Wow. I just wanted to share this powerful 5-part story written by New York Times investigative reporter Andrea Elliott about a young girl named Dasani, one of 22,000 kids living in homeless shelters in New York. The teachers at her school see incredible potential in this spunky 11-year-old who lives with seven siblings and her parents in a small room in homeless shelter in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
It’s worth a read. My own family hails from East New York, Brooklyn where Dasani’s godmather lives and where part of her story takes place. My dad was born in East New York, became a window installer ,and then started up his own window factory there. He ran his business there for 40 years. While he moved our family out to the suburbs of Long Island, he still drove into East New York every day and would often tell me stories about the high crime rates, the poverty and the families living under squalid conditions there. He became friends with many people in the neighborhood and provided employment to several.
I would drive in with him into the factory a few times a year and it always seemed like a world so far away from my own.
Dasani’s story is heartwrenching, but ends on a hopeful note. She loves her school and it seems the principal and teachers are doing their best to work with the girl and her family. Elliott writes: Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts has suffered its own troubles under the Bloomberg administration: a shrinking budget and fewer teachers. Dasani shuttles between Auburn and McKinney, just two blocks apart. They form the core of her life and the bedrock of her future, one that is in peril
Photo credit: Ruth Fremson
Please read the story. It’s long, five parts, but worth the time. I’d love to hear your feedback!!