Locals Protest The Opening Of A Homeless Shelter On McDonald Avenue

Photo by Shannon Geis/KensingtonBK
Photo by Shannon Geis/KensingtonBK

Roughly one hundred local residents lined up along the fence outside 385 McDonald Avenue Monday evening to protest the homeless shelter that DHS is opening in the space. Many held signs with messages including “We’re Not Against A Homeless Shelter But It’s Location” and “Out Of Your Mind! Homeless Shelter At Stone Throw Distances From Elementary Schools In A Conservative Neighborhood.”

Many of the protesters tried to make it clear that they were not against the opening of a homeless shelter, but that they felt the neighborhood was blindsided. “We are upset because they didn’t tell us,” said Carol Perri, a lifelong resident of Kensington. “We are not against the shelter, we just don’t want it near the schools. We are worried for our kids.”

“Our major concern is that the community wasn’t involved in the decision-making process,” said neighbor Russell Hasnat. “We feel like we might have been able to suggest a better location.”

homeless protest 3
Photo by Shannon Geis/KensingtonBK

One of the organizers, Abul Kashem, said that ideally they’d like to see the homeless shelter move elsewhere. “We’d rather have permanent residents coming into the area. We don’t know who is moving in, they could be a bad influence on our children who go to PS230.”

Many were concerned about what having a homeless shelter would mean for the neighborhood in the longterm. Several mentioned concerns about property values and safety.

Photo by Shannon Geis/KensingtonBk
Photo by Shannon Geis/KensingtonBk

Neighbor Matthew Hall was walking by on his way home and said he did not support the protesters’ message. “I think it’s sad that people have no empathy for others. It’s a shame that there is a fear of others taking over the community.” Others in the community have organized volunteers and donations to help with the new shelter.

A petition was also being passed around during the protest and many planned to attend the meeting Council member Brad Lander is hosting to discuss the shelter on Thursday at 6:30pm at PS230, 1 Albemarle Road at McDonald Avenue.

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  1. I was just waiting for the protest to begin.

    And who the hell are these people to declare Kensington a “conservative” neighborhood?! F@#K THAT. I sure as hell am no conservative, neither are most of my neighbors and we’ve all been here for years.

    I don’t want these unChristian pants-wetting cowards speaking for ME.

  2. Most of these dipshits never do anything for the neighborhood. Lol, it takes ignorance and hate to bring neighbors together.

  3. If, like me, you are disheartened by this protest and the negative message it sends on behalf of our community, please consider attending the community meeting this Thursday evening (Dec 10) to show your support for the shelter. Here are the details:
    December 10, 2015 at 6:30pm
    PS 230
    1 Albemarle Rd
    Brooklyn, NY 11218

  4. So your saying your a christian, but you are using profanity? You have also been saying you have been here years for years and those of us who are against the shelter against it not? What are you trying to say? Anti-immigrant? Or the immigrants that don’t share in your views? I am no conservative, but I know your no Christian either.

  5. To me, this shelter represents compassion—one of humanity’s finest and most redeeming traits. Anyone protesting it loses the right to claim moral superiority, on religious grounds or otherwise. I’m tired of weak-willed people using God to justify their insecurity and small-mindedness.

  6. Unfortunately the argument “not in my neighborhood” is exactly why enough affordable housing and safe shelters are not available to those in need. Everyone claims its a good thing as long as its not near them. To be blunt, don’t be a hypocrite. The people have to be somewhere and honestly it makes sense to place a shelter in a safe neighborhood where families can feel safe as they get back on their feet. Why is it that its only ok to put people in need in bad places. It only perpetuates the concerns being argued here. Walk a mile in the shoes of most people in this terrible situation, they simply need support, compassion and security. Stop protesting and start learning. Be a part of the solution to create a wonderful environment for the better of the whole community, not just the portion you decide it worth it.

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