Plan to open men's homeless shelter in Bushwick stirs up negative reaction

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BUSHWICK -

A plan to open a men's homeless shelter on a residential block in Bushwick has stirred up a negative reaction from neighbors who say they weren't offered any input on the idea.

For years, the building on Wykoff Avenue was vacant, but recently people in the area learned the city was proposing an 80-bed homeless shelter. It would sit blocks from three area schools.

Bushwick Neighbors United handed out flyers on the issue. The group says they don't mind shelters, but think the area already has enough. They also say the building could be used more efficiently.

There was a meeting earlier this month that community members say they only learned about just before it happened. They have since started a petition that has already gained 400 signatures, and plan to keep voicing their concerns.

In a statement, the Department of Homeless Services said in part, "Homeless New Yorkers come from every community across the five boroughs, so we need every community to come together to address homelessness...This high-quality facility will offer 80 seniors experiencing homelessness from Brooklyn the opportunity to be sheltered in their home borough, closer to their support networks and communities they called home as they get back on their feet."

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