Saturday, April 19, 2014

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Alianza Dominicana Fights To Keep Doors Open

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The Washington Heights nonprofit community group Alianza Dominicana is facing some tough financial times and is scrambling to keep its doors open. NY1's Polly Kreisman filed the following report.

The new headquarters of the 30-year-old Alianza Dominicana, known as the Triangle Building, at 166th Avenue and St. Nicolas Avenue, cost a reported $19 million, which is part of the problem for local residents.

"It discourages everybody," said local resident Frances Fantino. "It gives you a bad taste in your mouth when they buy a building and they promise it will be for the community and they don't deliver."

"It's unfortunate because a lot of our youth, that's what we need right now," said community resident Giselle Perez. We need to find jobs for the youth. It's a place of security. It keeps them out of the street."

Alianza Dominicana told NY1 off camera that it is working to refinance it's building and turning to outside groups for funding.

But some 167 social workers are on the street, many saying they have not been paid up to six weeks or more.

"We come to work every day and they don't pay us our checks," said Doralisa Mendez, who worked as a child abuse prevention counselor. "They're supposed to pay us. They're backed up for paying us for many checks."

Talks will continue here this weekend about the future of Alianza Dominicana, which needs a big infusion of cash to keep running.

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