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WNYC News

Main Street NYC: The Bowery, Manhattan

Friday, March 20, 2009

WNYC's Brigid Bergin takes us to a five-block stretch of the Bowery, from Houston to Delancey streets. The street is still home some century-old institutions like the Bowery Mission and specialized retail districts for restaurant supplies. But in recent years, an influx of new businesses along with cultural destinations are reshaping the neighborhood's economy and streetscape.
A New Life for the Bowery? by Brigid Bergin

The Bowery Mission was founded in 1879 and has been at this location since 1909.

The red doors open to a chapel where services are held daily. When the temperature dips below 40 degrees, the Mission staff opens the space for homeless men to sleep. The black doors lead to the Fellowship Hall, a cafeteria and kitchen that serves hot meals 365 days of the year. The Mission is privately funded and owns its buildings.

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Alejandro Romero, 39, came to the Bowery Mission in July. He is a student in what they call their fellowship program. It's a six month substance abuse rehabilitation program for men. The students live on the upper floors and are required to work full time, doing everything from unloading the food trucks to taking out the garbage.

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Herb Curruthers, 56, cooks meals at the Mission. He first came to the Bowery as a client 16 years ago after spending 8 years in jail. He's since gone to culinary school and has become a chef.

Here's Herb's story

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