Press for Brownsville Partnership
Read recent media coverage of Community Solutions’ work to strengthen communities to end homelessness. For press inquiries, contact Alexandra Sanders at 212-471-0885 or email@example.com.
Welcome to the Hot Seat, where we interview folks involved in Brooklyn real estate, architecture, development and the like. Introducing Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, the Director of the Brownsville Partnership. The Brownsville Partnership is a part of Community Solutions, a national not-for-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen communities to end homelessness.
Pitkin Avenue is a three-mile stretch of central Brooklyn beginning just past the eastern boundary of Crown Heights, extending into East New York, and leaving its greatest claim to distinction in Brownsville. From the 1910s through the ’40s, when Brownsville’s population was composed largely of Jewish immigrants, Pitkin Avenue and the various side streets emerged as Brooklyn’s most significant retail thoroughfare, supplying poor and working-class residents with what they needed—vegetables, shoes, chickens—and outsiders with what they desired: refrigerators, sofas, jewelry.
Is Brownsville Brooklyn—long regarded as one of New York’s most troubled neighborhoods—ready for its comeback? There are some hopeful signs.
...“It’s striking that in the last seven years, there have been two rezonings on the Upper West Side, and Brownsville hasn’t been touched,” said Raju Mann, director of planning at the Municipal Arts Society (MAS), an influential non-profit in planning and preservation circles with its own reputation for Manhattan-centric thinking. “That’s an area where the regulatory framework doesn’t support the investment we want to see, and the city wants to see.”
Brownsville, Brooklyn, can be a tough place. I was standing on a street corner a few years ago with colleagues and a New York deputy mayor when a group of armed men in a van pulled up, slid open their van door, and shot and killed a 16-year-old before speeding off. We thought that a car’s muffler had backfired until we saw schoolchildren diving for cover. It all happened two blocks from where we were standing.
Rosanne Haggerty believes that by walking the streets of a neighborhood and meeting homeless people one by one, she builds the foundation to help them find homes.
Four years ago, expecting her second child and behind in her bills, Rosalind Magwood found herself facing eviction from her apartment in a public housing complex in Brooklyn's Brownsville. Desperate to avoid ending up in a homeless shelter, she turned to the Brownsville Partnership, which quickly assigned her a case worker and a lawyer, and sent her to a financial literacy class. Today, the 40-year-old mother of four is paid up on all her bills, has a steady job and lives in a larger apartment in the same complex.
BROWNSVILLE — Building on a session on public housing at the recent Municipal Art Society (MAS) Summit for New York City, the MAS is launching “The Brownsville Revitalization Initiative” in partnership with Rosanne Haggerty and her colleagues at Community Solutions.The goal is to look at the challenges and opportunities in Brownsville’s under-developed asset of public housing.The two organizations have selected Brownsville because it has the highest concentration of public housing units in the city.
Rosanne Haggerty, president of Community Solutions made a presentation at the Municipal Arts Society Summit in October that recast the troubled Brownsville public housing in Brooklyn as a major public asset. Rethinking the housing block, Haggerty proposed a surgical approach that preserves original buildings and emphasizes breaking up the superblock with through-traffic streets, integrated urban agriculture, ground floor retail, and the incorporation of social services—all without displacing a single resident.
Brownsville wants safer streets for biking.Currently there isn’t a single bike lane inside this eastern Brooklyn neighborhood, though two bike lanes run along the edges of Brownsville on East New York Avenue and Rockaway Parkway. Neighborhood activists, including the business community, senior citizens and public health advocates, are now organizing to convince the city to install both north-south and east-west routes through the area.