M I S S I O N
OPEN DOORS members have experienced gun violence first hand, and many of them have spinal cord injuries as a result. Through leadership training, artistic guidance, educational grants, and platforms for their voices, OPEN DOORS supports our members creative work to inspire action for safer, more just communities.
From left: member Vince Pierce, Music Studio Instructor Pavel Bez and member Ramon "Tito" Cruz
S T O R Y
OPEN DOORS members live at NYC Health + Hospitals / Coler. At the northern tip of Roosevelt Island, Coler houses 800 economically disadvantaged adults requiring long-term medical care. About 5% of this population are men in their 20s, 30s and 40s whose interests and potentials were unaddressed by programming designed for a more traditional nursing-home population. Many of these men had started selling drugs as kids, and wished to use their stories to help young people make positive choices.
What began as a writing workshop in Winter 2015 quickly evolved into OPEN DOORS, an initiative of the Angelica Patient Assistance Program. For more than ten years, the nonprofit Angelica has been collaborating with Coler’s Therapeutic Recreation Department to create and implement programming that improves patients' quality of life and independence. Angelica's OPEN DOORS provides fifteen individuals living at Coler with in-depth mentorship and additional resources to achieve personal goals and become powerful agents of change in communities where they can make the most difference.
I M P A C T
Since June 2016, OPEN DOORS members have published and performed their poetry, worked toward high-school and college degrees, studied foreign languages, developed technology skills, exhibited their visual art, produced and edited videos, recorded original music, developed a podcast, taken on paid leadership roles and traveled around the city to talk with scores of at-risk youth about the real costs and causes of gun violence.
Healing Justice Circle with H.O.L.L.A. (How Our Lives Link Altogether!) at NYC Health + Hospitals / Coler on June 30, 2017
Front: H.O.L.L.A. Organizer Cory Greene with OPEN DOORS participant Andres Molina