We had four options: join Ready Willing and Able’s program, which prepared men to become street sweepers and janitors; sign up for a Bloomberg administration program which presents participants with a one-way ticket out of town, so long as the applicants could provide a contact person in the destination city who would agree to host them; enter the city’s shelter system, which the liaison accurately portrayed as a horror show, with gang-and-drug-infested death traps like Wards Island (Said one of my brethren, “Yo, I was at Wards Island one night, woke up and a dude was laying there dead, all cut the fuck up.”); or hop in the van with him to tour Brooklyn’s three-quarter sober houses, which were private residences that sounded a lot more promising than a shelter.
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