OASAS’s Opioid Treatment Program Locations’ Concordance with Racist Redlining Maps

To see the presentation by Shawn Hill at the Rockefeller Institute of Government’s Developing Evidence-Based Drug Policy Conference (October 14, 2021) see:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/14DyAjBrGWu8a9EoEP25N3B9J8gCtzsJUV2lYPjJ9Jyc/edit?usp=sharing

or watch the recording of the presentation:

Letter to NY Attorney General James – October 2021

Dear Attorney James,

I would like to start by saying that you are a hero at a time when heroes are so desperately needed.  I support you making citizens responsible for paying their fair share of taxes, even when these powerful individuals try to hide behind organizations.  Thank you for pursuing accountability for what is fair and just.  I really appreciate and admire having the buck stop here.

The reason I am writing you today is that my neighborhood, Harlem, needs your support.  I have been living in Harlem for 16 years and am raising my two children 14 and 11 here.  For the last 5 years or so things have been getting worse.  Stepping around people under scaffolding while they’re ‘waiting for their man’ on our way to the morning school bus.  Being careful of certain corners, deli’s where dealers are hanging out.  Planning paths to and from my house that feel safe.  When I was enlightened a few years ago to the fact that Harlem contains an overabundance of rehabilitation clinics it was like an epiphany.  Suddenly this pressure and fear I was experiencing at almost every corner of my neighborhood had a reason.  I know that these clinics support much more rehabilitation than just Harlem residents.  Approximately 3 out of every 4 people seeking support from these clinics commutes to my neighborhood for these services.  That brings a lot of strangers and a lot of struggling strangers to my community.  Along with individuals seeking treatment, this also brings much more drug dealing commerce to my local community.   Rehabilitation is a difficult business, but Harlem is being set up to fail.  Rehabilitation needs community effort and accountability.  Local people need to support their own neighbors and help lift them up.  That’s what makes a community.  Westchester needs to support their own population of struggling users and so does Park Avenue.  The people who call Park Slope home need to have a place to treat their local population struggling with drugs.  One needs local, community support and LOCAL ACCOUNTABILITY to help rehabilitate local people, your neighbors.  Harlem cannot and should not be expected to support the drugs struggles of this entire city and beyond.

Between Wednesday, October 6th and Thursday, October 14th at least five children were shot within blocks from my house.  Children.  All of them under 18.  I have heard it is probably gang, probably drug related.  I guess that means targeted.  I guess that means I can take a deep breath and hope my children don’t get caught in the crossfire as I walk through this war zone.  These children need opportunities outside of the drug trade.  Please help us help Harlem be the vibrant, colorful, diverse and SAFE community for all of its taxpaying residents.
Please let me know how I can support these efforts.

Sally Brackett

Gale Brewer Says “Enough is Enough”

‘The money is there’: Manhattan borough president shares plan to tackle crime, homelessness on PIX11:

She said she has requested some money from the $150 million settlement Attorney General Letitia James received from an opioid settlement. 

She also said she wants to make sure there are well-trained police at the precincts and officers who go out should go with mental health counselors.

“The resources are there, but they have to get the kind of inter-agency coordination,” Brewer said, “and they need the funding.”

“We don’t want any more methadone centers [in Harlem and East Harlem]”

Gale Brewer’s Press Conference and GHC

Nck Garber from Patch.com covered the Times Square press conference held by Borough President Gale Brewer to address the distribution of opioid settlement funds by AG James.

GHC was at the press conference, standing with Gale Brewer, and hope that AG James will not simply pack programs in Harlem and East Harlem.

Also in attendance Sunday were leaders of the Greater Harlem Coalition, a neighborhood group pushing to reduce the number of opioid treatment centers in the neighborhood.

Shawn Hill, one of the coalition’s founders, said the group “wholeheartedly” supports Brewer’s proposals. Another leader, Joshua Clennon, told Patch that the group wants the city to expand the use of the addiction drug buprenorphine to lower-income patients and create a redistribution plan for methadone clinics to reduce Harlem’s “over-saturation.”

Below is the Borough President’s letter:

Harlem Battles an Increasing Rate of Opioid Injections

“I was born and raised in Harlem,” says Maria Granville, “and I have never seen anything this bad.” begins an article by Karina Tsui on medium: https://medium.com/labor-new-york/a-community-battles-with-increasing-rates-of-open-opioid-injections-9cea139c963c

Granville, a board member at Harlem’s Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association, which is dedicated to revitalizing and preserving the neighborhood, is referring to a spike in open drug injections in the neighborhood. “Heroin use was pervasive, but we did not see hypodermic needles on the streets,” she recalls. “We did not see human feces on the streets.”

Earlier this month, the 64-year-old joined over 200 Harlem residents and local business workers to protest what they say is an oversaturation of opioid treatment facilities in the area, which has given rise to open drug use and exchange on the streets. Residents held up signs reading “Harlem Is Not A Dumping Ground!” and “Needle-Free Streets!” as they paraded across 125th Street.

Harlem Residents Demand Fewer Drug Clinics, Improved Quality of Life

Columbia University’s Olivia McCourry covered the October 8th, 2021 protest by Harlem and East Harlem residents who are fed up with the oversaturation of substance abuse clinics in our community. A number of politicians came to voice their support for the de-concentration of OASAS licensed methadone mega-programs while the commander of the 28th Precinct promised a new task force to patrol the streets.

See:

http://theuptowner.org/harlem-residents-demand-fewer-drug-clinics-improved-quality-of-life/

Over 75% of Patients in Harlem & East Harlem Opioid Treatment Programs are NOT Residents of Harlem

GHC on NY1 Noticias

Greater Harlem Coalition members Claudia and Monica were interviewed on NY1 Noticias regarding the degradation of quality of life in East Harlem due to the oversaturation of methadone facilities that do not manage the street drug use and loitering of their patients before and after treatment.

For the full video, see:

https://www.ny1noticias.com/nyc/noticias/noticias/2021/04/13/vecinos-de-east-harlem-se-quejan-del-alto-numero-de-clinicas-para-tratar-adicciones

Community Board 11 – Moratorium Vote Postponed

Community Board 11 has postponed their discussion/vote on a proposed moratorium on new or expanded addiction programs in East Harlem. This issue will not come before the board tomorrow evening, at their January 26th Full Board meeting.

Angel Mescain from CB11 writes:

This item is not on the agenda for our FB meeting tomorrow.
The matter has been referred back to the committee by the board chair.
If you could update your subscribers that would be helpful to avoid confusion.

GHC Letter to NYS Attorney General – No Response

Read the letter a Greater Harlem Coalition member wrote to the New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, who has still not replied.

You can tweet her at: @NewYorkStateAG and email her at: https://ag.ny.gov/contact-attorney-general-letitia-james

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