OneBlock UWS Expands To 500 Volunteers, Employs Former Homeless Men

OneBlock UWS was launched about two months ago to address the trash issue on the UWS. The group now has over 1,200 Facebook followers, and more importantly, over 500 volunteers who have claimed individual blocks which they’ve agreed to keep clean.

Approximately 98% of volunteers have taken streets along the avenues to clean up, as these are the streets which have been hit the hardest with litter.

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In addition to having individual volunteers claim specific blocks, the group has been organizing weekend cleanups which anyone can sign up for.

OneBlock has also started a new program through which they have employed three formerly homeless men with ACE New York to pick up trash and keep the trash cans from overflowing along Columbus, Amsterdam, and Broadway. These men are now receiving a full set of services through ACE including a 401k and healthcare.

oneblockuws volunteers

The group was founded by Ann Cutbill Lenane and Jake Russell. Lenane has sponsored the first month (covering the expenses of the three employees), and the group will soon announce a fundraiser to keep them operating for months down the line.

OneBlock UWS’ goal is to make this a long term program, both so that the men in the program have stable employment, and so that the neighborhood and businesses get continued support. The upcoming fundraiser will ask people to set up a recurring donations to keep the program stable.

Learn more about OneBlock UWS by following them on Facebook or Instagram.

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