After a contentious, last-minute, public meeting on Saturday, March 4 discussing the opening of a homeless shelter at 1173 Bergen Street in Crown Heights, a follow-up informational meeting will be held tonight.
Rescheduled from yesterday due to the snow, tonight’s meeting (6:30pm at P-Tech School, 150 Albany Avenue) will include representatives from NYC Department of Homeless Services, Department of Social Services, Core Services, NYPD, and local elected officials who will answer questions and address the concerns of neighbors and residents.
The shelter, operated by Core Services, is scheduled to open on March 22. The facility was initially supposed to house 100 homeless single men over the age of 50, but changed the age range to over 62 in response to significant public outcry.
Crown Heights residents expressed concerns about safety and complained about bearing the brunt of the number of new homeless shelters under Mayor De Blasio’s recently announced borough-based plan to add 90 new shelters throughout the city within the next five years—keeping homeless individuals close to their communities.
On Tuesday, the New York Daily News published an op/ed written by Errol Louis detailing the frustrations he and his Crown Heights neighbors face living nearby the notorious Bedford-Atlantic Armory, “the worst-run homeless facility in the city,” he says.
Louis writes in 2008 “27 level 2 and level 3 sex offenders were listed as living in the armory or in a string of cluster-site facilities across the street from it.”
He adds that “street corners outside Bedford-Atlantic are occupied by men hanging out or begging for change. Local residents complain about rude comments, public urination and vermin attracted to the food consumed on the corners.”
Along with this 100-bed shelter proposed for 1173 Bergen Street, another shelter for 132 families is slated to open in April on Rogers Avenue in Crown Heights and a women’s facility is planned for neighboring Prospect Heights.