Critics decry plan to shift more homeless to Brooklyn
Critics of the city's plan to move a Manhattan homeless men's shelter to Crown Heights have a message for Mayor Michael Bloomberg: quit dumping on Brooklyn.
Bloomberg wants to close the Bellevue shelter, located at First Avenue and East 28th Street, which helps hundreds of homeless people. Those people would be encouraged to go to a shelter located in an armory building at Atlantic and Bedford avenues.
According to the Department of Homeless Services, Manhattan is home to the largest amount of the city's homeless at 56 percent.Coalition for the Homeless representatives, Councilwoman Leticia James, Councilman Bill de Blasio, state Assemblyman Hakim Jeffries and state Sen. Eric Adams voiced opposition to the plan Thursday on the steps of City Hall.
Homeless advocates argue the move will leave more people on the streets because they will have a harder time getting to Brooklyn. Additionally, critics say the Crown Heights community doesn't need the added burden.
"This is a disaster waiting to happen," Mark Owen, a homeless man who stays at the armory, says. "They're understaffed. I've had a couple of incidents that are not very good. I've been punched in my face. My wallet has been stolen."