Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza
The City has announced plans to open a new shelter at 85-15 101st Ave., Ozone Park, for 113 single adult males with mental illness.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Officials with the City Department of Homeless Services have confirmed their attendance at an upcoming Town Hall in Ozone Park regarding the proposed 101st Avenue shelter site, The Forum has learned.
The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 19, 7:15 p.m. at Nativity Blessed Virgin Mary Church Hall, located at 101-41 91st St., according to Sam Esposito, an Ozone Park native and former member of Community Board 9 who has been at the forefront of the opposition to the City’s plan.
“It is imperative that we have a good show of force, to attempt to negotiate with the City on a new location or different clients,” Esposito said in a statement.
Earlier this month, a City official indicated that DHS has already notified area elected officials and the community board that “we’re opening a new shelter [at] 85-15 101st Avenue, Ozone Park, for 113 single adult males with mental illness.”
The City’s rationale, in part, for choosing this particular site:“There are 272 individuals that come from CB 9 in shelters across the city, however, there are only 126 individuals being sheltered in CB 9, in one commercial hotel, which will be phased out as part of Turning the Tide.”
Turning the Tide on Homelessness, Neighborhood by Neighborhood, is Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 114-page vision to address the homelessness crisis that outlines the timing and logistics of ending the use of 360 cluster sites and commercial hotel facilities in the city. Replacing the sites will be 90 traditional shelters distributed across the five boroughs.
On June 12, hundreds of frustrated Ozone Park residents emphatically voiced their aversion to the proposal at a rally staged during CB 9’s monthly meeting at Majestic Marquise catering hall on 101st Avenue.