GHC Letter to Congress Member Espaillat Regarding Opioid Settlement Funds

Dear Congress Member Espaillat,

The Greater Harlem Coalition is very concerned about how settlement monies from the opioid lawsuits will be spent in our community.  

In particular, we would like to hear how you envision using the monies that AG James has discussed to reduce the current oversaturation of large drug programs in Harlem and East Harlem that attract the dealers and users who commute into our community every day to sell and buy.

best, 

Shawn Hill

Co-Founder

Greater Harlem Coalition

Meeting with Congress Member Adriano Espaillat

Last week members of The Greater Harlem Coalition met with our Congress Member Adriano Espaillat in Chaiwali to discuss how we could work together to address the oversaturation of methadone clinics in Harlem and East Harlem.

The Congress Member had to pass a Mount Sinai ambulance tending to a man who appeared to be unconscious on the steps of a nearby stoop, and a number of drug dealers in order to reach the restaurant from his vehicle which dropped him off north of 125th Street. Congress Member Espaillat understands that our community is oversaturated with 6 large methadone programs in a compact area. He argued that we should focus on removing one, in order to have an impact and to be able to assess desaturation.

At the end of our hour long meeting, Congress Member Espaillat said that he would reach out to OASAS Commissioner Sanchez, and discuss what could be done to remove one of the 6 clinics.

As a follow-up, we sent the Congress Member this list of the 6 clinics which attract drug dealers to our community.

We await word on his progress regarding this approach.

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