The battle continues over the opening of a senior men’s homeless shelter at 1173 Bergen Street in Crown Heights.
Today Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Katherine Levine issued a temporary injunction against the shelter, extending the previous temporary restraining order until mid-April while she reviews the case, Patch reports.
Last Friday (March 24), Judge Paul Wooten issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the shelter from opening until Tuesday, March 28 when another judge (Levine) could hear and assess the merits of the plaintiff’s objections.
Two block associations and more than 40 Crown Heights residents filed a petition on March 21 to halt the opening of the shelter, which was scheduled to open March 22.
The plaintiffs argue that Crown Heights is unfairly oversaturated with shelters.
The Fair Share and Environmental Impact analyses were completed and released yesterday (March 27), according to Isaac McGinn, a spokesperson for the NYC Department of Homeless Services.
“Today’s ruling keeps 104 homeless seniors from being sheltered in their home borough and requires the use of more commercial hotel rooms that we otherwise would not have to rent,” McGinn states, “but we are undeterred in our commitment to opening this site so these seniors can be sheltered closer to the community they called home.”
DHS has announced five new shelter locations so far this year, with three of these planned to be in or near Crown Heights. 174 Prospect Place, a shelter for women with special needs, opened last week in Prospect Heights.
DHS insists that the opening of the new Prospect Place and Bergen Street shelters would enable the agency to close cluster sites and stop the use of commercial hotels to house homeless individuals in the area. McGinn says Crown Heights and surrounding neighborhoods would see a reduction of 100 beds after the opening of these facilities.
McGinn has stated that due to the previous restraining order, DHS has had to find alternate housing for the individuals whom they intend on placing at 1173 Bergen Street. This includes putting them in hotel rooms, “a more expensive and less effective emergency alternative,” he said.
After today’s injunction McGinn says, “We are exploring all of our legal options, including an immediate appeal.”