Chaney Yelverton Interview Transcript

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Chaney Yelverton Interview Transcript

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Chaney Yelverton


Sophie: Hi, I'm Sophie Mohs. Um, I'm here today with Cheney Yelverton. Um, and we are in the South Bronx, um, for the melrose oral history project, a collaboration between Nyu displaced urban histories and whedco. Um, Jenny, would you like to spell your name out?

Chaney: [inaudible]. C. H. A. N. E. Y. Last name Yelverton. Y. E. L. V. E. R. T. O. N.

Sophie: Thank you. Um, so just to begin, tell me a little bit about, um, where you grew up.

Chaney: Um, I moved here in 1980 when I was four years old. I grew up here. All my life on is on in this building. And what does that experience been like? They've been pretty good. It's gotten rough over say the 90s. You got kind of rough, but my childhood was great and it's getting better now cause due to gentrification and the mayor's plan to build new homes. So the areas building back up. So it was cut close to transportation, close to the court house, close to anything that you need. So that's good. And can you describe how this neighborhood was for you as a child? Commute scribed the melrose of as a child. It was great. This was new. This was built in 1980. It be like the first people had, so it was a new development. This is actually the newest development in the city and what do I believe in this? This can you, this is more air erase. This is the newest development in the city. So it was good when we moved then, then the children got grown. Um, I think that the drugs crack epidemic, which a lot of crime, a lot of buildings got left abandoned. So it was rough. And now, now in the last five years they've been building, rebuilding it back. So it's getting back to where it's supposed to be.

Sophie: And what was it like living through that time of the crack epidemic?

Chaney: MMM. If you, if you weren't from here then it was probably kind of rough. Is certain places like I'm here, Jackson, of course the street, my roles as opposed sheet. Some people couldn't go over there. So, um, the way that public schools are structured, children go to school by the zones. So whether you wanted to go to that school or not, you had to. So I was fortunate. I went to Catholic school so I didn't have to go to public school. So I didn't have, I didn't have most of the temptation, the problems that all the children, I was going lucky.

Sophie: How was that experience for people to go to school in Melrose?

Chaney: yeah. Um, well we share the school like okay, and you were from this area then everybody in this area went to one school, one elementary school, one junior high or high school. So if you ended up with a problem when you're 15, it's going to carry you all the way cause you're gonna see the same people so that people end up dropping out of school. And so, mmm. A lot of people turn to crime early. Lot of like females had children early. And as a result, there's a lot of young, there's a lot of babies running around with broken from broken homes because it was, it was a result of childhood.

Sophie: Um, can you describe what this community is like? What is it like to grow up in a community where, um, like this one?

Chaney: Um, it's great. Like, um, everybody knows each other, so if you use it positively then is great, but then everybody knows each other. So if there's negativity and it's not good for you, you can't really commit a crime. Like most of the people had been living in 30th, so I wouldn't be able to rob you and you wouldn't know your parents? No, my parents. So it was, it's actually fun. It's a good place to live. Um, like I said, with close to Yankee stadium, close to the courthouse, one of the things that people come from other parents and say, you see we have our hand. So it was good. It's good. Growing up in learning communities, other communities that you say you're a part of the queer communities, no sense of belonging to you say to the more senior area, the melrose section. Um, we have a claim on section, which is like Webster Avenue. The grand concourse, because we were like in the middle of everything. So we kind of fit in with everybody.

Sophie: And can you describe your job or jobs you've had?

Chaney: Well, I'm a custodian in a school and I've been there for about 16 years now. So, and then this is my volunteer job as a resident association president. This is actually more work than my real job.

Sophie: And why do you choose to have both the jobs?

Chaney: One pays the bills, the other, my community. So it kind of balances out. It's a lot of issues here. Like right now we have a gas leak. You don't have gas so that you have a place in the gas lines. There was supposed to take six months but they did it in a month because I complained. So get get things done.

Sophie: As the association president, what if, what is your role to I guess, bridge the gap between the residents and the management?

Chaney: A lot of um, problems. Resident hand can't be. So, um, that, that the system in nature has, is flawed. So you ever repay, you put in a ticket, it takes months to get fixed as opposed to the people that actually fixed him. I meet him every day at meetings with them once a week. I actually have one, a six o'clock so I could get this stuff fixed and get things done. So it was like just a kind of balance for the residents.

Sophie: You describe a little bit more like what the relationship between management and residents is.

Chaney: Um, it's usually rocky because when you're a resident or anytime you go see management is when you have a problem. So there's a process. You have to put it in a work order if you need it, you need a piece, they have to order the peaks. But if it's your apartment, you don't want to hear that. You want it fixed right away. So it's always a rocky relationship. But with us, we meet with them all the time. We understand the process. Then we meet with the tenants and we explained the process to them. Sometimes we invite management to them, to the meetings. Sometimes we don't, but we get, we get to the tenants. They don't understand us before they understand someone that doesn't live here.

Sophie: What does the organization have more senior areas? Housing is, do people own their apartments? Do they rent their apartments to rent?

Chaney: Um, in the beginning it was 30% of your income. So based on what you mean, um, due to the, the crisis that nature in financially they're switching to, some people were paying market rate, some people, and before it was a ceiling, like depending on what point when you lived in, there was a maximum rent you could pay. They took the maximum mode. So if you make $100,000 a year, you pay 30% of them. So some people had paid $1,000, $2,000. There's some people where they pay $100 for the same appointment. So if you pay $2,000, you would expect better quality then the person that's paying $200 but it doesn't work like that. So that's another problem that we run into. So it's forcing people out like it's cheaper. Some people would think it's cheaper than buying a house, but we don't, we don't pay con Edison. So everybody else, you know, pay corner lesson in life, you know, pay $1,000 a month ago. On us and it doesn't balance out. So it's, it's kind of rough.

Sophie: Besides the cost issues, do you see that people want to stay here?

Chaney: Yeah, like this development, like I said, it's the newest development in the city. Our apartments are humongous, so nobody really wants to leave. But the service, the quality of service, it's so horrible that it kind of forces you. Like what you just heard was it? The Metro north is on there, so the building is constantly shifting. So pipes leak, things break. This built, it wasn't built originally for nature. It was built, it's supposed to be a co op or condo. Then they ran out of money and he sold it to the city. So the city really doesn't know. They didn't build it. So you don't really know how to fix it. So he fixed things as they break. So like in hair there's no basement. The train stations on there. So all the buildings, pipes in the ceiling, all the bathrooms or kitchens, everything is in a sailor. So if anybody in this building leaks ends up in here. If the pipe is so Niger doesn't know how to fix it, they just come in. It was a pipe will be changing and that's just the way it is.

Sophie: Can you elaborate on some of the problems? Nature's spacing.

Chaney: Um, they had a big deficits that they don't have enough money to maintain all these buildings. A lot of our own developments of forming apart any new boilers, new roofs, elevators. And then if you have 70% of the residents paying $200 on low rent is not enough money coming in to fix the problem. So, um, that's just lies. But they also had, they had a problem of mismanagement of money. There's a lot of executives and get paid hundreds hundred thousand dollars a year. So if you cut those salaries, there'll be more money for repairs. But they don't think like that. It's a lot of mismanagement of material. They buy stuff, they don't use it, they buy it, they let me go home, let a sport. So it's just, it was mismanagement in the past, that border to the point now where it can't be managed. It needs to be redone from him from the beginning.

Sophie: Um, and can you describe a little back to how the prices in this building are these buildings have been changing? Do you see any effect with like among residents, between residents?

Chaney: People don't work. There's not a problem because if you were going to raise, your rent is to go up and you lose your job in the restaurant to go there. What does the people that are time they're expecting you to pay? Like if you look behind you, there's a fee scale right then when I born. So that base that, that takes you salary and amount of rooms you have and gives you a market rate. So if you're retired and you've been paying $500 for 30 years, and he said, oh, now we changed it, you've got to pay it thousand, it kind of throws you off. So you people on medication, you have to pay copayments for medication. So you have to take money from that. So it's, there's no stability. They change in the rules as they go along to try to get the soap out of the whole lot then, but it's not on benefiting the residence.

Sophie: And can you describe a little more of the effects this like price inflation in the city has had on this community specifically or South Bronx in general as you see it.

Chaney: The affects are maybe with the seniors people they'll go without what they need to try to pay the rent. Some people that have copayments going to pay $50 every time they go to a doctor or to get medicine. Some people will go without the medicine. He said he can't afford it. People with families, with some people have three, four, five children. They'd go without feeding their children what they need to eat and go buy junk food and fast food to sub paying the rent. Some people that don't work, um, they actually live in better than the people that work because social services paying their rent, they get food stamps, things like that as opposed to other people to actually budget what they, what they, what they spend. So the city is not taking account, none of that. It just taking a salary, taking 30% and charge him. They don't take into consideration. Some people be general support. Some people have gone to, you know, they don't take any of that into consideration. They just, the rent, the rent is going up in the quality of service is going down.

Sophie: So what I hear you saying is there's kind of a lack of person to person case by case basis. Um, back to you two more. Why did you, why do you want to help your community?

Chaney: Because I live in, I'm not, I don't want to move. So it's affected, it affects me. If I allow it to affect me, I don't know if I'll lose my job, I don't know. You know, I'm going to become an Ldt is going to affect me. So if I can be part of the change to make it fair and I want to do that. And are there other people on your management team or your association? Yeah, team. It's as far more people, um, to wearing it. That's my whole ball. And right then. And

Sophie: what is that dynamic like? What is it like to have this community of people who

Chaney: wanted improve quality of life in works? Um, well when my board, the old, the old president was the president for 30 years, she had a whole way of doing it. My way is where our unit, like I, everybody and my boy lives in a separate building. So everybody go report the problems and they're building it and we get them fixed collectively. Like nobody's the boss. We meet and make decisions and then we make things happen and that's how we doing.

Sophie: Um, and so what are some of the everyday problems or larger problems at hand here?

Chaney: Everything. Poems here. Um, uh, like right now this building the compact and is out. So when people would have to bring their garbage on side, which means the workers have to pick up more garbage. Um, everyday problems. The roof is old. So people that live on the top floor, when it rains, it rains in their, in their apartment. Regular repairs. If you may, it's April. If you put in a ticket for repair, it might, you might get an deed in July because they're so backed up. So small problems like if you lived elsewhere, that wouldn't be a big deal or a big deal. And so, um, there's no accountability not following the rules for tenants and employees. Like this whole gas leak as a of someone's trying to mount a TV on the wall and drilling through to gasoline, the person's still lives in here and there's 225 appointments without gas and they haven't done anything to the person. So we're all suffering for one person. It's against the law to even drill and you're warm and you at least you're not supposed to the feast to build it. But they won't do anything to him. I had him would've caught fire, blew up, then they would act like they kid. So it was like, and we, the tenants don't care. Then management won't camp because they go home every day at four 30. They ain't going. So that's the way I look at it.

Sophie: what was it like growing up and living here still like we can you and your family?

Chaney: For me it was, for me it was great at it. I have a big family, I still have the same friends from when I was a kid, you know, and this is basically like what I know now. I went to school in this area. I went to high school and at home, but I was, you know, I did everything in this area. So for me and was good for under that, took the other route, then it turned out, I mean, and that's for every area, you know, it was people that took the wrong route and it turned out harm or for me it was great.

Sophie: Can you describe your educational experience in, you said Harlem?

Chaney: Well, I went to, I went to camp elementary school from kindergarten to eighth grade in the Bronx. I'm on 55th street. I went to high school and, um, Raines high school and it was on hundred and 24th and Linux. It is now a charter school. Nicole, it's now a charter school. And, um, basically, um, oh, I have a bachelor's degree in education, but it doesn't, I don't use it. I think I'll make more money than a teacher. So it doesn't bother me. One on education can help you if you make lot. A lot of people want to know you went to school and found a job outside. They feel, you know, like a lot of people want new on police officers or correction officers. They went to school and be social workers took the test, they passed and they did, they join for 20 years and 91 time. So a lot of people went to school because our parents that was pointed the plane, you had to go to school and then you did it and you were groaning and then make your own decision. So, um, a lot of people had don't make it the high school. So And the quality of school and head is horrible. Like the public school system here is harmful that the schools are and boom, the books aren't, the furniture is horrible. So if you're forced, if that's your only option, you're probably not going to succeed. Like I was fortunate enough to go to Catholic school for 13 years, so I knew the option. I know some people don't. Went to Catholic school then still turned out bad, but it was their choice. So education is important to me, but in this community, like education's not everything because most people are taught to go to school so they can run it so they could move out and do better. Some people go to school, but they sell $100,000 in debt. They move out and go buy a house and put, they sell 300,000 more than that. Then they end that forever. So you really didn't accomplish anything for yourself. So for me, it's, I like it here. I'm going to stay here as long as I can. I'm going to help the community as much as I can.

Sophie: Have you ever lived anywhere else?

Chaney: Um, no.

Sophie: What is it about this community? But I was just the bronx that makes you want to stay if, if you live in Manhattan, everybody says, Oh, like I want to go to Yankee stadium. I guess the block, you know, if you had to go to court, the causes, right then you had to go shopping. There's one 61st. He used to be a lot of stores in one six one there's a movie theater right there isn't more 49th. There's a whole shopping area, the grand concourse, the post off the main post office and everything is here. There's um, if you don't want to go with this host, those community college right there on one 49th days, Metropolitan College Graduate School and in College in New Rochelle is on 49. They just put the Rico college right there in one six month. So it was like this is the central area for everything. If you lived anywhere else in the bronx and we wouldn't get a city job or stay, John, you probably get ended up working on right here because every city agency is right here. So you probably ended up back here anyway. The trains are here, all the buses, all the trains. So it's, there's no reason for me to move unless you're gonna unless you're moving away or you're running from something, like there's no reason for me to move.

Sophie: Is Your family still here?

Chaney: Not In this area, but they still live in the bronx.

Sophie: Did you live in the same apartment as you?

Chaney: no, I actually, um, downsides, I grew up in a four bedroom apartment, so I downsize to go. And do you live on your own? Yes.

Sophie: Besides the access to shopping and services, as you say, is there something, the fee thing that like defines the culture of the Bronx or your experience?

Chaney: Oh, you look into a lot of things they've seen that the bronx was, there were, you know, like we had things stolen like say like hip hop, music breathed in sin, um, graffiti, you know, everything that defines basically New York City. And it kind of started here. And if you look, um, I look around now, they, um, I see a lot of tour buses coming now. I asked the people they're doing tours on the Bronx, like I've been here. So it's like to us is not special, but to other people, they're coming in and trying to learn. People Watch movies, um, for the patchy and it's about the old, uh, the 42nd precinct that's down the block. Um, so I guess there's a lot of history here. And to me I'm, I just, I just like living with hip hop culture or graffiti culture anyway. Part of your upbringing. Um, the music was graffiti. I never, I never did it. Um, my older brothers did. Um, I think by the time I was here it was kind of faded out. I think people used to like write on trainings and stuff and um, they said like the, to train on one 49, it used to be outside before it was an l train. So I wasn't born to see that the trains ran and tunnel is by the time I was born. So I need the hip hop culture. We still, it's still part of them, but not the graffiti. like break dancing and partying, all that, that's part of our coaching him.

Sophie: so what, what is a community like on the weekends or you save the partying and the parties and the coming together is part of the experience?

Chaney: Well, I'm 40 now, so when I was in my twenties they were parties, clubs, but now everybody's old. Everybody's children. Well, I'm actually trying to elite coming. Most of my friends have children as 2021 my daughter's 12 so the children are grown. Pit Children are going to parties and going to college and so on. Now everybody's pretty relaxed, but the point is seeing it got kind of, I guess it was saint like dangerous and then dealing with all the problems with police these days is not really safe to be out at night. Can you speak at all to the relationship between this community specifically and law enforcement? I think that law enforcement, they're trained to treat these residents different. Trained to antagonize people. They caused more problems in the beginning. I believe that they need it. I have children, please, I need it. But then I needed to, they'll come here and say, hey, you shouldn't be sitting on a bench is the bench team. You shouldn't play basketball and in basketball, why is it thing? So those are the type of things that can doing to antagonize people because they don't want to be here to do the job. So they think of nobody's outside. Then they don't really have to work, but they don't even realize like they work for us. So when you have people like me and like Mr bomber that explained to them what their job actually is, they kind of bond with them. But that's what we're here for because if I want mind told him to be able to play outside, she needs to know how rains and the police need to know the jobs. You, there are certain things you can do. Children outside and senior citizens are outside. Some people drink, some people smoke. That's a crown. If you want to bond with them on the name, but they don't like bothering criminals. They around the bundle. Normally people give all tickets and making life miserable because most of their lines in mission bay, you have low paying jobs and they're miserable. So they come in these communities and trying to make us miserable. So like that's kind of the other half of our Jones think we fight against them, which you shouldn't have to do. You shouldn't have to fight against the police. They come in, they make up rules, your make up lies. They may go 4 cents and then some people believe that the first thing they do, if they come in and say, let me see. Yeah, the, we had a couple of months back, we had the New York civil liberties. They came in and did it for about two weeks. They were here doing the survey for the community. Know your rights. The first thing he told us, you don't even have that in New York in the ship going on a plane when you're driving a car. But the police won't tell you that. The first thing he did was say if you want it one, we were going to take you in. So when we have workshops like that, they were upset because they don't want people to know name rights. So I feel it's kind of my obligation to let the community know these things because 90% of people don't even know that they thought it was illegal to walk around without a Hyundai. So that's the things that um, but the relationship is getting better with the police is once they know, you know, your rain, sleet come to treat you different. So it's getting better.

Sophie: do you see any solutions to keep improving that relationship?

Chaney: I think the solution is you just got, it has to be asked to be consistent. The police or like they're always going to change. Like you can meet one captain this year, he does a good job, he's going to get a promotion so he's not going to beat it. So the next captain you have to do the same thing because they're trained to do what they do and we live at you, not, you can't come in on neighborhood, tell us, well we are going to do so this is what they're trained to do. Come in and control these people. They do them in any name. So if you allow them to do it, like they weren't going like, like say like for no. Huh? They think they think that the police don't Moan and tell him what to do it good because the community doesn't allow. So if we allow them to do it, they'll continue to do it. But we just fight the fight. You know, we, we even work with them, we plan events with them and trying to work with them the best we can. But then you have, the other issue is actually try me, she was telling times that we need the police so you can't have a bad relationship with them and then need them good. They will be just come late. So you know, we just work with them and we don't work for the solution and hopefully get better. It was not just here, it's the whole city like in the old country, Lisa Kinda hundred controls. So you just got to work for it.

Sophie: does your daughter live in this community too? And do you see difference in the way she's growing up here in the way you grew up here?

Chaney: not really. She the same wash. She has a scene like she's 12. She has the same friends. Um, yeah know I have a big family. My mom has a big family, so it's like she doesn't really need friends because our families are so large. Like I have tons of nephews and nieces and so it's kind of like my guy wasn't kind of sheltered. So until she's a teenager, 1516 she could experience things for herself. She probably will. She has no clue what was going on.

Sophie: And does she go to the same Catholic school?

Chaney: No, she asked me. She's in a charter school. They ain't gone see you for that now. Like they didn't have shown us from Poland School, Catholic Catholic schools. They actually orders now John at school. So she's in a good old girls trying school. So pretty good. Can you speak

Sophie: to what charter schools are like, how they are better than regular public school with the Catholic schools too?

Chaney: Shawna, John [inaudible]. To me, just more structure. Like my daughter's in an all girls school, so it's, it's and it's inside a public school. So you see the difference between high school and in the reading public school children like this. Wait, no. It's like the police didn't like the school safety officers sitting there and telling them what to do. So then today experiencing this from a chair. Some want, my daughter's school was different than the old girls. They have full time a family work is on the table program all the time. The community activity thing going on trips, they go to museums, they won't college tours and ready things like that. So is she's being exposed to different things. Public schools just because it's me and the tour, they just have to read it and teachers don't want to be there that people don't want to meet it. I, I don't agree with punishment. When you have to have cops in school, then there's already a problem. We need cops for the fifth graders then isn't ready issue. I wouldn't want to send my children to school. Then you had to go through the metal detector. So charter school zone, to me it is a better standard there in the public school.

Sophie: Um, earlier you mentioned gentrification. Can you speak to how that effects this neighborhood?

Chaney: Um, for me it's a positive because new people come in, all the new things come up, new stores will come on in the rest of the hospital, come on, the businesses would come. But for other people that's not used to it, they feel threatened. So, and then it goes both ways because there's black people that never live with white people. They feel threatened. But white people will never live in black. They felt bad when we all have to live here together and we live in the same building, we're going to have the same exact issue. So for us to be threatened by each other stupid. But um, it's community with hundreds of abandoned buildings that weren't being since I was a channel empty since I was in shower. They're all being built on. So to me it doesn't make sense to put more of the same people in the same condition, in the same area. If you want to fix it, you have to do something to fix it. So I feel if you put different people in, they used to live a different way, then maybe they can help with this community. That's just my team. Other people look at the rising price of this and a rising price and I mean it doesn't life.

Sophie: elaborate a little bit more on the relationship between people who are not from the South Bronx who are now here and people who have lived there their whole lives.

Chaney: People that have lived here their whole life. It's, some people are, they never lie to people. I might've went to the hundred 25th street, you know, but they never in Brooklyn, I've been the queen. It was never been to Florida, you know? So this is only know. They see say a white man coming to the building. They might get always a cop or they never would think he actually, we're moving. You will never think that they will build a new building. We knew it was an empty lot. The person that's moving in the building and know you don't know what was there. So people look at you strange. Like if you were to move in, people will look at you strange. Like why are you moving? You don't know. You just know it was an empty apartment. It's a new building. You saw it online, you're applying and you're going to pick. You live as close to the train and you get to work. You can get, that's all you worry about. But the people that live in poverty only ninth they wondering like why does she hit, you know, you go to work, you go to school and he's like, oh she thinks she's better than us. Well if you move from a better way of living where people didn't go, they go home and out the window. People didn't mess up the hallway and you said something to your neighbor like, hey, you shouldn't do this. And one of my, I near the enemy. So that's the, the issue is because when you come to New York is expensive, so everybody is struggling the same way, but people don't see them. Do we think if you got to wait Joan, and you make $60,000 a year, that was not enough to live in New York. I mean you might know that, but somebody that never worked a day in a lane, they have no clue. Some people will never worked. Some people get pain. Why did government, some people get food stamps and people get free jam. Kia. Some people with, um, special needs children, they get a bus to pick them up from school, from home and bring them back. They have no worries in the world. So if you come around and you make 40,000 and they think you're rich. So the problem is like everybody needs to be educated and people need to be more than first. Like some people don't travel so they don't only know is New York, they don't know the cost of living anywhere else. Not even man. So if you live in Manhattan, you know, I expensive man. So you moved here, they finger, oh, she came from and so she hasn't had the money. And as that's what the issue is here. Like nobody is worse than anybody downtown, but it's the way people look at each other. I perceive each other. You describe that a little bit more. because like say you, if you lived in the upper class, um, setting, then all you see maybe you look at the news and you see like the South Bronx from uc like crime. Like somebody got shot, somebody got shot and the village today somebody got shot in queens and when he got shot at with, but when you look at the new was just seemed like all the melrose section, somebody gonna kill. So if you had the movie, you automatically being like, we're Mr Moving. You're automatically making, you had to get on an elevator, you would be scared. So it just, to me it just shouldn't be like that.

Sophie: What is the perception that everyone has of each other?

Chaney: The reason why we can't get along, like everybody just looked at each other like she has the same phone and we'll all be fine. Cause if I'm scared of you and you skating me, eventually something's going to happen. And that's why everything is, the world is so valid town, everybody knows everybody's afraid to live with each other.

Sophie: And do you think that that condition is the same as it was as a child whereas?

Chaney: no. Because as a child, everybody that was here, it was just hit. They were no strangers and why he came to visit and they make, there was nobody move it. There was no new buildings, no mind now the last say five years that you've been building things. So people knew people who have been coming in and now the mayor has, um, a plan to stop homelessness. So a certain amount of all those appointments go to people that's in shelters. So, um, it's like a lot of those people would have different issues. So they are coming in and you have to deal with that. So, um, I like, I don't really know how, what the solution to the problem would be, but I think that people have to be more open to change.

Sophie: How do you think you like encourage that open?

Chaney: It has to be education. You can't, like they wouldn't tell you like, hey, you had to live here to finish school. Like they can't just ship. You hit like, you know, like they have to explain to you because you don't, your mindset is going to think different when you going, like say they tell you when you're going to go to 30, 71 you, you google that. You say, oh, somebody got shot. Then why do I want to live there? So like when I'm, when I moved to a small apartment, um, and look at the articles are all some money. I live on the second floor, the cops kill somebody on the second floor. I mean the guy tried to shoot a cop. I mean he was, but you don't look at it like that. You're like, oh, it's dangerous. But it happens everywhere. So it's like education. People have to be educated because ignorance isn't like every like people blonde it, they see what they want to see. So I think education, like people would have to kind of be reprogrammed to live with each other because everybody has been so segregated for so long that people would have to be reprogrammed to, to liberty chunk.

Sophie: You mentioned de Blasio's plan. What does, how do you see that going?

Chaney: It's going, it's going because nobody has a choice. Like it's like think seven out of 10 appointments go to doe. I mean it goes to the homeless, but a lot of homeless people have mental illnesses that are not being looked into. So you putting mentally ill person next door to you. Then what happens the day they don't take any medication. So that's, I think everybody deserves to live somewhere. You shouldn't live in a shelter for three or four like what's your family? Everybody deserves an appointment and then I don't believe that you should build a building just for people out of the shelter because then it's just another shelter. So I think that people need to be integrated into society, but they need to be monitored. Like this still needs more social work, any social work to go with that and things like that. Home visits with them. The plan is a good plan, but then there are people that want to be homeless. So it's a plan that is never going to stop because there's always going to be homelessness. Some people rather be homeless than go to a shelter. So it was a, it's a never ending plan.

Sophie: What I hear you saying is that the shelters are kind of, um, that one has to go to the shelters before they can find this more permanent housing.

Chaney: Right. Like, um, safe friends like domestic violence. Um, your husband beat, you get a police report, they were moving from the house. You seem to a shelter, like you might get up home at first because you're preying on me. Um, you kind of bypass question. So basically I think that the research is done. This area is a great area. It's a lot of history. It needs to be bought back. The history needs to be bought back and talk to everyone. And, um, once that is done, the understanding of Ba and, um, people being able to live more comfortably. Yeah. But, um,

Sophie: I think that's about it. Any, any other issue? You mentioned education being really important. Um, it's improving life lives in the south bronx and around the city. Um, any of the other issues or strengths that you see in the South Bronx?

Chaney: I don't, I don't see any, any issues because it's getting stronger and their strengths on that. It is becoming more diverse and it can only get better from it. Diversity is a great thing. Um, then you never thought you had with chipotle. One. One says one starbucks, so it was like diversity is good, but people have to embrace it and some people rather than to be angry if it's poor, some people are going to be angry. Rich people move in it. So we got to be able to accept whatever comes and deal with.

Sophie: Thank you. If there's anything else here, we can just hang out for a minute and if you think of anything,

Chaney: um, please share. What can I ask? What do you think about it?

Sophie: well, honestly, before being in this course, I had not had a chance to visit the Bronx, so,

Chaney: so that's what I'm saying. So also, so if you never visited the bronze and they said, hey, you got to live at 30 71 what was your thinking?

Sophie: I would just, I would know where I was going. I mean this, this course is what that's been our focus is really is, you know, learning the history right before we even got to visit or even got to meet our collaborators for this, this project is the fact that we really needed to understand the place that we wanted to interact with you on that. That's the issue.

Chaney: Ciao. I went on vacations and travel when we went to Manhattan every weekend and things like that. There are people that are 40 years old, they've never been in Brooklyn, never been to queens. And there had been standing down there, there've been jersey. So they're scared of change. So that's something that we have to, and we have to change, educate people so that youth can kind of go back to living, to grown up the way.

Sophie: And why do you think people are so scared of it?

Chaney: Not Scared. If you don't have to leave late, if you don't have to, there's no reason for you to leave. Like if there's anything that you actually need or want, like to survive is ringing. Like even people that are going to public assistance. Um, did you walk past the chipotle thing? And I don't think I did, but if you could come run almost as one. It was a whole building that was all Hra, like food stamps, welfare, child support, parole, everything was right in one building. So if you live there, any problem that arose, it was right here doing shopping all around here, man, I have to leave. Thank you. Stadium is there. If you got in trouble when you had to go to court, the court house is right there. So you really didn't have to leave to do anything. And like I said, schools, the zones coming is right behind the building. So you didn't have to go anywhere. So some people just adapted and state, so it was just the way it is. No, thank you. A pleasure speaking with you.


“Chaney Yelverton Interview Transcript,” (Dis)Placed Urban Histories: Melrose, accessed July 12, 2024,