As told by our Executive Director Geoff Lieberman
Norman Bloomfield was the accomplished Resident Council President at Surf Manor Home for Adults for many years and a long-standing member of CIAD’s Board of Directors. He was fearless, brilliant, and exacting. He had a sharp and impish wit.
He could have moved out of Surf Manor but chose not to, even though he was a fierce and knowledgeable advocate for supportive housing for adult home residents. Indeed, he helped many Surf Manor residents successfully navigate the O’Toole Settlement process into their own apartments. Instead, he made a conscious decision to dedicate himself to helping residents by remaining in Surf Manor.
Given the opportunities he could have pursued, the charged circumstances of his life as a resident advocate that included a constant barrage of threats and intimidation, and the life he shared with others in a troubled home and a troubled system, it was an extraordinary decision — as grassroots and in the trenches as one could be.
He, more than most residents, demanded that he speak for himself, that all residents can and should tell their own stories. Few could do it as authoritatively or articulately. And there is plenty of evidence that he has left behind, from his testimony at courtand government hearings, the tally of his resident council successes, his letters, his live and videotaped presentations, and the media coverage he garnered.