Rezoned Vinegar Hill Elementary School Shares Block With This Troubled Halfway House

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The halfway house at 104 Gold Street. Photo by Barbara Eldredge

A controversy is unfolding around the proposed rezoning of P.S. 8 and P.S. 307, and one of our readers reminded us of a detail we’d forgotten: A federal halfway house sits just a block from P.S. 307 elementary school.

“DUMBO MUST UNITE,”  the commenter wrote in response to our post about the rezonings. “I don’t want [students] to have to walk past the federal halfway house, where some very violent parolees are living… just to get to school.”

Brownstoner did a little digging, and found that the halfway house at 104 Gold Street is on a federal contract set to expire in 2016, and may not get renewed. To clarify, a federal halfway house is defined as housing for parolees from federal prisons. It will be interesting to see if the proposed rezoning of students from overcrowded, high-performing P.S. 8 to P.S. 307 will cause increased complaints regarding P.S. 307’s vicinity to both the halfway house and the Farragut Houses.

The Gold Street facility served as a Farragut Tenants Day Care Center until 2010, after which it sat vacant until reopening as the 161-bed halfway house, operated by Community First Services. According to a 2012 New York Times profile of the building, Community First Services has done a less-than-stellar job of running the space, with no services offered besides bed and board. In addition to the lack of job-search help or counseling, the house also has a history of corruption, drug use, and runaways, according to the story.

What do you think — should the presence of this halfway house be considered in the rezoning conversation? Should a halfway house have ever been so close to the school?

Related Stories
Gold Street Facility to Reopen as Shelter
A Look at Four Recent Brooklyn Elementary School Rezonings
School Rezoning to Assuage Overcrowding Surprises Dumbo and Vinegar Hill Parents

Brooklyn Elementary SchoolP.S. 307. Photo by Barbara Eldredge

Brooklyn Elementary School Halfway HousePhoto by Google

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