͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ 
Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Greater Harlem Coalition Logo

September 28, 2022


"Why are these people not getting the services they need that they are sitting on sidewalks next to schools and homes while using. What are you doing to address this?"

In early August, GHC reached out to its 1800+ members and asked a few simple questions including, “What would you’d like to say to our elected officials regarding the systemic oversaturation of Harlem? What has its impact been on you, your family, your neighbors, and your community?”

In the responses, GHC members spoke of deep concern for their community and how life has changed for them. Two weeks ago we began sharing your voices on how oversaturation has impacted your community and your families. This week we share your concern for those who are in crisis and the need to get them effective help. 

Many spoke with concern for those facing mental health crises, homelessness, and drug dependency – and the fact that they are clearly not getting the help they need.

Here is what they said:

    • “There are many people in need of drug rehabilitation and the current plan does not rehabilitate but only increases the growing problem. I understand the ideas behind it, but one look at Vancouver and you can learn from history that it creates a neighborhood of drug addicts and does little to address the problems. It's a cheap band aid, and Harlem is the chosen dumping ground. We need support for a fair share of drug clinics and more funds for homelessness.”
    • “Our communities are hurting, and our people need help. The solution is not found in more police and demonstrations of power. Instead, we need to fund groups that work directly with our at-risk populations. Educators, nurses, counselors, and any public service worker should be paid a high rate of pay and receive benefits and respect that those who make over six figures a year receive. If overworking teachers and pumping out more police officers is your answer, then perhaps provide them with comprehensive mental health care and coverage. Provide paid professional developments and in-services on mental health first aid or how to address the growing hurt and pain we see in our community. We need connection and support…”
    • “We are routinely accosted by people who are in need of help with substance use or mental health issues, including people passed out in front of our homes and defecating on the street in daylight. No one wants to call 911 even when someone is unconscious because we all fear police escalating the situation and someone being shot when what they need is help. You must make this burden equal across communities so that others can see and understand the devastation it causes to the individuals who need help, local businesses and our economy.”
    • “My pregnant partner has been threatened multiple times by narcotics users publicly injecting themselves. Why are these people not getting the services they need that they are sitting on sidewalks next to schools and homes while using. What are you doing to address this?”

    Harlem is begging our elected representatives to act.

    • “We need less people shooting up in our sidewalks, less needles on our streets, less dealers on our sidewalks!!”
    • “Spend one day on 124th between Lenox and Adam Clayton Powell and you'll see how bad it is. Or any of the other blighted areas in Harlem. These are communities whose residents deserve much better.”
    • “We must do something it's affecting our lives and public safety is important. I myself got pushed from behind and fell and was black and blue on my face.”
    • “Harlem has had treatment programs packed into our community for decades while wealthier and whiter neighborhoods repeatedly block them. What have you done about this?”
    • “HELP!”

    GHC will share our collective responses with our elected officials including our Harlem and East Harlem City Council members. You can also share your experiences with Council Members Jordan (Central Harlem) and Ayala (East Harlem) directly.

    Image description
    Image description


    Visit Our Table At Party-On-Park - Sunday Oct. 2, 12-4pm

    Image description

    #PartyOnPark is coming back this fall! Bike, walk, skate or scoot under & along the #ParkAvenueViaduct from 115th to 125th streets — with plenty of family-friendly fun at each cross-street along the way. 


    GHC will be staffing a table - at Park Ave and 120th Street - where we'll give out information and handouts, while also encouraging neighbors to sign our petition and join this mailing list.


    If you are able to help staff the GHC table for an hour or two, please email us at:


    [email protected]


    Head here for the Party on Park lineup and free tix: https://eventbrite.com/e/party...


    Racial Bias in Perceptions of Overdose Rates

    In American culture and politics, drug use, drug dealing, and drug overdosing have 

    (for decades) been assumed to be linked to Black communities. This belief is so deeply ingrained that many Americans (including New Yorkers) unhesitatingly rationalize support for packing addiction programs and harm reduction services in communities of color as self-evidently serving a racial/community need. Meanwhile, drug overdosing - a devastating phenomenon - has quickly become routinely employed as the metric to address in popular and professional discourse around addiction treatment programs, safe consumption sites, harm reduction groups, and community public safety.


    However, the latest data from a New York City’s Department of Health report, EPI Data Brief on Unintentional Drug Poisoning (Overdose) Deaths in New York City in 2020, shows that the popular assumption that the opioid crisis is a Black crisis, is simply incorrect. There is no significant statistical difference in the rates of opioid-involved overdose deaths for Black, White, and Latino/a New Yorkers. 

    Image description

    (The only statistically valid anomaly is the rate found in the Asian/Pacific Islander community which is significantly lower at 3.3 per 100,000.)

    Read The Report From The New York City Department of Health


    Here Are Some Of Your (Maddeningly Fragmented) Reporting Options

    Or Text OnPoint's Syringe Pickup Crew:  718-415-3708

    New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported that


    5,577,761 syringes


    were distributed by providers in 2021

    If you want to unsubscribe, click here.