This has been an extremely difficult week for El Barrio/East Harlem. The tragic building collapse that took place just a half block from my district office has been a painful experience for our community. I send my deepest condolences to the loved ones of those we lost and my thoughts remain with the families and friends of those who are still missing.
As I have shared in my public appearances, I was on my way down to City Hall when I received a tweet about the explosion. I turned around and went back to the district right away, establishing a command center out of the District Office.
Since Wednesday, I have been touring the scene throughout the day, monitoring all developments and keeping in close contact with all city agencies. My staff is continuing to connect individuals and families to available resources and seek options for permanent housing in our local community for those who need it.
Services for Residents
Individuals seeking assistance from city agencies can visit the Resident Service Center on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. The Center is now located at 1580 Park Avenue (@ 114th Street) under the MetroNorth tracks at La Marqueta. The center at the Salvation Army on 125th Street will no longer be open. You can also call 311 or my district office (212-828-9800) with any inquiries.
The City is actively seeking opportunities for short- and long-term housing and is working around the clock to get vacated buildings back on line for families.
As I have been stressing, it is critically important that our immigrant communities in particular understand that no one should be afraid to come forward and seek assistance because they do not have legal status. City agencies are prohibited from asking about immigration status.
How You Can Help
I want to thank everyone for their expressions of support and for wanting to provide assistance during this difficult time. We are currently exploring a mechanism to accept monetary donations and make sure that these funds are used to provide services and support to our neighbors in need. I will be in touch with more information in the coming days.
In the meantime, please continue to keep our neighbors in your thoughts and prayers.