Benedetto, Gjonaj, TNCAP say ‘no’ to 2800 Bruckner drug plan
From page 3
A cross-section of residents protested on Saturday, April 27 against Miracle City’s plan for a substance abuse counseling program inside of
2800 Bruckner Boulevard. Photo by Fernando Justiniano
Bronx panel groups: ‘Close Rikers & the Sink the Barge’
BRONX TIMES REPORTER, M BTR AY 17-23, 2019 81
From page 3
administration and there’s no guarantee
we will still have that with the next
mayor,” Calderon said.
She also called for the approach to
incarceration to be focused more towards
mental health treatment and reform
rather than locking up inmates,
saying that Rikers Island is “the largest
mental health institution in the
That meeting came before a land
use hearing by Community Board 1 on
Thursday, May 16.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the
battle over the Mott Haven jail, Diego
Beekman Mutual Housing CEO Arline
Parks questioned the positions of
those Bronx electeds who support the
320 Concord Avenue jail proposal at a
public forum, held at Lincoln Hospital
on Wednesday, May 15.
Parks along with Borough President
Ruben Diaz, Jr. and several others,
have publicly stated that while
they support the closure of Rikers Island,
they are not in favor of the Mott
Haven site for its replacement jail.
(l-r) Panelists Rev. Wendy Calderon Payne, Bronx Connect; Harvey Murphy, JLUSA organizer; Marvin Mayfi eld, JLUSA leader; Starr Blue,
Beyond Rosie’s Campaign; Darren Mack, JLUSA organizer and Sekou Shakur, Bronx Connect. Photo by Kasey Rodriguez
cerns about the nature and location of
They cited the facility’s remote location
on a one-way street as a major
factor for their disapproval. The area’s
poor transportation options and
its proximity to a neighborhood comprised
entirely of one-, two- and threefamily
homes, elementary schools and
churches, where paramount in withholding
“A program called These Our Treasures,
a neighbor of the proposed clinic
that works with special needs children
ages 3 to 5, could be in jeopardy if the
application is approved,” the letter
Benedetto and Gjonaj also noted that
the area has several drug treatment
programs already actively operating
in the area, including the Montefi ore
Wellness Center on Waters Place.
Montefi ore’s facility provides psychiatric
staff and dispenses medication,
according to the letter.
“Another factor that concerns us,
is the community’s limited police resources,”
the legislators said.
It described the 45th Precinct as
having the smallest police force in the
Bronx and the largest geographical
coverage area of any precinct in the
city. Benedetto and Gjonaj added that
“whenever a squad car is dispatched
to this location, other sectors will be
left in peril by the thinned police coverage.”
Meanwhile, the plan to acquire an
822 program license and not have an
on-site psychiatrist at the facility has
raised objections from the Throggs
Neck Community Action Partnership,
a local substance abuse prevention
Th organization wrote to Senator
Alessandra Biaggi, expressing that
they believe a treatment facility in
Throggs Neck would be benefi cial, if
done the right way.
“Many people who suffer from a
substance use disorder also suffer
from a mental health disorder,” the letter
pointed out. “Without the diagnosis
or support of mental health treatment,
this scenario is the perfect storm for
someone to ‘relapse,’” it continued.
The TNCAP letter also advised
the senator that quality alcohol and
substance abuse programs “should
also offer psychiatric evaluations and
treatment as necessary, on site.”
It also said that licensed facilities
should also have accrued years of
credibility and reputation prior to an
expansion such as this.
“There is a need to provide treatment
to our community, but we kindly
suggest you explore other options,” the
An individual with years of drug
counseling experience sized up the
Miracle City plan very simply: without
a psychiatrist on the premises this
plan is nothing more than a real estate
deal, referring to the big bucks the
property owner will receive from the
state in rent.
Biaggi has not taken a formal
stance on the facility as of press time.
“I am fi elding comments and concerns
from the community regarding
2800 Bruckner Boulevard,” she said.
“I am committed to both the public
safety of my constituents, as well as addressing
the opioid crisis that plagues
our community,” she concluded.