Alternative Perspective Podcast Episode #2

Intro: You are now listening to the alternative perspective podcast where we explore the stories of the less fortunate people who are battling with homelessness. I am your host Tevin Fairclough.

Track: While interviewing the subjects for the first episode of the alternative podcast I was approached by a thin and frail older man who was in or around his 70s who hauled behind him a suitcase and a beautiful furry Golden Retriever who he later likened to a medical device such as a wheelchair or an oxygen tank.

Track: He wore a gray hoodie that was slightly oversized with his sneakers clean in a neon green color. He introduced himself as Pastor Michael Vincent Crea.

Track: He gave his dog the name Taranga which he States is a warloff word from Senegal West Africa which means hospitality he said they’ve been together since 2015.

Track: From the conversation we had, I gathered that his battle with homelessness started around the time the building he was living in was sold.

Act: They lost the house that I was in again that was bought from Istan LLC, a bunch of gangsters who have their offices at 40th and Madison, who knew they were selling it to Dr. Harry Merryman who is a psychologist and he runs Lakeview Community Services resources out of gym Geneva New York. Dr. Harry Merryman of Lakeview Community Resources AKA Lakeview Mental Health Services AKA Lakeview Health Services so God knows where his taxes are going since he keeps switching his name. He started out two years ago he said do not move he said when his project is done he’s going to give me a new place, when construction begins they will move me to an apartment and so I waited.

Track: He claims that his living space was substandard

Act: We were living at 713 Court Street. It was two bedroom house we had a backyard for my service dog to to go out and rest we had a driving/parking spot, the driveway was never repaired, the water from the rains came down into the basement, he never cleaned out the gutters, the gutters overflowed and went right down into the foundation. Last Summer in 2018, the basement flooded 3 times I had to move everything out I bought everything back in three times put it on wooden skids but got a hernia. I asked for reasonable accommodation under Americans living with disabilities law to have the stuff in the basement move into the garage where the people had already moved out since he didn’t proceed with his project in a timely fashion, instead of giving me that option which was right there he gave me a retaliatory eviction and within six months if someone ask for their rights to be upheld or a repairs to be made a retaliatory eviction can be claimed by the tenant against the owner of property this was done just 33 days after I make my request and after he had failed 4 federal inspections.

Track: Crea sought refuge in Staten Island but had some issues when he tried to get his things back.

Act: So what happened was not only did they evict me and my service dog but when we went back in for her protocols and my health protocols when I went back to try to do a T.R.O because they weren’t giving me the 30 days to remove my property as required by law we were arrested and when we were arrested I was separated from my dog.

Track: He explains that Tarango was held in terrible conditions at the ASPCA.

Act: When she was separated from me up in Ithaca they held her in terrible conditions at the ASPCA because a neighbor of mine who knows her visited her and said she was in trauma and peeing on herself. She’s never done that she’s never peed inside the house and she won’t even pee on cement.

Track: When he got to his arraignment he was met with a Professor at Cornell University to represent him he said that this representative said to him:

Act: I am not your lawyer I am only here for the arraignment. I said to him three things:

1) I need my dog returned immediately.

2) I need a lawyer and

3) I need my property protected

 

Track: He was released according to him. The ADA stated that he should be released based on his own recognizance.

Act: The judge thought I spoke out of turn when I asked for my dog to be returned. He put me in Tompkins County Jail without the dog, without a phone call and without a lawyer that was on the 9th of July 2019.

Track: In jail he found that another inmate was waiting 25 days for a psych evaluation and that the judge had ordered the same for him as well.

Act: I had already started my Irish hunger strike not drinking a drop not eating a bite and when I heard that, I did what the Irish did against Margaret Thatcher when she criminalize free speech and political speech. I ripped up the orange suit I put on the blanket and I said I am innocent until proven guilty in a trial by a jury of my peers Beyond reasonable doubt.

Track: He claimed his innocence and refused to wear the jumpsuit he was given.

Act: Someone there ended up knowing the history and I had my psych eval the next day now this is the 11th of July and the two psychologists said Pastor Crea knows what he’s doing. so I had the get-out-of-jail-free from the district attorney. I have a get-out-of-jail-free from the psych Tompkins County mental health personnel and now the judge orders the chief of the 18-B lawyers to be my lawyer he should have had me out that afternoon on the 12th of July instead they kept me in the house until the 17th the original date that they had said.

Track: When Crea was released all his belongings were thrown out and they ended up in the Ithaca dump.

Act: I can get back Furniture anytime I can get back clothing anytime. Can I get back the film that I did of my African father and his family in Senegal to hear that Africans defended and got Europe free in the second world war as the Senegalese did only not to get paid as Usman Sen Bene’s film shows in Liberation 1994. Can I get back the original photographs that I had from working with the Rwandan refugees in a mess unit after 10,000 people in the camp after 800,000 Africans were slaughtered and we gave little notice to any here and we still don’t. When two people died in the Middle East it’s all up in arms and when 800,000 – 1 million afterwards of casualties die we don’t give them credence. I had records of that those are destroyed, all of my life’s work was destroyed my writings, my poetry , a screenplay I was working on.

Track: He also mentioned the discrimination he faced when he tried to get housing in different housing arrangements as a pet owner.

Act: Every single contractor that they are dealing with is discriminating against my service dog’s rights and my rights as American living with disabilities. They are paying people and allowing these folks that are getting taxpayers money through the contracts the cities are using to make up their own rules.

Track: He mentioned this isn’t the first time he has been displaced.

 

Act: And this isn’t the first time when I was on Staten Island Reverend Terry Troia – The president and the chief executive officer Project Hospitality, an organization that strives to meet the needs of the homeless and hungry – was given a contract by Letitia James – Attorney General of New York- to house me in the Cosmopolitan Motel and I come back to find out I’m not allowed to go into the room after 4 months because she didn’t pay the rent. What happened to the $10,040 that wasn’t paid. $2,510 was not paid every month to this hotel Terry Troia was getting $3,500 for Project Hospitality in a sweetheart deal and so you have to ask as I asked on a video that I made myself with Mr. Zishon Ying a filmmaker from NYU “where is the money going?” and that’s what’s happening now. Why am I not housed? Because due to disability I cannot go to a group living situation I cannot go to a shelter I cannot go to any shared apartment because of the esophageal cancer, because of being raped in the New York seminary and accosted at another seminary in the Catholic church after leaving Cornell I cannot go into any group living situation.

Track: I asked if he was able to find work and provide for himself during this dilemma and he replied.

Act: I cannot be employed and it’s cost me not only all my life’s work has been thrown out, I have been unemployment since 2006 by Social Security Administration in a writing my claim to be unable to work or credible and that’s in their own statement from the 11th of August 2006 awarding me my social security disability and I’ve been on disability since 2006 it’s now 13 years later and my section 8 hasn’t even been used now because of being displaced. But the taxpayers paid for three years I paid for three years every penny on time

Track: I asked how do they expect him to provide for himself if they considered his claims to be unable to work credible.

Act: They don’t they don’t expect- they don’t see us because the system dehumanizes anyone just by the way it’s set up and right now I’m shivering my dog is shivering and we’re on the streets shivering with these folks here because the system is made to be cookie-cutter rather than what the law states is to take every person individually according to what their situation their needs are and then provide.

Outro: You have now reached the end of the alternative  perspective podcast I’m your host Tevin Fairclough.

Alternative Perspective on the lives of Homeless people

Intro: You are now listening to the alternative perspective podcast where we explore stories of less fortunate people who are battling with homelessness. I am your host Tevin Fairclough.

Track: On November 20th a cold and windy day in New York City sitting on the side of the cold and busy street is David Washington a homeless men with nothing but the belongings he has his in a small plastic bag, sheets he sits on and blankets he covered himself with. Sitting next to him was his wife according to him, who he states his pregnant. David opened up to me about his life going.

Act: (David) I was born upstate in Albany but I grew up in New York City. I went to school as a kid I went to special education class I had a hard time I went to a remedial classes for anger problems and Educational Learning and I got better. I did always have a problem growing up in school so that was always my issues at home, my problems in school ended up coming home, my behaviors and relationship affected me and my parents leading to me growing up as a teenager doing the things I wanted to do as all teenagers [have] got to find their own way sometimes. I was kicked out on the street side 16 I’ve been on the streets ever since

Track: Things quickly spiraled down words for him as he was kicked out of his home at the age of 16 by his own biological mother

Act(David): I robbed somebody when I was 16 years old I made a bad mistake and a choice I went to jail for it I learned my lesson when I was in jail and I got my GED I figured that while I was there I would do something with my time instead of just sitting up there doing nothing so I went to school and I utilize my time to get my GED and I got it I’m proud of myself in that accomplishment my mom was proud of me too but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to let me back in the house hold so..

Track: He also mentioned that his dad wasn’t in the picture and also that he and his mom isn’t not on the best terms at the moment.

Act(David): My dad wasn’t really in the picture he’s just now starting to get into the picture which is really really great to say me and him never really had a relationship but now we’re going to have a good relationship.

Track: When he got out of jail he got a job as a digital printer and shipping clerk for Rick’s AEC Reprographics

Act(David): I worked there for a few years with my cousin really really good stuff. I got budget cut they had to cut people back because they couldn’t afford the extra staff that were working there so some of us got cut back.

Track: While working there he even had an apartment across from his mom.

Act(David): It was really good actually that was fly because and I did it across the hall from her because I wanted to show her that on my own I could do it, you know? And I showed her that.

Track: Once he was laid off he was struggling to find another source of income in order to support himself and make ends meet

Act(David): I turned selling drugs and I got arrested again for drug dealing. And I ended up getting two felonies behind it and that led me to not be able to work again. I was struggling with public assistance, food stamps, living from place to place which led me to be homeless now.

Track: Despite his downfalls Manchester mentions that he is constantly looking for new job opportunities.

Act(David): I’m always looking for a new job places. I go online or I go on my phone or I go to the library and I apply and I post my resume.

Track: He also mentioned that he does odd jobs here and there to get him and his family by

Act(David): A little bit of carpentry. I work at a barbershop where I clean their windows and I sweep and I clean up for them when they’re done. I work in another bar call The Heights on Bedford Stuyvesant where I go on certain days when they have like baby showers or different events and conventions and I’ll be like an extra help for them. They’ll call me and then they’ll let me know that they need an extra hand and they’ll pay me like three hundred bucks in the mean to be there for the night and I set up and clean up it depends every couple days and like 2 to 3 days sometimes a week.

Track: While I tried to further examine the reasons as to why he hasn’t been able to find housing at a homeless shelter his wife sitting next to him quickly interjected.

Act(Melvoun): The shelter system here for couples sucks in New York. For a single individual they get $3,500, for a couple they get the same amount, so every time you apply and get denied they get paid. But, monthly when a couple is in the shelter they only get $3500 so they deny the couple’s multiple times to put a wedge between the couples so they’ll separate. 35-35 you’d rather $7000 than $3,500.

Track: According to Manchester her name is Malvern Diane.

Track: She said she’s been homeless from the small age of 8 years old.

Act(Melvoun): Nobody knows when my mother threw me in that estrangement man’s lap and said I don’t want her. I was born a homeless girl, so yeah this is home the system fucked up, I was born homeless.

Track: In addition to the rejection from her biological mother, she was rejected from homeless shelters plenty of times.

Act(Melvoun): From the age of 8 to 21 on the streets: homeless, because New York forgot about me in this system a long time ago, the system sucks. Period. I’m 8, from 8 to 39 years old that’s 31 years of a homelessness off and on, you tell me that’s fair as a kid and it’s getting worse it’s hard on families and couples it took 14 tries my first time going through the homeless system. Everybody said it is the homeless’ fault, no it’s not, it’s the system the system denied me 16 times and it took my mother to die for them to say I can and that was in 2011. I got away from my abuser finally. I moved on got a new husband finally got my life together and yet we’ve been denied multiple times. We’re telling you we can’t go to these places and you’re telling us oh yes you can. You get denied multiple times, yes. At the end of the day people don’t get it, it’s the system that screwing you. You see me sleeping on the street for three for five, six months in the same spot that must mean I’m homeless but this is what they’re doing to us.

Track: When she finally got her acceptance and it was time for her to move into her new apartment. she was put in jail.

Act(Melvoun): I’ve done 17 years in and out of prison for not switch snitching on people. I was already approved, I was three or four days away from my apartment. I was working with breaking ground and because I went to jail I had to start all over. I didn’t know anything I just know I was born homeless and everybody said it’s the homeless’ fault, people label you early I’ve been in and out of jail because the people shame me beforehand. I’ve never been to jail for my own crimes because I don’t commit crimes. I’ve always went away for somebody else is bullshit look at my records; for not telling. I went down for other people’s shit. I can take you to everybody I went down for and they will verify yes she did.

Track: She said that in order to get accepted to homeless shelters you need proof of homelessness in your housing history

Act(Melvoun): You mean to tell me you have a right to tell me that I have to walk around and get proof that I’m homeless. Where is that fair? okay I can get proof but let out reach do their job, there’s proof. I should’nt have to get a year Housing history.

Track: According to the Coalition for homelessness, you would also need to proove the identity
of each member of your family, with either benefit card from public assistance, a green card, drivers liscense, government ID, Passport or visa or an emplyment ID with a picture. She then told me of a time when she once met a girl who had an order of protection out against her mother and she was told she had to stay with her mother.

Act(Melvoun): They told a girl who had an order of protection against her that she can still stay with her mother. Tell the courts that!

Track: She also told me of couple who was denied housing when they had an infant.

Act(Melvoun): you know how many couple are out here with their kids, that the system’s loosing and forgeting. We saw a couple get on the train and they were denied, and they had an infant bro.

Track: She also mentions thay people are denied from homeless shelter because of the policies they have against pets as many homeless people with pets are denied housing for these same policies.

Act(Melvoun): There’s street people out here that has a dog that needs to be endorced that cant get endorsed because hes not a service animal. thats not fair to that man or that animal. That animal is keeping that man alive whether its a service animal or not why cant he take it with him. New Yorks so Dog Friendly right? anybody’ll accept it, so should the shelters. Its been happening for years, and years.

Track: I tried to continue my interview with following up with another question when manchester told me shes no longer open to speaking.

Track: I tried to aproach him with remaining questions when he states: “We’re just gunna end this now.”

Track: I tried to stand next to them as I tried to gather ambient sounds from the environment as another homeless individual charged at me while asking me to leave.

Track: Next episode we will explore the life of pastor Micheal Vincent crea, another individual battling with homelessness.

On the 19th of October, a Saturday, Bernie Sanders, a Democratic candidate of the 2020 Presidential election visited the neighborhood of Queens bridge for his rally that drew in a crowd of over 20,000 people. Reporter Tevin Fairclough has the story.

Despite his recent heart attack Bernie Saunders managed to recover and continue his run for president. His supporters seem quite proud of his resilience and quite confident in his abilities to carry out his plans as potential president of 2020. they yelled a series of chants, most notably the chant “Bernie’s back.” Here’s what some of his supporters had to say.

Gayla Leslie a Houston Native who has recently relocated to New York says: “”The people are most of all passionate about Bernie and that he is fine he is back and he means what he says pretty much everyone always says he’s been consistent so I believe in him and I would like the way the crowd was so enthusiastic.”

Elle a high school student at Fairland High says: ” I feel the energy in the crowd was extremely hyped up and everybody was ready and everybody was excited that he’s back in health again and just doing really good.”

Anat Tsyrlin, a 17 year old student at Fairland High says: ” a  big concern is that Bernie Sanders is old but I think he’s pretty healthy the fact that he overcame this recent illness that’s actually what he’s fighting for I mean like he’s lucky that he has that Healthcare a lot of people maybe his age maybe wouldn’t have been able to overcome that exactly because we don’t have health care for all.”

He managed to gain much of his supporters for his belief in free medicare and his aspiration to more humane policies.

” I like that his platform is basically human rights all across the board making it where people can actually have a life but they should have in this country,” says Leslie

Ian Blancafor, a 20 year old student from NJIT states: “I think that Bernie is the original person for the working class, he’s the best for Medicare for all and all that stuff.”

Mar Garcia a 25 year old Floridian Native States:  ” I definitely believe that Bernie Sanders should be president this year because everything that he is for is basic human equality everything that we should already have like free healthcare and being able to be who you are and being what you want to be and he’s giving a future for the generation of today and for the future generation so they can be who they want to be in they can do what they want to be without having to worry about not being able to afford it worrying about where they are going to live what they’re going to do for a living and not having the pressure of today’s society on them.”

Key Shawn a student at John Jay states:  ” I just believe he represents the issue that my community face Medicare for all. I just think its crazy we have to pay to stay alive the idea’s just I don’t know mind-blowing to me.”

People are also impressed by the endorsers he has acquired.

Juan, a Puerto Rican immigrant and certified nursing assistant states: ” having speakers like Nina Turner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez vouch for him and remind us that he’s been fighting for us and then him coming out and laying out his plan his agenda for this country everybody that was in this rally that was really listening to what he was saying should have been convinced that what he’s for and that he’s good for the nation.”

“I think it’s very effective especially having people like Nina Turner come out, Tiffany Cabana who’s my district attorney and especially AOC advocating for him all these people it makes it effective because the small parts of these districts are what makes up like a voting range and this is why rallies are important to go into these neighborhoods like this and say we are here we acknowledge these issues so like the rallies just confirm that,” says Keyshawn.

” I’m excited that AOC was here to endorse him and he’s got a good group of women that are supporting him and you never hear about that you always hear about the Bernie bras but he’s got Nina Turner AOC Carmen yulin Cruz some really phenomenal woman that are out here and I’m with them all the way I’m excited about them,” says Leslie.

Many supporters were very proud of the level of diversity the rally had obtained.

” I’m glad I saw people of different ages you can see people who were old and people who were like me 17 years old,” says Anat.

His supporters seemed very loyal to him which urged me to pose the question of whether they feel obligated to listen to the opposite side of the argument.

Julia Jack an NYU student and Pennsylvania Native says: ” I would say that we have an obligation to hear the other side yes however I do not think that hate speech is part of that. There is a difference between an opposing opinion and hateful violence inducing speech. I think a lot of what’s going on with Donald Trump specifically is hate speech and violence inducing rhetoric and I don’t think that that has a place in any sort of political discussion and then I think that’s true for a lot of issues it’s not just a generalization when you talk about what’s going on at the border I do not think that there is any room for another side of the story that finds those sort of actions acceptable, But I do think that in order for us to move forward we do have to hear what other people have to say even if we don’t agree with it.”

Tevin’s Radio Story Pitch

For the final radio story series I would like to do a feature of different hackers that reside in New York City. I think there is a stigma about hacking but I believe this may be because of the narrative that movies, TV-shows and the media often paint. I would like to present the story of a real-life person who identifies as a hacker and why they identify as hackers. I would like to ask them what being a hacker means to them and how has identifying as such hurt of harm their reputation or people’s perception of them in any way. I would also like to learn their philosophy behind what is ethical hacking and unethical hacking. I believe this would be an interesting story for people who would like to learn more about why these people do what they do, who they are and why they do what they do. Hopefully they can also teach listeners a few things about how to stay safe and void of being hacked.

Tevin’s 2nd Podcast Pitch

For the radio story project, I plan to focus on the recent ban that went into place which will prevent retailers from selling flavored vape products. This news must be devastating for vape and smoke shops around New York City but it must also be devastating for vapers. There are parents who must be rejoicing as the main argument for the supporters of this ban is that it will stop children from vaping. This ban blurs the lines between individual freedom of choice and the government using their authority to implement their own opinions, personal feeling, and preferences into the law. If the whole purpose of this law going into effect was to stop people from smoking, would a ban on cigarettes be much of a difference? Lawmakers expressed concerns about the safety of the public, however taking away people’s civil liberties because of such concerns becomes questionable when other harmful civil liberties are not revoked that have proved to be profitable. For this radio story I plan to hear the arguments of both sides and present them to the public for them to consider the consequences or reasoning behind this ban.

Tevin’s Podcast Pitch

For my podcast I would like to interview a street performer. When I thought about a podcast, I think about sounds that are pleasing to the ear and I stumbled upon a street performer who plays the saxophone. I would like to interview him to give readers the perspective of what its like to be a street performer. I plan to ask him about his journey as a saxophonist. I plan to ask how he got into street performing and what his goal are in the future. People may overlook street performers and might not se their potential. However I plan to give this saxophonist a voice to tell his story. Hopefully this can inspire other musicians and let passerbys think twice before ignoring or undermining their talent.

Foundr Podcast

Foundr Podcast is a podcast intended for entrepreneurs and people who have founded or intend on starting a business. The host, Nathan Chan, interviews different Entrepreneurs in various industries in order to get tips and advice for Entrepreneurs in their respective fields. The host often asks them questions about their journey as Entrepreneurs and how to tackle different problems they may face when conducting business or even starting a business. There isn’t much advertising but at the end of the last few episodes, the podcast promotes the print version of their publication, Foundr Magazine. There are 2,758 followers on Foundr Magazine’s SoundCloud profile, while the episode that had the highest amount of listening had 1,191 plays. The show has received 506 ratings on Apple Podcasts with 4.9/5 as the average rating. A good episode to start with is Richard Branson’s, Founder of a magazine called Student, because in the episode they covered his whole journey from the beginning of his career as an entrepreneur. He shared a bunch of struggles he had with starting out and a few failures he had to overcome. He is also a very chill and laidback person and it was fascinating to hear him speak.