Sunday, January 18, 2009


Hard Times at Ray's Candy Store ...

Saturday night Amy helped Ray promote his struggling candy store by making some signs to advertise his products and to also let all know that Ray now has a MySpace page . The MySpace page was put together by Eden last week .
These are dark days--dwindling gross receipts , no profits and rising rent--for Ray but he's lucky that he has friends like Amy and Eden who are attempting to help him save his candy store .
Ray will be 76 years old next week . To make his candy store work today he must work 12 or more hours a day , 7 days a week . He is not well and needs help with some difficult medical problems . He has no money for doctors ; he can't even buy the new glasses that he needs to read . He must work like this because he has no pension , no social security , no other income . The candy store today only loses money ; he can't pay his bills . He has no money for a lawyer or other experts to at least get the minimal Social Security pension to which he is entitled , the bare minimum for his survival
Because of a complicated bureaucracy created paper-work problem that he cannot solve on his own he cannot get the social security pension that he is entitled to . He needs help .
Recently he has tried to get help from the NYC Dept. of Adult Protective Services which exists to help older individuals like Ray who can't help themselves . So far he has managed to get lost somewhere in this bureaucracy too.

Bellevue Hospital Center has a sliding scale--what you make minus what you spend--I go there--very good service--and relatively cheap--check out the med van for a referral for free eye exam and eyeglasses--
I love Ray!!
Yes there are programs with reduced costs. But when you work 12 hours a day , every day there is not time to wait in a walk-in clinic , no matter the cost ,for a doctor to care for you .Ray needs a break from the 12 hour days which to have anything at all he must work ... 7 days a week . .
The med van parked on Ave. B and 10th Street every Wednesday has a free doctor in it and can give a check up I believe--
they will take you whether or not you have insurance. Ray's schedule is too much--life does suck!!
Actually his medical problems need more than the medical van has to offer .
His medical problems are serious .They are life threatening .They would require hospitalization for a period of time . He can not leave his business for even a day ; he would lose everything .His business is his only means of support .If he loses it he can not eat and he would not be able to pay his apartment rent ; rent that was just raised by the managing agent for his building .He needs real help in a number of different ways .

This is the same managing agent htat is raising his business rent too . This is at a time when stores are empty on avenue A and avenue B and other landlords are lowering or maintaining current rents .This managing agent is preying on him because she can , she has intimidated him ;she also makes a percentage of the rent increase .He lives in fear of losing what little he has if he were to lose the month-by-month lease on his store .

He needs business help in the form of loans , advice and assistance . He needs his Social Security which he has paid into for more than 30 years .His income and the business that provides it has to be secured before he can leave his candy store to go to hospital for all the care that he needs .
just want you to know there are guys like ray in bumfuck, north carolina I know who are farmers. I know you know you ain't the center of the universe but I'm just trying to say let it be known that this happens all across america. I hope ray gets money from those who can afford more shoes than me.
This is such a shame :(
Okay, okay, I'll drop by and buy a couple pair of Obama socks and an order of fries for the kids.

And, yup, health care in our country sucks. I'm not sure Obama is going to solve our health care problems but I'll keep writing letters and voting for the less odious candidates.

Old news, I guess. The new news is: OMG! TSP Crusties have Myspace pages! Of course. Why not? Figures. And, dude, they have video clips and lovely backgrounds. No wonder Ray's business is down. Everyone's indoors sprucing up their Myspace pages.
Favorite Ray's moment
Customer: Having a good day, Ray?
Ray: I haven't had a good day since the Rangers won the Stanley Cup.
(I sometimes feel that way myself. 1994!)
Nothing said it was going to be a good day more than sitting in the park eating an ice cream cone from Ray's. I really hope someone with resources reads this and can help him out. He's been a part of the neighborhood for so long... I miss the LES
Stop waiting for someone with better resources than you to help out.
Actually we are not waiting . Several people are helping but the one thing that none of us can do is get the special attention from the social Security Administration to simply recognize that Ray qualifies ... he does qualify . There are records that show that he has paid in to the program for more than 30 years . One of The biggest difficulties is proving his age he has no birth certificate .

This not a simple problem though . We are not free to blab about all the issues here .Help though is needed at the professional level to deal with SS. We feel that right now the best alternitive is the Dept of Adult Protective services . It is difficult for a variaty of reasons to get them focused on Ray's problems so that they can help him.
ray needs a social worker/case manager. he should be able to go into any community center or clinic. i believe there is a branch of the jewish board on st. mark's and 1st. there is also the st. mark's mental health clinic. or cabrini might be useful. have him ask for a case manager to help get him hooked up with SS, medicaid/medicare.
Arrangements were made with the dept of Adult protective services 2 days ago to have a case worker meet with Ray as soon as possible .The case worker will determine his needs and the services that can be provided to help him by the various agencies and organizations that APS works with .

It is clear at this time that the first priority will be obtaining his legitimate SS payments .APS has stated that they can see no reason for Ray having been denied his SS benifits.
If he's 76 why hasn't he been already receiving social secuity for several years now?

He should get in touch with local credit unions -

This is a great article with info that can really help out Ray and other mom and pops.

They can aslo contact the Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union, Union Settlement Federal Credit Union and the Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union.

I wish Ray the best. Gotta keep it going so I can get my pistachio yogurts.
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