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Sunnyside Moms Donate Carloads of Toys, Clothing, Baby Items to Families in Neighborhood Shelter Site

The Best Western at 38-05 Hunters Point Ave., where the DHS has rented out all its rooms to shelter homeless families since late September. (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

Nov. 27, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez

A donation drive pulled off by a group of Sunnyside mothers resulted in carloads upon carloads of winter jackets, toys, and clothing delivered to families currently sheltered at the Best Western hotel on Hunters Point Avenue.

Members of Sunnyside Moms, a group of neighborhood mothers founded in 2004, spearheaded the effort to bring much-needed items to the families at the site on 38-05 Hunters Point Ave., which has been in use by the Department of Homeless Services since late September.

The shelter, which came as a surprise to many in the community, will eventually house families in all of the hotel’s 82 rented rooms, 64 of which were immediately in use.

Susan Bachman, a member of Sunnyside Moms, said she was annoyed at the uproar and complaints made by the community and members of the group over the DHS using the hotel to shelter homeless families, perceiving the comments as hypocritical and unhelpful.

“Everyone talks about wanting to help, but when the time comes, no one wants anything to do with it,” Bachman said.

A couple of mothers took heed to Bachman’s post, and together began to take steps to figure out what the families at the location needed most. After conversations with the DHS, the mothers began collecting winter coats for children and adults, books, toys, and clothing for babies and children—most of which are between 6 and 11 years old at the site—in early November.

After about two weeks of collection, where three mothers volunteered to host drop off sites, the donated items were ready to be sent to the families in the morning of Nov. 19.

“It was just such a massive amount of stuff,” said Bachman, who drove back and forth from the drop off points to the shelter using her own car.

With the help of one other car, a total of five trips were made in the jam-packed cars between the drop off spots and the Best Western location. “The generosity was just incredible,” Bachman said.

The group plans on holding more donation drives to help the families, and is intent on bringing bookshelves to create a small library at the site’s lobby for the residents.

The Sunnyside Moms group also hopes to hold a welcome event, like a potluck party, for the site’s families sometime in mid-December.

115 Comments

LIC Neighbor

Every day, we should all do a good deed and perform an act of kindness, seeking no recognition, without fanfare and publication. Continue your good work as it is much needed as Department of Homeless Services has leased the Best Western through the year 2023 with a stipulation for conversion to a permanent shelter beyond 2023. There are plans in place with DOB/DHS to obtain a variance and use the airspace above the Sunnyside Library on 43rd Street and Greenpointe Ave to construct a community homeless shelter and two other venues in the area have been slated to house homeless families with the construction of yet another hotel which broke ground several days ago adjacent to the YMCA on Qns Blvd which will likely become another hotel to house the homeless. So Sunnyside Moms your organization should be very busy in the near future. Maybe you can seize this opportunity to become a Not For Profit, a Qualified Designated Entity, draw a mission plan, apply for grants, receive city funds and operate as a business providing services to DHS, it’s very lucrative. All the best.




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Sue

So many sick, bitter and twisted people on here. I’m withdrawing from further comments before any more of you try to poison me with your hate. Unlike so many of you, I have a productive, full life to lead – which I will continue to do with gratitude and kindness towards my fellow human beings, including yourselves. No matter how low you try to knock what was done here, it will never change the joy that comes in the doing and the giving. Sadly, most of you will never know that. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.




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Beat it Susie Q

Bye bye Sue!!! Go bake some Gluten Free cookies so you can have something to eat while you watch your cartoons.




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LIC Neighbor

A wonderful Mitzvah – Mazel Tov! and in the process you have uncluttered your homes and got rid of your junk. Potluck dinners with our new homeless neighbors to rotate from home to home of the sunnyside moms a great idea but don’t be Mesuganah.

When we want to help the poor, we usually offer them charity. Most often we use charity to avoid recognizing the problem and finding the solution for it. This is the case here with dropping off clothing and items at the BW hotel by the sunnyside moms institution. Charity becomes a way to shrug off our responsibility.The Charity of the sunnyside moms does nothing to remedy the situation. But charity is no solution to poverty. Charity only perpetuates poverty by taking the initiative away from the poor. Charity allows us to go ahead with our own lives without worrying about the lives of the poor and homeless. Charity appeases our consciences. It is easy to be conspicuously ‘compassionate’ by driving back and forth to the drop off sites, picking up the goods and dropping them off for all to see, then having it published, very altruistic.

We are being forced to pay the cost of housing the families to the tune which will exceed $200 million dollars this year alone, enriching the owners of the shelters and hotels which the city has contracted with throughout the city. The homeless are being warehoused on the backs of NYC taxpayers with the blessings of our Mayor Bill “Wilhem Warner” DiBlasio. I am all for true affordable subsidized housing for these families have them pay $350, $400 $500 per month for a decent housing not a crappy $5000 per month hotel room facing a highway paid for by the city with our tax dollars, this is the tue crime and no one seems to get it…




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Sue

LIC Neighbor. While I agree wholeheartedly with you about the housing crisis I think it’s rude and insulting to mock what we’ve done here. The only real solution is a change in politics and policy but since that isn’t immediately possible supplying a bunch of families in need with toys and warm coats for winter is not hurting anyone. When I started this back in October I had no intention of having an article written. I was just angry about all the negative reactions to these families moving into the area (including around 150 children) from a neighborhood that considered itself progressive and active. I wanted to help some human beings who were down on their luck, not get in the Sunnyside Post or put my “compassion” on display. I drove back and forth weeks before I was ever contacted by the article’s author and it’s presumptuous and arrogant and just downright nasty of you to suggest otherwise. Tell me, what are YOU doing to change things from behind your keyboard?




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Sue

As I read through your comments Pearl, I realized something. You actually sound jealous that the teeny little SSP newspaper got wind of something nice that was done in the hood and decided to write about it. A bit twisted are we? Pathetic. I’m not entertaining your ignorance any longer. Happy Holidays.




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Sue

As I read through your comments Pearl, I realized something. You actually sound jealous that the teeny little SSP newspaper got wind of something nice that was done in the hood and decided to write about it. A bit twisted are we? Pathetic. I’m not entertaining your ignorance any longer. Happy Holidays.




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Roberto

So many people default to their instincts – to pick apart, edit, and criticize.

Few actually initiate and “do.” … LIC Neighbor makes fair points, but offers no evidence for their actions. I’m not surprised.

These moms have done leaps and bounds more than commenter trolls would even think of doing.




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Progressive Sue

Hey Sue, Go back to Starbucks and drink your Chai Latte. Then get in your Non-American Toyota Prius Snowflakemobiles, load it up with your homeless pals and take them to your progressive mommy and daddy in Maine or whatever little crap town you came from.




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Sue

FYI – I grew up here. I came from poverty and my family basically lives paycheck to paycheck now. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Just another judgemental moron making assumptions. I would be more than happy to host a homeless individual or family in my very own living room and give them a place to stay if needed. You know nothing about me or my life so go crawl back under your rock.




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Bruno

Another ridiculous value free post by a gullible brainwashed know nothing blowhard. Thank you Fox News, Slob Lmbaugh and NY Post for unleashing another uniformed blowhard. You and what you call useful idiots are doing a great deal of harm to this country.




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Annab

Hey @ProgressiveSue – I was part of this team, and I’m born and raised in here, and have never owned a car. So crawl back in your hole. You seriously don’t know what you’re talking about.




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Flying Carpet

Annab why don’t you get on your flying carpet and give some of these homeless people a lift to work.




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Sue

What you don’t know is a lot. Or should I say what you assume is a lot. I came from here. I grew up poor and i’m certainly far from well to do now. You just look like a fool and you’re a joke to me. Take your assumptions and your judgements and go back in whatever hole you crawled out from.




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Pearl cream

Didn’t the French aristocracy donate bread to the peasants and then pat themselves on the back to show how virtuous they are ? Again why don’t you invite the occpants of the hotel to your home ? And btw lots of us donate to charity but we recognize it as just a gesture




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Sue

You’re another one who doesn’t know me or my life. Aristocracy. What a joke. Because I was contacted by SSP over this particular gesture you assume it’s the only charitable thing I do. You assume because i’m a member of SunnyMoms I have disposable income. You assume I wouldn’t or haven’t already invited the homeless into my own home. You judge my motivations, my virtue and my life without ever having exchanged a single word with me. That’s a lot of assumptions and judgements. And a lot of making an ass out of yourself. To me you’re just a joke. Continue on with your miserable little life. Ciao.




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Ugh...Sunnyside Post Commenters are the Worst!

You make no sense. Why don’t you offer up half of your living room for weeks to accept donations to whatever cause you think is important. Then give up a day delivering it. It’s not so easy but guess what, despite what you might think, it makes a real impact for people in need. Maybe you would be less cranky.




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Annab

@Pearl Cream. Read the article. We are inviting them. These are our neighbors, and we welcome them as such. If you don’t want to, fine. But why ask us what we’re doing when we’ve already said so.




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Pearl Cream

Thank you -agree totally. I maintain that a lot of these donations, although well intended, are done to signal how “virtuous” and “caring” the Sunnyside Moms are. And yes, the problem is only going to get bigger. This is like shuffling a homeless person from one corner to another – it does not solve the problem. And, now be prepared to be told that you are “heartless”.




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Sue

Neither myself, the other 5 women who helped me, nor anyone who donated was looking for any acknowledgement or to appear “virtuous”. We ran this drive weeks ago in an effort to help and make some families feel welcome in the face of a lot of backlash from the community and were only contacted by the SSP a couple days ago. You sound bitter and full of loathing that you would try and turn a heartfelt deed into a play for attention. What exactly are YOU doing to make a difference with your hateful comments from behind your keyboard?




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Not a cheapo or a creepo

It’s sad when you know before looking the exact direction the comments will go for a story with good intentions. Happy holidays to everyone, even those with mean spirits.




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Mary L

Kooky commenter trolls have hate in their hearts and live sad lives.

They’re busy on here, but not in the real world. They get a quick jolt of self-satisfaction by putting others down, and feeling superior. But they quickly go back to their empty life.

Thankfully they’re a minority in terms of the population of Sunnyside, which is a great neighborhood. I suspect that only a handful of folks are responsible for 80% of the awful comments, and they probably don’t even live in the area.

They’re anonymous, and cowardly.




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rikki

This maybe the only way to prevent break ins loitering and harassment………..a few people in the areas are getting nervous of the strange people walking around




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Sue

What strange people? This is NYC. 99% of the people you see on the street are strangers. This makes absolutely no sense. Unless, of course, they are referring to people of color and in that case they’re just a racist POS and they need to STFU.




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Brian johnson

Just because you come from a religion that thinks it supreme ethically and monetary it doesn’t give you the right to dictate people’s opinions.




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WOODSIDE61ST

Make homeless shelters great again – Sunnysiders

Pathetic but when these homeless people start robbing and mugging people at the potluck you guys will change your mind about them




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Words Matter People

If any of the trolls on this website were unmasked, I wonder how many of them would stand by the offensive comments that they have made.




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Sue

They wouldn’t make a peep. They only have any resemblance to balls because they’re hidden behind a keyboard with an anonymous handle. Disgusting, sick and heartless people who have nothing positive in their lives or any chance at such. Much less the care and willingness to reach out and be kind to another human being.




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Biddy Troll

Absolutely. The amount of hate for our fellow humans is astounding. Jesus will deal with them. And he’s pissed.




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Sue

I really hope that none of you on here with your negativity and nastiness ever find yourself in a position where you’re at risk of losing your home or needing someone’s help. With real estate prices as high as they’re getting and wages as low as they are, many of us aren’t much more than a hope and a prayer away from being in the same position. Try getting up from behind your computer and going out and helping another human being. It will do a world of good for your shallow, hateful hearts.




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Mac

May I suggest free membership to Sunnyside Gardens Park for our new neighbors…How about a welcome to the neighborhood get together at JVB’s house..I do recall he had a cookies and milk get together in the past! .Would be a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays!




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Sue

Sunnyside Community Services has made their open spots in Pre-K available to them. Some people live by decency rather than malice.




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Anonymous

I think the Sunnyside Moms should invite the families to their homes in Sunnyside Gardens for play dates. That would be a wonderful real gesture as opposed to a visit to what is going to become a segregated no go zone. It’s easy to “feel good” from afar – not so easy from close up. It is a nice gesture to donate clothing and toys: but all it is is a gesture. How about some real mixing with the huddled masses?




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Sue

I guess you didn’t actually read the article. The welcome party will be held in a venue outside the shelter. Right smack in the middle of town. Take your sarcasm and crappy attitude and crawl back in your hole where you can peer out in fear and hate at children and families who have fallen on hard times.




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Anonymous

You don’t know me or anything about me. I grew up in poverty so stop making assumptions and being judgemental.




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Pearl Cream

“Welcome party?” $5,000 a month in a motel would be a welcome to a couple of apartment rentals – at least. No offense, but you sound like the French aristocracy before the French Revolution.The answer is not warehousing in motels/hotels.




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Bruno

The Tree of Liberty- Again you show your lack of knowledge on the topic you are writing in about. These women are all in constant communication with their baby daddy’s.




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Bruno

And you’re a Fox News and Rush Linbaugh parrot. Not an original idea in any of the inane posts you have posted to this blog.




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Jimmywearsapinkhat

Well everybody knows you use working class names from 40 years ago to try and sound tough,but we all know you still live mom.




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Bruno

Still doesn’t change the fact you’re a parrot. When I was growing up “tough” was determined by actions not someone’s name. People posting here are absolutely correct in their assessment of you.




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Bruno

Bruno Mars
Peter Gene Hernandez, professionally known by his stage name Bruno Mars, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer,
Bruno Sammartino
Bruno Leopoldo Francesco Sammartino is an Italian-born retired American professional wrestler. He is best known for his work …more
Bruno Ganz is a Swiss actor, known for his roles as Damiel in Wings of Desire, as Adolf Hitler in Downfall and as Professor .
Bruno of Cologne was the founder of the Carthusian Order, personally founded the order’s first two communities.
Bruno Conti is a former Italian football player and manager of Serie A club Roma from 14 March 2005 to 30 June 2005.
Bruno Tonioli is an Italian choreographer, dancer and TV personality who appears as a judge on the British television dance
Bruno Leonardo Gelber is an Argentine classical pianist.
Bruno Delbonnel
Yes a list of working class people named Bruno. Please stop trolling you’re just way too stupid.




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Amy

What an amazing gesture and a great example of the compassionate people in Sunnyside. Sue, you should be really proud of organizing this.




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The Tree of Liberty

Nice deed .I thank you… I just wish these homeless mothers with their free goverment phones would call these dead beat dads to chip in… we should be collecting dads instead of coats.. any volunteers.




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Sunnyside

Good. Hopefully they will gentrify your sorry, stingy, miserable ass right out of this neighborhood.




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Bruno

Carbie Barbie- The jerk who goes around posting childish terms like “snow flake” and other 5th grade taunts that they were instructed to use when the argument or discussion has been lost, by the obese drug addicted gas bag slob Limbaugh is a great example of the low IQ low performing audience Slob Limbaugh and Fox News appeal to.




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Fan of doughboy park

If you think Sunnyside is full of hipsters, you are possibly the most culturally out of touch person here.




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Biddy Troll

I’ve seen a few epic beards and tats but nothing along the lines of Williamsburg or Bushwick. People have been complaining about hipsters in this hood for years but there just not here. I think they don’t like white folk with disposable income.




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Anonymous

I’m proud to have such good people in our midst! Keep us posted about future collections. We all have good things.




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Carbie Barbie

If I vote to like this comment, does it mean I like you or dislike you? Or is it just about the comment?

I’m so confused.




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Carbie Barbie

Let’s get some facts into this conversation. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-quigley/ten-facts-about-homelessn_b_5977946.html

Fact 1: Over half a million people are homeless. On any given night, there are over 600,000 homeless people in the U.S., according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Most people are spending the night either in homeless shelters or in some sort of short-term transitional housing. Slightly more than a third are living in cars or under bridges or are in some other way living unsheltered.

Fact 2: One quarter of homeless people are children. HUD reports that on any given night, over 138,000 of the homeless in the U.S. are children under the age of 18. Thousands of these homeless children are unaccompanied, according to HUD. Another federal program, No Child Left Behind, defines “homeless children” more broadly and includes not just those living in shelters or transitional housing but those who are sharing the housing of other persons due to economic hardship; living in cars, parks, bus or train stations; or awaiting foster-care placement. Under this definition, the National Center for Homeless Education reported in September 2014 that local school districts reported there are over 1 million homeless children in public schools.

Fact 3: Tens of thousands of veterans are homeless. Over 57,000 veterans are homeless each night, according to HUD. Sixty percent of them are in shelters, the rest unsheltered. Nearly 5,000 are female.

Fact 4: Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness among women. According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP), more than 90 percent of homeless women are victims of severe physical or sexual abuse, and escaping that abuse is a leading cause of their homelessness.

Fact 5: Many people are homeless because they cannot afford rent. The lack of affordable housing is a primary cause of homelessness, according to the NLCHP. HUD has seen its budget slashed by over 50 percent in recent decades, resulting in the loss of 10,000 units of subsidized low-income housing each and every year.

Fact 6: There are fewer places for poor people to rent than before. According to the NLCHP, one eighth of the nation’s supply of low-income housing has been permanently lost since 2001. The U.S. needs at least 7 million more affordable apartments for low-income families, and as a result, millions of families spend more than half of their monthly income on rent.

Fact 7: In the last few years millions have lost their homes. Over 5 million homes have been foreclosed on since 2008; that’s one out of every 10 homes with a mortgage. This has caused even more people to search for affordable rental property.

Fact 8: The government does not help as much as you think. There is enough public rental assistance to help about one out of every four extremely low-income households. Those who do not receive help are on multi-year waiting lists. For example, Charlotte just opened up their applications for public housing assistance for the first time in 14 years, and over 10,000 people applied.

Fact 9: One in five homeless people suffers from untreated severe mental illness. While about 6 percent of the general population suffers from severe mental illness, 20 to 25 percent of the homeless suffer from severe mental illness, according to government studies. Half of this population self-medicate and are at further risk for addiction and poor physical health. A University of Pennsylvania study tracking nearly 5,000 homeless people for two years discovered that investing in comprehensive health support and treatment of physical and mental illnesses is less costly than incarceration, shelter and hospital services for the untreated homeless.

Fact 10: Cities are increasingly making homelessness a crime. A 2014 survey of 187 cities by the NLCHP found that 24 percent of cities make it a city-wide crime to beg in public, 33 percent make it illegal to stand around or loiter anyplace in the city, 18 percent make it a crime to sleep anywhere in public, 43 percent make it illegal to sleep in your car, and 53 percent make it illegal to sit or lie down in particular public places. And the number of cities criminalizing homelessness is steadily increasing.




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Sue

Thank you for this. Do you happen to have any stats on how many are employed? I’m of the understanding that a great many homeless adults are gainfully employed but just can’t afford the escalating rents.




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Bruno

Sue- If you’re gainfully employed then you move to a place you can afford. I had to do it, all my friends and relatives had to do it, it’s not the end of the world. Many of the people I grew up with here in Sunnyside moved upstate and commute to their jobs down here in the city.




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Bruno

Sue- I have to disagree and I know I was once there. A forty hour a week minimum wage job in NYC (5 boroughs) $10.50 x 40 hours = $420.00 a week which comes out to $21,840.00 per year divided by 12 months = $1,820.00 a month. I realize the salary figures are gross amounts. According to ‘Apartments.com Apartments in Cypress Hills, East NY and City Line: Expect to spend approximately $1,100 per month in rent for a one-bedroom apartment, two-bedroom $1,650.00 per month. With this salary depending on the number of dependents you’re entitled to aid for assistance in the form of rent and food subsidies.Companies should be paying a living wage section 8, EBT, WIC etc are actually subsidies that are indirectly paid to companies which allow companies to keep more of there profits and reduce there payroll expenses at the taxpayer expense. This is a separate discussion. For the most part many people ( I didn’t say all) are in the system as an”emergency case” to get to the front of the line for benefits like housing vouchers and NYCHA. When I was a kid in Sunnyside in the 60’s my uncle lost his job as a supt., his wife and 3 kids stayed with us for over a year until they got on their feet again and got a new place. These situations are not new. Like I said I was there. In the late 70’s me and my girlfriend “were in the family way” during our senior year in high school at LIC. We both had jobs at A&P and Wetson’s (Burger joint on Queens Blvd. where Boston Market is now.). We got a run down apartment we could afford on those salaries in Ravenswood, fixed it up with family help, oh it was only one bedroom. Later married,5 years later my wife graduated Queens College and I finished a union apprenticeship. 7 years later had second child moved back to a better neighborhood. No asking the gov’t for help. Our families were there just like we are here today for our family. The mentally ill homeless are a completely different matter. I am not trying to take away from your act of generosity and compassion.Thank you for listening and reading. Like I said not being able to afford a home where you want to live because your salary is low or you’re just starting out is not the end of the world.




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Annab

@Bruno, I did address your points. You were using yourself as a comparison, when the issues are quite different. The National Low Income Housing study has shown there are NO states in which minimum wage would cover basic housing, and the Coalition for the Homeless has stated lack of access to affordable housing is the #1 cause of Homelessness in NYC. You say “move to a place you can afford” but the point is, there aren’t such places. @Mark I grew up in NYC in the 70’s and my dad worked for the (yes, bankrupt) city. While I did take NYC history in college, I didn’t need that decade, because I lived it. Since 1980 rents in NYC have increased 70% while inflation adjusted incomes have only increased 22%, with widening disparity. So while I might not need a history class, you might need some basic statistics and math brush up.




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Carbie Barbie

I just googled and came up with the article I posted. I’m sure you could find some if you just looked around for a while.




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Annab

@Bruno – You said “in the late 70s.” Since then, wages have stayed flat. Completely stagnant. Meanwhile, the cost of housing, health care, and education have all increased between 300% and 1,000% according to every major economic institute. It may seem like what was possible for you is possible for others, but not even counting issues of health (health crises are the #1 cause of bankruptcy), domestic violence (#1 cause of homelessness in women, which I’m assuming you are not one), the economics today are totally different from when you were dealing with your own issues.




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Bruno

AnnaB- My post is real world wages and real world rents and real world rental markets. I am well aware of the issue of stagnant wages. Minimum wage was probably harder to live on in the 70’s because there were less supplementary support like food stamps WIC section 8 housing and EBT. Your wages had to cover everything. As you can see by my posts I’m left of center. Spending $5K a month on welfare hotels is tax payer theft. Even with minimum wage there are housing options in the city. We didn’t want to move to Ravenswood it was industrial and ugly but we did. Please address the points made in my post instead of steering off topic.




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Mike

@AnnaB- take a history class. NYC in the 70’s was bankrupt crime riddled and getting poorer with each coming day with resident and business flight. If you can’t afford a particular area on your salary then you need to move to one you can afford plain and simple. Many of us want to live on Central Park West but don’t demand the govt build housing there that we could afford then put us up until it’s built.




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David

AnnaB – One economic factor that remains the same is when what you take in (income) and it covers what goes out (expenses), the basic income statement. There is a net cash flow and this is before Govt subsidies. Bruno’s post proves this pretty simply.




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Art Gillespie

Your the reason there should be a character limit here. No one wants to read a book. Make your point and get going. Loser.




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Common Sense

I actually learned something reading that post versus reading your post. Your post was hard to read because you’re not using proper English. Resorting to name calling is really immature too. Maybe you’re in second grade and then it all makes sense why you’re spelling things wrong. Maybe you should read more books.




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John John

Common Sense – “You’re spelling things wrongly.” The act (verb) of wrong. Adding -ly to the end of an noun turns the word into an adjective. The adjectives now have the meaning of “like (the noun), or something that is characteristic of (the noun)”.




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Bruno

Art- if you think it’s too long don’t read it. The rest of us would like to make up our own minds about reading the post instead of having a person who finds reading more then 280 characters too taxing make that decision for us.




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Carbie Barbie

Hi Art. Here are some quick points:

1. You should have written “you’re,” not your.
2. Many people enjoy reading books. You might like it if you try.
3. Calling someone a “loser” after your little spelling mix up is kind of ironic.

Is that better?




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Anonymous

“20 to 25 percent of the homeless suffer from severe mental illnesses” Right and you want to put them in a hotel across the street from my house. Bite me!




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Anonymous

and alot of the homeless are from out of state also that is what the mayor wants he tells them to come to NYC where everything is free but we the working people keep on paying and paying




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Carbie Barbie

That’s a fair point and I know that can’t be a comfortable thing to face.

Our society, the richest in the history of the world, should be able to come up with something better than that.




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