UPDATE: Crown Heights Homeless Shelter Will Not Open Tomorrow

Crown Heights residents protesting the opening of the 1173 Bergen Street senior men’s homeless shelter at a town hall meeting last week (Photo by Pamela Wong/BKLYNER)

[UPDATED March 21, 8:20pm] The 1173 Bergen Street shelter will not open tomorrow, March 22, as scheduled.

Jennifer Cato emailed the below message to BKLYNER:

1173 Bergen will NOT open tomorrow. We were scheduled for a 9AM hearing, but the city called and said that they want to postpone the hearing because they will not open the shelter tomorrow or before the fair share hearing has been held and a review of the complaint has been made by the city.

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One reason the city has retreated for now is the show of solidarity.  Not everyone got onto the complaint in time to file, and we still had a lot of people on the complaint….”

She adds that she and her fellow plaintiffs will continue to keep the pressure on the City to listen to the community.

The contract hearing scheduled for April 20 will reveal the details of CORE’s contract.
The date for the fair share hearing is TBD.

Community groups filed a petition today to prevent the opening of a senior men’s homeless shelter at 1173 Bergen Street in Crown Heights.

Represented by attorney and long-time Brooklyn resident, Jacqueline McMickens, the Rebirth of Bergen Street Block Association, the Dean Street Block Association, and the Crown Heights Revitalization Movement, filed the petition against the City of New York; Steven Banks, NYC Commissioner for the Department of Homeless Services; and CORE Services Group, the organization that would operate the shelter.

Scheduled to open tomorrow, March 22, 1173 Bergen Street would be the 20th homeless shelter in Crown Heights.

The plaintiffs argue that Mayor de Blasio’s homeless plan “runs directly counter to the Fair Share Criteria in the City Charter. Fair Share is aimed at equitably spreading social service and other programs and amenities around the city. Crown Heights and Bedford­-Stuyvesant carry more than their fair share; each is oversaturated with service beds for the homeless and recovering addicts. Together with Brownsville, these three areas house 45 percent of all shelter beds in Brooklyn,” according to a statement by the plaintiffs.

At a March 15 town hall meeting, a Department of Homeless Services representative contradicted the mayor’s plan of keeping homeless people in their communities by stating that “people living in 1173 Bergen Street will be from all over Brooklyn.”

The opening of the 1173 Bergen Street shelter would create a “concentration of four, 90+person homeless shelters within four blocks of the largest shelter for men in all of New York City,” the 350-bed Bedford­-Atlantic Armory Men’s Shelter.

“We are seeking a hearing as soon as the Court will allow us to be heard,” says Jennifer Catto, one of the plaintiff’s in the case.

BKLYNER will update as the story develops.

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