Western Brooklyn

Shelter For Homeless Families Proposed For Neptune Avenue

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The intersection of Neptune Avenue and West 23rd Street. (Photo: Google Maps)

A shelter for homeless families may be coming to Coney Island.

A proposal for a family homeless shelter, to be located at the corner of Neptune Avenue and West 23rd Street and operated by non-profit Women In Need (WIN), is pending before the City, said sources familiar with the project.

It is not clear whether the shelter would be located in an existing building, or whether a new one would be constructed, the sources said. If the shelter is approved by the City, WIN would actively engage with community members during the planning stages, they added.

WIN currently operates 10 family shelters, its website notes, serving roughly 1,400 homeless families. Former City Council speaker Christine Quinn is the organization’s president and CEO. WIN says that it is the largest provider of shelter for homeless women and children in New York City.

Residents of WIN family shelters are overwhelmingly women and children. Almost half of the children in WIN shelters are under the age of 6, the organization reports. Some of the mothers are women fleeing situations of domestic violence. WIN also maintains a shelter exclusively for single women.

WIN says that it provides a variety of social services to resident families, such as counseling, guidance for job seekers, childcare, and assistance in finding long-term housing. The group says it has placed 750 formerly homeless families into permanent housing in the last year.

Eddie Mark, district manager of Community Board 13, told us that no proposal for a homeless shelter had come before the community board yet and that he was anxious to learn more about the project. The Coney Island area already has a significant population of vulnerable residents, Mark said, noting that Board 13 has seven New York City Housing Authority developments, and new affordable housing and veterans housing projects are also planned for the area.

Almost 60,000 New Yorkers — 23,576 of whom are children — are currently living in homeless shelters across the five boroughs. Homelessness in New York City has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, reports the Coalition for the Homeless. The number of New Yorkers in city shelters is 87 percent higher than it was ten years ago, the Coalition says.

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