Stop the proposal for a homeless shelter in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, NY (1217 Bedford Avenue)
This petition had 592 supporters
The residents and stakeholders within Brooklyn’s Community District 3 continue to come together to develop and implement community-centric solutions to provide economic opportunities, social services, and community resources for the residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Momentum to enhance and expand employment and business opportunities and enhance the physical and economic landscape of the district is at unprecedented levels, which will facilitate investments that benefit the community at large.
The quality of life and continued vitalization of this neighborhood as described above is being threatened by a response to the Department of Homeless Services’ (DHS) open-ended RFP by Breaking Ground, to develop and operate a Transitional Residence and Drop-In Center for homeless adults at 1217 Bedford Avenue.
I call upon the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to reject the proposal from Breaking Ground (the “operators”) based on the lack of both process and merit. It is my belief that the siting of this facility is not in compliance with the Fair Share Criteria promulgated by the City Planning Commission, and based upon the criteria listed below, the siting of 1217 Bedford Avenue is not appropriate and unduly impacts the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. We are asking you to object to this project based on the following:
- The need for additional shelters within Community District 3 limits was not included in current or previous Brooklyn Borough President’s Strategic Policy Statements and Community Board 3’s (CB3) Statement of District Needs. CB3 advocates for projects that will offer our community affordable permanent housing solutions. When persons are placed in an assisted housing environment, CB3 wants its community members to have the dignity of knowing it is permanent to further continuance of a close-knit residential community. The housing and programs proposed at 1217 Bedford Avenue are not consistent with the City’s efforts to address the stated needs of OUR community. Lack of consultation with, or consideration of the stated needs of Brooklyn Borough President and of CB3, shows a blatant lack of disregard for our community.
- There is a concentration of facilities providing similar services within the immediate vicinity, and in Bedford-Stuyvesant as a whole. In its Statement of District Needs, CB3 asked that strict attention be paid to the concentration of facilities that are placed in one geographic area. According to information available on the Department of City Planning’s Community Portal, it shows a disproportionate amount of “Shelter for Singles” concentrated within Bedford-Stuyvesant and other Brooklyn neighborhoods with traditionally higher levels of minorities and lower-income earners; meanwhile, Brooklyn’s southern portion contains no “Shelter for Singles” whatsoever, with six entire community districts (10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15) — that include Flatbush, Ditmas Park, Bay Ridge, Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay, and Gravesend — listing zero single bed transitional facilities. This fact is further compounded in other boroughs that do not hold their fair share of these types of shelters, whereas our neighborhood has 828 beds. The proposed facility is within .2 miles of a Shelter for Singles with 350 beds, on top of 11 other shelters overseen by DHS, located within the CB3 boundary. Not included are many halfway houses, three-quarter facilities, emergency housing and methadone clinics located throughout the neighborhood. Furthermore, CB3 is one of ten community districts that have more shelters than the remaining 49 districts COMBINED.
-The proposed location is within .3 miles of 3 elementary schools and 2 children’s playgrounds. There are concerns that this shelter poses a threat to the community’s children, particularly as the abundance of shelters and other social service facilities have resulted in loitering, particularly in playgrounds in close proximity to the already existing shelters. It is worth noting that 15 registered sex offenders stated their last known address to be at the Shelter for Singles that is within .2 miles of the address proposed for this new shelter. If there is a risk that even one more potential sex offender would be in regular, closer proximity to the children in schools and/or playgrounds steps away from this proposed shelter, I believe this is not a risk that should be taken lightly.
As a resident within CB3 boundaries, I in no way want to be viewed as member of the community that is insensitive to the homeless population that needs support in this city. Homelessness is a serious issue in New York City and CB3 has done its part in working with organizations that provide supportive housing in our community. I am signing this petition in opposition of a transitional and drop-in shelter for singles being operated at this location. I expect and welcome city agencies to work more closely with my community board to apply sound planning principles with the objective of having more appropriate proposals through which all of our community members can benefit from. I hope that you see the value in working with us to do so.
We respectfully insist that you follow the correct procedures and allow this matter to be subject to a public hearing within the community or we will have no choice but to seek the appropriate judicial intervention.
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