Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rockaway flophouse becomes homeless shelter

From the NY Times:

THE ROCKAWAY PARK HOTEL, a single-room-occupancy flophouse on Beach 116th Street, has long been a symbol of blight on the busiest commercial corridor in Rockaway. Many local residents rejoiced last month when news spread that a new owner had bought the place and was paying tenants in the 53 rooms to vacate. But the celebration stopped when it became clear that the new owners, who finally emptied the place last week, planned on changing it to what they called “sober housing” for patients finishing substance-abuse and mental-illness programs, with the government paying their rent. “Once again, we have more people with problems and needs being dumped in our overburdened Rockaway,” said Jonathan Gaska, district manager for Community Board 14. But Jay Deutchman, who is renovating the property, said he had a good track record of many similar projects in the city. “This is not another S.R.O. where people have needles popping out of their arms,” he said, adding, “The residents are all either working or in a vocational program.”

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