Oct. 18, 2019 By Allie Griffin
Members of Queens Community Board 5 rejected the City’s plan Wednesday night to create a 200-bed shelter in Glendale and called for the homeless to be placed in several smaller shelters instead.
The board opted to oppose the 200-bed shelter at its monthly meeting and voted instead in favor of housing the homeless in a number of 20- to 25-bed shelters.
Dmytro Fedkowskyj, Chair of the CB5’s Special Committee on Homeless Issues, told the board that the proposed 78-16 Cooper Ave. shelter would be too large and out of character with the surrounding residential area. He advocated for smaller shelters, which the board agreed with by a vote of 34-0.
Fedkowskyj, on behalf of the special committee, listed several reasons why the city should not move forward with the plan.
He said the site is within walking distance of four public schools and two parochial schools, as well as a daycare, gymnastics school and youth sports facility.
“This is a significant concern considering that homeless single adults have a much higher rate of serious mental illness and addiction disorders,” he said.
The influx of 200 new residents would also put additional pressure on “the already stretched-thin 104 Precinct” and on the “already overtaxed sewer system,” Fedkowskyj said.
Another reason he listed is that the site is within a manufacturing zone and is likely to be contaminated.
But Fedkowskyj said the board does have to address the homeless issue.
“We need to do our fair share and serve our district’s share of homelessness,” Fedkowskyj said. However, he said smaller shelters were the answer.
The community board’s Special Committee on Homeless Issues will be working to create a list of locations as alternatives to the Cooper Avenue shelter.
However, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) has no intention of changing course and told the Queens Post that it is moving ahead with its plan to house 200 single men at the 78-16 Cooper Ave site in the first quarter of 2020. It said it has reviewed an array of options.
“As part of this Administration’s commitment to open and ongoing engagement, we have worked closely with local elected officials to consider additional specific locations they suggested, none of which were ultimately viable for use as shelter,” Isaac McGinn of DHS said. “As a result, we are moving forward.”
I understand that people need a place to stay however a homeless shelter this large and in a residential area with no public transportation is not right for anyone. A block away from an elementary school, a children’s park, dance and gymnastics schools it is not a good choice.
The fact is that Homeless shelters have proven to be dangerous (see fact sheet below) with 525 arrests covering the period 4/1/2019 through 6/30/2019 116 of which were felonies. The people in this neighborhood do not want to risk their children’s welfare and this is completely understandable.
I can’t believe humans can be so heartless. I’m sad that they’re putting a homeless shelter there because the land is contaminated – it shouldn’t house anyone. They deserve respect too. But this level of disrespect is absolutely appalling. I wish people would care more about their fellow humans and not their precious home value.
If the land is contaminated why do we want to put a school there then ?
This shelter is a Done Deal . They inked this deal in 2013. The DHS hired a former DOB chief of Brooklyn to oversee permits and violations. Hate to say the but all our elected officials were well aware of it.We should have accepted the families.
I understand that they installing elevators in the building without permits. So this is the first rule they are breaking.
Well how do u house homeless people in a place that’s contaminated with chemicals benzine?? ect ect. This is not a humanitarian effort it is a form of legalized block busting
We already have one at Pan Am hotel. We don’t need another one in a residential area. We live here because worked to live here. Enough! The malls, shopping centers have already changed the neighborhood. And a jail too!
Meetings are pointless the city does what i wants anyway.This is what happens you vote Democrat.