Wednesday, June 18, 2014

1000 Elmhurst residents rally against Pan Am homeless shelter

From the Queens Chronicle:

A crowd estimated at around 1,000 protested outside the former Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst Tuesday evening, decrying its new use as a homeless shelter.

"Get this shelter out of our community!" one protester's handwritten sign demanded.

At least one other protester carried a sign calling Lisa Black, an assistant commissioner with the Department of Homeless Services, a liar for saying during a May 22 hearing in Middle Village that the hotel would not be used as a shelter because it does not have adequate facilities.

NYPD Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson, commanding officer of the 110th Precinct, told the Queens Chronicle he estimated the crowd at about 1,000. The protesters disrupted traffic on Queens Boulevard, where the shelter is located. Another shelter, the Metro Family Residence, is one block away from the Pan Am.

The protesters are furious the city would put two homeless shelters so close to one another, and also that it would start moving families into the Pan Am just two weeks after Black told the crowd in Middle Village, during a hearing on another shelter proposed for Glendale, that the Pan Am would not become one.


Anonymous said...

Who organized this?

Cannot imagine you could get those people in that number out for that issue unless someone organized it.

Queens Crapper said...

COMET Civic was the organizer. Asians are tight-knit and will come out to protest intrusions into their neighborhood. That's something the rest of us can learn from them.

Anonymous said...

was crowley there

Anonymous said...

No. Interesting, too, since she grew up in Elmhurst, and a school and park there are both named for her father.

Anonymous said...

I hear that Dromm is meeting with COMET in the next few weeks to discuss the matter further. I hope that you can post an update when this information is announced, Crappy. This can't be allowed to remain as-is, and the more vociferous people are, the likelier things might change course.

Interesting also that you should mention Asians as being well-organized. I saw several flyers about the COMET protest printed in Chinese posted around Broadway over the past week.

Me said...

I believe the Mets motel, less than a quarter mile west on Queens Boulevard, is also a homeless shelter. Is it really necessary to deface the neighborhood even further by turning a once-beautiful hotel into a dump...and so close to all those fabulous (not!) luxury condos popping up all along Queens Blvd, charging luxury prices just to be able to reside in that mess. I am a bit surprised to see so many Caucasians still in Elmhurst. Thank you for standing up for Elmhurst,Peter Kobel! I know your family from St. Bart's Parish/School. Glad to see you've held out in Elmhurst while others ran.

georgetheatheist said...

What public relations nitwit counselled all those demonstrators' protest signs in Chinese?

Anonymous said...

It was intentional to get Chinese press coverage.

Anonymous said...

They are wasting their time. The city was working on this for several years.

georgetheatheist said...

What public relations nitwit counselled all those demonstrators' protest signs in JUST Chinese and not bi-lingually in English as well?

Anonymous said...

Oh well the protest was not perfect (pertaining to Chinese only signs with no English) but I'm glad residents and people are sticking up for Elmhurst and the community came together! Believe it this is long overdue, dumping on this neighborhood and no community protests up until now. Maybe the residents will start to get involved.
All the Crowley's are big a**holes and people need to stop voting for them. I grew up in Elmhurst and still visit often and my parents have a multi-family home there. My parents were also at the protest. Enough is enough, Elmhurst deserves respect. Also I have seen a few newcomers to the neighborhood, maybe new to the city or hipsters, Not sure to sure.

Anonymous said...

This whole thing should be stopped. There is already a shelter a few blocks away, plus 2 strip clubs. The area is hurting enough without this crap. 3 schools right there too. I do think shelters are needed, but one per neighborhood is enough. Leave Elmhurst alone!

Middle Villager said...

The City is going to store people there until the Elizabeth Crowley Memorial Homeless Shelter is up and running on Cooper Ave.

Anonymous said...

Bathhouse boy graduate, Councilfilth Danny Dromm, was pushing for more units for homeless families. He got it. Don't expect him to fight hard.

Anonymous said...

It's not exactly in my nabe, but it seems a bit cruel to protest homeless families. I drive by the Metro and Pan Am frequently and have not seen any evidence of actual degradation that is the result of the families. They were never that great looking of places, I can't imagine the people now forced to live there will be much of a detriment.

Anonymous said...

There was another protest/meeting tonight at Elk's Lodge. Close to a 1000 people came by again.

215 units. It's too much all at once. This is a mixed working class community. Elmhurst is a safe community. Parts are ugly as hell but it's all pretty safe. That shelter is on the nicer, smaller and quieter side of Elmhurst. The Elmhurst that's attached to Maspeth.

This shelter is within 1 block to 3 prek/elementary to middle schools. There are rumors that Samaritan Village will house single men there. This is a huge problem. Instead of dumping and dumping on people, the city should cut out the middle man, buy up foreclosed and abandoned housing and house families that way. I read somewhere that SV is getting 70 million contract to house and manage the addicts/homeless.

As for white people, I think the Maspeth side of Elmhurst has/had legacy Polish/Italian immigrant families? I tend come across Asian, Hispanic and Eastern European moms in the new Park.

On the side of Queens Blvd, on the Broadway side, you see young white people priced out of Brooklyn move in among Asians and Hispanics. Definite increase from Brooklyn transplants.

I think the asian population is exploding and the hispanic population is shrinking. I see asian eateries opening in traditionally hispanic (Colombian/Argentian/Ecuadorian..etc) neighborhoods.

Whatever the race, this is a decent working class community! Don't ruin it! This is a stable neighborhood and they're trying to destabilize it.

Anonymous said...

Our community has seen a lot of changes over the years but it's always been working class, stable, family orientated and fairly safe. We already have a homeless shelter at the Metro Hotel which is canvassed by hookers at night. Do we really need another homeless shelter and one that might house single adult males next to elementary schools? Do we need to overburden our public services anymore? I vote no!

Kam resident of Woodside said...

I would like to express my deep concern for tuning the pan American on Queens Blvd that is going to build into a homeless shelter occupy for three hundreds occupants
My reasons for my concern are as follow:
There are at least 4 elementary schools in the neighborhood. I do believe that there is a correlation between the crime rate and homeless shelter, especially this one more than 300 occupants.
This neighborhood is very good. We have a nice community part, but by putting the homeless, it will dramatically decreased the home value.
A lot of the homeowner rely on the rents to pay for their mortgages. If the neighborhood is unsafe, we will not have an easy time to rent out the house. By the time, we will be forced to foreclose the house.
We are currently paying about 8000 real estate taxes (little less than long island real estate tax) The reason for this real estate is to enjoy the nice neighborhood, schools and park. If this is going to change, we will have no choice but choice to move out of this neighborhood.
Our taxes should be turned into something that beneficial to our community and not to support homeless people.
This space could be turned into a swimming pool, which is what is beneficial for this community. There are so may children and elderly people would be benefited from this new facility.
We worked hard with our two hands to build our lives here. Do not pollute a nice neighborhood like this.