Nonprofit focused on affordable housing celebrates 45 years, hosts fundraiser

Southside United HDFC-Los Sures Executive Director Ramon Peguero, Esq.

 

Brooklyn, NY: Forty-five years after opening its doors with a mission of developing affordable housing units in the Southside of Williamsburg, Southside United HDFC-Los Sures is still going strong. On Wednesday, April 26, at 6:00 p.m., the nonprofit will host its annual fundraiser at Freehold Brooklyn, 45 S. 3rd St., to honor its inspirational story, under the theme “Celebrating 45 years of commitment to affordable housing, community development and advocacy.”

“Now more than ever, with affordable housing still being a major issue for residents of Southside Williamsburg, our organization is keenly aware of its role in stabilizing families and the community as a whole, despite the challenges that we face,” said Southside United HDFC-Los Sures Executive Director Ramon Peguero, Esq. “Many organizations close down after 45 years but we are determined to achieve even more in the next 45 years as we work diligently to meet the needs of the community and continue to be a beacon for those who rely on our services.”

The non-profit has expanded its mission over the years and now it not only develops affordable housing units. Los Sures manages affordable housing units, operates a weekly food pantry, hydroponic farm, senior center and provides entitlement services such as tax preparation at through its social services office. Additionally, the organization operates a local museum, El Museo de Los Sures, which is a hub of exquisite artistic expression, attracting patrons from the neighborhood who are eager to experience diverse artworks.

“We hope that the community members will come out in large numbers to support our 45th anniversary fundraiser because it is through their involvement that we are able to provide the menu of services that we do,” Mr. Peguero said.

Among the distinguished individuals who will be honored at the event are Luis Garden Acosta, Founder and President of El Puente; City Councilmember Antonio Reynoso and NY City Council General Counsel Jason Adolfo Otano. Hirschen Singer & Epstein LLP will receive the corporate award and a surprise humanitarian award will be presented at the event. Dime Community Bank, which is based in Williamsburg and has been in operation since 1864, is the event’s legacy sponsor, while FG-PH Corporation is the platinum sponsor. Kings County Politics (KCP) is the media sponsor. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please contact mduran@lossures.org. For interviews, please contact cglover@lossures.org.

Southside United HDFC-Los Sures, www.southsideunitedhdfc.org, is a pioneering, community-based non-profit organization that was among the first to answer the call to rebuild North Brooklyn 45 years ago. Not only has Los Sures undertaken large-scale rehabilitation of many buildings, allowing families and individuals to live comfortably while creating an aesthetically pleasing neighborhood, but the organization provides a range of social services, including a food pantry, a fresh produce distribution center, a senior center, tax preparation assistance, community and tenant advocacy and workshops. The organization also operates a community museum, El Mueso de Los Sures, which showcases diverse artists.–OnPointPress.net–

The Holidays: Happy for some, depressing for others

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By Charles Glover, Jr.

We look forward to many things during the holiday season that begins with Thanksgiving and culminates with the New Year: extra time off from school and work, more time around family, home-cooked meals, and of course, the presents. Amidst all of these enjoyable moments are the extensive hours people spend trying to make the holidays wonderful for their loved ones.

A couple enjoy the holiday spiirit.--Photo: Getty Images

A couple enjoy the holiday spirit.–Photo: Getty Images

Simple tasks can lead to feelings of stress--Photo: Getty Images

Simple tasks can lead to feelings of stress–Photo: Getty Images

The added stress around the holidays can make what is a wonderful time for many a depressing, dreadful, lonely time for others. Michael Kerr from Healthline.com explains it this way:

“Depression may occur at any time of the year, but the stress and anxiety during the months of November and December may cause even those who are usually content to experience loneliness and a lack of fulfillment.”

While there is little evidence that supports that the suicide rate increases during November and December, it is still important to recognize that there not everyone views the holiday season as a joyful time. Stress is a well-known trigger for depression and the holidays often create new tensions as well as reignite old hurts and feelings of inadequacy or loneliness, resulting in morose thoughts and unhappy feelings.

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It is important to learn how to manage the stress and recognize if a person may be in need of greater help. As Brenda Patoine from The Dana Foundation summarized;

“Finding ways to cope with the heightened demands of holiday gatherings, or filling the gap where they aren’t, is key to surviving the season with affect intact. This can be challenging, because one’s coping strategies may be the first things to fall by the wayside in the busy holiday season.”

The Mayo Clinic lists a number of recommendations for coping with the stress of the holiday season. A few of the suggestion are regular exercise, maintaining a strict budget, and volunteering. If you feel that you or someone you know may need assistance dealing with the emotions of the holidays, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for OnPointPress.net and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama speaks about the Let's Move program; an initiative targeting the youth to teach them healthy eating habits and emphasizing regular workouts.

The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama speaks about the Let’s Move program; an initiative targeting the youth to teach them healthy eating habits and emphasizing regular workouts.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As the holiday season approaches there is already plenty of planning for family gatherings and holiday dinners. While we wish everyone peace and joy, let us remember November is Diabetes Awareness Month. It is important to emphasize that most people can prevent the development of diabetes by adopting healthy dietary habits.

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This month the American Diabetes Association has initiated a campaign entitled “#ThisIsDiabetes,” which is intended to highlight the issues faced by diabetes suffers on a daily basis. While there is more information available about diabetes, there are still troubling trends of diagnoses for adults and children.

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The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, has been front and center with the Let’s Move! program she developed to help teach the youth healthier eating habits while also emphasizing the importance of daily exercise. This program may target the youth to start these healthy habits at a young age, but the tips apply to everyone.

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Unfortunately, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Native Americans continue to be diagnosed with diabetes at the highest rates, as highlighted by the chart above. While the holiday season should be enjoyable, let us also be responsible and mindful of the habits we might have to add or subtract from our routines in order to protect ourselves from a diabetes diagnosis.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for OnPointPress.net and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

Should domestic abuse get more attention?

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By Charles Glover, Jr.

I believe that the current US system in place for dealing with domestic violence is broken and needs to be fixed. It is a complex and at times difficult to address domestic violence, but our country goes overboard to address issues it deems serious. Can we honestly say our country is doing the best it can to combat domestic violence?

Unites States Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been vocal about putting an end to domestic violence.

Unites States Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been vocal about putting an end to domestic violence.

The United States Department of Justice defines domestic violence as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.”

The expansive definition of domestic violence should help illustrate the complexity of coping with such a widespread issue. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the concerns regarding the system currently in place to deal with domestic violence seem to be rising.

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, who was suspended 1 game to begin the season for domestic violence, is having his case reexamined by the NFL after more information surfaced regarding domestic violence against his now ex-wife.

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, who was suspended 1 game to begin the season for domestic violence, is having his case reexamined by the NFL after more information surfaced regarding domestic violence against his now ex-wife.

Another NFL player, this time New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, is in the headlines following the release of reports of domestic violence claims from his now ex-wife. The NBA regular season will start in a few days, but Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison will not be available for the first 8 games as he serves his suspension for domestic violence against his girlfriend. And as excited as Chicago Cubs fans are to be in the World Series, it is possible the last outs of the series could be recorded by their closer Aroldis Chapman, who began this season serving a 30-game suspension for allegations of domestic violence against his girlfriend.

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These athletes garner extra scrutiny for their acts of domestic violence but the issue itself is unfortunately still viewed as a task too large to handle. While the question on many people’s minds is how do we put an end to domestic violence, the greater question is why don’t we treat domestic violence the way we treat child abuse and neglect?

Attorneys and law enforcement officials often assert that their greatest challenge in prosecuting alleged perpetrators of domestic violence is lack of evidence or cooperation from the alleged victims. This is an understandable roadblock, however what is incomprehensible is that the federal or state government has not found a way to circumvent this obstacle. We have countless examples in this country of people finding a way to address serious concerns.

Mary Ellen McCormack, showing visible scars of abuse at age 10 in this picture, was the nation's first widely recognized case of child abuse.

Mary Ellen McCormack, showing visible scars of abuse at age 10 in this picture, was the nation’s first widely recognized case of child abuse.

Take for example the case of Mary Ellen McCormack. Mary Ellen was born in 1864 in New York City, but due to her father’s death and mother’s inability to care for her, became a foster child at the age of two. Her foster-mother Mary Connolly, was eventually investigated and convicted for abuse of Mary Ellen which included daily beatings, malnutrition and numerous malicious and neglectful actions. This landmark case in 1874 for child abuse was largely made possible because of laws that existed against the inhumane treatment of animals. That’s correct.

Henry Bergh and Elbridge Thomas Gerry of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) helped ensure that Mary Ellen was removed from her foster home before the trial and handled her legal case as well. After having success with the case, and having formed the ASPCA in 1866, they helped form the first child abuse and neglect agency in the country, the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC).

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This story highlights the struggles America has had in providing systemic protection for those in need in our country. The formation of the NYSPCC in 1874 was a positive step for beginning to deal with child abuse but it would take another century for the federal government to enact legislation on the issue with the passing of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in 1974.

There is no disputing the difficulties associated with trying to help people dealing with domestic violence but there needs to be greater urgency in the matter. For those brave enough to seek help, they are faced with limited options. A restraining order is not accompanied by around the clock police surveillance or protection. Shelters and hotlines are helpful but they require the victims to assume all of the initial risk in seeking assistance.

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There should be a statewide agency for domestic violence that is modeled after each state’s child protective services to allow the community to be better equipped to assist those in need. These agencies should investigate, monitor, and take action against allegations of domestic violence in the same manner they are supposed to for child abuse. It is clear the criminal justice system alone is ill-equipped to make the strides necessary to drastically reduce domestic violence. The time has come to move past creating awareness and start creating solutions.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for OnPointPress.net and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

Will social, sports activism lead to systemic change?

By kneeling during a celebrated custom in America's favorite sport, Colin Kaepernick has spear-headed a modern message of social activism.

By kneeling during the singing of the National Anthem, a routine custom to tip-off sports games in America, San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has spear-headed a modern method of social activism.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

One month after NFL reporter Steve Wyche brought San Francisco 49ers’ Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protest to light, the conversation surrounding the motive and method of his actions continue to surge. While some are still debating whether the protest is offensive or not, many have joined the cause to highlight the disparity in the treatment of people of color, particularly unarmed black men, by the police.

After making his intentions clear, Kaepernick's profile increased enough to land him on the cover of October's Time magazine. His popularity has also grown as his soaring jersey sales clearly prove.

After making his intentions clear, Colin Kaepernick’s profile increased enough to land him on the cover of the Time magazine for the first week in October. His popularity has also grown and his g jersey sales continue to soar.

Kaepernick has been clear that the motive for his actions is to create dialogue and bring awareness to the issue of police brutality and misconduct, especially towards people of color. He also stated, “There’s a lot of people who don’t want to have this conversation. You know they’re scared they might lose their job or they might not get endorsements, they might not be treated the same way. And those are things I’m prepared to handle.”

There was no way to predict the reaction to Kaepernick’s stance, yet the amount of support he has received has to be encouraging to people who are tired of seeing people of color die at the hands of the police, who are paid to protect them. When police murder unarmed black and Latino civilians without facing any consequence they send a message that the lives that they take lack value due to their skin color.

Countless others have joined the cause to bring awareness to the unjust treatment of people of color.

Countless others have joined the cause to bring awareness to the unjust treatment of people of color.

Kaepernick has done what many who support the BlackLivesMatter movement have been trying to do for months, simplify the message with a simple, non-violent gesture of protest. His jersey has become a symbol, no longer celebrating the San Francisco 49ers and their rich NFL history, but of a person willing to face adversity to make a stand for the greater good. To date, over 50 NFL players have joined the protest by kneeling or raising a fist during the anthem. Countless athletes across other sports have also made the same gesture and the statement has been made in classrooms as well as political forums.

While the protest receives the headlines, there seems to be positive action resulting from the heightened attention. According to statistics revealed by reporters Ken Klippenstein and Paul Gottinger, “A Gallup poll conducted in July showed confidence in police is at a 22-year low.” The same publication highlights that the rate of police indictments have increased by 5 times over the last 5 plus months.

Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby (left) was indicted within a week of the shooting death of Terrence Crutcher (right).

Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby (left) was indicted within a week of the shooting death of Terrence Crutcher (right).

The swift indictment of Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby after she killed Terrence Crutcher, an unarmed black man whose vehicle broke down in the middle of the street last week, instead of helping him get his vehicle towed so that he could go home to his family, shows an ebbing tide away from the days of simply taking the police’s word in these tragic events.

As Kaepernick and other social activists continue to shine the light on injustice in this area, it’s possible that sustained activism will result in enough positive change that will, in turn, help to address other major social issues that plague the nation.–OnPointPress.net

Jamaica’s AG, outstanding Manning’s alum, honored

Jamaica's AG Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte.

Jamaica’s Attorney General Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte, Q.C., M.P. J.P., will be honored by the New York Chapter of her alma mater’s alumni association, the MPSA-NY, on October 12, 2016 at Eastwood Manor in the Bronx.

9/26/2016, NY: Jamaica’s Attorney General, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte, will be the guest of honor at the Manning’s Past Students’ Association New York Chapter’s (MPSA NY) 28th Anniversary Reunion Ball.

Manning's students will benefit from the proceeds of the fundraiser.

Manning’s students will benefit from the proceeds of the fundraiser.

“We are very thrilled that Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte, a proud former head girl of Manning’s School, will be serving as our guest of honor,” said Kevin K.O. Sangster, Outgoing MPSA NY President.  “Having had a distinguished legal career at both the Bar and Bench and having contributed meaningfully to the governance process in Jamaica, the AG has a wealth of knowledge and insights that our attendees will find highly valuable.”

Outgoing MPSA-NY President Kevin K.O. Sangster, Esq. and the executive team, have worked tirelessly to organize the event.

Outgoing MPSA-NY President Kevin K.O. Sangster, Esq. and the executive team, have worked tirelessly to organize the event.

In what is expected to be a night of fun and revelry for a good cause, the ball will feature a Caribbean buffet with a little international flair, an open bar and music provided by DJ Andrew with Jugglaz International. The event will take place at 8:00 p.m., on Saturday, October 15 at Eastwood Manor, located at 3371 Eastchester Road in the Bronx, NY.

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An early bird rate of $85 per person is available until September 30, 2016 and $90 per person after that date.  Proceeds will benefit Manning’s School in Westmoreland, Jamaica.

The MPSA NY, over its 28-year history, has been an active source of support for the school, organizing numerous fundraisers and making significant donations to ensure that the school’s rich legacy of academic excellence will endure.

To purchase tickets for the events, please call Anton Tomlinson at 917-541-3348 or 718-287-9366.--OnPointPress.net–

Trudy Deans is Jamaica’s new Consul General to NY

 

Trudy Deans, newly appointed Consul General of Jamaica in New York.

Trudy Deans, newly appointed Consul General of Jamaica to New York.

Kingston, Sept. 25: Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, announced the appointment of Ms. Trudy Deans as consul general to New York on Friday, Sept. 23.

Ms. Deans, who holds a master of science degree in human resource management and training from the University of Leicester, England, and a bachelor of science degree in international relations and public administration from the University of the West Indies, was formerly the vice-consul and community relations officer at the Consulate General of Jamaica in New York from 2010 to 2012.

“Ms. Deans’ solid foundation in Diaspora engagement, together with her academic achievements and strong leadership and managerial skills augur well for this position, which comes with great responsibility. I congratulate her on this appointment, and have no doubt that she will effectively execute her mandate, contributing to the welfare of Jamaicans overseas and to the Government of Jamaica’s growth and development agenda,” said Minister Johnson Smith.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Deans was employed as an administrator at the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations Agency, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. She was responsible for staff located in Geneva and field offices in Asia and the Pacific, Arab States, the Americas, African region and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). She also contributed to Grace Kennedy’s legacy, as human resource and training manager at Allied Insurance Brokers Limited from 2002 to 2010.

A former member of the Geneva International Christian Choir and Orchestra and also an avid sports enthusiast, Ms. Deans will assume duties in New York, on October 1.–OnPointPress.net--.