Community Collaboration Addresses Hot Spot

By TK Singleton

When residents and officers of the West Farms Area were faced with  the recurring issue of prostitution, the community worked with the 48th Precinct to address the issue through the criminal justice system, including working with Bronx Community Solution's alternatives to prostitution program that screes women engaged in prostitution for histories of sexual assault and domestic violence. 
Recently, the was a New York Times article about this area. It brought to light how prostitution affected the community at large (both parents and children). The article spoke about a particular area that was occupied by the women and had an absentee landlord. This space was directly accross the street from a school.
Within days of this article, many organizations came together and worked on how we could address this issue in an aggressive and innovative way. The Mayor’s Office Community Affairs Unit and The Forty-Eight Precinct called a meeting with Bronx Community Solutions, Sanitation, Environmental Protection Agency and DCAS. In this meeting we worked on both long term and short term strategies to address this issue.
Together we all worked on cleaning and fencing the area. Enclosing that area means there is no place for business! The fence has been up for a little over two months now, at the last Precinct Council meeting no one spoke about prostitution. Prior to this initiative, prostitution would be the first thing the community would mention, now it seems a distant memory. 


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"The Rock"! I will never forget cleaning up this area. This one is defintitely a complicated challenge and it's good to see that it's getting comprehensive attention. Can you include a link to the Times article? I'd be interested to read it.
Mandy Restivo said…
Here is the link.
Neil said…
That is really cool that a community realizes a problem and decides to act together on it. Great article.