Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bronx Residents Have Beef With DHS

The Daily News' Dorian Block is reporting about community unrest regarding the planned opening of a citywide homeless intake shelter at Walton Avenue and 150th Street.

Apparently back in the day there was an Emergency Assistance Unit on the site up until 2005 when it was knocked down. Needless to say, it effected the neighborhood negatively. One resident said she was never able to let her young daughter play outside because prostitutes and drug dealers were lurking in the area.

So at a time when the hood is experiencing a pretty serious resurgence, residents are understandably concerned with the seemingly imminent arrival of this shelter. They say the Department of Homeless Services never consulted with the neighborhood as they were moving forward with their plans.

Residents have formed a group called the South Bronx Community Organization to formally express their displeasure with the possible negative effects that this shelter will have on the nabe.

BoogieDowner's Take: Kudos to the Bronx residents who have formed the South Bronx Community Organization. There is power in numbers, and SBCA is an inspiring step forward to fight this battle, and any other subsequent community issues that may arise. As for DHS, hindsight is 20/20. Obviously they should have be much more proactive from the infancy of this project to work alongside the community instead of implementing these plans under a veil of secrecy.

Do you live in the Walton Avenue/150th Street area and want your voice heard? There will be a public hearing tomorrow (Thursday 9/25) at 7 p.m. at Hostos Community College in the Savoy Multi-Purpose Room, on the second floor of 120 E. 149th St. Robert Hess, DHS commissioner, will be at the hearing, along with other city officials.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "New" planned facility is more than double the size of the original one. So if you thought it caused problems before, you aint seen nuthin' yet. Their goes the "HOOD".
This center would be a city wide intake, that means that a homeless family from Staten Island would have to trek all the way to the Bronx to be processed then sent out to wherever the shelter is that they end up assigning them to whenever that would be (and could be back in Staten Island, then they would have to trek all the way back having to figure out, on their own, how to pay for travel).

Why is it that the City seems to always turn to the Bronx when it wants to find a location for a facility that is usually considered a neighborhood killer. Do you think they would get away with this on the Upper East Side or Park Slope?