Skip to main content

Renewal in Red Hook



The devastation that Superstorm Sandy has wreaked on Red Hook has been well-publicized in the last few days, and hasn't spared the former Catholic school that houses the Justice Center. In the midst of so much destruction, we thought we'd shift the focus towards some of the amazing recovery efforts that have been going on in the past week throughout the neighborhood.

CCI staff and AmeriCorps members came out in droves to assist in Red Hook's recovery in the wake of Hurricane Sandy
Starting Wednesday, members of our AmeriCorps program, the New York Juvenile Justice Corps, alongside staff from the Justice Center and several other Center for Court Innovation projects, came out in droves to assist in any way they could. Thanks to our strong partnerships with city agencies and community organizations, including the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the New York City Housing Authority, and Red Hook Initiative, we were able to hit the ground running.

We started by going door-to-door to apartments in the Red Hook Houses, a public housing development with over 6,000 residents that had been almost entirely without power, heat, and running water since Sunday, checking up on residents who NYCHA had helped us to identify as elderly, frail, or otherwise home-bound. Thursday, we assisted the Parks Department to clean up Coffey Park, located directly in between the Red Hook Houses and the Justice Center, in order to clear a space for the National Guard and the Salvation Army to deliver much-needed emergency food and water assistance to the neighborhood. Residents waited patiently for hours in increasingly cold conditions while the National Guard traveled from the opposite end of Brooklyn to Red Hook with supplies. When the trucks finally rolled in, dozens of volunteers jumped into a receiving line to assist the National Guard to unload thousands of MREs and cases of bottled water as quickly as possible, and were able to begin distributing supplies to residents almost immediately.

A sample of the amazing work done by members of the New York Juvenile Justice Corps, our AmeriCorps program, over the past week.

Today, CCI staff volunteers and AmeriCorps members delivered food, water, and care packages assembled by the Red Hook Initiative to 25 apartments throughout the Red Hook Houses to residents who were wheelchair-bound or on life-sustaining medical care. We also continued to assist the National Guard in their two visits to Red Hook today, to deliver a total of 25,000 MREs and 30,000 bottles of water to hundreds of residents who lined up through the park. In addition, several staff, AmeriCorps members, and friends made home deliveries to over 220 residents who are disabled or have mobility impairments. These deliveries involved climbing as many as 14 flights of stairs in a pitch black, narrow stairwell balancing heavy cases of water, boxes of food, and flashlights. Everyone who was home opened their doors with great appreciation as all of the buildings still lack light, elevators, and heat, and many are still without running water.


Staff from the Red Hook Community Justice Center and many different CCI projects flocked to Red Hook to lend a hand.

The most incredible part of this week has certainly been the resilience of the residents of Red Hook. Despite days without power and little concrete information about when it will return, neighbors were always willing to lend a helping hand, even if it meant climbing up 14 stories in a pitch black stairwell to deliver a flashlight to a frightened senior, or lending a neighboring business scarce generators and pumps to clear a flooded basement. Red Hookers have also maintained their fighting spirit, whether it meant putting their experience in perspective and thanking volunteers for focusing on making deliveries to homebound residents, or expressing their gratitude for having their residences remain intact when so many others across the city and beyond have not. They have also kept amazing patience throughout their ordeal--the Justice Center's Judge Alex Calabrese spoke with Captain Schiff of the 76 Precinct, who reported that there had been no reports of looting or robberies in Red Hook since the storm. 



The resilience of the entire Red Hook community has been the most impressive part of this entire ordeal.

Unfortunately, we do not have an update on when the Justice Center will reopen. The lower level of our building, which contains a number of critical offices and other community spaces, was severely flooded and will take a long time and lots of resources to repair. We will be up and running soon from a temporary location, and if you'd like to keep track of our progress, please stay tuned to this blog, as well as like our facebook page.


The current state of the Justice Center's storage room, which was submerged in nearly 5 feet of water during the storm.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Summer College Trip 2016

Every summer the office of Youth and Community programs takes our youth program participants on an annual college trip. We like to explore different colleges  and university's including in places like New Jersey, Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.

Last week students from our Just Works Summer Internship Program, which aims to connect teens and young adults to professional development opportunities teamed up with our Youth Court and a few of our Red Hook Community Resilience Corps members. Together they headed out with staff to Connecticut to visit and tour the University of Connecticut and the College of New Rochelle.
     It was a great day, especially to get out of the city and expose our youth to different campuses, dorm life and educational opportunities out there!  
We look forward to next year! #GOREDHOOK










Red Hook Youth Court Spring Recognition and Induction Ceremony

On June 16th, 2015 the Red Hook Youth Court opened its doors to family, friends, guest and staff for our Spring Recognition and Induction Ceremony where we acknowledged our members for their hard work and dedication. Honorable Judge, Alex Calabrese was the Key Note speaker of the ceremony. He is a huge supporter of the Red Hook Youth Court and truly believes in the mission of the program. We had a full house, with laughs, smiles and hugs!

10 members are moving on to other endeavors, in which 4 of those 10 are graduating seniors from High School who will be starting college this Fall. 10 Members will be staying on to serve as mentors and 10 newly inducted youth court members who were sworn in by Sergeant William Bauman, of the Unified Court System will all be sitting on the Youth Court and beginning their journey this Summer. Additionally, Jamilah Daniels and Ann Doc, graduating members from Youth Court and High School wrote speeches on their experiences within the program, the gratitu…

A Day of Service!

Today, July 10th our JustWorks: Summer Internship Participants teamed up with the Justice Center's Neighborhood Restitution Crew and the Community Service Supervisors to help with a project at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church. The church's gate spans about  three blocks and is extremely rusted and has chipped paint. Our project today was the scrape away the loose paint in order to prep it for a new coat of paint in a few weeks. It is a large job but we were out and ready to work!


It was a beautiful day and our interns wore their Justice Center shirts proudly and cheered each other along. The Father of the church was extremely  grateful and even people passing and driving by were cheering us on and thanking us as well. Projects like this are a good way to give back to the community through teamwork. It is the first of many projects we are working on with the church to help repair and beautify it. It was a great first service day for the internship program!  Thank you to Derek a…