The 94-year-old Carroll Gardens man whose landlord kicked him out of his apartment has found a new apartment nearby, thanks to a frenzy of effort by a city social worker and a local non-profit.
Dominick Diomede, who has lived in and around his Woodhull Street building for almost all of his life, is poised to sign a lease on a subsidized unit on Warren Street run by the Fifth Avenue Committee.
“I like the place, it’s nice,” Diomede said after touring the furnished pad with his Department for the Aging social worker and Fifth Avenue Committee Executive Director Michelle de la Uz on Monday.
Diomede’s social worker had applied for the apartment through the Fifth Avenue Committee’s normal process — and Councilman Bill DeBlasio, a supporter of the non-profit, wrote a letter in support of Diomede.
Diomede (photo right) was expected to sign the lease on Friday, after we went to press.
But even if that deal falls through, Diomede now has a few more weeks in his current apartment, thanks to a Good Samaritan who showed up at last week’s court hearing and wrote a check for $2,000.
Diomede’s landlord Michael Errigo, who had earlier won the right to evict Diomede, didn’t want to allow Diomede to stay, despite the check, but the judge ordered him to take it and allow Diomede to stay until Feb. 28.
The do-gooder, a Park Slope resident, didn’t want his name in the paper, but said he wrote the check to allow Diomede to “keep whatever dignity he can.”
He credited Diomede’s lawyer and social worker for doing “the hard work.”
The man was one of dozens of regular Joes and Janes who flooded The Brooklyn Paper with calls seeking to help Diomede after our Jan. 13 front-page story about his imminent eviction.
The story, a tale of heartlessness and gentrification that was picked up internationally, now appears to have a happy ending.
For Dom, at least.
Sorry to remind you, but there are scores of Dominick Diomedes losing their homes every week, seniors who have lived for decades without leases — and are being thrown out, usually by a landlord who wants more money.
It’s easy to blame the landlords — the would-be benefactors who called The Paper certainly did — but landlords couldn’t get the money if people like you and I weren’t willing to pay it.
It’s rare for cases like Diomede’s to make the papers, and when they don’t, the senior doesn’t get such an outpouring of support.
So it’s nice that everyone wanted to help Diomede — truly, it was touching — but now that he has his new apartment, let’s not forget that there’s always another Dominick Diomede about to lose his home on your block.