PAL Opens New PLAYSTREET at Grant Houses in Upper Manhattan


One of 10 New PLAYSTREETS Serving Youth in New York City Housing Authority Developments

ROBERT M. MORGENTHAU, Chairman of the Board of the Police Athletic League, New York City Housing Authority Chairman JOHN B. RHEA, BRIDGET G. BRENNAN, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, ALANA SWEENY, Executive Director of the Police Athletic League, New York City Police Commissioner RAYMOND W. KELLY, JOHN A. CATSIMATIDIS, Chairman and CEO of the Red Apple Group, and PAL Board Member, KEITH BANKS, President of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management and PAL Board Member, announced today the opening of a Police Athletic League (PAL) PLAYSTREET at the Grant Houses, a New York City Housing Authority complex located at 1305 Amsterdam Avenue in Upper Manhattan. The program will provide youth in the residential complex with recreational opportunities throughout the summer session.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning at the Grant Houses marked the opening of PAL PLAYSTREETS at this and nine additional New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) properties throughout the City. In response to the challenges facing New York City’s children, Robert M. Morgenthau, PAL Chairman, spearheaded a special initiative to secure funding and support to open 10 more PAL PLAYSTREETS at NYCHA sites this summer. The ribbon-cutting marks the celebration of this initiative enabling hundreds of more children to enjoy their summers, in addition to the thousands of boys and girls already enjoying PAL PLAYSTREETS throughout the five boroughs.

The PLAYSTREET located at the basketball court of the Grant Houses officially began on July 29 and will run through August 23. Grant Houses is comprised of nine buildings and houses over 4,500 residents.

The 10 new PAL PLAYSTREETS located within NYCHA complexes include: (Manhattan) Grant Houses, 1305 Amsterdam Avenue; Douglass Houses, 880 Columbus Avenue; Campos Houses, 611 East 13 Street; Lehman Village, 80 East 110 Street; (Brooklyn) Red Hook East Houses, Lorraine Street between Hicks & Henry; Whitman Houses, 151 Elliot Walk; Marcy Houses, 602-606 Park Avenue; (Queens) Hammel Houses, 85-10 Rockaway Beach Blvd.; (Staten Island) Mariner’s Harbor, 20 Roxbury & 40 Roxbury Streets; and (Bronx) Monroe Houses, 1780 Story Avenue.

Renewed financial support for the PLAYSTREET at Douglass Houses is derived from narcotics trafficking proceeds obtained during criminal prosecutions by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. By supporting PAL, the prosecutors’ offices join in a cooperative effort to maintain the gains achieved when drug organizations are removed from a community, and to improve relationships between young people and law enforcement.

Young people ages 6 to 16 are invited to participate in the PAL PLAYSTREETS, where they can join in a range of games, sports and other fun activities, such as table games, cultural arts and basketball tournaments. The program includes a prevention education component designed to reduce risk-taking behaviors and foster life skills. During the weeks they are in session, the sites will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

New York City’s Police Athletic League is the first, finest and largest civilian-run PAL in the country. Founded in 1914, PAL provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to nearly 40,000 boys and girls annually. It is also the city’s largest, independent, nonprofit youth organization.

ROBERT M. MORGENTHAU, PAL’s Chairman and leader for over 50 years, said, “Thanks to our PAL supporters and NYCHA, even more children who are growing up in some of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods will have a safe place to play, make friends, engage in healthy, active sports and recreational activities as they learn about teamwork, respect and positive decision making. PAL’s experience providing PLAYSTREETS spans nearly 100 years. PAL’s presence in these communities makes a real difference. We offer our expertise in youth development to children who do not have a wide range of options by giving young people a way to have productive and fun-filled summer experiences. PAL is grateful to NYCHA and the sponsors for the opportunity to open these 10 new PLAYSTREETS and give hundreds of more children a chance to learn, thrive and grow.”

“Recreational and educational programs such as the PAL PLAYSTREETS provide a safe haven for our youth and afford them invaluable life skills,” said NYCHA Chairman JOHN B. RHEA. “Partnerships such as these enable us to prepare and support our youth, who are not only our most precious resource but our future.”

Special Narcotics Prosecutor BRIDGET G. BRENNAN said, “I thank Robert Morgenthau for spearheading the effort to raise funds to open ten summer PLAYSTREETS in NYCHA developments. I commend PAL and those who have provided financial support to ensure fun safe recreational activities for thousands of children.”

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Kati Cornell
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
(212) 815-0525

Sheila Stainback OR Zodet Negrón
New York City Housing Authority
(212) 306-3322

Alana Sweeny
Police Athletic League
(212) 477-9450 EXT 324