funded throughIn early January, students toured the building the generosity of the Bronx Boroughand met with NCS staff to discuss how the President’s Office, the Real Estate Boardspace might be used. Each student presented of New York, Barker Welfare Foundationa proposed design; then NCS and the students and The Hyde and Watson Foundation.selected elements from each that they believed We also thank the staff of WHEDCO, thewould best meet the needs of the new residents. developer of the building, for helping toWhen a design was finalized in early May, stu- make this happen. If you are interested indents created working drawings for the Build- learning more about Bronxscape or Louisings Department, ordering the wood, steel and Nine House, please contact Tanya Hackeldirt, while applying to city agencies for permits. at 212-537-5143.Finally, they donned hard hats and tool belts, Design Workshop 2008 has been document-hoisted steel girders up to the roof and together ed from conception through construction by Panoramic view of Bronxscape’scompleted the construction. North Garden and pavilion. Ed May at
  2. 2. Message from the CEO The City’s decision to close the adults aging out of foster care, and moving vocational Neighborhood Center for Home- services to this new residence to serve a greater number of less People (NCHP), NCS’s 77th people (including the young adults living there). This move Street drop-in/referral center for includes Emporium Online, which is expanding to serve Administrative Office homeless men and women, was individuals with disabilities referred by state agencies. We 157 East 86th Street not specific to our agency, but is part are especially gratified to report that we will be acquiring New York, NY 10028Phone: (212) 537-5100 of the City’s policy shift to greatly sites for two new buildings to create 120 units of housing for Fax: (212) 860-2301 reduce the number of drop-in homeless mentally ill adults. Finally, we will be publishing Anne R. Teicher centers. The Center was closed on the findings of our second research study in the Journal June 25th, after serving our community and our homeless of Personality Disorders. BOARD OF DIRECTORS neighbors for 19 years. More good news to share! NCS’s Outpatient Treatment David A. Oliver President The outpouring of support from Community Board 8, Program, which opened last fall, has received a three-year Wolcott B. Dunham, Jr. our elected officials, clergy, community organizations and license from the New York State Office of Alcohol and Sarah A. W. Fitts individuals spoke to the crucial role this program played Substance Abuse Programs (OASAS), the longest licensing Stephanie Guest Vice Presidents in our community. We thank everyone who has supported period the Office will assign. Jill W. Lampe NCHP through the years. I look forward to keeping you updated on the work of Treasurer NCS is looking forward to an exciting and challenging year Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter as we continue to cre- Susan Stevens Assistant Treasurer as we continue to expand our important work. We will be ate new housing and supportive services for homeless and Josephine N. McFadden opening Louis Nine House, a new residence for 46 young formerly homeless individuals. Secretary Catherine Bennett Nancy Carr NYCs Changing Policies Toward Homeless Individuals Barbara Chocky Brett L. Craig In 2004 the Mayor announced his five-year plan to • Shift to a “housing first” model, allowing people Julie Daccord reduce homelessness by two-thirds by 2009. While from the streets or shelters to obtain housing Anne S. Davidson Michelle Edgar the City has had some success—the census in the with intensive services provided while they work Patricia Falk adult shelter system declined for three years and toward psychiatric stability or sobriety. John H. Friedman the total shelter population (including families with Michael A. Goldenberg • Shift resources to create Safe Havens (with a children and individuals) has declined from 36,600 Carl A. Goldman reduction of drop-in centers), a low-demand type to 34,401 since the launch of the plan—the goal of Leslie Gottlieb of housing/shelter program that provides a safe reducing the total shelter population by two-thirds Alice Greif place to sleep and receive services for those people Stacie Kallenberg (12,100 total shelter population by 2009), is clearly who refuse other types of housing or shelter. Staff Ann Ross Loeb unattainable. And, although street homelessness attempt to engage and motivate clients toward Patricia Marshall has been reduced citywide, the number of individu- Constance J. Milstein permanent housing and sobriety. als living on the streets of Manhattan has actuallyAnthony C. Mustalish, M.D. increased by 21% from 2007 to 2008. At a hearing • Reduce number of shelter beds provided by the Brinton T. Parson at City Hall on September 23rd, two critical ques- faith community which utilizes these shelter beds Heather J. Perlmutter Wendy Samuel tions were addressed: 1) why homelessness in New for clients of drop-in centers. Stephanie J. Shuman York City has not decreased more quickly, and 2) We believe that some of the City’s policy changes Anne R. Teicher whether DHS needs to consider new strategies. in the way it delivers homeless services to single Chief Executive Officer Primary policy initiatives the City has undertaken to adults have yielded (or will yield) positive results. NCS PROGRAMS address homelessness among single adults include: However, other changes may reduce rather than NCS Residence expand options for homeless people. Research and • Focus on prevention by establishing HomeBase long experience have demonstrated that engaging New Vistas programs in communities generating the most a homeless population with diverse needs is best Transitions homelessness (which includes programs for accomplished by providing multiple ways for them OPTIONS families as well as individuals), and, collaborating to access the services system. Emporium Online with prisons and hospitals to improve discharge NCS Outpatient Services planning so people don’t wind up on the streets Although we applaud the goal to move indi- or in shelters. viduals directly from the street to homes, the Neighborhood reduction of drop-in centers and shelter beds inCoalition for Shelter • Focus services and resources on housing chronically the religious community eliminates two impor- is committed to ending homeless people, particularly those living on thehomelessness by providing tant ways that some of the neediest are able streets. Implement a “street to home” approach men and women with to receive help. Further, with the emphasis on housing and support that that steers the chronically homeless towards stable can transform their lives. housing, rather than emergency shelters. continued on back page
  3. 3. NCS Celebrates Spring BenefitOn May 14th, NCS’s Spring Benefit, saxophone and guitar performances, allThere’s No Place Like Home: A Celebra- capturing the eclectic musical soundstion of New York City, was held at the of New York City’s streets and subways.Level Loft of the Metropolitan Pavilion. DJ Izzy—one of New York’s hottestOver 300 guests, including long-time turntabalists—entertained the crowdfriends and many new supporters, well into the evening.raised almost $200,000 for NCS’s pro- Pras Michel spoke about the pressinggrams that help homeless individuals needs of homeless individuals, whichsecure housing, employment and long- he experienced first-hand while living asterm self-sufficiency. NCS was honored a homeless person for his investigativeto welcome Grammy Award-winning documentary, Skid Row. NCS createdartist Pras Michel of the Fugees as its Grammy-Award winning art- NCS Board Member Michelle the Pras Michel Enrichment Award, a ist Pras Michel speaks about Edgar (left) with Junior Com-special guest. his documentary Skid Row. mittee Member Leena Jain. college or vocational-training scholar-The sleek loft was transformed into ar- ship for a resident of Louis Nine House,eas representing New York City through- NCS’s new and completely “green”out the year, with different activities for residence for young adults aging out ofeach season. A runway featuring designs foster care, which is opening this winterby Nicole Miller took center stage in a in the of Spring Fashion Week in Architecture students from ParsonsBryant Park, while putting greens and a School of Design were present to an-pro-golf instructor from The Golf Club swer questions and display a model ofat Chelsea Piers helped guests perfect “Bronxscape,” the innovative green rooftheir swing and capture the summer communal space, which they recentlyspirit. A bar featuring the Times Square Friends of NCS (left to right): Joe Ryan and Colin and constructed at Louis Nine House (seeNew Years’ Eve Ball in winter and a Rebekah McCabe, with Board Member Stephanie Shuman the front page article to read moredowntown Autumn Café completed the and husband Fred. about this exciting project). Speakersyear-round City theme. included David Oliver, incoming Presi-Guests strolled along a tree-lined path and bid on a broad array of silent dent of the NCS Board of Directors, and Ronndolyn Black, a tenant atauction items—from dinner at the Gramercy Tavern to a diamond- the NCS Residence.studded Mont Blanc watch. They enjoyed a variety of hors d’oeuvres NCS thanks the members of the Benefit Committee and Junior Benefitby Glorious Food while listening to a capella music, spoken word, Committee for helping to make this event such a huge success. NCS is grateful to the following individuals and companies who generously contributed items and services to the Silent Auction: Giuliana Simona Abaton Deborah Harrison Tina Hansen Mirror Lake Inn The Salty Paw Alan Wasser Associates Miller Jewelry Hay-Adams Hotel Mont Blanc Sam Ash Music The Algonquin Hotel Designs by Ahn HBO Murray’s Cheese Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers Alison Brod Public Relations Elemis Hightower Cellars NBC Universal St. Ives Arrojo Studio Richard Ellis IMG Fashion New York City The St. Regis Hotel Artisanal Premium Cheese Essie Cosmetics, Ltd. Doug Inglish Guitar School The Ted Gibson Salon Avon Products, Inc. Exhale Spa Kaplan MD The New York Giants Tocqueville Bobbi Brown Cosmetics French Institute: Kaplow Nexxus Town Sports Bond No. 9 Alliance Francais Jason Keigher Nicole Miller International Bumble and bumble Godiva Krizstina Kakulya Outdoor Bound Trachtenberg Public Center for Movement Goldfaden Skin Care Photograpy Adventures, Inc. Relations Cern The Golf Club at Jill W. Lampe Jenny Pariser Universal Music Classical Chris Madden, Inc. Chelsea Piers Madison Avenue Philosophy Anne Watkins Clarins Cosmetics Gramercy Tavern Limousine PicNic Market The Wayne Thomas Salon Cornelia Day Resort Eric Green Marc Jacobs Pink Elephant Club West Elm Dance Manhattan Studios The Hampton Classic Mario Badescu Skin Care Rumblefish Wolffer Estate Vineyard Dean and Deluca Horse Show Maxx New York Saks Fifth Avenue Zoochini
  4. 4. Mother-Daughter Volunteer Day NYCs Homeless Policies continued from page 2 serving the chronically homeless, and the limitations the City has imposed, those who are newly homeless, or sporadically homeless, often have to wait until they are on or back on the streets for at least nine months before they are eligible to receive services from a city-funded outreach team. Recent findings by the Independent Budget Office as well as DHS’s own report published in late September, indicate that the total number of homeless people has decreased little since 2004. Many people are now reporting, anecdotally, that they are seeing increasing numbers of people on the streets again. (And, with recent economic events, we can expect this trend to continue.) We strongly support any efforts that will reduce and eventually eliminate the need for anyone in our city to be homeless, but we fear that some of the policies being put into effect may ultimately undermine the City’s efforts in accomplishing this goal.On June 5th NCS hosted the first ever mother-daughter volunteer day withfourteen sixth-grade students from The Chapin School and seven of theirmoms (pictured above). The project was organized by Suzanne Oliver,wife of NCS Board President David Oliver, and their daughter, Anne, at How to Helpthe NCS Residence. The volunteers stuffed and delivered “dignity bags” Although the Neighborhood Center for Homeless People (NCHP),with toiletries and personal items for the men and women who were NCS’s drop-in/referral center, closed on June 25, 2008, after 19leaving the drop-in center. They also baked cookies and brownies for the years of service to the Upper East Side community, NCS continuestenants of the NCS Residence. The group enjoyed lunch in the rooftop to provide critical housing and supportive services that assist home-garden of the Residence, where Rodney spoke about his experiences as less and formerly homeless men and women in their journey toa homeless person and now as a resident of NCS. If you are interested independent living through counseling and treatment, educational and vocational training, and job placement. Your help is morein volunteering with NCS, please contact Millicent Cavanaugh, Director important than ever. To make a contribution to NCS, please go toof Volunteer Services, at 212-537-5150. to make a secure online donation or return the enclosed envelope to donate by check or credit card. Donate your gently used CDs, DVD’s, Videos and Video Games to… How to help an individual facing homelessness and in need of immediate assistance: Call 311 and request that a member of the City’s Homeless Out- reach Team be contacted. We will pick up!! Refer the individual to Grand Central Neighborhood Social Ser- For more information or to arrange pick-up, call vices Corporation’s Multi-Service Drop-in Center, 120 East 32nd 212-537-5424. Or drop off at 211 East 81st St, NYC Street, between Lexington and Park Avenues. (212) 883-0680. Make your purchase at our zShop: Support4homeless Open 24 hours a day.