Officials ease concerns for upcoming Kensington men's shelter

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KENSINGTON -

As the city faces a homeless crisis, the Department of Homeless Services has been opening new shelters, but those sites have faced backlash in many communities -- except for one.

Serena Lopez, like many residents, was nervous about the prospect of a men's shelter coming to Kensington. However, after three public meetings over the past few months, many felt relieved.

State Assemblyman Robert Carroll says staff spent the past few months calming the concerns of residents. He says staff will offer transportation for clients as well as a separate smoking area and services at the Coney Island Avenue site to help neighbors feel safe.

The shelter will be run by DHS in partnership with the Black Vets for Social Justice. They say the shelter will have no sex offenders, no serious mental health cases and no walk-ins allowed.

A spokesperson for the DHS told News 12 in a statement, "This new high-quality facility will be the first of its kind in this community district, offering 139 men 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."

The shelter is expected to open its doors in less than three weeks.

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