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Outpouring: Brooklyn opens its heart to old man

After The Brooklyn Paper’s front-page story on 94-year-old Dominick Diomede last week, his imminent eviction became international news. Here, Diomede is interviewed by a crew from Channel 9. Later, German TV stopped by.
The Brooklyn Paper

Brooklynites unleashed a flood of support for a 94-year-old Carroll Gardens man whose imminent eviction was featured on The Brooklyn Paper’s front page — but the man remains no closer to finding a place to live when he is kicked out of his Warren Street apartment next week.

After reading about Dominick Diomede, dozens of readers called or emailed their support — many offering cash to help the lifetime Gardens resident once he is forced out of his $500-a-month flat and into a more-expensive place.

The story was also picked up by all the local news channels, plus a German TV crew.

Councilman Bill DeBlasio (D–Carroll Gardens) was working to get Diomede a subsidized apartment from the Fifth Avenue Committee, a Park Slope non-profit group, but as of press time, a deal had not been worked out.

But it was the support of common folk that touched Diomede in the days since his eviction was reported in these pages.

“There are so many nice people out there trying to help,” he said. “I really appreciate it.”

Diomede is being kicked out of the building by the grandchildren of the long-gone best friend who let him move in 20 years ago. Diomede and that childhood pal never signed a formal lease, and now the man’s grandchildren want to evict Diomede and raise the rent, he said.

Diomede’s one-bedroom apartment on the sunny top floor could rent for $2,000.

Many readers felt the current landlords — who could not be reached for comment — were being heartless.

“I read the story and started gathering pledges for him,” said Luisa Williams, who contacted The Paper and was referred to Diomede’s social worker at the city Department for the Aging.

The owner of Movers, Not Shakers, a Red Hook moving company, was the first to call us, offering to move all of Diomede’s limited possessions for free.

And another man, Luke Primo, called to volunteer himself and a group of friends to provide the brawn for the move.

“I feel like I have to do something for this guy,” Primo said.

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