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Homeless issue is much worse this year — Brooklynian

Homeless issue is much worse this year

For those of you living near the Bedford/Pacific corner where the homeless shelter is, I'm sure you noticed that the homeless people have grown this year and the loitering is spreading and has gotten worse.
I know for a fact that they get kicked out every morning very early and can only go back in the evening, so they really have nowhere to go. For the most part, they really keep to their own crew and don't bother anyone or make the neighborhood unsafe.
The issue is that they are now splattered and sleeping laying across the sidewalks and also in the front doorways to neighboring buildings. I've tried to email the mayor's office and have left countless messages with the Department of Health but have not heard back. 
Something needs to be done to help these people, and also clean up the neighborhood. Has anyone else done anything? Was thinking of going to the news with this (for those living in the area you know what i'm talking about). They're not just hanging out on the corner anymore, some look dead laying in the street and sidewalks and the entrance to apartment buildings.
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Comments

  • Paging @whynot_31...

    Where are these people expected to go during the day?
  • According to the city's shelter's, they're expected to go look for work. Which makes absolutely no sense because they have no money, they're dirty, and not in a good condition or situation to look for work. 


  • edited May 2015
    Usually they are allowed to congregate in large numbers on Herkimer Place:

    http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/45310/new-building-at-atlantic-and-nostrand-long-island-why-sbs-is-lousy-dhs-clients-during-the-day/p1

    I believe some of the residents have now lived in the shelter for years.

    So, it would not surprise me if some set of reisdents (newbies? older guys?) were not welcome on Heckimer Place and instead spent their time nearby.

    If Heckimer Place is ever developed, it isn't clear to me where they will all go during the day.

    ...but it is clear that the community will suddenly become aware of them much more than they are now.
  • You have to literally walk over them to get into your apartment building at this point. It's really bad.
  • edited May 2015
    The city is struggling to create beds for all of the homeless, and is under court mandate to do so.

    http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/45645/as-housing-for-the-poorest-disappeares-cost-of-shelter-soars#Item_7

    http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/our-programs/advocacy/legal-victories/the-callahan-legacy-callahan-v-carey-and-the-legal-right-to-shelter/

    It isn't clear to me how the city will get out this mess in light of:
    - the increased demand caused by a reduction in the size of the prison and mental health systems

    - decrease in the supply of beds caused by increasing housing costs.

  • Yeah i don't know either but but something has to happen - firstly that building is ginormous. The shelter. So much could be done right in there. 
  • edited May 2015
    Nothing else can be done in there (the shelter in the large armory at Bedford and Atlantic) until the city finds someplace to put all those guys.

    The city has previously tried to reduce number of people in its system without finding them housing, and lost.

    http://www.legal-aid.org/en/mediaandpublicinformation/inthenews/newyorkcourtofappealsrulesthatthedepartmentofhomelessservicesviolatedthecityadministrativeprocedure.aspx

    The city is in a really tight spot.

    The advocates are not going to let the city out of its corner, and both sides of the battle know that supportive housing can not be built fast enough to meet the demand.


  • I get what you're saying, but what i'm saying is that each day that passes, soon you won't be able to walk on the sidewalk because there are people laying down sleeping all over the sidewalks in residential areas. Makes no sense. 
  • Thanks for theses Homeowner. Interesting reads. I guess the meetings and rallies didn't work huh. Last year was not as bad as this year. It's pretty crazy around there.
  • ManoulekaK, if you want to get some news coverage, trying contacting News12 Brooklyn. They are desperate for local coverage and they might come out and do a piece on this. And if it is embarrassing enough for our councilperson laurie cumbo and/or mayor, something might happen (like allowing the men to stay in the shelter during the day, perhaps?)
  • Exactly what I was thinking Crownheightster. Thanks.
  • edited May 2015
    Via court and other processes, advocacy orgs have tried to get the city to stop putting all but the most seriously ill residents outside during the day.

    Thus far, they have been unsuccessful.

    To make the matter somewhat complicated, many of the residents are disabled to the degree that they ARE allowed to remain in the shelter during the day, but don't want to.

    For a variety of reasons, shelters can't lock a resident in, so -again- it is hard to find blame with either the city or the advocates.

    Both the city and the advocates are aware that large numbers of unsightly homeless people decrease home values and tend to cause employed, powerful people to constantly call politicians, commissioners, and the ever-in-need-of-something-to-fill airtime New 12.

    ...the city and advocates would help if they could.

  • Um...OK whynot_31 guess I misunderstood the conversation we were having. Not sure what's up with that jab.
  • FWIW, I don't see any jab.
  • No jab was intended.

    ...I am just explaining the complicating factors that got all of us here.
  • Your last post seemed to imply that certain types of people are bothered for financial or convenience reasons.

    I walked by Herkimer today. Dozens of guys hanging out. That's not what's happening on this side and it's not what I'm talking about.

  • I perceive a good city government as being motivated by increased tax revenue and cost savings.

    In this regard, residents of a city have common interests with their government.

    In the summer months, you will find guys strewn out on the sidewalk throughout the area. A church at approximately Dean and Nostrand distributes meals, which causes the guys to fall out on the way to and from it.

    I do not believe that the shelter has a larger population than it has in the past, but I do believe the length of stay to be longer and severity of disabilities to be much greater.

    The city can no longer place people in unlicense adult homes to same degree it once could:

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/04/07/nyregion/order-on-housing-mentally-ill-adults-in-new-york-city-is-struck-down.html?referrer=

    This has caused shelters to house the population, in a situation that is arguably less suited to their needs.
  • edited May 2015
    ...which is ok with the advocates, because they see their struggle as eventually benefiting the homeless.
  • An article in today's NYT may make it harder for DHS, HRA and other entities to use 3/4 houses: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/nyregion/three-quarter-housing-a-choice-for-recovering-addicts-or-homelessness.html?referrer=

    For better or worse, this will further inhibit DHS's ability to ever close the Atlantic -Bedford facility.
  • As if on cue, an article in Crain's today confirms that the city has dropped plans to develop this armory (located at Bedford and Atlantic) into another use.

    http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20150601/BLOGS04/150529845/city-quietly-drops-plan-to-redevelop-massive-brooklyn-armory
  • It is interesting that one of the underlying reasons cited for keeping the Bedford Atlantic Armory in the public use is as an emergency evacuation center. And that the reason why Bedford Union is more likely to actually become a revitalized space is because of its smaller size and scale. 
  • edited June 2015
    My suspicion is that Eric Adams et al were not able to grab the $14M allotted for Bedford Atlantic and move it to Bedford Union.

    ...that money went back into the city's general fund.
  • Here is an article on Narco Freedom, a nonprofit mentioned several times in the NYT article.
    http://www.ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-announces-arrest-and-indictment-nonprofit-executives-charged-kickback

    Much of the problem stems from the state agency charged with overseeing drug facilities: OASAS.

    If the Feds and NYS don't improve OASAS, they are going to have to rely on indictments by the AG to catch such fraud, which is not realistic long term plan.
  • If this bill passes, supportive housing would be curtailed, which would make getting people housed (aka not sleeping in front of people's $2M brownstones) even more difficult:
    ----------------
    NYAPRS Action Alert!



    CALL the NYS ASSEMBLY TODAY and tell them to VOTE NO on Bill A.02553A!!



    This bill would give the NYC City Planning Commission the ability to stop new Supportive Housing residences from being built, and threatens to shut down existing residences that are already serving

    formerly homeless individuals and families!



    CALL the Assembly members listed below NOW and tell them to VOTE NO on A.02553A .

    Tell them this bill:



    · Is discriminatory and violates both the ADA and Fair Housing Acts;

    · Allows a city agency to evict formerly homeless and low-income residents;

    · Jeopardizes all supportive housing construction;

    · Jeopardizes all existing single-site supportive housing that houses over 20,000 people in the NYC area including women and children who are domestic violence survivors and homeless veterans; and

    · Jeopardizes all of the state, federal, city funding (billions!) that has been invested in building and sustaining this housing.



    Tell these assembly members, “There is no recovery without housing. A02553A promotes stigma and discrimination, and threatens my right to recover with dignity in the community!”


    Background on bill: The NYS Senate passed this bill last week and the Assembly version (A02553A) is currently in the Assembly’s Cities Committee. It’s crucial that you send an email and/or call Assembly member Michael Benedetto and the additional following State Assembly sponsors and co-sponsors of the bill and tell them why they should vote no.



    NO TIME TO DELAY – CALL NOW!!



    Michael Benedetto (Primary Sponsor/Cities Committee Chair)
    benedettom@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-5296

    Peter J. Abbate
    abbatep@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-3053

    Michael Blake
    BlakeM@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-5272

    Edward C. Braunstein
    braunsteine@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-5425

    Alec Brook-Krasny
    BrookKrasnyA@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-4811

    Marco Crespo
    CrespoM@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-5514

    Michael G. DenDekker
    DenDekkerM@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-4545

    Jeffrey Dinowitz
    DinowiJ@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-5965

    Mark Gjonaj
    GjonajM@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-5844

    Phillip Goldfeder
    GoldfederP@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-4292

    Margaret M. Markey
    MarkeyM@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-4755

    Michael Miller
    MillerMG@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-4621

    Walter T. Mosley
    MosleyW@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-5325

    Francisco P. Moya
    moyaf@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-4567

    Victor M. Pichardo
    PichardoV@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-5511

    Luis R. Sepulveda
    SepulvedaL@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-5102

    Michael Simanowitz
    simanowitzm@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-4404

    Aravella Simotas
    simotasa@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-5014

    Matthew Titone
    TitoneM@assembly.state.ny.us
    518-455-4677

  • A super paranoid conspiracy theory just occurred to me. What if all of this work being done to uncover the wrongs of 3/4 housing is to lead to the end of supportive housing, and then the end of the City's obligation to shelter? 
  • As you are likely aware, supportive housing is a different creature than 3/4 housing.

    However, at the present rate of growth (both in terms of the homeless population and associated financial outlay), the city could make an argument that complying with the Callahan decision is too onerous.

    http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/our-programs/advocacy/legal-victories/the-callahan-legacy-callahan-v-carey-and-the-legal-right-to-shelter/

    However, in light of the huge amount of wealth pouring into NYC, I think a judge would tell the city they need to find a way to make it work: Find a way to tax the rich to pay for the disabled.

    I also think the populous has grown accustomed to the streets being relatively free of homeless people, and will continue to be willing to bear the financial cost in order to gain the associated benefits.
  • @crownheightster -

    While I do not perceive the threats to shelter as real, I do perceive the threats to supportive housing as real:

    http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5749-proven-homelessness-fighting-program-loses-state-funding-faces-uncertain-future