Reporting New York. A project of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
4 April 2014
46th Anniv. of Dr. MLK Jr. Death
Do NYC Officials Hate Our Own: Disabled and Homeless New Yorkers?
Without a Bridge Over ‘Troubled’ Waters of ‘Two Cities’, NY’s Forsaken & Frail Are Forced to ‘Walk the Plank’
Staten Island NY. A Pastor is asking out loud, in the wake of Jerome Murdough’s recent death on Riker’s Island, without yet a bridge over ‘very troubling’ waters of our ‘Two Cities’, do NYC officials really hate our own: disabled and homeless neighbors?
Pastor Michael-Vincent Crea unabashedly and unconditionally condemns an understated ‘very troubling’ reaction of Mayor Bill de Blasio, rather than a response of “restorative Justice,” demanded by the City’s callous, inconceivable death by “baking” him ‘alive’.
Like Mr. Murdough, a homeless veteran with mental impairments, Pastor Crea is disabled, homeless, a Peace Corps Volunteer Veteran, living with PTSD, who has fought personally for the “Home Lost” and rights of persons living with disabilities in NYC.
Pastor Crea, however, never had a word from then Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who twice promised the whistle blowing Pastor a response to the City’s losing of three homes, after he had found HRA’s Adult Protective Services’ [APS] systematic dumping of disabled New Yorkers, like himself, along with social services plundering lives, like Mr. Murdough, as delivery of services have deviated far off course from our legal statutes and human decency.
As former NYC Council Chair of the Welfare Committee, Mayor de Blasio heard Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum testify about her 2006 investigation of Adult Protective Services’ appalling abandonment of frail and forsaken New Yorkers, many similar to Mr. Murdough and Pastor Crea, yet, as Public Advocate, he appears to have failed to learn lessons in his predecessor, Ms. Gotbaum’s report, “Unprotected.”
“Our frail and forsaken are forced into ‘walking the plank’ of a social services ship pirated by NYC officials for 20 years, favoring the dismantling of housing and welfare programs, that put and provided for people, first,” says the still unhoused Pastor.
Bloomberg’s bogus “Homebase,” a Boston based experiment, defrauded, duped and dumped 50% of eligible New Yorkers to see if they go to street or shelter, as told in a New York Times front page story [12/8/10].
The Pastor cites then Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer calling NY’s needy. “guinea pigs.” Annabel Palma, Council Chair of the Welfare Committee, characterized him and others as “lab rats,” yet, neither elected official followed up for the sake of Justice and for their constituents’ human dignity.
Pastor Crea has had more than his three “homes lost,” as he is facing life terminating daily trials, compounding a tortuous 7-years.
A hiatal hernia, caused by being dislocated by delinquent APS staff, resulted in removing his esophagus, re-sectioning of his stomach, last July 26, and since, repeated life altering aftershocks, after being previously in good health. He had swum a mile up to 3 times weekly, practiced yoga and danced.
Living with PTSD from being violated in the NY Catholic Archdiocesan’s St. Joseph Seminary, he knows poignantly and painfully ‘walking the plank,’ having victory in a NYS Decision and Order of October 31, 2011 for:
“room and board, if [Pastor Crea] currently requires housing. The Agency [HRA/APS] shall continue to insure that [Pastor Crea] receive appropriate alternative living arrangements at least until such time as it is advised that [Pastor Crea], on his own, or with the assistance of social services or other resources in the community have found appropriate, permanent housing for [Pastor Crea] and he has been relocated thereto,” as well, as “The Agency is directed to provide advocacy and assistance in arranging for legal services to assure receipt of his rights and entitlements…”
Instead, a belligerent Mike Bloomberg, his deputy mayors and commissioners; HRA and APS supervisors with case managers; and the elected representatives of Pastor Crea, aware of the order, forced him overboard to drown.
He has refused, yet, must even fight to swim in NYC’s pools, as Parks & Recreation have refused to respect his request for reasonable accommodation and renew his membership.
Now, the Pastor is isolated, without even a means to prepare vital small meals nor a restaurant allowance for his recovery and revival, since surgery and especially, after his emergency evacuation from the home of an emotionally disturbed and violent person.
New York officials and agencies remain in contempt of the order to house him for over two years.
Pastor Crea has had no one to stand up and defend him, as was and is the case, thus far, of Jerome Murdough, with his most horrific ‘death sentence’ for being “Home Lost” and seeking to sleep safely in a stairwell.
Thus, the pro bono Pastor, now, asks if NY officials have hate rather than love of our neighbors, living with disabilities and mental impairments without public safety or care.
Two cops broke his glasses, forcing him and a sleeping, homeless African American woman from Bowling Green subway station last October [Photos & video available]. A week before he and three Black men were kicked by cops, abruptly and violently awakening each with, “Y’all right?!”
Public Advocate Letitia James’ Chief of Staff Ibrahim Khan told Pastor Crea by phone, that Ms. James is taking a second look at the Pastor’s winning appeal ordering NYC to house him “immediately,” [See D&O below].
He believes “when one of us suffers, we, all, suffer; when one has cause to rejoice, all can celebrate and rejoice, as one.”
Hopefully, Pastor Crea prays Public Advocate James shall advocate and defend his rights as both a “disabled family” and “displaced family,” already qualifying him for an immediate Housing Choice Voucher [aka Section-8] under the Supreme Court June 1999 Olmstead ruling, covering the costs of independent living for non-elderly disabled persons, such as the Pastor.
With victories in other housing and disability rights matters for the People of New York, the Pastor is looking to making “Love one’s neighbor,” our elected leaders and City’s new mantra to eradicate the fear and hate, especially for all mentally impaired, “home lost” and disabled New Yorkers, among us.
TO NEWS EDITORS:
I pray U can make my case known for all New Yorkers, especially, all of us living w/disabilities. I pray U ask for Human Rights for all at Riker’s Island & “Justice for Jerome!”
Last November, a Federal judge ruled that NYC has not been prepared nor has had required plans to deal w/persons living with disabilities, needing emergency evacuation in any such event. Demand to see the new plans.
A “Tale of Two Cities” used by Mario Cuomo at 1984 Democratic National Convention in a speech printed in NY Times hung on my armoir in my village hut in Senegal, as a Community Development Volunteer. If it is more than a political posture: let’s see the walking to equal & to exceed all the talking!
Now, all citywide elected leaders must bring together all New Yorkers but Truth be told:
In our “2 Cities” having over 2,200 bridges there does not exist any bridge over the ‘troubled waters’ for the mentally impaired, homeless.
For Pastor Crea, even after receiving a “E-Z Pass” for the toll already taken on his life, is left to die at a SI Welfare motel, as did our brother veteran, who was arrested for sleeping in a stairwell, and “baked” to death in his Riker’s Island cell.
Pastor Michael-Vincent Crea
NB Below the Decision & Order of my victory and successful appeal that for over 2 years Mike Bloomberg’s administration arrogantly refused to comply & to respect me and my rights; Pastor Crea with then Public Advocate Bill de Blasio on 31 October 2014,[the 2-year anniv. of the D&O] supporting the candidate at a Fordham Rd. campaign stop, where de Blasio again received the complete record, but PubAdv-MayorElect broke his word given to constituent, Pastor Crea, by failing to act before he left 1 Centre St and since leaving his own Brooklyn home for ‘public housing’ at Gracie Mansion.
In the Matter of the Appeal of
: DECISION ________________________ AFTER : FAIR HEARING
from a determination by the New York City : Department of Social Services ______________________________________________________:
Pursuant to Section 22 of the New York State Social Services Law (hereinafter Social Services Law) and Part 358 of Title 18 NYCRR, (hereinafter Regulations), a fair hearing was held on June 21, 2011, in New York City, before an Administrative Law Judge. The following persons appeared at the hearing:
For the Appellant
For the Social Services Agency
Stuart Schoenberger, Esq., Agency Representative (June 14, 2011 and June 21, 2011 only)
Was the Agency’s determination, dated January 20, 2011, to discontinue the Appellant’s Adult Protective Services, effective January 31, 2011, correct?
DECISION AND ORDER
The Agency’s determination dated January 20, 2011, to discontinue the Appellant’s Adult Protective Services, effective January 31, 2011, was not correct and is reversed.
1.The Agency is directed to immediately provide Adult Protective Services to the Appellant.
2.Specifically, the Agency is directed to assist the Appellant in the location of social services, and other resources in the community who would appropriately assist the Appellant in finding appropriate, permanent housing.
The Agency’s evaluation of the Appellant’s eligibility for APS shall include, but not be limited to, appropriate inquiries to determine whether the Appellant needs assistance with financial management.
3.The Agency is directed to immediately arrange for appropriate alternative living arrangements in the community or in an institution providing room and board, if the Appellant currently requires housing.
The Agency shall continue to insure that the Appellant receive appropriate alternative living arrangements at least until such time as it is advised that the Appellant, on his own, or with the assistance of social services or other resources in the community have found appropriate, permanent housing for the Appellant and he has been relocated thereto.
4.The Agency is directed to provide advocacy and assistance in arranging for legal services to assure receipt of his
5.The Agency is directed to conduct a complete evaluation of the Appellant’s need for additional APS, which shall include, but not be limited to, appropriate inquiries to determine whether the Appellant needs assistance with financial management and provide any and all such services forthwith.
6.The Agency is directed to notify the Appellant and his Representative, in writing, of its determination(s).
Should the Agency need additional information from the Appellant in order to comply with the above directives, it is directed to notify the Appellant and his Representative, promptly, in writing, as to what documentation is needed.
If such information is requested, the Appellant and/or his Representative must provide it to the Agency promptly to facilitate such compliance.
As required by Regulations at 18 NYCRR 358-6.4, the Agency must comply immediately with the directives set forth above.
DATED: Albany, New York 10/31/2011
NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF
TEMPORARY AND DISABILITY ASSISTANCE
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