The Colonial News
205 Saint Peters Ave
Rome, New York 13440
A Publication of Yes! We Deliver, Inc.
Yes! We Deliver, Inc. is a Non-Profit Corporation Dedicated to Serving People In Need
Volume 1, Issue 1 www.romenewyork.net/yeswedeliver/yeswedeliver.html April 2002
Open Letter To The Residents of Colonial Apartments My Neighbors and Friends.
Finally! A Chance To Speak Out and Be Heard!
This Newsletter is long overdue. We have many bright and imaginative people right here in our mists. All of you have opinions and important things to say.
This Newsletter will be your chance to make Colonial Apartments a better place to live.
from RHA's Colonial I, 5th floor balcony.
My answers may surprise you .
Some suggest that the building is not safe that these 'dangerous' areas (balconies, roof access) should have screens or be otherwise enclosed or all together locked. I do not think this is reasonable or desirable. This was not an 'accident'. It was a willful act. (I feel similarly about the 911 tragedies and the later outcries for "Security!"
In a free society, we cannot secure ourselves from willful people who decided to destroy themselves or thousands of lives. There will always be a way to carry out such acts regardless of "Security Measures".
So I contend that screens or other physical barriers only limit everyone else's freedom and do nothing to prevent the next person from finding another way to carry out such a willful act. In this way, RHA [in my opinion] is clearly not at fault or liable.
If the question is worded a little different and one asks:
Could RHA have helped avoid this tragedy through some procedural and policy changes ?My answer is "Absoltely yes!" And here is why:u
RHA is a non-profit corporation founded and organized to serve the public good. This is the very spirit of a non-profit corporation. The profit is [supposed to be] in the public good and that is where the financial profits, excess income or revenues are expected to go back into the corporation to benefit the public.
Look, RHA exists, no, thrives in a system designed by the federal and state governments to serve the public. In actuality, RHA structured their corporation to be in partners with the federal government in providing low cost, safe housing to low income, senior, and disabled people. And not for profit or not - they make a great deal of money doing it. [When I suggested that fact to Mr Richard Boek, he got red in the face and growled that I better not say that again].
Even so, this endeavor was, and is a very lucrative arrangement for RHA. There is a great deal of revenue in this area of service and renting apartments to low income people. Our government is not cheap and it pays well for this housing to exist.
Here is the catch. (One of them anyway) This (RHA and similar housing projects) are very profitable! There is an excess of income if the projects are managed for it to be so (and these RHA Projects are managed very, very well). Not only is there "excess income", there is room in almost every area to generate even more income in order to provide desperately needed services for the populations of peole they 'serve'. These services are lacking and RHA could easily step up and help [in many different kinds of ways] and it would not cost them a penny. I have offered to raise such funds myself. But RHA insists it is not their charged responsibility -and therfore they are not interested.
No matter that people without any supervision, who need it, are often in crisis - even jumping out of windows or off balconies. This tragic event was avoidable and I am not afraid to say it is so.
there are literally hundreds of ways RHA can raise additional dependable income to support social service type helps without doing it themselves [I understand they are not in the mental health business; but they do make a great deal of money providing living accomadations to those who use and need those services. Certainly they make some office space available to another non-profit agency to meet some of these needs within the project even make some budgetary contributions. Many possibilities.)
By now, you must be wondering where I am going with these unrelated notions.
I BELIEVE RHA COULD HAVE HELPED AVOID THE TRAGIDY. HERE'S more on WHY:
RHA management is in a position to genuinely contribute to the daily well being of its residents. Look, these 'guys' do a great job of running these buildings. The buildings are clean, well maintained, and well repaired. My criticism is that they go about the business of maintaining the physical plant and its operations without the slightest regard to the people who live here. They carry on as if the people do not exist beyond collecting rent and effecting repairs - (and of course whatever HUD tells them to do.).
Now, [I do] understand that 'rent and repairs' is all RHA is legally charged with providing.
My problem is they could easily do so much more [if they chose to and I believe they have a responsibiltiy to do so]. In fact I suggest that considering the overall nature of the RHA Corporation - it has a responsibility to recognize these human issues; and try to address them.
Of course, RHA heartily disagrees. They refuse to recognize this as a responsibility. If HUD doesn't 'decree' it - it is a meaningless exercise and expenditure of time and resources. (Not entirely RHA's fault either perhaps HUD needs to reconsider some review of there own policies, procedure and aims).
Anyway, it would cost [relatively] zero to develop a staff position to address social needs and issues of the residents. RHA caters to a population that requires higher levels of monitoring and services by the very nature of their choice to target senior and disabled people. 'Disability' necessarily includes people with emotional and mental problems more severe than the norm. Not to recognize this is short sighted and inviting [forseeable] trouble.
This is only a Newsletter- for more details and analysis
Please write me stating your interest. JL
Yes! We Deliver, Inc
Yes! We Deliver,a non-profit corporation, with an office based right here in The Colonial Apartment Complex (I - 215), is preparing to re-start its Grocery Shopping & Delivery Service. This service is separate from, and in addition to, their Free Grocery Delivery Program that already delivers groceries free to housebound senior and disabled neighbors. For more info about either service call Jerry Lombardo 337-2394 Five years ago we began making free grocery deliveries to senior and disabled people in need
Would you like to see the Floyd Avenue Bus detour around and stop right at the doors of Colonial I? Contact Jerry Lombardo
@Is there any interest in seeing to it
that the Bus Shelter on the corner is
Repaired and Modernized? Together, We!
Can get a modern, enclosed, heated and
Safe shelter to replace the old burned out one. Contact Jerry Lombardo
Most Dangerous Corner
I have written to the City, and Mayors office several times about the dangerous condition that exists right down our block at St. Peters and Floyd Ave. Cars do not pay any attention to the Yield Sign traveling in to the City and there is No Sign at all on the opposite corner for traffic flying around the corner from Black River to head down Floyd. (There should be a Yield Sign there and a Stop Sign across the street where the Yield sign is) I have seen and experienced many close calls on this corner. Someone is going to get run over and it can be so easily avoided. I need to here from you! Please! Let's get this Dangerous Condition fixed. Call Jerry Lombardo
It Was A Chilling, Sad & Frustrating Feeling
Dedicated To and In Memory Of Our
Neighbor Who Absolutely Did Not Die In Vain.
Less than 30 seconds after I heard that John had plunged from the 5th floor -I absolutely knew I had to do something. I felt sadness, confusion, fear and anger all at the same time. I felt somehow responsible and cheated. I felt all of these things and more.
Aren't we all responsible? Are we not our neighbors' keepers?
I have to be honest with you. I still do not know exactly who jumped. It has been kept very quiet. I've been told the name but some fear continues to keep me from really reconciling in my own mind who it was actually matching a face to this poor person. Someone I probably rode the elevator with someone who probably played with Princess (Our Dog), someone many of us knew.
How Could Some One Who Lived So Close To Me, - To All of Us - Have Been So Lonely and So Desperate without Someone noticing?
Honestly, I am going to do many things. The list grows every day. When I see someone sitting alone in the basement late at night, in the dark when I'm buying a soda I'll take a few minutes to say 'Hello'. 'How's it going tonight?'
When I don't see the ladydown the hall for a few days, I'll send a little note or pick up the telephone. I WILL DO SOMETHING.
"It Was A Chilling, Sad : Continued from previous page
4I will also work with staff, management and other residents to increases awareness. If someone is depressed or seems sick or out of sorts - I will make the time to see if there is something I can do to help. All of us can. When residents pay their rent , for example, Teresa may notice something different or out of character; or a person misses the rent payment altogether she (Txxxxa or any office personnel) ought to be allowed and encouraged to write a note to the resident representative* or someone else and ask that someone check on it - on that person. Or something. Anything.
By Jerry Lombardo
*Resident Representatives are required by laws and regulations in RHA and other PHA sites
Here's One For You
There are 2 nuns know as Sister Mathamatical (SM) and Sister Logical (SL) Its getting dark and they are still far from the convert
SM: Have you noticed that a man has been following us for the past 383/8 minutes? I wonder what he wants
SL: It is Logical he wants to rape us. SM: Oh no! At this rate he will reach us in 15.5 minutes. What can we do? SL: The only logical thing to do is walk faster. SM: It's not working! SL: Of course it's not - Logically, the man has started walking faster too.
SM: So what should we do? At this rate he will soon reach us! SL: The only logical thing we can do is split up. You go that way and I'll go this way. It is only logical he cannot follow us both. And the man followed Sister Logical. Sister Mathematical arrived at the convent first. She waited and wondered what terrible fate has become of Sister Logical. Then sister Logical Arrived. SM: Sister Logical!! Thank God you are safe! Tell us, please- What Happened? SL: Logically, I began to run as fast as I could and logically, so did the man run as fast as he could. SM: And?? What Happened!? SL: The only logical thing-- He reached me. SM: Oh dear Sister! What did You do? SL: He wanted to rape me. I did the logical thing. I lifted my dress all the way up. SM: Oh Sister! What did the man do then?
SL: He did the only logical thing. He pulled his pants down. SM: Oh no! What happened next? SL: Think Sister, It is all very logical. I knew a nun - with her dress up - can run a lot faster than a man with his pants down! And Here I am. It's only logical.
And for all of you who thought it was going to be dirty say 2 'Hail Mary's J
èèLet's Not forget Teresa Who Works Tirelessly In the Front Office and Always Has a Warm, Genuine Smile For All.
Teresa really has her finger on the pulse of this entire Project. If you need to know anything - this is the gal to see. Although she spends most of her time in the 'Reception' area - Teresa job is much more than a receptionist and really is in touch with all aspects of keeping this place running as smoothly as it does. Thanks Teresa
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
We are not accepting any contributions for the Colonial News. Are Costs Are High Though. We have several Offers From Potential Sponsors and are considering them all for future issues.
However, during the interim period
You can Support This Effort By Volunteering To Make Copies for Our Neighbors. We will be very grateful for help from anyone with access to copiers and printers. And the costs are indeed tax deductible.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
Three Cheers for Our Building Staff and Maintenance Men
By Shawn Newman & Jerry Lombardo
Look, most of us know that we are not a fan of Maintenance knocking on our door to fix this or inspect that - We are folks who truly love our solitude and demand our privacy. However, [fast becoming one of our favorite words] These Guys Work Very Hard and are Clearly Dedicated To Their Careers. In the winter, Nick and Tony up before everyone else out there moving that snow. Tony, shoveling, salting, clearing our walks and Nick driving the plow truck. These may be annoying sounds to some, but we welcome them. They are a blessing to many because we know it will be safe for us to walk easily in and out of the buildings. Thanks Guys.
Let's not forget the cleaning staff too, who work tirelessly to keep the buildings sparkling and get paid nothing. Good Work! Thank You. We Do Notice!èè
Calendar of Events
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Nominations - Last Day is May 10,2002
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Share some of your best jokes. We can all use a smile.J
205 Saint Peters Ave
Rome, New York 13440
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Colonial News is a Publication of :
Yes! We Deliver, Inc.
A Non-Profit Corporation
Serving People Who Cannot Help Themselves.
Rome, New York 13440