City needs a new approach to homeless shelters
Sep 23, 2014 | 15471 views | 0 0 comments | 857 857 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Long after other communities may have given up the fight, Glendale and Middle Village continue pushing against construction of a homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave. Now, it seems that battle has taken a turn in a new direction as the local community board and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley have affirmed their support for the establishment of a school campus at the hotly contested site.

Community Board 5 believes that the environmental assessment performed by an independent contractor on the site is faulty, and Crowley says with Independent Chemical and Hansel & Gretel – the site's two neighbors – willing to sell, the opportune moment to establish a large school campus has arrived.

Meanwhile, a new Glendale-Middle Village coalition has been formed to bring down the homeless shelter using legal means, and they say they've raised $20,000 of their $100,000 goal to do just that.

At this point, it is unclear whether either of these efforts will find success, but what is clear is that the people of Glendale and Middle Village have shown they are willing to go to any length to make sure the homeless shelter is out and a new school is in.

Right now, there are similar battles under way in neighborhoods all over Queens to keep shelters at bay, with a central concern being the lack of community input in the planning process during shelter establishment. With that in mind, we believe it is time for the city of New York to take a step back and reconsider its current homeless shelter plan.

Why not give New Yorkers input on new programs and methods to house homeless New Yorkers. What's the worst that could happen?

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