The 44 men and women living with AIDS who call Bailey-Holt House their home are distraught. It’s 10 days since their home was struck by Sandy. It’s 7 days that they have been separated from each other.
The Bailey-Holt House community is a microcosm of NYC … black, white, Latino, Asian, straight, gay, lesbian, transgender, young and old. Many lived on the street before, surviving a life of violence, despair, drug use and mental illness. The glue that holds them together is community.
Scattered through NYC in evacuation shelters, temporary housing and long term care, residents are reliving the trauma of the past. Every day I get calls from them pleading to go back … at least to retrieve an item that will give some comfort. I have to say, “No”.
Patricia longs for the computer she abandoned that holds her photos; Peter needs his music to get through this time; Leon misses his favorite hoodie. It’s heartbreaking. I am stunned how each phone call tears me apart.
Bailey-Holt House is uninhabitable right now. We need to get it back. I want good news for our folks. They deserve nothing less. “The future starts with a place to live” was never truer.
I would like to extend a special thank-you to Speaker Christine Quinn, whose attention has been instrumental in getting a quick early assessment of the damage to the building. She and her staff have had our backs since the day before the storm.
Today, we still need your help to bring our friends back home. The response so far has been remarkable, but we have much further to go.
Please make a donation today to the Bailey-Holt House Emergency Fund (BHEF): your pledge will go directly to finance extensive repairs to the building in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Thank you, as always, for your overwhelming support and friendship when we need you most.