Letter to Editor: Homeless Shelter Assistance

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Letter to Editor: Homeless Shelter Assistance

June 06, 2016 - 19:22

Oasis homeless shelter in New Rochelle

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With all the focus on the homeless crisis in New York City let us not forget the smaller pockets of homeless citizens that exist throughout the Lower Hudson Valley. We live in one of the richest counties in the State and contribute the highest taxes State-wide yet our homeless shelters are in disrepair and the homeless are being neglected.

A small group of concerned citizens in hoping to help restore the Oasis homeless shelter in our town of New Rochelle as major development goes up around it. Contributions from the city and county have not been enough to repair this shelter and provide a decent place to sleep for our homeless citizens.

Our citizens voted the repair of the Homeless Shelter as one of the top three ideas when polled by our developer RDRXR through NR Future for needed Community Services, but we do not see any movement on this issue. Ideas are hopes, not really commitments. It's great to have the voices of the community heard , but if nothing is going to be done why listen in the first place. See link to our idea here.

Please support our campaign or provide assistance in any way you can. We would hate to see beautiful new high-risers and retail stores next to a shelter with broken windows and homeless people flooding our new parks because they have no where to call home. Something like this is not only heartbreaking, but completely unacceptable in a revitalized downtown in Westchester County. Building a new shelter is our dream; just repairing the broken windows and installing new flooring is our realistic hope.

Our fundraising page is here.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you can provide some assistance for this much needed cause. 


Joseph Boan
New Rochelle, NY


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New Rochelle progress is impossible without change!

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”.  George Bernard Shaw

“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance”.  Nathaniel Branden

Joseph Boan,

All changes don’t have to be physical to be implemented and sometimes they go unnoticed. You can’t always see change but change is there if you get out and involved.

Oasis Spring Fling Fund Raiser was promoted by NRfuture on their web site and Facebook and back in February I believe there was a discussion surrounding a community member's Food Project and fundraising efforts for Oasis Homeless Shelter. I also know that we have discussed a number of times different ways to help the seniors, homeless and needy in New Rochelle with an emphasis on the Downtown area. There were many meetings where the Community Benefits Agreement was discuss and then became part of the Master Plan.

I stay involved so that I can see firsthand what happens so that I can remain objective. I am not tied to The City, NRfuture or the developer. Those that know me know I stand for doing the right thing and progress. Progress for all of New Rochelle not just a select few. People in New Rochelle only get involved and vocal when it is something directly connected to them or in their backyard, look at City Council Meetings, Public Hearings and Citizens to be Heard you will see exactly what I mean.

 Yes our citizens voted the repair of the Homeless Shelter as one of the top three ideas when polled by our developer RDRXR through NR Future for needed Community Services. Has anyone or yourself attended a meeting lately or joined NRfuture? Have you become active in the process? If so you would see there has been change.

Programs and grants are beginning to be implemented but more people need to get involved. You can't just put a wish list out there and expect it to appear, it take work and time. Follow up and attend meetings, be a part of the process as it moves forward. Too much miss-information is out there and people don't take the time, I know I question this all the time. More communication and participation is needed for this to work. It can’t just be left to the developers like in the past who actually never worked with the community at all. People in this city wanted more participation and input, yet they don’t participate or get involved when the opportunity is there. Nothing, then they complain.

 As a matter of fact, we have discussed ways to help the homeless at many NRfuture meetings. As development is slow so is the process to help implement those wants and needs expressed in the programs you described. But the good thing is that things are changing and some people are getting involved. But not enough, there are meetings every month and the other night we discussed the next round of Future Five Grants to be awarded by NRfuiture. These grants aren’t big but are a step towards jumpstarting ideas and future plans. Did you know about The Future Five Grant Program? I have sent a copy of your letter to Ashley Aldrich and Michelle Goyke the Community Ambassadors’ for NRfuture who staff the NRfuture office on North Avenue contact them for more information.

Many grants have already been awarded for example,

At the last NR Future Five meet-up on Tuesday, June 7th we discussed three grant applications that were received during the month of May. This month’s grant ideas included, A Fun In The Sun Fundraiser, Interest Food Project - Strawberry Baskets for Seniors, and New Ro Movie Night. The Interest Food Garden - Strawberry Basket Making Idea and The New Rochelle Movie Night grant ideas were awarded $250 grants and the $500 was awarded to the Fun In The Sun Fundraiser!

On Tuesday, May 3rd they discussed the five grant applications that were received for the month of April. The grant ideas included, A Community Block Party, Main Street's Secret Gardens, Moving Millennials - A 5K Run, Rock And Ramen, and Alvin’s on the Square. Ashley Aldrich and Michelle Goyke The Community Ambassadors for NRfuture who staff the NRfuture office on North Avenue, which is open to all said that,” they were so thrilled to see the New Rochelle Community using the NR Future Five Grant Program to create such innovative ideas and demonstrating Tactial Urbanism at its finest”. All of the ideas were awarded the $250 and the $500 Grant was awarded to Fish On The Run for their Community Block Party!

Some other I can remember,

Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse (HPCG) committee members visited the office of NRfuture at 247 North Avenue to collect their $500 check, which was granted as a part of the NRfuture “Future Five Grants” program.

The Hugh Doyle Senior Center -Interest Food Project for the Elderly and or Low to Moderate Families received funding.

To view some of the other ideas that have already been posted and are receiving the community’s support check out the grant ideas page.

From the site:

 The Future Five is an initiative by the people for the people to revitalize the downtown through five community-chosen priorities: Public Space + Storefront Beautification, Local Business Development, Food + Dining Scene, Millennial Engagement, and Arts + Culture. Leveraged by future investment in the downtown and centered around monthly community events, the Future Five initiative is supported by a monthly grant program.

Each month Nrfuture will provide one Future Five overall grant of $500 and one ... to receive the funds: 25 Likes for the $500 grants, 15 Likes for $250 grants. To view some of the other ideas that have already been posted and are receiving the community’s support check out the grant ideas page.

See the full list of winners and get more information here on how you can submit a grant of your own!

 If you have any questions, send an email to [email protected] or [email protected], call the office at 914-278-9410, or stop in! The RDRXR/NR Future Community Office is located at 247 North Avenue between the Post Office and Anderson Street.

I leave it up to you to make you own mind up and decide for yourselves. But I urge you to get involved and gain access to the programs that already exist. As New Rochelle grows so can you!

Mary Jane Reddington said, “Change Things and Keep Changing Things!”