Starting in January 2014, NHEMA began working with Association of Community Employment (ACE) to employ homeless individuals to clean the streets from Fifth to Third avenues between East 124th and 126th streets. In January 2016, we were able to hire one of these men full-time to be caretaker for our neighborhood.
Since the program's inception, more than 120,000 bags of trash have been collected. Over the course of three years we have planted some 2,000 flowers in the tree beds along East 125th Street and in the planters underneath the Metro-North viaduct at 125th Street & Park Avenue. We have also worked with the NYC Parks Department to get new trees planted in our street's empty tree beds.
Thanks to support from the Harlem Community Development Corporation and the NYC Economic Development Corporation, in 2016 we are able to add high-quality iron tree fences and new plants in the tree beds along East 125th Street that were installed by East Harlem small business Urban Garden Center.
This program has also received support from the NYC Department of Small Business' Neighborhood Challenge and the NY City Council's NYC Cleanup Initiative through City Council District 9.