Plan to house ex-Rykers inmates at Morris Park met with community outcry

A plan to house a seriously ill and once-incarcerated New Yorker has faced a number of protests from Morris Park residents.

The Fortune Society, the organization that brought that facility to the campus of Jacobi Hospital, has launched a similar location in Harlem and has seen success and great feedback from the community, they say.

Fortune Society Deputy CEO Stanley Richards has heard candid disagreements from Morris Park residents through multiple community input meetings over the past few months.

One thing the Fortune Society wants to make clear is that the addition to Jacobi Hospital will not be a shelter, but a mixed-use, permanent supportive housing. The Harlem location, a similar residence, is monitored both inside and outside the facility 24 hours a day.The Fortune Society says the same is true for the Jacobi location.

The resources provided by these housing units are nothing new. Resident and former incarcerated Helen Taylor told News 12 about how it has helped.

“They gave me the space I needed to do what I had to do: get clean from drugs and get out of jail,” said Taylor, who now lives in the Harlem location. “I needed it. I’ve been on medication for 30 years and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

Fortune Society officials say it will take at least three years for the Jacobi facility to open and operate, but they want to continue talking to residents and show them that the facility is safe for their neighbors. increase.

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