David Stone
Winter's cold should stay outside.
Winter's cold should stay outside.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Last weekend, saddening news was waiting in our inbox when we got up. This week, the story's reversed, and there's a lesson to be learned.

"We are all being robbed, but to some of us, it's either freeze or starve," an 72 year old resident in Manhattan Park wrote. "I write to you at 2am at the age of 72 under 3 blankets and freezing. We need help."

The message haunted me for a couple of days as follow up emails gradually convinced me progress was being made. Nobody, but nobody, no matter what their age or life situation, ought to be forced to endure those conditions.

Then, yesterday, I got this message.

"I just wanted to inform you that you were right. Calling 311 is the best step. Their representatives came and showed us why we aren't getting any help with the heat. Manhattan Park gas very few calls to 311. That's why they haven't been forced to hold their end of the bargain. I would suggest you call 311, if you have any draft or feel you are being cheated in heat."

We couldn't agree more. 

We've heard complaints about heat (and more) in Manhattan Park for years, and the fact that so few seem to have asked for help is a sad commentary on how little faith people have in City government -- or, as many have expressed, how much fear tenants have of management retaliation.

But either allows harmful and dangerous conditions to continue. 

Don't let that happen. Whether it's heat or some other issue in which you feel you are not being treated right by your landlord in Manhattan Park or any other complex, call 311.

Get the help you need and deserve.