Neighbors express concerns at public hearing on proposed Westchester Square shelter
A public hearing on Thursday addressed rising concerns among residents in Westchester Square over a proposed homeless shelter on Blondell Avenue.
Neighbors say it’s they have a tightknit community and they’re unsure of how the shelter would impact businesses, schools and overall safety.
"We are hoping to review the contract, figure out what's going to go behind us. We know it’s a 200-bed men's shelter but we don't know what programs are going to be offered, what curfew means, what security measures are going to be in place to protect our community -- we know nothing yet,” said one attendee.
Sandi Lusk says rumors about the shelter began two years ago. Since then, the lot has been cleaned and they expect $350 million project to start next year.
Despite their pleas, the group of neighbors thinks the shelter is inevitable, so they are asking for high security measures to keep everyone in the neighborhood and the shelter safe.
The city’s Department of Homeless Services released a statement that says in part, “Now more than ever, we need every community to come together to address homelessness in this crisis. As of today, there are no shelters in this Community District, which means there is zero shelter capacity to effectively serve and support New Yorkers who are from these communities and may experience homelessness in these communities."