Assemblyman William Colton (D – Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) will expose that homeless shelters are a business, not a service for the homeless population.
“The taxpayers are paying for this and De Blasio has no plans to make it better. The number of homeless New Yorkers has spiked past 60,000 since 2016 and it’s the highest since the Great Depression. Many shelters are run by not-for-profits. It is painfully obvious that the homeless crisis is only getting worse. People choose to remain on the street because conditions in city-funded shelters are awful and those who need supportive services, including mental health and treatment for addictions, get little or no help. No one has taken a look at how the locations for new shelters are selected, flipped, and developed by a web of third parties, LLC’s and companies that ultimately pass the cost on to taxpayers. Instead of providing permanent solutions for the homeless crisis such as subsidized or supportive housing, these shelters have become little more than businesses that provide an opportunity for developers to make a profit,” Colton stated.
“The community is concerned about this institutional structure that is planned for a residential neighborhood. We know nothing about this shelter planned for 2147 Bath Avenue in Brooklyn, only that approximately 150 single males will be residing there. There are questions about whether or not the planned homeless shelter will be in compliance with the building and zoning codes. The city must build affordable housing to serve the needs of low-income families and supportive housing for those who need addiction or mental health services. Section 8 must reopen, and vouchers must be issued to the ones in need. Building more homeless shelters is not a solution,” Colton added.