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April 16, 2008
Community Clean Up, Jobs Rehab Program Gets $564 G Fed Grant

by John Toscano

The Doe Fund, which employs formerly homeless persons and parolees to clean up more than 160 miles of New York City streets every day, has received another $564,000 federal grant, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney announced last week.

The fund, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to break the cycle of homelessness, addiction and criminal recidivism by providing paid jobs in community cleanup programs, is presently involved in 19 such efforts throughout Queens and hundreds of others throughout the other four boroughs.

In announcing the new grant for the fund, Maloney (D- Queens/Manhattan) stated: "I am proud to support The Doe Fund's vital work to improve our neighborhoods and make positive changes in people's lives. The Ready, Willing and Able program has helped thousands of New Yorkers by embracing a compassionate approach that emphasizes work opportunity, comprehensive social services and affordable housing. I'd also like to commend the 'Men In Blue', whose commitment to hard work and personal responsibility is making our city an even better place to live."

Maloney said that the program has already graduated more than 3,000 individuals who are drug-free, employed and independently housed.

George T. McDonald, founder of the organization, thanking the lawmakers' action, stated: "The continuing strong support of our congressional delegation is a critical piece of the public-private partnership that has provided a 'hand up' rather than a hand-out to thousands of individuals over the past two decades. Together we can provide the opportunities that homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals need to become tax-paying, law abiding, productive members of society."

Maloney acknowledged the support of Congressmembers Anthony Weiner (D- Queens/ Brooklyn), Charles Rangel and Jerrold Nadler, both Manhattan Democrats and Edolphus Towns (D- Brooklyn) in securing the huge grant of funds.

McDonald said the fund's mission is to "develop and implement cost-effective, holistic programs that meet the needs of a diverse population working to break the cycle of homelessness, addiction and criminal recidivism."

He said the fund's primary goal is to provide the individuals it serves with the job skills training, social services and the paid transitional employment experience necessary to secure and maintain private sector employment and self-supported housing.

"More than 80 percent of participants in the Ready, Willing and Able program have criminal histories, with most having a history of substance abuse, yet 62 percent of those enrolled in [the program] have graduated from the program," McDonald said.

Doe projects are in progress in Queens at the following locations:

  • Far Rockaway: Mott Avenue, Beach Channel Drive to Cornaga Avenue, and Beach 20th Street, New Haven Avenue to Foam Place.

  • Forest Hills: Austin Street, Ascan Avenue to 70th Avenue, and Continental Avenue from the LIRR station to Queens Boulevard.

  • Kew Gardens: Main Street from Melbourne Avenue to 76th Road.

  • Rockaway: The Beach to the diner on 116th Street, and Rockaway Beach Boulevard from 113th Street to 117th Street.

  • Richmond Hill: Liberty Avenue from Lefferts Boulevard to 109th Street.

  • Jackson Heights: 73rd and 74th Streets between Roosevelt and 37th Avenue; 37th Road between 73rd and 77th Streets; 37th Avenue between 72nd and 77th Streets; and Broadway from Roosevelt Avenue to 37th Road.

  • Corona: 37th Avenue from Junction Boulevard to 104th Street; 104th Street from 37th Avenue to Roosevelt Avenue; 103rd Street from 37th to Roosevelt Avenues, and the triangle around the train station.

  • Woodside- Sunnyside: Greenpoint Avenue from 45th Street to Queens Boulevard; Queens Boulevard between 45th and 48th Streets and 48th Street on the south side of Queens Boulevard; Roosevelt Avenue from Queens Boulevard to 62nd Street, and Woodside Avenue from 58th Street to 61st Street.

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