Feb. 14, 2020 By Allie Griffin
The 200-bed single men homeless shelter opened in Glendale today, after years of protests, heated meetings and legal action from community members.
The “Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center,” at 78-16 Cooper Ave., officially opened today, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) announced.
“Today, we proudly open our doors at the Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center, the first and only transitional housing facility in the Maspeth community, which is now providing high-quality shelter and dedicated employment services to single adult men experiencing homelessness as they work hard to restabilize their lives,” a DHS spokesperson said.
Its opening comes a week after a Manhattan supreme court judge tossed out a lawsuit filed last year by a number of civic groups that alleged that the City didn’t conduct a thorough study of the Cooper Avenue site before determining that it was a suitable location for the shelter.
The shelter was converted from a former warehouse on Cooper Avenue.
The shelter will serve 200 single men experiencing homelessness who are currently employed or actively seeking employment. It will accommodate many of the men who were sheltered at the now-shuttered Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth, DHS previously said.
Residents will be gradually moved into the shelter in the coming weeks.
The Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center 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.
It will have 24/7 security, as well as curfews for residents.
“We look forward to welcoming and supporting more neighbors in need at this location over the next few weeks,” the DHS spokesperson said. “Working together with service provider Westhab and the community, through collaborative support and compassion, we’re confident that we will make this the best experience it can be for these individuals as they get back on their feet.”
The shelter is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Turning Tide” plan to end the use of hotel facilities for sheltering the homeless.