Welcoming all neighbors


To the editor:

(re: “Stagg, DHS finalize 5731 Broadway,” Oct. 19)

In a recent edition of The Riverdale Press, the article about the transitional housing facility that opened at 5731 Broadway omitted any mention of the community members who have organized to actively welcome our new neighbors. Many of these new residents are members of our community who became homeless and are now a step closer to finding permanent housing.

Welcoming Neighbors Northwest Bronx is a recently formed and growing group of community residents whose purpose is to provide a friendly welcome to our new neighbors. 

Rather than blaming the victims of homelessness, we will do whatever we can to help make the facility a success and support the families as they make the transition to permanent housing and more stable lives.

We note that this facility is based on a new and very different approach to helping homeless families — one that provides comprehensive and holistic support services to temporarily homeless families with the goals of keeping families together and helping them prepare to move to permanent housing while providing a safe, caring place for parents and children to live. 

We hope that all of our neighbors in Community Board 8 will join us in making the residents of 5731 Broadway feel welcome. We have been coordinating with Praxis Housing Initiatives, the nonprofit organization operating the facility to identify ways that we, as neighbors, can help. 

It will range from simple donations of necessities like diapers, food, school supplies or children’s clothing, to tutoring and homework assistance for kids, to helping parents study for a GED exam, write a job resume, or navigate the search for an affordable apartment.

If you would like to join in our effort to make our neighborhood a pleasant place to live, please contact us via email at welcomingneighbors@gmail.com. 

Ivan Braun, Dee Knight, Jonathan Lessuck

The authors represent Welcoming Neighbors Northwest Bronx.