At a packed and contentious public meeting two weeks ago over plans to turn a vacant apartment building in Carroll Gardens into a homeless shelter, residents expressed fears that shelter operators would railroad through the shelter by moving a small number of homeless men into the building right away, then later go through all the official hoops needed to open as an official shelter for 170 men. Now, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, that appears to be exactly what is happening. On Monday, Community Board 6 district manager Craig Hammerman received a letter from the Department of Homeless Services saying it plans to temporarily move in 120 homeless male veterans displaced from a Queens shelter because of the storm, reported the Brooklyn Paper. “We were told this is going to be short term, they will be out in less than a month,” said Hammerman. Longtime Carroll Gardens resident and Court Street funeral director Buddy Scotto was quoted saying he doesn’t oppose the temporary use of the shelter for veterans but objects to the long-term plan. During the meeting in late October, city and shelter executives repeated over and over again that not a single homeless person would be brought in to the building without the necessary inspections and certifications from state and city agencies and advocates for the homeless. At issue is whether a building that has stood vacant for years, apparently because of problems with the Department of Buildings, and that was designed as luxury apartments with lots of plate glass and patios, is safe and legal to use as a shelter for 170 single men. The city pays an average of $102 per night per bed, so potentially the shelter could gross half a million or so a month, benefiting both shelter operator Housing Solutions USA and the landlord, who have business ties.
Homeless Move Into Carroll Gardens Building — Right Now [Brooklyn Paper]
Pols, Angry Residents Confront Homeless Shelter Execs [Brownstoner]
Photo by Pardon Me For Asking