(QUEENS, NY) New York State Senator Jose R. Peralta was joined by the “men in blue” of The Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able (RWA) program and community leaders to announce $250,000 in funding to expand RWA’s presence in the 13th district. The program, which provides street sanitation services along 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, will now also service Roosevelt Avenue and Astoria Boulevard. Peralta also was honored with the bright blue uniform of the RWA “man in blue” for his extraordinary support of and partnership with RWA over the years.
Senator Peralta stated, “I am happy to continue our partnership with The Doe Fund, and this year I have allocated more money to expand the program throughout the 13th District. For the past 4 years, The Doe Fund has been a welcomed partner in the community. The services they provide have resulted in cleaner and safer neighborhoods.” Peralta continued, “Unfortunately because of the budget cuts, many of our neighborhoods are not receiving enough garbage collection. The Doe Fund is a great program that enhances our efforts to keep Queens clean and beautiful.”
In previous years, Senator Peralta has been influential in introducing the program in all areas of his district including: Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights.
George T. McDonald, Founder & President of The Doe Fund, said “Senator Peralta has long understood the true mission of the Ready, Willing & Able program – to provide work opportunities that allow the ‘men in blue’ to permanently leave behind lives of homelessness, substance abuse and incarceration. We are thrilled to be a part of his efforts to make the 13th District a cleaner and safer place to live and to work, and we are honored to present him with the uniform of the ‘man in blue’ for his many years of support.”
Ready, Willing & Able provides transitional work, housing, and comprehensive support to formerly homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals, who can be seen cleaning 150 miles of streets each day throughout New York City. This transitional work is the first step the “men in blue” take toward program graduation, which is achieved when they secure permanent, full-time employment and their own housing, as well as maintain their sobriety for the duration of the program.
Peralta concluded “The Doe Fund has been a proven model of success in this community for years. The ‘men in blue’ will ensure an environment that will attract customers to our small businesses and bring jobs for our residents. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved.”
Services will include: Cleaning of sidewalk 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; and 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.