Brownsville, Brooklyn occupies a dark, if not ruthless place in the imaginations of many thanks to a number of hardcore rappers and athletes who hail from there. Mike Tyson, Zab Judah, Riddick Bowe, most of the Boot Camp Clik and the Mash Out Posse all call the public-housing-inundated neighborhood home.
There are also thousands of Brownsville locals who have no place to call home. According to recent Census data, it’s one of the largest communities in the nation for not just individuals but whole families who are homeless. Due to it’s disproportionate rates, the majority African-American neighborhood has been the target of Community Solutions, a homeless prevention organization. The revitalization of Brownsville is largely due to the pioneering of Brownsville community groups, who enlisted the help of Community Solutions making the tiny square mile hood a bright spot in the ongoing fight against homelessness.
A little over a year ago, Community Solutions launched the 100,000 Homes Campaign, which as its name implies, seeks to place 100,000 people in housing by July 2013. Their method is to not just randomly house any person deemed homeless — a lot of people are only recently out on the streets due to the recession and the foreclosure crisis. Instead, 100,000 Homes’ strategy is aimed at the most vulnerable — people who’ve been homeless for years; people on the verge of dying.