Mayor: Slope shelter on the way

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Mayor DeBlasio will bring a 250-bed homeless shelter to the greater Park Slope area as the city prepares to end the its dealings with a Gowanus Super 8 hotel currently providing refuge for 172 dispossessed locals.

The mayor announced the new shelter on April 21 during his weekly appearance on Brian Lehrer’s WNYC radio show, when he responded to an irate caller who claimed the city was stuffing low-income, minority communities with homeless shelters, while giving gentrified Park Slope a free pass.

“Every community has to be part of the solution,” the mayor responded. “In fact, the community board I come from, Community Board 6 in Brooklyn, under our plan, will see an increase in homeless shelter capacity to align to the number of people who come from the community board who are in our shelter system.”

The city later confirmed that a new 250-bed homeless facility is planned for the Community Board 6 area — which also includes Gowanus, Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and the Columbia Waterfront District — with a site for the planned shelter to be announced sometime in the next few years.

Between the district’s women’s shelter in the historic Park Slope Armory, and the Third Avenue Super 8 hotel that Department of Homeless services rents out for the homeless, the city can provide beds for 282 homeless.

But that’s not enough to house the 347 homeless people from the community, 163 of which have to be shipped off to shelters throughout the city due to overflow, according to homeless services spokesman Isaac McGinn.

The mayor’s shelter initiative — which calls for 90 new shelters to open throughout the city and an end to the use of hotels as overflow shelters — is tailored in large part to ensure homeless people aren’t packed off to distant neighborhoods, and that local facilities are sufficient to keep them close to family, friends, and area support groups, according to DeBlasio spokeswoman Jaclyn Rothenberg.

“Our plan gives our homeless neighbors, who come from every community in New York City, the opportunity to be sheltered closer to their support networks and home communities,” said Rothenberg. “The mayor’s neighborhood of Park Slope has a need for space and will of course be playing a role in this citywide responsibi­lity.”

But that policy will require more shelters open in low-income neighborhoods with large homeless populations, and locals there have a moral obligation to accept the company of their less-fortunate neighbors, DeBlasio said.

“Being in your own community is the best way to do it,” DeBlasio told Lehrer.

So far, the city has announced five new shelters, including one in Prospect Heights that is currently serving women with special needs.

The city hasn’t revealed its plan for the Community Board 6 shelter to the group’s honchos, and is only required to provide 30-days notice before the shelter opens its doors, McGinn said.

But the community is ready and willing to do its part to help house the city’s homeless, according to Community Board 6 Chairman Sayar Lonial.

“Homelessness is a huge problem and there’s no other way to say it except that everyone is going to have to chip in to solve the problem,” Lonial said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:59 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Public Service from Park Slope says:
Borough Hall serves no purpose. Why not put a few hundred homeless people in there.
April 26, 2017, 2:27 am
Voice of Reason from Brooklyn Heights says:
The city can never "build" it's way out of the homeless crisis. The more shelters we build, the more homeless people we will attract. People who can't afford to live here and who lack the work skills needed to sustain themselves should be resettled to other parts of the country where the cost of living is lower and an entry level job can sustain them. Doing otherwise perpetuates poverty and burdens the city with a a growing group of people who don't pay taxes and live off of others.
April 26, 2017, 8:35 am
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
"The mayor’s shelter initiative... is tailored... to ensure homeless people aren’t packed off to distant neighborhoods, and that local facilities are sufficient to keep them close to family, friends, and area support groups."

Not to sound harsh, but why aren't these local family and friends providing their homeless family and friends with shelter, and maybe work? Give a friend or relative a spare room, or just the couch, for a while, and you give them a home address that could increase their chances of finding work and getting back on their feet. (If substance abuse is an issue, then the area support groups aren't working, and there's no need to keep people close to them.)
April 26, 2017, 9:49 am
HONEY Pooter from Williamsburg says:
Sure, they give Park Slope all the homeless, but poorer neighborhoods get nothing? They already have so much stuff in Park Slope, they should not get all the homeless too! They should be forced to share them with poorer neighborhoods!
April 26, 2017, 10:46 am
Ace from Bath Beach says:
ONTARIO, CANADA: Government Announces Details of Minimum Income Pilot
April 26, 2017, 10:53 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
All neighborhoods should share the burden of homeless shelters, which are a benefit to the people who use them as well as society at large. Everyone needs a place to shelter.
April 26, 2017, 11:31 am
John from Park Slope says:
I wonder why there are no homeless shelters on 57th st and Park Avenue, Sutton Place or CPW.
April 26, 2017, 1 pm
Jjm from C. Hill says:
There goes the neighborhood.
April 26, 2017, 1:16 pm
Florence Lesbona from Park Slope says:
Of course he wants to bring them closer to his house - he married one of them! His wife was a homeless. He's probably having sex fantasies about them. Jerking his —— while thinking about the homeless. He is disgusting
April 26, 2017, 6:16 pm
Harry Virginia says:
I am a homeless - how does this help me?? Who's going to buy me organic produce?? Living in Park Slope is not easy, suddenly there's all this pressure to have a baby at 39! I'll custom made running shoes that I'll use only once!! I think I might be developing gluten sensitivity!!
April 27, 2017, 1:47 am
Homey from Crooklyn says:
DeBlasio is mentally ill
April 27, 2017, 8:10 am
Sherwood from Park Slope says:
Progressives are Orwellian. You have to laugh at the Mayor and homeless experts for now deciding the homeless need to be in shelters in the neighborhoods they became homeless in. The rest of us live where we can pay the freight but the de Blasio homeless must live in neighborhoods the rest of us can't afford, like Park Slope.
April 29, 2017, 10:05 pm

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