Gramercy Park Block Association - Neighborhood News #579

In continuing our series highlighting GPBA's major accomplishments during the past 20 years, this week we focus on our role in the 1996 cleanup of Gramercy Park Services Methadone Clinic located at 253 Third Ave (btw 20th and 21st, above Subway).  
Manhattan Neighborhood Council Co-Founder Gerard Schriffen
As a member of Manhattan Neighborhood Council (MNC), a former coalition of 145 civic, community, residential, business and political groups throughout the city, the GPBA worked closely with its co-founder Gerard Schriffen and many of our neighbors to address crime and quality of life problems surrounding the methadone clinics affiliated with area hospitals.

The GPBA's role in the cleanup of 

Gramercy Park Services Methadone Clinic 


Gramercy Park Services Methadone Clinic-253 Third Ave btw 20th & 21st

1995-96 -  GPBA worked with clinic, 13th Precinct to address crime and quality of life problems

In response to ongoing neighborhood and business complaints about drug dealing, shoplifting, and related crime, the GPBA worked with the clinic and 13th Precinct to curtail these problems.  

GPBA President Arlene Harrison worked directly with 13th Precinct Lt. Joseph to document addicts and drug dealers loitering in the area and various other quality of life issues.


September 1996 

The GPBA worked with MNC, 13th Precinct, State Assemblyman Steve Sanders, and New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to enact two new policies

  • Approval of a new drug that would considerably decrease traffic at east side methadone clinics
  • Pilot program in which names of methadone patients arrested for drug dealing are given to clinic officials

Methadone Clinic Relocation

When the clinic wanted to expand its services to include prescribing medication, the state would only give the go-ahead if the facility complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Since Gramercy Park Services could not renovate its 3,000-sq-ft space, the second floor of a walk-up at 253 Third Ave., to meet accessibility requirements, they were forced to move.


9/5/96 - Town & Village - "Methadone Street Sales: New weapon against drug dealers if OK'd"

9/12/96 - Our Town - "The Real Dope"

9/6/96 - New York Times - "An Alternative to Methadone is Approved: New York Clinics See New Hope for Addicts"