“this sacred space is Kensington Plaza, and it’s been a challenging space for many who live near it. it’s where homeless community members read books, sleep, have lunch, and cultivate their own sense of community, despite some neighbors’ calls to evict them from the streets.
for some of the homeless community members, Kensington will always be where they return to following stays at city shelters or other neighborhoods.
public plazas across our city, especially those hugging local businesses and nearby train stations, are safe spaces for homeless people.
i have been working closely with neighbors and arts organizations to activate the space with regular, positive programming. and while we have city agencies/311 to respond to occasional fights and trash complaints, neighbors have a responsibility in creating a more welcoming, safe, and greener Kensington for all. and ya, it’s an art not a science…so it’ll take commitment and time.
this past Saturday the melodious Mecca Bodega played during the afternoon. the musical performance is not meant to be a concert, it’s meant to just be a part of Kensington Plaza neighbors’ day—unexpected and beautiful.
Shahana Hanif, Director of Organizing and Community Engagement
Office of NYC Council Member Brad Lander