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February 6, 2004
Roosevelt gets a new Doe

by Warren Woodberry, Jr.
A stretch of Roosevelt Ave. in Jackson Heights and Corona is about to be cleaned up.

Workers employed by the Doe Fund to clean city streets are set to tidy the avenue between 79th and 104th Sts.

Five days a week, a four-man crew will remove garbage and line trash cans, tear down posters, remove graffiti and clear catch basins.

"It's really not clean," Andre Green, 38, one of the workers, said of the avenue yesterday. "It looks like it's never been clean. But we're going to try to do the best we can."

The new street cleaning program, Ready Willing and Able, kicked off in the neighborhoods yesterday as the crew began its attack on filth at 90th St. and Roosevelt.

The initiative to beautify the community and combat area crime is part of campaign pledges made by state Sen. John Sabini (D-Jackson Heights), Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) and Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-Corona).

"If the neighborhood looks untidy, more bad things will happen," Sabini said. "People will be less likely to do things here that would be bad for the community."

The Doe Fund's Ready, Willing and Able work-training program that employs and empowers the homeless has been successful in high-traffic areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and in Forest Hills, Kew Gardens Hills and Woodside in Queens.

"These men in their blue uniforms are going to give us our neighborhood back," Monserrate said. "We are setting a new tone in this borough."

The crew will also maintain 90th and 91st Sts. between 37th and Roosevelt Aves., as well as Manuel De Dios Park, Corona Plaza and the triangle between Case and Elmhurst Aves.

In the event of snow, the workers will clear bus stops, gutters and pedestrian crossings to insure safety and access to transportation. Peralta and Monserrate each secured $30,000, and Sabini secured $10,000 for the one-year pilot program.

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