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Petition to Revise the Proposed Plan for a Homeless Shelter in Carroll Gardens

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Petition to Revise the Proposed Plan for a Homeless Shelter in Carroll Gardens: 


In opposition to an overcrowded and sub-standard homeless shelter in Carroll Gardens, we call for community input, transparency, and a comprehensive approach to integrating homeless services


The Department of Homeless Services plans to house 170 homeless men in a 10-Unit Building at 165 West 9th Street, South Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn


As a supporter of Coalition for Carroll Gardens I believe in adequate, safe and humane housing for New York City’s homeless men, women and children.


However, I object to the proposed adult male shelter at 165 West 9th Street, as currently planned, for the following reasons:


·      Placing 170 men in a 10-unit apartment complex is a safety hazard, a public health risk, and results in extreme overcrowding.  This number vastly exceeds the city’s own limits for overcrowding (a maximum of six people in a three-bedroom apartment)


·      The South Carroll Gardens community already supports its “fair share” of city services: there are two methadone clinics within close proximity to the proposed shelter site is located within a matter of blocks of two methadone clinics and the industrial waste concentrated in the Gowanus Canal.


·      The South Carroll Gardens community has historically experienced high rates of crime, drug dealing, prostitution and other crime. It has recently begun to stabilize with an influx of families with young children, followed by childcare facilities, a new school two blocks away, and tax-generating businesses. An overcrowded shelter would be a detriment to this growing community.


The details behind the awarding of a no-bid Department of Homeless Services contract to Housing Solutions clearly point to conflicts of interest and raise serious concerns about those who will own and run this shelter:


o   Housing Solutions USA’s CEO Robert Hess, who until recently was the Commissioner of DHS, is receiving funds from the agency he oversaw. 

o   165 West 9th Street is owned by Charles Wertman, a member of Housing Solutions USA board. He will profit greatly from the city-funded contract.

o   The same Charles Wertman is on the NYC Public Advocate’s “Worst Landlords Watchlist” for a property that he owns in the Bronx.

·      There is a concern regarding Housing Solutions USA’s inexperience with a single male homeless population, as Housing Solutions USA has never operated a shelter for single men before.


I support a facility at 165 West 9th Street that:


·      Welcomes community input and values the existing social fabric of the emerging South Carroll Gardens neighborhood.

·      Provides shelter for no more than 40 homeless men (4 per unit), or for homeless families.

·      Provides a clear and effective security plan for the facility itself and the immediate surrounding area.

·      Complies with the fire and safety codes and all other applicable laws.

·      Provides a commitment of increased police presence 24 hours per day, especially in the evening.


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