October 15, 2018 11:23 PM
On Sunday, a record number of needles were cleaned up from Rochester city streets.
In total, 2,424 needles were recovered setting a new record for Hope Dealers Be The Change, the organization that led the cleanup. This shattered the last record of 1,121 needles that were cleaned up in June.
"The picture doesn't do it justice," said Stephanie Forrester, CEO of Hope Dealers BTC. "It just shows how bad it's affecting our community."
The shocking photo of Sunday's clean up has already been shared more than 2,000 times on Facebook.
"We're counting them to show people the amount of use that's happening," explained Hope Dealers BTC Vice President Karena Lee.
Even after just being cleaned Sunday, volunteers recovered more needles in the neighborhood as News10NBC tagged along on Monday.
The cleanups happen every Sunday at 10 Sullivan Street, an area the group has coined 'ground-zero' for the epidemic.
Activists tell News10NBC the users, no matter the time of day, can always be found shooting up around the many vacant properties throughout this community.
"You want to find any place of sanctuary to use, so if you can get into a house that's abandoned you're going to choose that over being outside," explained Lee.
"Obviously, what we've been doing isn't working. We need more detox beds, we need more options for treatment and when someone reaches out for help we need to be able to get them that help immediately," said Forrester.
The organization has a 24-hour hotline for anyone looking for recovery: 585-633-8690.
For anyone interested in volunteering to help with cleanups you can also reach out to the organization at the above phone number or on their website by clicking here.
The group meets every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on 10 Sullivan Street.
Updated: October 15, 2018 11:23 PM
Created: October 15, 2018 09:58 PM
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