Assemblymember William Colton joined community members on a rainy morning to oppose the city’s proposal to build a homeless shelter for 150 single men at 2147 Bath Ave.
U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis joined Colton’s push to stop the shelter from being built and representatives from her office attended the rally Aug. 8.
“’I’m supportive of Assemblyman Colton’s efforts to push back on this shelter location in Brooklyn and truly believe Mayor de Blasio’s desire to build shelters in residential communities is extremely concerning,” Malliotakis said.
She also said that instead of building shelters to warehouse people, de Blasio should address the underlying causes of homelessness and provide rehabilitation and mental health services, workforce training and supportive housing.
“This city has spent nearly double in homeless services than what was being spent when the mayor took office in 2014, and yet the problem has only gotten worse,” she said. “It’s time to restore the Giuliani/Bloomberg era policies that worked.”
Colton said that it has been nearly eight months since the community was alerted to the city’s proposed plan.
“Residents are still in the dark and no one knows anything about the proposed plan, only that approximately 150 single males will be residing there,” Colton said. “The community has the right to know whether the planned homeless shelter will be in compliance with the building and zoning codes.”
Colton also claimed that no one has taken a look at how the locations for new shelters are selected.
Concerns were also voiced about the site’s proximity to schools, including the East Academy of Science & Technology High School, 2115 Benson Ave., and I.S. 281 Joseph B. Cavallaro, 8787 24th Ave.
“The community will remain united in fighting against this homeless shelter, which would not help solve the homeless crisis but would be detrimental to the residential quality of life in our neighborhood, especially when the proposed location is near several schools,” Colton said.
In January, members of Community Board 11 joined elected officials and representatives from the NYC Department of Homeless Services and the Institute for Community Living to discuss the matter.
“We have sites all across the city in every type of neighborhood,” said Matthew Borden of DHS during the meeting. “We don’t think there is any inappropriate place to put a homeless shelter in this situation.”