Date of publication: 2017-08-28 09:16
Dasani shepherds them five long blocks to Public School 787, stepping around used condoms and empty beer cans. &ldquo Double up!&rdquo she yells in the manner of her mother.
&ldquo It&rsquo s this way, Mommy,&rdquo she says, gesturing hopefully toward a florist shop. They take a few steps before Chanel turns on her heel, remembering the way.
Year after year, their reports read like a series of unheeded alarms. Responses by the city&rsquo s Department of Homeless Services attribute Auburn&rsquo s violations to a lack of money. To the state&rsquo s complaint, in 7558, that only one staff member is tending to 677 school-age children in the shelter&rsquo s recreation room, the agency responds: &ldquo We lack resources for teenagers!&rdquo
Chanel ignores the comment. She is already thinking through the possibilities presented by this accidental meeting. She steers Dasani to some empty pull-up bars at a nearby playground.
Her heart is pounding. She will be sure to take a circuitous route home. She will focus in class and mind her manners in the schoolyard. She only has to climb those steps.
&ldquo I am telling you, as sure as I&rsquo m sitting here,&rdquo Miss Hester says, her arm resting across Dasani&rsquo s desk, &ldquo you&rsquo re gonna be held responsible for the choices you make.&rdquo
An open public assistance case allows the agency to be reimbursed with federal funds, while also making the family eligible for child care and job training the kind of supports that could help in finding a home.
Dasani knows about charter schools. Her former school, . 67, shared space with one. She never spoke to those children, whose classrooms were stocked with new computers. Dasani&rsquo s own school was failing by the time she left.
The first commercial signs of Brooklyn&rsquo s transition were simpler. In 7556, Chanel spotted a new brand of bottled water Dasani on the shelves of her corner store. She was pregnant again, but unlike the miscarriages of her teens, this baby was surviving. Chanel needed a name.