More than 200 residents and elected officials strongly expressed their disapproval at a community meeting on Saturday, about the opening of a homeless shelter in Crown Heights, as reported by The Gothamist.
The attendees loudly shared their frustrations and concerns about the building of yet another shelter, and demanded it to be moved. According to the city’s data, there are currently 15 shelters in community board 8.
The shelter which is scheduled to open in mid-March, will be located at 1173 Bergen Street, operated by the homeless service provider CORE Services Group, and will offer housing to 106 men over 50 years of age.
One resident and mother, Jenny Scott, 45, expressed fears for the safety of her daughter: ”There’s already panhandling that’s going on, already currently in the neighborhood. I go home now and I’m asked for money. There are gentleman that are on the corners now that getting up early in the morning looking to collect their drugs,” she said.
Representatives from the Department of Homeless Services, the Mayor’s Office and CORE gave a detailed description about the planning process, and plans to ensure safety, and avoiding disruptions for the community. The shelter will be staffed with six uniformed security officers who will be on duty at all times. Additionally, outreach staff is supposed to patrol the neighborhood regularly.