Neighbors Have Heated Meeting About Two 4th Avenue Homeless Shelters

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PARK SLOPE – The John Jay auditorium was packed Wednesday evening with locals eager to learn about the two homeless shelters coming to 535 and 555 4th Avenue.

535 4th Avenue & 555 4th Avenue (Photo: Pamela Wong/Bklyner)

The two facilities, opening this fall, will be operated by WIN (formerly Women in Need), explained Jackie Bray, First Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Homeless Services (DHS). 535 4th Avenue (located in Community Board 6) will provide 148 units for homeless families while 555 4th Avenue (located in Community Board 7) will provide 105 units for homeless families as well as 26 units of affordable housing. WIN will offer a number of services to the residents of the two buildings including case management, housing specialists, security, and social workers (one per every 25 families), Bray said.

The shelters are part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Turning the Tide on Homelessness in New York City” plan announced in 2017 that will close the cluster sites and commercial hotels across the city that currently house the homeless and replace them with 90 new shelters. “These two sites are two of those 90,” Bray noted. The plan would place homeless New Yorkers closer to their communities and distribute the facilities across the city in a more equitable manner.

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Department of Homeless Service’s Jackie Bray and Joslyn Carter (Photo: Nathan Haselby)

“I’m glad to be here tonight both as your Council Member and as a neighbor,” said Brad Lander who noted that he lives just a couple of blocks away from the two planned shelters. “What happens there matters to me and my family just like it does to you and your families.”

“No one is happy about the need to build new homeless shelters in New York City,” the Council Member continued. “No one wants to have to spend the night in a homeless shelter…. Our city has both a moral and a legal obligation to provide a safe place to sleep every night, to provide shelter for everybody who’s homeless and I’m glad we have that legal obligation. It is the right thing to do.”

“That creates a real challenge. Siting 60,000 shelter beds in the city is not easy to do. No one is thrilled about having them in their neighborhoods just like no one wants to sleep in them every night…. One principle we have is that we try to bear burdens fairly and take a fair share approach to make sure that communities are all helping,” Lander added.

Council Member Brad Lander (Photo: Nathan Haselby)

“A principle that the city uses here is to roughly match the number of people coming from a community district to the number of shelter beds in that community district,” Lander said. “And we actually have very few shelter beds…. There are community districts with thousands of shelter units.” Park Slope currently has one shelter, CAMBA‘s 100-bed women’s shelter located at 1402 8th Avenue (between 14th & 15th Streets).

“Last night just under 59,000 people slept in a shelter bed and 22,000 of those were children,” noted Joslyn Carter, Administrator of DHS. Fifty percent of those children are aged six and under. “We need to make sure that every child that needs a unit has one and that is why we need to open these two shelters in this community district,” she added.

“The way this process works, it’s not like ULURP, it doesn’t go through a land use review process, it’s not something the council votes on,” Lander added. “The Department of Homeless Services works with landlords with service providers and sites shelters. They do not need public approval for it.” The Council Member noted that in the past, DHS was only required to give seven days notice before the agency opened a shelter in a community. The policy has since changed to 30 days notice. With the two 4th Avenue facilities opening in the Fall, “We have much more than 30 days notice,” he said.

L-R: Jackie Bray of DHS, Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon, and Joslyn Carter of DHS (Photo: Nathan Haselby)

“What is the one good thing about this is this is a meeting months and months in advance of the siting so that we have an early opportunity to engage, an early opportunity to respond to questions, and the proponents have an early opportunity to address your concerns and needs,” said Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon. While the two shelters are in different community districts, they are both located in Simon’s assembly district (52). “The one thing that I know about this is that the operator of the shelter will be WIN and it is an organization that knows what they’re doing and has an excellent reputation and that’s critical,” Simon added.

The audience was impatient to ask questions or voice comments, so any formal presentation from DHS or WIN was skipped in order to give everyone a chance to speak.

Meeting regarding the homeless shelters coming to 535 & 555 4th Avenue (Photo: Nathan Haselby)

A common topic among meeting participants was the developers of the two buildings, Adam America and Slate Construction, and how much money they were receiving from the city for a pair of buildings that many said are poorly constructed.

“This is not about the homeless people,” said the first speaker. “Brad Lander and Bill de Blasio are bailing out developers…. How much is the city paying for those units? Fourth Avenue is oversaturated with a cesspool of luxury condominiums that have already been paid for by tax dollars and those developers can’t possibly get a nickel for those units, so I want to know what the city is giving them for those units.”

Meeting regarding the homeless shelters coming to 535 & 555 4th Avenue (Photo: Nathan Haselby)

“What we have started doing is pay market rate in rent,” answered Bray. “In previous administrations most of the shelters were concentrated in East New York, Brownsville, Hunts Point…they were concentrated there because the city said, ‘We’re not willing to pay higher rents for sheltering.’ What that meant was deep inequity in the way we site shelters,” she explained. Bray added that WIN will lease the properties from Slate.

Another speaker named Gary lives and works across from 535 4th Avenue. “I was standing there two or three winters ago watching them put two floors up every week in the middle of the winter and I’m saying, ‘They should not be pouring cement right now.’ And of course, as we all probably know, that building was closed down for over a year because of multiple violations. This developer, Adam America, is being rewarded with what you’re calling market rate for substandard quality… Market rate on a building that was falling down…. Are you taking that into consideration because when you say market rate, you’re saying you’re paying this— we’re paying it…. That’s our money…. Give me one example of what you’re paying for a two-bedroom apartment in that building.”

“Our sites are inspected and poked and prodded literally more than any buildings in the city,” replied Bray. “Every single building is inspected by every single oversight agency twice a year. You will not find buildings that are inspected more, that are worked on more…. It is incumbent on us to make sure that no one moves into the buildings until every ‘i’ is dotted, every ‘t’ is crossed and until the department of buildings and FDNY and our state oversight has spent a ton of time in these buildings. That will happen as we move towards opening.”

Bray did not have an answer regarding costs, noting, “I do not have specific numbers to give you tonight on these buildings. When we finalize the contract and publish those contracts, that will be public.”

“I think nobody has given a clear answer to what has been a concern multiple people have expressed and that is our money appears to have been used to subsidize a developer who is demonstrably incompetent,” said another neighbor. “He’s built a building that has [multiple] violations, literally seems to be falling apart at the seams…. Does anybody seriously believe that in ten years’ time that building is not going to have serious structural problems given the history that it’s had? If that’s true, who’s going to pay for that? It just seems like a disgraceful, disgraceful waste of money,” she said.

An upset neighbor on 15th Street said the developer’s incompetence has resulted in serious damage to his home and demanded to know whom to hold accountable. Council Member Lander told Bklyner after the meeting that he would work with the homeowner in seeking redress.

Several homeowners living near the two sites expressed concerns that the proximity of the two shelters would bring their property values down. “There is zero research supporting the idea that shelters reduce property values,” Bray insisted.

Meeting regarding the homeless shelters coming to 535 & 555 4th Avenue (Photo: Nathan Haselby)

Others voiced concerns about density and questioned why two shelters were planned right next to each other. Bray said that multiple neighborhoods in the city have two adjacent shelters and that there are many shelters “bigger than these two put together.” A representative of WIN noted that the non-profit has two 200-unit shelters in East New York that are “right next door to each other.”

“I just think it’s worth remembering that the buildings were…going to have families with children and they’re [now going to be] homeless shelters that are going to have families with children in about the same numbers,” added Lander. “So they were going to be wealthier families with children and now they’re going to be poorer families with children…. From the point of view of…infrastructure and services, it’s just not a difference between their having market rate housing.”

Many parents at the meeting were concerned about overcrowding at P.S. 124. Located at 515 4th Avenue, the school is steps away from the two shelters. DHS gives parents the option to either transfer their children to the local school or to keep them in their home district (where they were last stably housed). “The vast majority of our families choose to keep their kids in the school of their home district,” Bray explained, also reiterating that DHS works with mostly young families and that half of the children are six and under. “A tremendous amount of our kids are babies,” she noted.

Council Member Lander promised to coordinate a meeting with P.S. 124, P.T.A. members, DHS, WIN, and the Department of Education. “P.S. 124 is a great school,” he said. “If a handful of kids from these shelters…come to P.S. 124, I think it would be great for those kids, I think it would be great for P.S. 124.”

“Please think about these families with children who want the best for their children just like you and just like me,” DHS Adminstrator Carter added.

“My neighbors and I are not okay with this,” said one local. “I’m on my own, I’m taking care of my five-year-old girl because I have a job. And I’m sick and tired of working hard and getting punished. I’m scared for her safety. I’m scared for my safety. I’m scared of robberies, drugs, loitering. Where’s my security? Am I going to get free security on my house? What are we getting? I’m tired, I’m mad, I’m scared,” she said.

“Our families are your neighbors today,” responded Bray. “When you’re on the train with people, you’re on the train with moms and kids experiencing homelessness. Our families do not commit more crime, they are not dangerous, they are your neighbors who can’t afford their rent. Or they’re your neighbors who were in an abusive relationship….They are not dangerous people.”

“I must say to my neighbors who claim to be progressive and have a sign in your window welcoming Syrian refugees, if you’re against homeless people coming into our neighborhood…you’re against homeless people, just admit it, don’t fool yourself,” said another community member. He recounted attending a similar meeting 15 years ago about a (now shuttered) shelter that was planned between Pacific and Dean Streets. “I heard everything, that crime was going to rise, property values were going to plummet, and no one would ever move into Prospect Heights…. Isn’t it true that these objections are raised at virtually every site and none of them turn out to be true?”

“I’m just accepting it, it’s a done deal. I’m really supportive essentially. As a neighbor, what can we do as a neighborhood?” asked John, a 13th Street resident. “What have been positive experiences, ways in which the local neighborhood can welcome the homeless shelter into the neighborhood?”

President of WIN Christine Quinn (Photo: Nathan Haselby)

“Thank you. That’s a wonderful, generous offer,” said Christine Quinn, President of WIN. She said that the community can volunteer to host a program at the STEAM-focused Camp WIN or donate presents for the kids during the holidays or new backpacks at the start of the school year.

“This community has a big heart and we are welcoming to all people—that doesn’t mean having concerns isn’t legitimate,” said another neighbor. “We have legitimate concerns and we want you to take them seriously and the scale concern is a really big one. These are huge and we are a low density neighborhood.” She noted the approximately 750 people who will be “cycling through the neighborhood” concern her. “I want to know really specifically what you’re going to do to make sure that our community is kept safe,” she said.

Quinn responded that the facility will be staffed with a WIN-trained security team—15 to 20 per building per shift, 24 hours a day. The security guards will not be armed.

She also noted that both facilities will have cameras inside and outside to monitor activity and that room inspections will be conducted every two weeks. All residents will have a 9pm curfew and head counts will taken every night to ensure everyone is there. Quinn also noted that WIN has a zero tolerance for drugs.

She added that a Community Advisory Board could also be established which would have regular meetings with WIN staff and an internal point person.

Daniel Price was expecting to learn more last night. “You’re either not prepared or you’re not giving the answers,” he said to the panel. “You could get the community behind you if you’re open and transparent.” See some of the questions he wanted answered in the video below as well as questions from Zac Martin regarding overseeing the developers and affordability.

“DHS, WIN, Brad Lander and others were woefully—and possibly willfully—unprepared last night,” Price told Bklyner following the meeting. “Their answers were vague, often directly contradictory or demonstrably false. If last night was designed to build trust and the foundation of a strong working relationship with their neighbors, they failed miserably. Many who entered the room undecided sadly left angry and disappointed.” He noted that he and several neighbors have formed a working group and are actively organizing.

“We were shocked in particular by Christine Quinn’s arrogant, dismissive and condescending attitude toward the audience,” Price continued, “especially given her past fight against a far smaller homeless shelter in her own neighborhood.”

“CB6 supports shouldering our fair share during a crisis of homelessness,” said District Manager Michael Racioppo. “We should welcome these families in need of shelter. Indeed some of the eventual occupants are already part of our community which has been their ‘home.’ I’m sure everyone in attendance at last night’s meeting would want to feel welcomed if they had to enter either of these shelters.”

“We must do more to address homelessness, so it’s important that the City is opening new shelters for homeless families with children in the community, since there is so little shelter in our community right now,” Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon said in response to Wednesday’s meeting. “The public meeting provided a good start to engaging the community and learning more from DHS and the non-profit shelter operator, WIN. Attendees asked good questions about the impacts on schools and the City’s payment for the housing, and I’m encouraged that many people have expressed support for this project, but we still have work to do to reduce the myths around why people experience homelessness and to get answers to certain questions from the City. I will continue to work with DHS, WIN, my colleagues, and the community to address any questions and welcome our new neighbors.”

Council Member Lander’s office is working on a FAQ document to distribute to neighbors. He is also working to get responses on the questions that were left unanswered last night. “There’s time to put out information, to take people’s questions, and give the best and clearest answers that we can, so we’re working with DHS, WIN, and DOE and other agencies to do that,” he said.

“We will make sure to work with DHS and WIN to establish the Community Advisory Board which will be an important ongoing vehicle for information and partnership,” the Council Member added.

“In almost all the cases that I have seen, there is a lot of concern expressed until the place opens…and especially when it opens,” Lander continued. “As long as there’s been a good partner like WIN, and a good community who work together, pretty quickly people realize that we have some new neighbors, they fit in pretty well, and we can all make it work together.”

Community Board 7 District Manager Jeremy Laufer did not attend the meeting and hopes to be briefed on it soon by board members who were there. He told Bklyner that CB7 will host a community meeting regarding 555 4th Avenue in the near future.

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Useless carpetbagger Brad Lander B.S. as usual. Everything he does props up fellow far left, incompetent carpetbagger Bill de Blasio. Overtaxed, incompetent NYC government, not at work for you, propping up sleazy contractors and building developers.

  2. This terrible what they are doing. Brad lander needs to go back to St. Louis. He wants to bury Park slope and bring it back to its old history in the 70s. We bring a neighborhood up and these people from the middle of nowhere come move in and try to ruin what we sacrificed our lives for. I’m sick and we as a community need to put a stop to this. Enough is enough. I do support the homeless but I think another area is better. We are already crowed with 2 shelters one on 8th Avenue and 15th st. One on 16th Street and 5th Avenue. That’s more then enough. Then we have methadone clinics on 3rd avenue and by the pathmark on 2nd Avenue and 14th Street. I feel like they just want our neighborhood to become a slum. Believe me I really want to stop homelessness but this area is already congested with them put them somewhere else please.

  3. The fact the Christine Quinn, the president of WIN who will operate this facility, herself fought against a smaller facility in her own neighborhood, bears repeating. The link is above if you don’t believe it.

  4. As a homeowner, I’m upset about this too however the point that was brought up about progressives welcoming refugees to PS is spot on! I just love the hypocrisy! Just wait until the children from these shelters grow to middle school age. They’ll be invading their beloved MS 51. They’ll really start screaming!

  5. I have a CAMBA shelter in my neighborhood. It’s been several years now and the shelter is doing well. Neighbors have stepped forward to make a positive difference. I was amazed and delighted that it has worked out so well.
    I understand that the 4th Ave. shelters show an alarming partnership between developers and the City, and I acknowledge and support their concerns. I also appreciate that the issue is not so much about those needing shelter, but those who must pay the price down the road. Shame, shame on greedy developers and complicit NYC pols!

  6. Many of the people in the audience have gentrified the neighborhood, pushed out long term members of the community and are now worried about their own property values. Progressive until it’s in their neighborhood.

  7. I saw this comment elsewhere:

    “The homeless families in question have been welcomed to Park Slope. Some of them are sheltered in the Park Slope Armory, others at a building at 7th Avenue and 12th street, and still others in more cluster sites. What Bill de Blasio and Brad Lander are actually doing is un-welcoming them by concentrating them in high density housing projects next to the second-to-worst performing elementary school, PS 124, in District 15. They are re-segregating them into a school that’s 66% FRL (free- and reduced lunch, the measure of economic need) and 85% children of color. So we’re not talking about rich white anything here.”

  8. Not a good idea. All shelters should be more isolated not in a community public.

  9. I’m confused, if these are just people who were priced out or otherwise just unable to afford housing, why would they be subjected to curfews and headcounts? Why does WIN need to provide such a high level of security???

  10. 1 major point that was completely overlooked or addressed was the fact these 200+ Homeless families in no way can contribute into this neighborhood to support local business’s like the few restaurants we do have who are just making the rent. That they, the business owners, had been looking forward to seeing the neighborhood grow. For us to see more business’s occupy these vacant store fronts. Now with this over saturation of homeless families, business’s will think twice before signing any lease on 4th Avenue. Yes we have buildings with market rate apartments but many are vacant because of the high rent. This city and our reps should be alarmed and redesign incentives to these buildings to include the affordable housing and yes give a % to homeless families in need that are actually from this neighborhood. Hard for me to believe we have over 200 plus families in our community that are homeless. The other puzzling question is where and how will they shop for food and essentials? We hardly have any large groceries stores anymore and the ones we do have are not cheap. Are they getting vouchers to shop at Whole Foods?
    Another troubling thought. If these buildings are for homeless families trying to get back on there feet then why for so much security?. Is it to protect them or is it to protect us?
    These should be concerns Brad Landers, CB6 & 7, Eric Adams and whomever else represents our neighborhood should think of 1st.

  11. This ranks among the most dumb ideas from an administration and City government that frankly hasn’t performed for the people of this City. Firstly, it’s well-documented that programmatic transitional housing through LIHTC or another federal state or local program provides long-term solutions for homeless moreso than any shelter. This would have been a much better solution but the Administration has wasted its terms with failure so now they’re going to use taypayer money to buy themselves out of a mess of their own making. Also any group associated with Chris Quinn….who stole additional terms for Bloomberg and the City Council of her era, not really the person to trot out to explain this. The voters told her no once and now she re-emerges masquerading as someone knowledgeable about housing….I’m dubious. Hundreds of targeted units for homeless in 2 adjacent buildings is as silly as it sounds. Classic bait & switch…the community board ok’d the 4th Ave. rezoning plan because of the retail component that was desperately needed….this was to make 4th Ave. one day resemble Park Ave. South….how do you have homeless targeting in buildings with no supportive services and where to put the SS if you have retail in the ground levels? You can’t have it all and for this, they’ll be no retail so they go against their own rezoning plans. And now de Blasio wants to run for POTUS…well there certainly is precedent for a person’s hometown city detesting them making it to the White House. Best of luck. Councilman Lander has done some good things and should be given a chance to make this better…please fix it. Thanks

  12. This whole proposal is, frankly, appalling. Paying market rate to stuff hundreds of homeless families (only a small fraction of whom are regular functional folks down on their luck, let’s be serious) into a gentrifying area of Park Slope/Gowanus is nothing more than a middle finger to the folks who work hard to be able to live there and to taxpayers who are subsidizing this taxpayer bailout to the Mayor’s developer buddies. Similar thing happened with Maspeth and College Point in Queens and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn — plans for a huge influx of vagrants under cover of secrecy into previously quiet and safe working-class areas. Incompetent ideologues like DeBlasio and Lander certainly don’t have their actual constituents’ interests at heart.

  13. Rather sad that there seems to be something funny going on, with this “surprise” announcement that not one, but two brand-new buildings, that have had multiple problems, are suddenly saved by taxpayer funds. I live in the area and everyone else is the neighborhood is stunned about such a huge project being slammed through without any community input. The massive scale of the project, or plural…projects, are way out of line with what the neighborhood can absorb. Am sure the developers are delighted…

  14. More corruption pushed by Brad Lander, the interloper from St. Louis who allegedly graduated from U of Chicago where he learned to become divisive trouble maker. He sucks up to every left wing-socialist cause he can find without caring about his constituents. He has screwed up good public schools, after his children graduated from them: a hypocrite. Lander voted himself a 32% salary raise in 2017 while those who are not earning the minimum wage are still waiting for their raise: a hypocrite. He shoved down the plastic bag ban and convinced other socialists like Bobby Carroll to vote for it last month and as alternative, stores will only be legally required to offer paper bags as a substitute for a cost at a nickel each: a hypocrite. Yesterday, it rained all day so how will shoppers carry their food home as even Lander and Bobby Carroll must realize that paper bags are useless when it rains: two hypocrites. Lander, like most of his rich friends, probably gets his food home delivered in boxes and doesn’t want to accept that in Brooklyn, unlike St. Louis, most of us shop on our way home from work (9 – 5 normal job which Lander, Bobby Carroll Bill DeBlasio, Andy Cuomo never had)
    when we get off the bus or subway and pass the stores; these four and other hypocrites either expect us to carry bags all the time or pay the Cuomo/Lander nickel paper bag tax, which will cost the average person at least $300 each year. Lander, along with Bobby Carroll, Cuomo and DeBlasio have been repeated the same sound bites for months that plastic bags are bad for the environment but refuse to accept that bringing back paper bags are even worse for the environment and the economy; they refuse to acknowledge that plastic pollution in the ocean is in the Pacific, 10,000 miles away from NYS, and all comes from China, not Long Island (if they all didn’t cut high school geography classes, they would know this): 4 hypocrites who are out to make statements at the expense of the working classes. If Lander is in favor of these shelters, then he should move himself and his family in one of the buildings next door. Looking forward to voting for the re-election of Donald Trump next year and in the future, whoever will be running against Lander and Carroll. Lander and Carroll represent outside interests and not those of our community.

  15. I agree that Brad Lander never cared about his constituents, but he cares about promoting himself with every crazy scam to get attention and eventually he gets his way as he is a bully and through intimidation. Is Lander being paid off with campaign contributions for pushing this project? What did Quinn promise Lander for his support? He is an interloper from another part of the country who has no conception of what New Yorkers want or need. This homeless shelter should be on the Upper East Side, near the Mayor’s residence. Or near Quinn’s apartment in the village. Lander doesn’t care as he always acts arrogantly and is obnoxious. Take the plastic bag ban. This was another beauty from Lander who wants the city to tax us on each paper bag, a nickel but in reality, all paper bags need to be double or tripled. At 15 cents per tripled bag, this will quickly add up to hundreds of dollars each year for struggling families. Stores are happy to provide free plastic bags as it cuts down shoplifting, speeds cashier lines and are used to promote the supermarket with its name on each bag. Plastic bags were invented to save our planet: paper bags are made from wood which comes from trees; trees suck up pollution, cool the earth and provide shade, cut down on winds which prevent dust bowls and help retain water in our soil needed for crops. Paper bags use much energy or fossil fuel to make and this is about the same for plastic, including the fossil fuel which is used to make each plastic bag. Arrogant Lander had the gall to tell us that he is exercising the option of tax each bag a nickel which Albany is allowing each locality as he wants us all to be forced to bring our own bags to be store. What happens when one doesn’t bring enough bags to the store? Can’t finish the shopping trip. A child buying milk will be forced to pay a nickel for what are now free bags. What happens to paper bags when it rains? Items fall out, if glass, it cracks and is left on the sidewalks when someone will step on it and the paper bags will just be left where it rip, eventually clogging the sewers. And its not just Lander who doesn’t care about the consumer; its all those in Albany who supported this bill. I too, will be voting for Trump next year as using the environment as another excuse to justify another regressive tax is insane.

  16. paper/plastic: @PSWINAS + @Jorge (who may be the same person?) Thanks for your input on the issue, however the plastic bag ban doesn’t seem to be relevant to this topic. If it is, it likely merits a mention (in relation perhaps to your distaste for the politicians), not an essay (or two). We get that you are against the ban, and for Trump, but a lot of us are very concerned about the issue of this article, and it’s always better to keep comments relevant to the issue at hand rather than go off-topic. (There are other places to do that. Maybe consider submitting a separate post to the Bklyner.) The changing of the use of these two massive buildings is an important issue for those of us in the neighborhood.

  17. As Simone born and raised in South Slope, now living in Windsor Terrace I welcome these families. Like was already said these are NYers that have been priced out by gentrification. Let some working class kids and their mothers enjoy and the neighborhood and live in safety.

  18. 5 points:
    1) Brad Lander, Jo Anne Simon, DHS and WIN are still not being open and transparent. The meeting was quietly leaked out on the eve of a holiday weekend; virtually no specific questions were answered and we are still waiting for Brad Lander’s attempt at damage control: an FAQ.
    2) This will be Brad Lander’s legacy, whether it succeeds or fails.
    3) This is a reward of epic proportions for Adam American and Slate Property Group, two of the worst developers in the city.
    4) This project fails to integrate people experiencing homelessness into Park Slope. This out-of-scale project–the largest residential project in the area–will warehouse people in the farthest and least affluent corner of the neighborhood. None of the children will be permitted to attend rich schools like PS 321.
    5) The leaders of this project, including Brad Lander and Christine Quinn, are hypocritical. Brad Lander speaks about this being his neighborhood, but he sent his children to other schools. Christine Quinn fought against a far-smaller shelter in her own neighborhood. Her argument: that smaller shelter was still too large. https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20110612/chelsea-hells-kitchen/council-speaker-christine-quinn-says-homeless-shelter-illegal/

  19. @Silvie 16: I haven’t heard of anyone objecting to helping the homeless and having a facility in the neighborhood. The objections are how the developers seem to be profiting big-time from this and we were led to believe something else was going up on our street corners, and at the final-hour, this was announced. Our concerns are mentioned by @Your neighbor – mostly that the sheer scope/size of the buildings, and number of people that will be housed there, will make it difficult for them to be absorbed in the neighborhood. No one asked for neighbor participation & the people pushing it through have been avoiding people in the community. Having lived near housing projects before, I’ve seen how poorly run they are. But mostly, many of us are concerned about how this “deal” happened, that is seemingly a windfall for the developers, why there was no community input since many of us still live here, and haven’t moved away.

  20. A deal appears to have been brokered by Brad Lander, Quinn and the developer. Not the first time Lander has screwed the community and the rest of the city. Lander’s campaign fund for comptroller most likely received a nice donation from an interested party. Probably was another one of Lander’s midnight deal like the time he voted himself and others a 35% pay raise and how he pushed for a ban on plastic bags 3 years ago. This a large project but Lander appears surprised the the same people who claimed to welcome refugees suddenly has rejected the homeless. The way this meeting went, who would be surprised if Trump didn’t win Lander’s district?

  21. Id like to join the organization that is opposing these shelters. Can someone share a link/email/name?

  22. There are neighborhood organizations on the Upper West Side and in Queens which are constantly fighting shelters which you should be able to locate by searching the net. The issue with these large shelters is that it has the support of arrogant Brad Lander, who mistakenly thought that he would be able to shove this project through as he has done with the ban on plastic bags and his nickel tax on paper bags. I don’t know of any organizations in Brooklyn but if Lander opposed this project, it would never have been considered. Lander has consistently put himself first rather than the interests of Brooklyn. For example, in addition to pushing the ban on plastic bags which are still free for the next 10 months, Lander blocked the F Train Express, held rallies for Syrian refugees who are economic migrants, expanded the guidelines for NY being a sanctuary city, stopped cops from arresting public pot smokers and urinating in public, fought to stop the frisk and search policy, been on the front lines for Occupy Wall Street rallies, demonstrated against McDonalds, led the useless resistance against Trump rallies (wonder why New Yorkers got screwed with the new tax plan?) opposed the Amazon deal, supported congestion pricing which was being pushed by Uber so one can wonder if Uber’s interests made large campaign donations to Lander, screwed the Yellow Taxi industry, etc. If Lander had the gall to dictate what he feels are the benefits of this homeless shelter at a public forum, then he must have received or has been promised donations to his political slush funds by either Quinn or the developers or their silent partners. Perhaps the Eastern District of New York Attorney will investigate?

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