Broad Channel is seeing blue.
Nine workers from the Doe Fund, dubbed “the men in blue,” will help clean up a two-mile stretch of Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel, as the island still continues to recover nearly four months after Sandy hit.
The cleanup effort, which officially began on Friday, February 15, will run from the foot of the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge to the American Legion Post 1404.
The Doe Fund gives homeless men and women a second chance by providing jobs and starting a new life. Staten Island, Coney Island and the Rockaways have been other areas the Doe Fund has cleaned up in wake of the storm. The men will pick up the roadside trash and haul it on to Department of Sanitation trucks.
“The garbage and the litter and the debris are still here,” said Councilmember Eric Ulrich. “People are going to be so impressed. They’re [the workers] going to do a top-notch job.”
Ulrich said he reached out to Doe Fund chair George McDonald two weeks ago to help clean up Broad Channel’s main thoroughfare, which is still littered with debris. Flanked by Doe Fund members and representatives from the National Park Service and the Department of Sanitation, Ulrich said the “Men in Blue” would be on Cross Bay Boulevard, picking up trash until the job is done. The goal, he added, is to have Cross Bay back to its pre-storm look, if not better.
Cross Bay Boulevard is the first view of the Rockaways visitors get and the road needed to keep that vista positive, Ulrich said.
The relationship between the Doe Fund and south Queens goes back to long before the storm, according to Community Board 14 chair Dolores Orr. The organization helps clean up Beach 116th street, an economic hub in Rockaway, every spring, Orr said.
“It’s equally important for the residents trying to recover themselves,” Orr said.
McDonald, who’s also running as a Republican for mayor, said the men and women of the organization were hard workers and dedicated to getting their life back on track.
“It’s on behalf of all the citizens of New York that we come here and help clean up,” McDonald said. “We are thrilled to be able to give back. I know this partnership is going to do great things for this community and I thank Councilmember Ulrich for thinking of us.”