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Doe Fund Expands Astoria Street Cleaning to Include Steinway Street

 The Doe Fund founder George McDonald (left) with City Councilman Costa Constantinides (right) announcing an expansion of the nonprofit's street cleaning program in Astoria on Aug. 7, 2014.
The Doe Fund founder George McDonald (left) with City Councilman Costa Constantinides (right) announcing an expansion of the nonprofit's street cleaning program in Astoria on Aug. 7, 2014.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

ASTORIA — Workers from The Doe Fund will begin cleaning more streets in Astoria, including a busy stretch of Steinway Street and part of Ditmars Boulevard after elected officials came up with $130,000 to cover the program, officials said Thursday.

Street cleaners employed through the nonprofit — which provides jobs and other services to formerly homeless or incarcerated people — had been cleaning swaths of 30th Avenue, Broadway and 31st Street since April, after Councilman Costa Constantinides asked them to step in amid complaints from residents and business owners about litter in the neighborhood.

"It's been a marked difference," Constantinides said of the state of the streets since the workers started there. "I've been hearing about the positive impact."

The new cleaning routes will be on Steinway Street from Astoria Boulevard to 28th Avenue, a block of Newtown Road between 30th Avenue and 41st Street, and between 29th and 33rd Streets on both Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue, according to Constantinides' office, which allocated money for the program this fiscal year.

Cleaning on both the new and old routes are being paid for with $130,000 made up of discretionary funds, plus money from a new City Council initiative that allocates funding to council members specifically for neighborhood cleaning services. 

Marie Torniali, director of the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition and the Steinway Astoria Partnership BID, said she welcomed The Doe Fund workers to Steinway Street.

"There's nothing better than a clean street to bring shoppers back," she said. "It really makes for a great streetscape."