“One theory is that some people have been coming into the homeless system, the shelter system, in order to qualify for a program that helps you move out of the homeless system.” -Michael Bloomberg
According to a recent article published in news source Staten Island Live, approximately 1,300 Staten Islanders are homeless and residing in New York City homeless shelters. However, Staten Island itself, has only one homeless shelter.
Staten Island Live states that according to the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), the single Staten Island shelter only has the capacity to house 40 homeless families and 119 homeless people.
“In every situation, you can get something out of it if you’re strong enough emotionally to look past the fact you do have the right to be hurt…but you know what, let me put my hurt aside for a minute and see what I can get from the situation.” -DMX
[SIDEBAR: We go through challenges for a myriad of reasons. If we’re fortunate, we learn what those reasons are and absorb the collateral lessons. That is how we grow, and how we are placed in the right places at the right times.]
A woman was reportedly set on fire inside of a Queens, New York homeless shelter.
According to several news sources, the victim is a resident at the Verve Hotel, a Long Island City Hotel that currently serves as a 200-bed homeless shelter.
Allegedly, the 51-year old victim got into a verbal dispute with another female resident at the shelter, and the woman doused her with nail polish remover and lit her on fire.
Presumably, the identity of the assailant is known. According to PIX 11 News, the perpetrator is a 33-year old woman, who has yet to be apprehended.
Sadly, it is not surprising that a heinous crime such as this one occurred inside of a New York City homeless shelter. The conditions in NYC shelters are extremely dangerous!! Although New York City spends millions on shelter “security,” security is extremely lax in a lot of shelters. I’ve personally witnessed shelter “security officers” sleeping on the job, having sing-alongs and social conversations when they should be working, and a bevy of other behaviors that greatly contribute to shelters being an extremely unsafe environment.
My prayers are with the victim of this unconscionable crime, and with everyone who is sleeping in a shelter tonight.
-The Homeless New Yorker
According to a New York Times article published yesterday, New York City’s housing projects “has an estimated $32 billion in needed repairs.”
Federal prosecutors have reportedly assigned a court-appointed monitor for the New York City Housing Authority to oversee the management of the nation’s largest public housing system.
NYCHA has been plagued with repair issues for years. These issues, most notably the lead-paint conundrum, have endangered the health of NYCHA’s residents for many years.
To add insult to injury, a June 2018 New York Times article states: “Federal prosecutors…said [NYCHA], which houses at least 400,000 poor and working-class residents, covered up its [“systematic misconduct”], training its staff on how to mislead federal inspectors and presenting false reports to the government, and to the public, about its compliance with lead-paint regulations.”
In their legal complaint, federal prosecutors further assert that NYCHA’s operations “reflect management dysfunction and organizational failure.”
AMARA LA NEGRA: I was homeless at some point in my life, and a lot of people don’t know that.
HOLLYWOOD UNLOCKED: Not sleeping on the street?
AMARA LA NEGRA: Well, sleeping in my car for 2 months outside of McDonalds… And I would go there because it’s 24 hours; and wash up with wipies and stuff, and leave out of the car looking fabulous, and you would never know that I’m struggling; I’m so hungry. You would never know.
HOLLYWOOD UNLOCKED: It takes a lot of courage to admit that though…
AMARA LA NEGRA: You know what? I do it too because I want to be real. I want to be honest about it.
My life hasn’t always been perfect. I don’t do it because I want anybody to feel pity for me. It’s my truth, and all these things build the character and the woman I am today.