In the news
As a young man, Clifford Rowe played bass for Elvis Presley, performing on glittering stages across the United States.
As an old man, he slept on a park bench two blocks from his childhood home in Northeast Washington, wrapped in a military sleeping bag, his beloved guitars cinched to his waist with bungee cords.
In 1990, at the age of 29, I put together a small team to rescue a crumbling, bankrupt 1920s hotel in New York’s Times Square. The building was essentially a burned-out and infested flophouse, but our determined bunch restored it to its original splendor, eventually creating 652 studio apartments for low-income New Yorkers, especially those exiting homelessness.
In New York City, unemployment has fallen well below the 10%-plus peak it reached after the global financial meltdown and recession of 2008. While that’s hopeful news, it obscures a glaring divide: This recovery hasn’t benefitted the city’s neighborhoods equally. Take Brownsville, Brooklyn, for example, where only 56% of the working-age population is employed or actively looking for work, compared with 63% citywide.