Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer Announces The Expansion Of The Doe Fund in Dutch Kills

On August 28th, New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer was joined by George McDonald, Founder and President of the Doe Fund, Dominic Stiller, President of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, Marie Torniali, Executive Director of Central Astoria Local Development Coalition, Amy Hau, member of Community Board 1, Dutch Kills resident and Director of Administration and External Affairs for The Noguchi Museum, Riccardo Romero, owner of Arepas Café, Lucille Hartmann, District Manager for Community Board 1, and local residents to announce the introduction of the aggressive street cleaning program to the neighborhood of Dutch Kills.

“36th Avenue is a special stretch of both commercial and residential properties which represents the diversity of the neighborhood of Dutch Kills,” said Council Member Van Bramer. “With the introduction of the Doe Fund to Dutch Kills a hardworking maintenance team will be dedicated to the cleanliness of this wonderful and vibrant community. We have had great success with the Doe Fund throughout the 26th District. We want our local businesses to thrive and our community to be proud of their neighborhood, and the Doe Fund helps us achieve that goal.”

This significant announcement comes on the heels of an expansion of the Doe Fund’s services in Long Island City this past July. Maintaining the cleanliness of all neighborhoods within the 26th District has always been a top priority for Council Member Van Bramer.

The expansion to Dutch Kills is part of over $133,000 in allocations that Council Member Van Bramer has dedicated this fiscal year toward maintaining commercial corridors and residential streets in neighborhoods within the 26th District.

Since taking office, the Council Member has allocated over $230,000 toward securing additional trash baskets and street cleaning services as well as coordinated community clean-ups in Astoria, Dutch Kills, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside.

"Councilmember Van Bramer has extended an incredible opportunity to the "men in blue" from The Doe Fund's Ready, Willing & Able program,” said George T. McDonald, founder and president of The Doe Fund. “Cleaning the streets in Dutch Kills is more than just a job for our trainees; it's a chance to make a real contribution to a flourishing community as each of them takes the first step towards recovering from homelessness and incarceration. The "men in blue" are looking forward to working--and working hard--for the people who live in this beautiful neighborhood."

“The Dutch Kills Civic Association is thrilled to welcome the Doe Fund to 36 Avenue,” said Dominic Stiller, President of the Dutch Kills Civic Association. “With the addition of dedicated street cleaners from the Doe Fund we will encourage and inspire all residents and visitors to refrain from polluting our streets. Thank you to Jimmy Van Bramer and his staff for the great job and consistently recognizing and improving our neighborhood!”

“With the many restaurants and businesses coming to Dutch Kills, the 36th Avenue corridor has become much more active in the last few years,” said Amy Hau, member of Community Board 1, Dutch Kills resident and Director of Administration and External Affairs for The Noguchi Museum. “We need to make sure that our streets are clean and welcoming to all our neighbors and those visiting our shops and restaurants.  The DOE Fund crew will be of great help!

Service provided by the Doe Fund:

Cleaning of sidewalks from the building or property line to the curb and gutters

Removal and replacement of new liners in garbage receptacles

Cleaning out weeds, cigarette butts and debris from cracks in sidewalks and tree pits

Removal of all posters and graffiti from street furniture (ex. fire hydrants, light poles and mailboxes)

Alignment of miscellaneous newspaper distribution boxes at all intersections daily

In the event of snow, clearing of catch basins, gutters and pedestrian crossings at street intersections as well as from bus stops within the area being serviced

Every day, The Doe Fund's Ready, Willing and Able trainees--known around the city as the "men in blue" because of their distinctive uniforms--clean 150 miles of New York City sidewalks.

The "men in blue" are all formerly homeless men who are participating in a 9-12 month transitional work program. After about a month of street cleaning, the men choose recession-proof career tracks and spend the rest of their time at The Doe Fund training, earning certifications, and developing the soft skills they need to achieve permanent self-sufficiency upon graduation.