DHS To Clean Up Kensington Plaza Tomorrow

DHS To Clean Up Kensington Plaza Tomorrow
Kensington Plaza in 2016 after the beautification effort. (Photo: Michael M Kadish with permission)

KENSINGTON – Neighbors’ complaints of trash at the Kensington plaza (just off Church and McDonald) have finally been heard and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) will be conducting a clean-up in the plaza tomorrow, August 28.

Signs requesting for homeless people to leave the location as it may be illegal to stay, went up yesterday. The clean-up will be conducted by the DHS, NYPD, Department of Sanitation, and other agencies.

“At the date of the clean-up, you must leave this location along with your belongings. DHS Outreach Teams will be available to assist you,” the flier stated. “DHS can provide you with temporary shelter and referrals to other services that may assist you.”

For those that do not want DHS services, their stuff must still be removed from the location by tomorrow. Otherwise, everything will be discarded. For those who do want DHS services, a few shelters were listed on the flier:

  • Single men shelter at 400-430 East 30th Street, NY, NY
  • Single women shelter at 116 Williams Street, Brooklyn, NY OR 1122 Franklin Avenue, Bronx, NY
  • Adult families (AFIC) shelter at 400-430 East 30th Street, NY, NY
  • Families with children (PATH) shelter at 151 East 151st Street, Bronx, NY

“Our office continues to work hard to make sure Kensington Plaza is a safe and clean public space in the Kensington neighborhood where everyone’s rights are respected, including homeless community members,” Brad Lander told Bklyner. “We convene regular meetings with city agencies and neighbors to continue a dialogue about how to make the Plaza a welcoming space for everyone in the neighborhood. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to Shahana Hanif in my office at shanif@council.nyc.gov.”

Last week, Shahana Hanif, Brad Lander’s Director of Organizing & Community Engagement, wrote a long post on Facebook updating neighbors on the trash and homelessness in Kensington Plaza, suggesting neighbors report trash by calling 311 and consider bringing back the Trash Mob, a resident-led Kensington clean-up initiative.

On their end, the city is planning the following:

  • Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless—ACE has a two-member crew on the ground daily providing cleanup, and Lander’s office will be requesting they spend more time in Kensington.
  • Four new, high-end litter baskets on all corners of the McDonald and Church intersection (tagged with “Let’s work together to keep Brooklyn clean”) have also been added recently.
  • Breaking Ground, a DHS partner, “will continue to monitor the Plaza and provide necessary measures for homeless community members to accept services. The NCOs are in routine communication with the Department of Sanitation to address sanitation violations.”
  • Working with Kensington-based cultural organizations to “activate the Plaza” by regular, positive programming, much like what has been happening at Avenue C Plaza.
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