The meeting that was scheduled for tomorrow regarding the new Red Hook shelter/hotel with Councilman Menchaca has been canceled, as Robert Berrios indicated earlier. This is not surprising but disappointing.
The fact that the meeting will not happen does not answer my questions that I was preparing.
Let me first preface that I am not against having a shelter in Red Hook. We have a responsibility to those that live in our community; if someone or a family has the misfortune to be put out on the street, it is our responsibility to help them in any way possible.
Here are some questions I would have had for the meeting:
- How many of the people in the shelter lived in Red Hook before their homelessness occurred?
- How many people are living there now regardless of where they came from before?
- And what is the maximum number of people you expect?
- How many children are in the shelter?
- How and where are they going to school each morning?
- Are there any sex offenders living in the shelter?
- How are you helping these people to find permanent housing?
- Some of these people may have jobs that are insufficient to pay the high rents in Brooklyn, are you helping them to locate better jobs?
- How does your organization choose and shelter or hotel when placing the homeless?
- As of Sunday, December 16th, there were 61,005 individuals living in New York City shelters. And in the Executive Summary of a report, I read: DHS is planning to reduce the census by 2,500 people within the next 5 years. It is ridiculous to think that we will ever be able to help these people with current thinking.
- This is not only a New York City problem; New York state has more than 92,000 homeless with the whole of the United States at 553,000 homeless.
- In comparison, NY is fairing better in getting people into shelters with 95.3% living in shelters compared to California, with 129,972 homeless and only 31.1% living in shelters.
The Mayor and DHS tout about how the mayor's housing plan will create 300,000 apartments in NYC. We all know that is crap. Here is a quote from the Coalition for the Homeless in their report titled, "STATE OF THE HOMELESS 2018"
- "Mayor de Blasio has made one of his signature policy goals the unprecedented creation and preservation of 300,000 units of affordable housing, as outlined in his Housing New York 2.0 plan. However, he is planning to designate just 15,000 of these units for homeless households by 2026 – a paltry 5 percent.6.
- In contrast, at a time when the shelter census was only a fraction of what it is today, Mayor Koch dedicated more than 10 percent of his overall housing plan to homeless adults and families, contributing to significant decreases in homelessness between the late 1980s and 1990s."
- It is my opinion the mayor's plan adds to the homeless situation. The rents are well beyond what current tenants can afford, it forces those people to leave the community, Mom & Pop stores are being forced out too because landlords have nothing to prevent them from raising rents to incredible levels.
This is the current situation during a time when the economy is doing well. You ask where? That's for another time, but what can we expect when the shit hits the financial fan? All financial reports say that another crisis is looming within the next year. We all need to consider the effects for our families, our neighbors, our community.
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