This story is part of “MISSING THEM,” THE CITY’s COVID-19 memorial and journalism project. If you know someone who died or may have died due to the coronavirus, share their story here, leave us a voicemail at 646-494-1095 or text “remember” to 73224.
Throughout the pandemic, one ZIP code has seen the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths in New York City: 11239. Residents there have died of COVID-19 at roughly three times the citywide rate.
This pocket of East New York includes Spring Creek Towers, a sprawling federally subsidized housing complex serving low and middle-income families, as well as several nursing homes and senior centers. The majority of residents are Black and many are over the age of 65.
MISSING THEM, THE CITY’s COVID-19 memorial and journalism project, is partnering with Brooklyn Public Library to reach out to residents and understand how these devastating losses have shaped this community. Join us this Thursday, Oct. 27, from noon to 2:00 p.m., at Brooklyn Public Library’s Spring Creek Library located at 12143 Flatlands Ave. at, New Jersey Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11207.
Residents will have the opportunity to reflect on their experiences throughout the pandemic with journalists and journalism students from Brooklyn College who are collaborating with THE CITY. Participants will also have a chance to share stories of loved ones lost to COVID-19. We will honor their legacy together by adding their name and obituary to our digital memorial.
This fall, THE CITY is bringing the MISSING THEM project to neighborhoods across the city that were disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Our goal is to listen to and connect with New Yorkers, in their own communities, to understand how we’ve been collectively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September, we co-hosted a neighborhood conversation and food distribution event in Elmhust, Queens, with Woodside on the Move, a local nonprofit. Earlier this month, our team participated in a community health fair organized by a local church in Harlem.
In each neighborhood, we’ve started a conversation with residents about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their day-to-day lives from jobs and finances to housing, education, access to health care and more.
The COVID pandemic has killed more than 41,000 New Yorkers. THE CITY launched MISSING THEM in May 2020 as a collaborative effort to name every New Yorker who died of COVID and tell a story about them. Throughout the past two years, we’ve heard from thousands of New Yorkers. We’ve recorded over 2,600 names and published more than 500 obituaries.
The project has also produced in-depth accountability journalism on the pandemic and the response in city jails, nursing homes and Hart Island, the city’s potter’s field, where an estimated 1 in 10 New Yorkers who died are buried.
If you have any ideas or questions for our teams, or if you’d like to volunteer, please email email@example.com.
MISSING THEM is supported in part by the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia Journalism School.