LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan — On the eve of Thanksgiving, a welcomed knock on the door and a timely delivery.
A resident of the Gompers Houses on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, one of almost 1400 residents living in New York City Public Housing who requested a free Thanksgiving meal.
About 800 of those meals were distributed Wednesday night from Gompers Houses Community Center; appropriate, because several buildings in this complex have been without gas service for about a month now.
"We have to do an entire re-pipe of all three buildings, 474 apartments," said NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo. "It requires multiple access issues."
In other words, cooking Thanksgiving dinner on the stove here is not an option.
"You do what you have to do," said Ms. Mitchell, a Gompers Houses resident. "We're blessed, because we're alive and we're healthy. I wish everybody a blessed Thanksgiving. But it's a hardship."
Chef Stephen Johnson of Big Daddi’s Smokehouse – a NYCHA resident, and graduate of the City Housing Authority’s business development program is one of 10 vendors who cooked up all of these meals.
"I didn't even know that I was providing meals for someone without gas. I thought I was just doing it for seniors on Thanksgiving. But it turned out they're my neighbors — I only live a few blocks away — they needed my help."
The good news: there are a lot of full bellies tonight, thanks to these meals. The bad news: PIX11 News has learned it's going to be another several months before gas service is restored at the Gompers Houses.