“I remain open to negotiating with the mayor to change the homeless population to homeless seniors, veterans or women and therefore doing our part in helping with the homelessness crisis facing our city,” Sen. Addabbo said.
By Michael V. Cusenza
A borough civil court judge may have recently dismissed the lawsuit to legally halt construction of a proposed homeless shelter in Ozone Park, but that doesn’t mean the grassroots effort to oppose the City’s plan should be tossed away as well, at least according to one area elected official.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) on Friday said he still stands in solidarity with the residents of Ozone Park who do not want a shelter for 113 single men, some with mental illnesses, to be built on 101st Avenue and 86th Street.
“I remain open to negotiating with the mayor to change the homeless population to homeless seniors, veterans or women and therefore doing our part in helping with the homelessness crisis facing our city,” Addabbo said. “I am extremely concerned for the safety of all and the burden on our local 102nd Precinct if the mayor does not change his plans.”
The senator said that City Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Steven Banks informed him that the Mayor’s Office still has intentions to utilize the former Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church located at 85-15 101st Ave., as a shelter.
Addabbo also said that he plans to continue to urge Mayor Bill de Blasio to address the concerns over this shelter’s size and population.
“If the size is reduced and the population is changed, we would welcome this shelter with open arms and help those individuals get back on their feet,” the senator added. “Until that time, I am opposed to this current plan.”