In October, we heard about a homeless shelter immediately opening in Carroll Gardens, much to the dismay of local residents. Since August, the Department of Health Services personnel had been (and continue to be) overwhelmed with the accelerating rate of the homeless population, unable to find space in the five boroughs. As a result, the Bloomberg administration had notified the Community Board in the hyper-gentrifying neighborhood only days before.
And the same thing just (sorta) happened in Greenpoint.
Yesterday, the Daily News reported on the building at 400 McGuiness Boulevard, which has been there since August as well. The location is an assessment shelter, evaluated over time to determine if a long-term facility is needed. Except the City opened it without telling nearby residents.
And there’s one characteristic of the story that’s a bit different: the shelter is home to a few convicted sexual offenders.
By law, the City has to provide shelter to the homeless, regardless of their criminal records. Of course, that’s the last thing parents nearby want to hear. Especially since it’s been discovered that the location is listed as the residence for their occupants in sexual offender registries online.
But the situation is a bit different then the one in Carroll Gardens. The shelter there is strictly for the homeless; as of now, there are no reports that it holds any sexual offenders near a neighborhood dominated by strollers. That added feature of the Greenpoint situation heightens the stakes a bit. As one parent told the News, “My kids will not be let out of my eyesight.”
But, as we said the other day, the homeless population rate is at Great Depression levels. So…
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 8, 2013