Follow-up Friday: Heat returns to NYCHA complex, $11 laptops distributed

Monica Makes It Happen

NEW YORK – From $11 laptops to free space heaters, Monica Morales is making sure NYCHA residents are equipped with wi-fi and have heat during the winter.

It was a cold and wet holiday for seniors who live in one Bronx NYCHA building. 

Sixty-nine year-old Steve Tellie lives alone at the Bronx River Houses and said he and his neighbors are suffering from inconsistent heat. Tellie said there are also leaks in the lobby, several apartments and hallways. 

“We have a lot of elderly people here and it’s a shame,” said Tellie. 

The Chairman of the Citywide Council of Presidents, Danny Barber, said the work is too little and too late. “NYCHA, I label you the grinch that stole Christmas by the residents of 1630,” said Barber.  

PIX11news checked back with the seniors, who said heat was restored. Also, an anonymous donor gave Tenant President Norma Saunders 11 space heaters to give out to residents.

A NYCHA spokesperson told PIX11 News at the Bronx River Houses:

“Boilers for this development are operational and heating staff are checking apartments to ensure adequate service. We ask that all residents continue to use the MyNychaApp or call the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771 to create a work order ticket for any maintenance needs.”

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A critical source of food for families during the pandemic, a weekly food distribution called “Wellness Wednesdays” in Brooklyn came to an end.  

Councilmember Robert Cornegy has helped run “Wellness Wednesdays” since the start of the pandemic. “We are ending it the way we started it, unfortunately trying to fight food insecurity in a community that desperately needs it,” said Cornegy.

Cornegy’s city council term is over, so this weekly service ends.

Dr. Melony Samuels is the Executive Director and Founder of the Campaign Against Hunger who helped make the event happen for months.  

Samuels said their work to help doesn’t stop.   

“From public housing, religious institutions, to shelters, we are making sure our communities get food.  The pandemic is far from over the need is still great,” said Samuels.  

Incoming councilmember Chi Osse has good news.

Osse will be continuing the program with the Campaign Against Hunger, feeding hundreds of families in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights through 2022. 

“We will continue this service so needed in Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights. It’s much needed for our district,” said Osse. 

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In November, free Wi-Fi and $11 laptops were given to families at the Melrose Houses.  

The Morris houses in the Bronx will be next.  About 17 buildings and over 2,300 families expected to be eligible.

“We did Melrose, now Morris Houses. It’s actually a larger development. We are so happy to bring service to even more people,” said Troy Walcott from People’s Choice Communications. 

If you live at the Morris Houses and want to sign up, email

Getonline@peopleschoice.coop or call 833-271-3166

If you have a story,reach out to Monica Morales at monica@pix11.com 

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