The fight continues for Elmhurst community members who continue to stand together hoping the city will again reject the proposal to convert the former Pan American Hotel into a permanent homeless shelter, which was resubmitted last month.
Local elected officials gathered with residents and community activists on Tuesday morning outside the facility to call for the rejection of Samaritan Village’s proposal that would turn the emergency shelter into a permanent one.
“We cannot address the growing homeless population at the expense of homeless families and children, or the community as a whole,” said state Senator Tony Avella, who previously voiced his opposition of the homeless shelter and its conditions. “We must look to fix this broken system.”
The emergency homeless shelter at the former hotel was supposed to close last December, yet even after facing large opposition from community members, an application was submitted to convert it into a permanent shelter under a five-year, $42 million contract with the Department of Homeless Services.
In May, the proposal was rejected by the office of Comptroller Scott Stringer due to health and safety concerns, such as fire code violations and lack of kitchen facilities in the units, but it was resubmitted on June 12 and now Stringer must decide to accept or reject it by next week.
From the Daily News:
The city is moving sex offenders out of a Queens homeless shelter after officials discovered a nearby school is actually closer than the mandated 1,000 feet.
There are 52 registered sex offenders living at the Skyway Shelter in South Ozone Park, according to City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica), who opposed the shelter’s conversion from a family residence to a men’s housing facility in 2011.
“We are working to transfer those residents to sites that are compliant,” a Department of Homeless Services spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Initially, the city believed the shelter was 1,000 feet away from Public School/Middle School 124, authorities said. But that measurement did not include a school playground, which is actually 922 feet from the 176-bed shelter, according to parents at the school.