With the holidays in full swing and so much to be grateful for, Kate and I are humbly reaching out to ask for your help - let's get our neighbor Stanley back on his feet!
There is a gentleman who has been sleeping on a stoop on near our Tribeca apartment . He has permission from the landlord of that building to construct his shelter there nightly, which he does with great care and consideration, between the hours of 9 pm and 4 am. He does not loiter or hang out there at any other time.
His name is Naga “Stanley," he is from India and was here on a work visa (expired) as a pharmacist’s assistant until he lost his job in 2013. He was evicted in 2014 and has spent the past 18-24 months on the street. He sometimes goes to Belview Shelter, but he does not feel safe there. When its too cold, he sleeps in the subway station. He maintained a gym membership at a public park facility to keep personal hygiene and wash his clothes in the locker room. He lost his membership in June and had been going to the river front to clean his personal items and bathe. Upon learning this, we gave him enough money to renew his membership and he can now shower and wash his clothes.
Stanley is a kind, gracious and thoughtful neighbor. He is always concerned for Kate and me when he doesn’t see us for a night or two. Always wondering if the baby was born, if one of us got sick etc. When Kate got sick recently, he was emotional and deeply concerned, repeatedly said “Is there anything I can do for you?” He has offered on multiple occasions to work for us in any way, including babysitting our son. We politely decline these offers but are committed to feeding him as often as we can and offering him modest financial support. We slip him $20-50 a week, grab him snacks (ginger ale) from a local store, and bring him meals as often as we can. He was mugged several months ago and lost most of his belongings that included his passport. He has been actively petitioning the Indian Consulate to restore his passport, but this process has been onerous and he expects it will be at least another month. His remaining belongings are strapped to his bicycle, which he rides around the city daily with his helmet.
We set our $8,000 goal by budgeting for the ~100 days we fear he'll need to get by in the winter before he can get home (including hostel fees, food, etc).
It is hard to express in a note how kind and sincere this man is. He has made a profound impact on our family and our daily routine. He has become a friend and we feel it is our obligation to help him the best we can. It is much easier to just walk by our many suffering neighbors outside, but his character has made it impossible for us to turn away. We can achieve far more with the support of wonderful other neighbors who surely pass him too..
We will purchase his ticket home when his passport is restored, but in the mean time, we are afraid of the cold. We want to set him up with a bed for the foreseeable future, and especially through the holidays. Hostels are a great option for up to 2 weeks at a time (per policy)— he can hop between them until we find something that could be more long term (if needed- pending passport). Also, he really wants to work. His work visa is expired and he could not afford to renew it. If you or anyone you know are aware of odd jobs or things he can do, he would be so grateful. Or, if you know of anyone who works in the restaurant business (preferably South Asian), we know from organizations this is a viable labor option for people in his position…
We have alerted Tribeca Citizen and it has already led to a stream of concerned neighbors in other buildings and with grassroots organization connections. However, due to his demographic (undocumented, middle aged man), there is little to nothing at his disposal other than the shelter system. We encourage you to introduce yourself and would appreciate your teamwork.
Just follow up with me (contact the organizer) if you want to go meet him or additonal resources or suggestions.
With much gratitude,
kate and michael
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