Discover Bed-Stuy Opens the Door to Services

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By Amelia Rawlins
“A labor of love” is how chair of the planning team and coach of The Bedford-Stuyvesant Youth, Education and Safety Task Force, Brenda Fryson, described the hard work put towards the Sixth Annual Discover Your Neighborhood Resource and Safety Expo.

The informational event held last Thursday, June 7 at Boys and Girls High School featured about 100 community partners, set with a merchant’s circle, food court, in-depth workshops and all the information a community could want and need.

“The intent is to bring resources to the people in this community,” Fryson said. “Many times our people #1, don’t have access to services or #2, they have difficulty negotiating the system. So it was very important to have the resources right here where they can walk and go directly to the services; it’s a wonderful opportunity to get answers in your own home.”

In attendance were: Interfaith Medical Center, Brownstoner’s of Bedford-Stuyvesant, the NAACP, NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs, Youth Arts Academy, City Harvest, Medgar Evers College, Covenant House and National Grid, just to name a few. Community partners including homemade jewelry makers, Avon and restaurants such as Beso and Sugarhill Supperclub also lent a hand in the expo.

According to Fryson, the success of the event was owed to the partners, agencies, Boys and Girls High School and Council member Albert Vann, who funded the event. “We couldn’t do any of this without that kind of support,” she said.

Council member Albert Vann was truly overjoyed at the success of the expo and believes that this was an indication of how great Bed-Stuy is becoming again.

“This event is awesome. It’s what I work for; for our neighborhood to come out to engage and for all the providers in our community to realize how strong we are as a community,” Vann said. “You would be surprised how many people don’t realize the resources that are available to them in their neighborhood and they think they have to go someplace else. Whatever you need we can probably help you get it or refer you to where it is available.”

As participants walked away with tons of materials and information about health, safety, community assistance and programs, the occasion proved to be successful, especially for resident Renyah Alexander.
“I am glad for the turnout,” she said. “People need to be informed about their health and education. A lot of people I know, don’t know about these opportunities, that’s why I take a lot of pamphlets, I take a bag to make people around me aware as well.”

Towards the evening, everyone was invited inside to the Gala Community Celebration of Boys and Girls High School, “Making The Return To Greatness,” which celebrated the school and other efforts in the area; a sure conclusion to end such a historic event.