From the Forum West:
Plans for a homeless shelter in Elmhurst have been halted after the city terminated its agreement with the organization seeking to run the facility out of a 58th Avenue building, but residents’ relief might be short lived, as the future of the property is still unclear.
The city Human Resource Administration cancelled its Memorandum of Understanding with Queens Alliance “to protect the confidentiality of our clients,” according to department spokeswoman Barbara Brancaccio. Queens Alliance had planned to open a homeless shelter for 29 individuals at 86-18 58th Avenue, despite huge uproar from neighbors who say that type of facility isn’t appropriate for the residential block.
While Brancaccio refused to say how the Queens Alliance breached their potential client’s confidentiality, literature distributed by the organization to the public stated that while the location wouldn’t serve as an HIV/AIDS treatment center, “only HIV/AIDS positive individuals who are asymptomatic may be referred to this facility.”
Brancaccio said the termination of the Memorandum of Understanding ends the city’s involvement in the 58th Avenue location for now. She indicated that Queens Alliance –which has no track record running these types of facilities – is free to submit another application to the city to open a shelter on 58th Avenue, where they have a 10 year lease with the building owner.
From the Daily News:
"We're in the shelter business," said Queens Alliance lawyer Mitchell Ross. "We want to help people. ... And we will operate a shelter there."
The shelter did not receive clients from the city during the roughly one month it was open, but Ross said he still hopes to work with the city.
"We stand ready to continue to work with the community board, the civic association and any other responsible parties to assure all of them that this shelter will not become a problem in their neighborhood," he said.
This is nothing more than a new type of blockbusting. The city and the media can spin it however they wish, but why else would transients be placed in the middle of a thriving middle class community of young families?