A community is outraged and looking for answers as they learned the city went behind their backs to turn an East Elmhurst motel into a permanent homeless shelter.
Last week, the city’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) approved the conversion of the Westway Motor Inn, located at 71-11 Astoria Blvd., into a shelter to immediately house over 100 homeless families, according to officials. The shelter will be managed by social services provider Women In Need.
“The agreement was that the homeless people would be bused in at night and out in the morning, no permanent housing,” [Rose Marie] Poveromo said. “We have no voice, the government doesn’t follow the will of people.”
“We are deeply troubled by this decision and find it disturbing that neither elected officials nor community leaders were informed or consulted beforehand,” a group of elected officials wrote in a letter to DHS Commissioner Gilbert Taylor after being told about the plan the day before the families were expected to begin moving into the motel. “While we appreciate that DHS is legally required to provide shelter for the homeless, the agency’s failure to provide any notification to the people currently living in the area who are impacted by its implementation is unacceptable.”
The emergency town hall meeting on the Westway Motor Inn homeless shelter will be held on Wednesday, July 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the Museum of the Moving Image at 36-01 35th Ave.
Then there's this from the Daily News about a shelter in Rockaway:
The city's plan to quietly convert a former Rockaway rehab center into a homeless shelter has enraged residents and officials, who say their peninsula is being used as a dumping ground.
“Without any talk of essential services being added to Rockaway, this is not a good proposal,” said City Councilman Donovan Richards. “We have done everybody’s share for the last 30 to 40 years.”
The Department of Homeless Services is set to begin housing 155 homeless families at the site of the former Daytop Village drug rehabilitation center on Beach 65th St., officials confirmed Wednesday.
The city drew up a contract with Housing Bridge, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that operates 16 shelters throughout the city.
Shocked local leaders said they were misled by the city and had no idea the agency was eyeing the site for a shelter.
An official from the Department of Homeless Services told Richards’ office in June there were “no plans to build anything there,” according to emails obtained by the Daily News through a Freedom of Information request.
I've lost count, are we up to 4 shelters for Queens this year, 2 of which the City lied about? It's funny how Comptroller Scott Stringer signed off on these secret shelters then scolded the DHS in a letter for opening them without community input.
This crisis may be due in part to "migrant children".