Follow-up Friday: Brooklyn family gets new home, NYCHA residents get heat back

Monica Makes It Happen

NEW YORK — Sparkle McLemore is a Brooklyn teacher and mother of two who says she needs a new home.  McLemore said she came home one afternoon, and the ceiling in her living room and kitchen were falling apart. 

“I walked in and I felt like I was in a cave. It was hanging over me. The ceiling opened up.  We could have been home,” said McLemore.

We went right to the top and asked NYCHA’s CEO Greg Russ to help, and PIX11 News has great news. She and her daughters just moved into a new, two bedroom apartment at the Pink Houses. 

“The kids love it. We have so much space. We don’t know what to do with ourselves. We have a new living room two times bigger than the last apartment. My girls are in love with their new home,” said McLemore. 


PIX11 News checked on the heat at the Patterson Houses in the Bronx and the King Towers in Harlem this week.  

A NYCHA spokesperson told PIX11 news, “NYCHA heat staff visited this King Towers apartment and confirmed temperatures between 75.9 and 80.7 degrees. Plumbers are working on addressing a steam leak in building 3, where there is an outage, and four of the five boilers are operating as expected. Staff is also working to address six open work orders at King Towers. Additionally, staff are addressing 13 open work orders at Patterson Houses, where all five boilers are fully operational. Residents experiencing any issues, including heat or hot water loss in their apartment should create a work ticket by using the MyNychaApp or by calling the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771.”


Finally, there’s a new program that helps budding boxing champions learn the fundamentals of boxing at NYCHA’s Hope Gardens Community Center after school in Bushwick.  

It’s called LeftHook NYC. The founder is the head coach, Ramon Pebenito, an amateur boxer himself.

“After school programming has been slashed across the city, and it’s urgently felt in our NYCHA communities, in our black and brown and Asian communities,” said Pebenito.  Pebenito started LeftHook NYC for teens between the ages of 10 and 15 because there’s so much untapped talent in the neighborhood, but there’s also a real need for these kids to have a safe place to go after school. All programs are free.  

Pebenito said they have since bought four new pairs of gloves, and several girls are taking part. They pack quite a punch. 

If you would like more information on this community program or want to donate to the program:

If you have a story reach out to Monica Morales at  

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