YONKERS, NY — September 16, 2019 — It was back on Sunday, August 11, 2019 when a fire coursed through every floor of the apartment house situated at 149 North Broadway displacing 86 adults, children, and pets. While the Department of Social Services, among operations intended to respond to those displaced, the task was costly and gargantuan in scope.
While most in the City of Yonkers and Westchester County governments did the best they could, it soon became evident that neither individually nor collectively, government was unprepared for the enormity and responsibility of responding to the 86 displaced adults, children, and pets who were traumatized by the ravenous fire, the despair that consumed their minds and those of their children, and as time lapsed, so did the prospect of their finding a solution as quickly as was needed.
It became evident that compassionate hearts were not bound to the needs of so many people. The need to find alternative housing was paramount. Gem Realty responded by finding housing from their stock of vacant apartment to meet the needs of the newly homeless. GEM Management Partners LLC, George, Edward & Michael (GEM) Nukho worked with each family. They did not charge a fee as others would. They helped by ameliorating references and credit worthiness and thereby were able to successfully shepherd more people to find and move into their new residences. Before coming to Gem Realty, the tenants displaced from 149 North Broadway were shown rat and roach infested dwellings to which they would not even consider making their new residence. Gem Realty’s choice of property ran a broad array of apartments that were clean, well-located, and safe. And so the former displaced and homeless people and their pets became tenants with the help of Gem Realty, whether it was market rate, or subsidized housing, the choices given the future tenants were vast.
San Souci Rehabilitation and Nursing Center was heavily engaged as well. In conjunction with Yonkers Doctors Care, and Gem Realty, they each dug deep into their pockets and did not blink at funding what they collectively realized were the most vulnerable of the displaced and newly homeless. It was the kids who would be most traumatized. The pets, too, even the adults. They accommodated all the children of those displaced with a surprise that was based on meeting the needs of entering the new school year with backpacks, shoes, fall/winter clothing, and school supplies.
Tasha Diaz, Yonkers City Councilmember-elect (District 3) was tasked to ascertain all the needs and to engage in shopping for the items with a $250 limit per child.