Stop Dumping On Rockaway
The Rockaway community has endured decades of struggle with an unresponsive city government. It is a well documented fact that this peninsula has absorbed more than its fair share of adult homes, half-way houses, drug-treatment centers, homes for troubled adolescents and other government subsidized programs.
At the same time, we have lost a vital hospital resource, major stretches of oceanfront land sit in decay, funds to replenish beach sand are nowhere to be found and we have a severe problem with struggling schools.
As a resilient and compassionate community, the integration of countless city programs into our neighborhoods has run parallel to the ongoing efforts to revitalize this isolated community devastated by Hurricane Sandy. At times however, it seems that we are not only fighting the tides of the Atlantic, but the continuous flow of severely burdensome programs from City Hall as well.
Without consultation or open discussion, the Mayor and the Department of Homeless Services has suddenly seen fit to collaborate with a private (for-profit) landlord to open a homeless shelter planned to house over one hundred adult males within short walking distance of several schools. Furthermore, the proposed supervising organization has a history of housing those individuals deemed too difficult to house in other sites around the city.
The Department of Homeless Services somehow believes that warehousing homeless individuals within a community well over an hour's commute from Manhattan, with a much higher than average unemployment rate and with very limited medical resources, will be the best way to re-integrate these men into society.
For some reason, Rockaway has become the go-to solution for the city's problems, and once again, we are at odds with a city government which will close one vital resource (our beaches) overnight while opening a large homeless shelter just as quickly, all without any community consent! We've had no discussion or presentations at our Community Board and our elected representatives are equally surprised about these plans.
Perhaps working together as a community, we can petition this administration to actually listen to the residents, homeowners and business owners who will be living with the government's decisions.
Please sign our petition to stop plans for a homeless shelter at 226 Beach 101st Street in Rockaway Beach and to STOP DUMPING ON ROCKAWAY!