BronxWorks, which helps communities across the borough with homeless issues, has honored their longtime director.
The organization’s main community center, at 1130 Grand Concourse, was renamed to honor longtime director Carolyn McLaughlin, who recently retired.
McLaughlin was at BronxWorks for 34 years, witnessing phenomenal growth over the past few years.
Attending the community center renaming reception on Thursday, Nov. 7, which included unveiling of the plaque in McLaughlin’s honor, were Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene and Michele Ovesey, New York City Department of Homeless Services commissioner.
The name change comes as the community center embarks on the first phase of a $2.1 million capital improvement program to make much needed upgrades to its facilities there.
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. allocated $500,000 to the project, and before she left the city council to work in the state Division of Human Rights, former Councilwoman Helen Diane Foster facilitated a $750,000 grant this summer.
Among those attending the ceremony – and praising McLaughlin – was east Bronx Community Board 10 chairman John Marano, who said that BronxWorks does a great job in providing the homeless outreach in the area.
“I can call them up at eleven o’clock at night and they will come out and check on a homeless person and try to convince them take shelter,” he said.
BronxWorks has done a great job in the past few years, he said, in helping homeless who used to be found in Keane Square and at other locations throughout the board service area.
Also attending from CB 10 was district manager Kenneth Kearns, who lauded the work BronxWorks has done to help ease the situation with homeless in the district.
“BronxWorks and its Outreach Team, headed by Rafael Acevedo, have been instrumental in assisting Community Board 10, offering services to those individuals who are in need of homes and counseling,” he said. “BronxWorks offers people in need an opportunity to obtain decent and coordinated housing and social services, which are offered in a nonthreatening and humanitarian manner.”
Kearns added: “To our Board’s mind, BronxWorks is an exemplary community service entity that has made vast and positive changes in the lives of the people that they have touched. We are grateful for their presence in our community and count them as valuable partners in the provision of public services.”