Senior Center Moon Festival
BRC Senior Center celebrated the mid-autumn festival on September 28, 2012. The mid-autumn festival is a popular lunar harvest holiday that dates back to over 3,000 years ago. BRC Senior Center's members enjoyed a catered lunch, participated in songs and dance and took part in door prizes. Join us in welcoming the mid-autumn harvest!
Fred Cooper SASC Graduation
The Fred Cooper Substance Abuse Service Center held its semi-annual (twice a year) Graduation Celebration on Friday, September 14, 2012. BRC recognized the accomplishments of 16 clients who have completed their treatment goals. It was an evening of speeches, dinner and celebration. It will take place at 127 West 25th Street, 2nd Floor Dining Room at 5:00 pm.
On September 5th, the Annual MAP BBQ took place. For the last 4 years BRC/ MAP has enjoyed the splendor of the outdoors with our Annual BBQ at the Pelham Bay Park in the Northern Section of the Bronx. In past years, clients have been able to engage in the festivities sponsored by MAP which have included, card games, bingo, a competitive game of kick ball-staff versus residents, etc. MAPís clients and staff take great pride in the accomplishments they make year round. This day provides residents with the opportunity to take time out of their busy schedules to relax, socialize with each other and to reflect on their accomplishments and continued progress.
NYU and Liberty Homes:
In an effort to encourage incoming freshmen to become more vested within their new communities and homes, NYU provides a unique program in which select students are allowed to move into their dorms a week early. In exchange, these eager students learn more about all New York has to offer through a community service based initiative called Project Outreach. BRC was once again proudly selected as an agency of choice for these students, and Liberty Homes was the beneficiary of their enthusiasm, hard work, good humor and sweat equity, not to mention the donated games and crafts, a new weed-whacker, a leaf blower, gardening tools and gloves and 50 bags of mulch. On August 23rd and 24th, 34 students all pitched in, pulled weeds, cleaned out the gardens, painted the community room and played games with the resident children. Bonds were made and new volunteers came forward with an eagerness to continue their commitment to BRC through the coming semesters. It was a great time for everyone involved!
On Wednesday, August 15th Glass Factory tenants Sonia Fernandez, William Vega along with his home health aide Ava Rodriguez and staff members Alex DaSilva, Jason Figueroa and Anat Leonard enjoyed a fun filled day and the company of other programs at the Annual BRC Rye Playland trip. Tenants were able to ride everything from go-carts to the Ferris Wheel and bumper cars.
On August 11th, 2012, tenants and staff from Los Vecinos SRO took a field trip to the Union Square Farmer's Market. Tenants got a chance to taste different types of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain breads. Several of the tenants purchased the new fruits and breads they tried and staff also provided the tenants with different recipes which would include these items. For many of the tenants, it was their first trip to a farmer's market. It showed them how to incorporate healthier foods into their daily meals.
Second Annual BRC Gala
On June 11, 2012, 450 supporters joined together at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, NYC to celebrate the incredible achievements of the men and women BRC serves at the 2nd Annual BRC Gala. The gala honored the Hon. Ed Koch, John Feinblatt and Phoebe Boyer and raised over $700,000 to directly support and strengthen BRC's award winning programs.
Groundswell is a community-based organization that creates art in underrepresented communities. In May 2012, Groundswell partnered with BRC's Los Vecinos SRO and Casa de Los Vecinos to create a mosaic connecting the front of these neighboring buildings. The mosaic, titled Birds of Soluna, symbolized nature and environmental conservation. The tenants from both programs traveled to the art studio to complete the project and demonstrate their artistic abilities. For some of the tenants, it was their first experience in an art studio and working on this type of project. It was inspirational to many as they saw their artistic visions completed and displayed before the community. On June 26th, BRC and Groundswell got together to dedicate the mosaic and celebrate everyone's hard work.
BRC Celebrates Chinese New Year
Itís the Year of The Dragon! On February 3rd, BRCís Eternal Youth Senior Center celebrated the New Year with a traditional lion dance followed by a festive meal deliciously catered by BRCís Food Service Program. Members enjoyed chicken, fried rice, lo mein, and more; received hand knit scarves from NYU; won raffle prizes; and were entertained. Over 80 seniors rang in the lunar new year with New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, New York City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, and Community Board 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer. Everyone at BRCís Eternal Youth Senior Center wishes you many blessings for the year of the dragon.
BRC Client Artwork in NYC Gallery
On October 19th, seven BRC artists had their work displayed through Fresh Art. This year's art show was "Ancestors: The People, Places and Things That Make Us Who We Are." Artists' work was submitted from social service agencies throughout NYC and key pieces were chosen to be displayed in The Gallery at HAI through November 17, 2011. BRC is proud to have artwork displayed from clients of multiple BRC programs, including MAP, Los Vecinos Apartments, Clyde Burton House, Fulton House and CDT. Clients, staff and family members celebrated this accomplishment and honored the artists at the opening reception.
Artists spoke about how thrilling it was for them to see their artwork displayed in a formal gallery setting. After only two days, three of their paintings have been sold to the public. This show is a poignant example of the healing nature of art and continues to serve as an inspiration to these artists and the larger BRC community.
BRC's Star Studded Gala Raises $700,000
BRC successfully kicked off its inaugural gala Monday, June 6th at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Columbus Circle. The evening was filled with entertainment, laughter and the message of YIMBY, Yes In My Back Yard. As importantly, the event further spread the message of BRC's successful efforts to break the cycle of homelessness in New York City, and raised over $700,000 to further help BRC and the people we serve achieve this goal.
Over 400 guests filled the room as emcee Rosie OíDonnell kicked off the evening, which honored Sheila Nevins, President of HBO Documentary Films, and Charles Raymond, first NYC commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services. James Gandolfini, Elaine Stritch, Judy Gold, Gloria Steinem, Fran Lebowitz and Dhani Jones joined BRC Executive Director Muzzy Rosenblatt and BRC Board Chair Julie Salamon in celebrating the worthy honorees, both of whom have dedicated their lives to fighting for social justice. For more images, click the photo below.
Client Art Show Held at TD Bank
For two weeks in May, TD Bank in Chelsea hosted a display of client art work, completed by current and former residents of BRCís Reception Center. The pieces were done through art therapy, providing clients the opportunity to participate in the creative process of making art, with the goal of facilitating personal wellbeing. Through the experience of authentic self-expression, art therapy can help individuals build self esteem, release tension, transform painful emotions, and make meaning of experiences which are difficult to verbally articulate.
For more on the event, click here.
HCR Commissioner Visits BRCís Liberty Homes
On Friday, June 3rd, the Hon. Darryl Towns, Commissioner of the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (NYSHCR), visited BRCís newest permanent supportive housing program, Liberty Homes in East New York. His visit was part of a tour coordinated by the Supportive Housing Network of New York to showcase innovative supportive housing programs and to highlight their positive impact on their communities. Liberty Homes provides 47 families with permanent rental housing; 60% of tenants were formerly homeless and 40% were living in the community. Liberty Homes, which opened in 2010, was designed by Harden Van Arnam Architects and built by Artec Construction, with financing from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYSHCR, and the sale of Low Income Housing Tax Credits syndicated by The Richman Group.
BRC's Glass Factory Art Show
BRC's Glass Factory recently held an art show to present pieces created by clients of the program. Check out one client's photography of people and places throughout New York City.
Click here for more photos.
Senior Center Funding is Restored
New York State Senator Daniel Squadron visited one of the senior centers in Manhattan on March 31, 2011. He notified the seniors the Title XX funds were fully restored by Albany. His next step is to monitor and ensure that the funds will be returned to the centers.
BRC Senior Center has over 500 members. Senator Squadron mentioned that a senior center such as this with a large capacity should not be closed. Also, Senator Squadron gave thanks to all the seniors who have attended the City Hall rally and protested against the budget cuts.
Jing Luo, 78, has been visiting the BRC Senior Center in Chinatown for 13 years. Originally she went to remain active while she was caring for her ailing husband, and now despite having arthritis in her feet, she still braves the 30-minute walk from her home, regardless of the weather.
Luo credits the center with helping improve her quality of life. "After I came here, I felt happier, not as depressed. My nutrition has improved, and I feel happier," she said.
Luo describes the center as "her second home," but soon she and thousands of others may have to find another senior center to go because of the state's financial problem.
It's been close to a year since Julio Wharton, 53, lost his wife to emphysema ó a trauma that he pinpoints as the beginning of his descent into homelessness.
Panhandling at the corner of Sixth Avenue and 25th Street on a recent Tuesday evening, Wharton explained that he spent four months sleeping in a shelter, and has crashed at a friend's place in Brooklyn for the past three. His drinking has worsened, and asking for spare change, Wharton said, was simply a way "to fill the time, and block myself out of my loss."
"I'm hurting myself," Wharton said, "I do want help for it."
Chometa and Poirier patrol Madison Square Park. Photo Credit DNAinfo Tara Kyle
As the mercury continues to plummet, the Bowery Residents' Committee continues their street outreach to area homeless substance abusers and those seeking mental health ó in preparation for the March 2011 opening of their 127 W. 25th St. vertical campus facility
At half past three on a gray winter Wednesday, I meet up with BRC Executive Director Muzzy Rosenblatt and two street outreach workers as they begin their shift at Madison Square Park. They are easy to spot in their bright orange windbreakers that read "BRC Street Outreach" on the backÖ
BRC outreach workers, Garzon, left, and Poirier, right, in Madison Square Park. Photo by Winnie McCroy
Members of the BRC Senior Center enjoy one of the many snow storms NYC received this year! There's even a special snow creation to welcome the year of the Rabbit.
Congratulations to Shawn T., BRC client and winner of a 2010 Recovery Fine Arts Festival award. This year, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services received a record-breaking 175 visual art and over 100 poetry submissions. The judges gathered on September 8th and selected best in show from 10 categories. Shawn won the award in the category of photography.
Click here for more information on the contest.
BRC on NBC
This holiday season, many families wonder how they can give back or how to introduce social responsibility to their children. BRCís friend, Jen Maulsby, Executive Director of Socksín Undies, found a unique way for her family to get involved by creating and donating packets of brand new socks, undergarments and other personal items to people in need. Last week, with a team from NBC, Jen made a delivery to BRCís Bowery Safe Haven.
ďLast week, BRC executive director Muzzy Rosenblatt led our publisher, associate editor and reporter on an extensive tour of their 324 Lafayette facility, during which we met administrators, counselors and clients. We emerged fully confident about the necessity of a 25th St. facility, as well as the BRCís ability to successfully accomplish this undeniably ambitious project. The BRC has our unequivocal supportÖĒ
INDIANAPOLIS (October 15, 2010) Ė Bowery Residentsí Committee, Inc. (BRC) today was awarded first place honors (housing category) at the 2010 Lilly Reintegration Awards ceremony held at the Indianapolis Hilton in Indianapolis, IN, the global headquarters of Eli Lilly and Company, and the Eli Lilly Foundation. BRC was selected from scores of applicants for the success of its Reception Center program in helping people living with a mental illness find and retain housing and reintegrate into the community. The award is accompanied by a contribution of $5,000 from the Eli Lilly Foundation.
The Robin Hood Foundation has just selected BRC for a $500,000 grant, doubling BRCís ability to successfully assist homeless men and women find and retain both employment and housing. The Robin Hood Foundation is renowned for its rigorous standards and expectations. This first time grant is a great affirmation of BRCís work, and everyone at BRC expresses their gratitude to Robin Hood for this recognition of BRCís success, and investment in its clientsí futures.
Last year, over 800 BRC clients moved to permanent housing and 200 found employment. BRC is proud of its clientsí successes; now with this great investment from the Robin Hood Foundation, hundreds more of New Yorkís homeless will have the opportunity to find and retain employment and housing.