Brownsville is receiving its very own technology and wellness hub, with the support of several elected officials and community organizations.
New York State Senator Jessie Hamilton announced the launch of the Campus, comingin the fall of 2016 for members of the Brownsville community. The program is striving to promote technology and public health awareness for neighborhood youth.
“The Campus is the first of its kind in public housing in the United States,” said Hamilton. “It’s a holistic approach to dealing with technology, poverty, incarceration, and enhance education within the community.”
Located at NYCHA’s Howard Houses the Campus will be an afterschool program for youth between 12 and 18.
The Campus will host several workshops to prepare adolescents for the growing e-workforce and tech world. The program will provide trainings in coding, app-building and other aspects of technological literacy.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams showed his commitment to the Brownsville community with a surprise $500,000 going to the Campus, calling it a “powerful initiative.”
“Brooklynites who learn at the Campus will have the opportunity to become the developers of the next generation, building our borough’s reputation as a destination for innovation,” said Adams.
According to New York City’s Community Health Profiles, Brownsville has the second highest incarceration rate in the city and the most psychiatric hospitalizations. The Campus initiative hopes to diminish those statistics and end the “prison pipeline,” starting by promoting the importance of mental health care.
“There’s a lot of stress and anxiety within the community, such as living in shelters, gun violence, drugs and bullying,” said Hamilton. “We’re trying to get healthcare providers into Brownsville, because people are suffering in silence and we’re trying to erase the stigma of getting help.”
The Campus has partnered with several elected officials and 30 community-based organizations, all helping to improve digital literacy and public health in Brownsville.
“When we are interwoven and we’re working together for a common good, there’s nothing that can stop us,” said Assembly Member Latrice Walker.
Principals of neighboring schools have also partnered with the Campus in providing better opportunities for the youth.
“I am very honored to be apart of this collective effort, because we are the ones responsible for committing to the youth,” said Principal Stacy Walsh of Brownsville Collaborative Middle School. “We are responsible for making good on our words and our promises to the youth of Brownsville so that they can have a future full of opportunity and success.”
Addressing hunger in the community is also an issue the Campus hopes to tackle. Many kids are not exposed to the right nutrition or are lacking meals when they leave from school said Hamilton.