Erica McDonald

Erica McDonald‘s Surf Manor Adult Home.

I’ve been visiting an adult home in Coney Island called Surf Manor; it’s residents live in small bedrooms, two to a room. It’s one of many 200 bed-plus institutions peppered throughout New York City that are home to persons, many who have been diagnosed with mental illness, who have no where else to go.

These cramped rooms are nearly identical, but the people who live in them are highly individual.

In 2002, after a year-long investigation of adult homes in New York City, Clifford Levy of the New York Times wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning series about the conditions of these privately run, for-profit facilities that house this forgotten population. Levy studied the adult homes that are referred to by the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Office of Mental Health as “impacted homes.”

© Erica McDonald

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