Our March 2020 grant has been awarded to the Holistic Health Program run by New York Health Reduction Educators:
At New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE), we believe whole-body health should be available to everyone, especially people of color and those in poverty. Our office operates in East Harlem and serves some of the most stigmatized populations in NYC, including people who use drugs, do sex work, were formerly incarcerated and/or experience homelessness. NYHRE is a harm reduction based program which welcomes people in all stages of their healing process - participants (not patients) who work to take an active role in their own life.
Within NYHRE is an AWESOME PROJECT - the Holistic Health Program which provides a safe space for participants to experience auricular and full-body acupuncture, sound therapy, yoga, qi gong, acupressure, reiki and drum circles. On a daily basis, participants, staff, and volunteers witness moments of peace, healing, humanity, and LOVE. Participants who have been stuck in cycles of destructive drug use and incarceration are able to feel a sense of worth, a crucial component in working towards a more healthful lifestyle. This is quite unusual given the context of the lives of many participants. Those who are living in shelters and in the streets are provided a respite where they can be vulnerable and access services that are thought to only be provided to the wealthy.
If you spend time standing at 125th street and Lexington Avenue, it is apparent that there are still so many people left behind by society. After spending time out there, coming into our holistic health room is like an oasis for healing. What is not more beautiful than that as a contrast?
While the spread of COVID-19 means that NYHRE is unable to provide hands-on services, in the short term they will be using the funds to help expand their sound therapy offerings (while maintaining social distancing) and will continue to build out their offerings to continue to help heal the most vulnerable New Yorkers continues to be supported through this challenging time in our city.
Funded by New York City, NY (March 2020)