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Glendale and Ridgewood to Get New Homeless Shelters Despite Opposition

Council Member Robert Holden visiting the 78-16 Cooper Ave. site on Jan. 15 after residents complained of illegal work on site. (via Council Member Robert Holden on Facebook)

Aug. 23, 2019 By Allie Griffin

Two new homeless shelters will open in Central Queens next year and residents are not happy.

The first shelter will open in Glendale at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in early 2020 and will serve 200 single men, according to the New York City Department of Homeless Services. The second will open in Ridgewood, at 1616 Summerfield St., in late 2020 and will cater to 132 families.

The shelters will be the first dedicated traditional shelters in the community district, according to DHS. 

“Every neighborhood across New York City has a part to play in addressing this citywide challenge—and with zero shelters in Queens Community District 5, the need for new, high-quality, borough-based capacity could not be greater,” DHS said in a statement. 

Residents have long feared that a shelter would come to Cooper Avenue and have held rallies to nix such plans. In April, members of the Glendale-Middle Village Coalition went so far as to bus protestors to the Long Island home of the Cooper Avenue property owner. 

Council Member Robert Holden has expressed his disapproval of the proposed Glendale shelter from the beginning, opting to urge the city to build a school at the Cooper Avenue location instead. Upon learning the news that the shelter was greenlighted, he vowed to continue to fight against it. 

“I am disgusted with the way City Hall does business when it comes to housing the homeless,” Holden said. “I presented a strong plan to have a new District 75 school built on the Cooper Avenue property and I was told by all involved city agencies that this was an ideal solution.”

The councilman said his proposal for a school at the location was dismissed by DOE Chancellor Richard Carranza and added that the homeless shelter would have already been built on Cooper Avenue if he didn’t introduce the proposal in August of last year. 

“I tried to fight against this shelter the right way, by negotiating with city agencies and coming up with reasonable proposals, only to have the rug pulled out from under me,” Holden said.

He added that he had received positive feedback on his school proposal and just needed the mayor’s approval.

But the mayor recently told me he knew nothing about the plan,” Holden said. “I’m sick of playing this game with City Hall, so now I will fight back the best way I know how, with my neighbors by my side.”

The Cooper Avenue shelter will serve 200 single men experiencing homelessness who are currently employed or actively seeking employment, according to DHS. It will replace the recently-shuttered temporary housing inside Maspeth’s Holiday Inn Express and take in a significant amount of men that were housed at the hotel. The Holiday Inn shelter was also subject to protests and was ended after a lawsuit earlier this month 

The men’s shelter will be run by Westhab, a Westchester-based nonprofit that will help residents to find and retain employment through on-site services and employment case managers. The end-goal is to help residents build income and achieve independence in order to transition to permanent housing. 

The Ridgewood shelter, serving families with children, will be run by Brooklyn-based CORE and will offer priority shelter to Queens families, particularly those in Community District 5. CORE will also provide a number of on-site services, including child care, employment counseling and housing placement assistance. 

The site of the Ridgewood shelter | Google Maps

Each site will have 24/7 security, as well as curfews for residents. Community advisory boards will also be formed for each shelter project to receive community input.

The shelters are part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Turning Tide” plan that has already sited 46 shelters across the five boroughs and is committed to ending the use of hotel facilities for sheltering the homeless. 

If all temporary homeless housing inside Queens hotels were to close today, the borough would only have enough beds to house roughly 5,300 homeless New Yorkers — a couple thousand shy of the 8,100 homeless New Yorkers from Queens who live in shelters citywide, according to DHS. The plan to build borough-based traditional shelters will offer homeless New Yorkers the opportunity to be sheltered in their home boroughs.

Homeless New Yorkers come from every community across the five boroughs, so we need every community to come together to address homelessness,” said DHS spokesperson Isaac McGinn. “With zero shelters in Queens Community District 5, these sites will give individuals and families with children the opportunity to get back on their feet closer to their anchors of life.”

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13 Comments

Justin

I live a few blocks from the Glendale shelter site. It’s pointless to build a shelter in the middle of nowhere. No access to trains or to other services they may need. I live here and it’s hard enough for me to make it to the city everyday for work. Who knows what these homeless dudes will do. I’m guessing a lot of panhandling in the area.

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Christos

There is a hotel near my part of Queens that was secretly providing residency to homeless convicted pedophiles unbeknownst to the surrounding community. These are violent and dangerous people that occupy the shelter system. When DeBlasio was elected he was the worst mayor this city ever had and what do people do? They vote for him for a second term. Sad to say that displacement and gentrification of traditionally poorer working class neighborhoods will also impact former enclaves such as Glendale and Middle Village that are less desirable to younger hipsters and milleniels changing the landscape of the community to no return. Unfortunately there are different people coming down here and see things in different ways, and soon everything we’ve know will just be swept away.

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Dill BeBlasio

I’ll venture a wild guess and say…I don’t think it will improve the sales revenues of those stores. Prepare yourself for aggressive panhandles for the holiday season.

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What is going on!

I’m sure the security can remove them from Altas Mall as it’s private property but bet you’ll see them on the street corner. Even if 10% of them have mental issues that’s 20 individuals that have the potential to be dangerous in an area where lots of kids are walking to school as well as adults. It’s truly insane how this is being done.

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Cheryl

Let the mayor live in the shelter I don’t want it here I have 2 girls I will constantly looking after my daughter’s. Middle Village is going to get worse once they put the shelter up it’s a disgrace. I will have to leave ny I won’t feel safe or my kids

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Homeless in Park Slope

Just wondering how many homeless shelters there are in Park Slope, near where De Blasio lives. Actually he has two homes there, which he rents out, while living tax free in Gracie Mansion. It’s all do as I say, not as I do with him.

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Yeah Ok

200 homeless men are not from the Glendale community, we’d see them walking around and that isn’t the case. Let’s be real, these are people that have been priced out of williamsburg/bushwick and long island city as well as out of state people who can’t make ends meet and use a fake/friends address to get into the system. The city and real estate developers priced out individuals and now they are Glendale’s problem. A 200 men’s homeless shelter by 2 direct schools, a kids activity center, a gymnastics school and a dance school. This is to spite the primarily white homeowners that don’t support those in charge. And no I’m not white it’s just the truth. Votes aren’t coming from this area so no reason to care what goes in there. Why do we have to make every corner of this city into shit!!! Do not tell me these are hardworking men trying to get back on their feet, I cannot believe how many naive individuals will say this. It’s not right to have to pay thru the nose to buy or rent a home in a decent neighborhood only to have it ripped out. The right to shelter laws need to be removed. If you can’t afford this city get a roommate or move along. It’s not going to get any cheaper. If these men cannot afford rent to get back on their feet now since they are “working”, how will they be catching up? Is there $100k jobs opening up that require no training? Priority will be given to members of our community but since they don’t exist it will be open to all the other wonderful men of diversity. Sorry not sorry it’s the truth.

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K. Willerson

Holden lied to us from jump. If you did a little research yourself you can see since late 2016 early 2017 . It was going to be a homeless shelter . Summerfield st is going to be the family shelter.While that is in CB5 area it is cover by a council member .

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Anthony

Yep the should have never protested at the DHS Chairmans home, Wilner’s temple . We are paying the price for Holden blasting elected officials . They should have held 24 hours protests on Cooper . I wonder what they are going to do with the money they collected . Some were asking for cash . Lol.

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Tony

I’m all for helping the homeless I just wonder how many of these new shelters are gonna be near the mayor’s house in Brooklyn

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