Carroll Gardens Residents Upset Over Plans For Homeless Shelter. Ugh.

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Like most gentrified neighborhoods in New Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens looked completely different only a decade ago. There were no coffee shops or strollers on Smith Street and the brownstones were not obsessively recognized for their aesthetic charm just yet. It was a lower-income neighborhood on the brink of a migratory explosion.

So when the Bloomberg administration sent a letter last week to the residents of the quasi-bourgeoisie neighborhood about an incoming homeless shelter on West 9th and Court, the residents freaked. Almost immediately, shouts of the common "Not in my backyard!" reverberated from the community. 
 
It's funny how that can work, huh? The recent transplants are frustrated that even more recent transplants are on the way. And this is strange because the neighborhood is no stranger to Department of Health programs: a housing complex for abused women and a clinic for heroin addicts already exists.

With the homeless population in New York drastically spiking in past months, City Hall has had to quickly open homeless shelters across the City, finding spots for the 47,000 or so living on the streets. And one of these locations happens to be in Carroll Gardens, where the administration seeks to open a facility, run by Aguila Incorporated, that can hold about 170 of the City's homeless. 

Before shit really hit the fan in the community, Marty Markowitz, the Borough President, and three other legislators sent a letter to City Hall, arguing that there was still the question of cost and the homeless shelter in general: 

"Given that the City of New York will pay substantial sums for the rent of the building, this suggests a large potential conflict of interest," the letter said. (Read: Uhm... yeah?)

Technically, the City only has to notify the community of a project like this - no approval is necessary. It doesn't look like there's much the senselessly frustrated Carroll Gardens residents can do: apparently, mattresses and refrigerators have already been brought in, indicating that it's opening up regardless of outside pressure.

Don't worry, Carroll Gardens residents, these people just need a place to sleep. Everything will be fine.

[jsurico15@gmail.com/@JSuricz]


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20 comments
brooklynA
brooklynA

Is this reporting? The article is devoid of crucial information regarding the owners/builders of the shelter on 9th street. They are convicted felons and slumlords using the homeless to make millions of dollars. Their properties are rampant with crime including drugs and guns. This shelter is literally surrounded by schools. There is no plan to provide social services to the gentlemen who will be housed here. They building has 10 units, and 10 bathrooms for 170 men and a staff of 47! Do your homework, Mr. Surico. Try reporting instead of sensationalism.

nick
nick

You don't hear boo about any of the shelters being opened up in any of the poorer neighborhoods. Gentrifiers move in and push all the rents up, forcing other people to leave, move or become homeless...and now some of these "others" need a place to live. Sorry, I have no sympathy for people who are worried about a homeless shelter pushing down their property values. "ugh" is right.

 

but if you do want to know who to blame, it's bloomberg. NYC has 14% of the country's homeless, while the next largest is LA at 3%. It is unacceptable that the administration is opening 70+ new shelters in just the past summer, and the reason this is happening is not the economy (again no other major city has a problem like this, even in this economy) it's because bloomberg has cut every single program for housing the homeless...he would rather pay $35,000 a year to put a family in a shelter (yes, most of the new homeless are now families) than reopen the federal section 8 program and other homelessness prevention services at a much cheaper cost, and the mayor has continually stubbornly refused to do so and meanwhile spending 3 times as much on new shelters and pissing off various communities, and it's probably going to get worse before it gets better...I guess it's a good time in this city to be in the private homeless shelter business.

rozie
rozie

where do you go for help scatteredsite workers steal from cliet abuse priviiege of having keys to apartment. d.a.s they dont help they look the other way.

Gyokuto
Gyokuto

 It's so unbelievably heartless that you think it's ok to cram 170 unfortunate men in 10 unit building which is under the management of organization that is possibly involved in corruption.  And you are so absolutely shameless to ignore all the community's effort over decades to make the community as a safer family neighborhood. I guess your teacher didn't teach you anything at journalism class, Mr. Surico???

fcollectibles
fcollectibles

First, I am a reporter and your article is no more that a copy of different articles that are circulating online, and that is not being a reporter is being LAZY.

 

In case that the city approves this shelter, Im welcome you "reporter" to spend 3 months in 165 West 9th Street to live in a place that has been designed for 40 or 50 people, in an environment of 170 persons, you article was a mere attack to people that has been living in this neighborhood without even asking them for their opinions, you have not defended anyone here and the sad part is that you do not care for the homeless because your article does not give a solution to them and how they can have a better life.

 

The way that this article was written is more than obvious that you hate people, you may be racist, and you have no respect for minors that can be reading your article since profanity was written on it. 

 

 

God Bless you, I'll pray for you so you can hate less and help more

kaboodle19
kaboodle19

I think that your note is sarcastic. How can you affirm that everything will be fine. That place is not the best option to receive 170 people. I think that some people will benefit with the shelter, but not exclusively the homeless. Lack of space, lack of safety, etc., etc., plus .. Of course is of a certain concern the safety of the community, that's the case of the shelter in Queens which counts with 23 sex offenders. Not all the homeless are criminals and all them deserve a roof, but are all the safety measures taken for everybody?.

Brandon
Brandon

"The recent transplants are frustrated that even more recent transplants are on the way "that's cheap nasty journalism, and is untrue. I live one block away from this shelter and there is no storied architecture, it's 3 blocks of largely working class and lower middle class  struggling against the odds to achieve a community. We do not resent the women's shelter and the 2 methadone clinics we are happy to do our community share, but adding a 170 bed men's shelter is like adding kerosene to embers.

Knowing now the under the table deals that will channel thousands into the pockets of friends of the city makes this not a shelter but a cash factory with the homeless as raw materials..... 

jodyrobin
jodyrobin

'This article is blantantly wrong. I have yet to meet one person in my community who says they are opposed to the shelter.  I implore you to revise it.  You based it off a Times article which was lazy journalism at best.  Maybe you can get the word out that we want to work with the city and a company to get a shelter in our neighborhood that fit and will be successful.  This is 170 men into a 10 unit building in a community already on the border is going to be a disaster for everyone. 

guest5000
guest5000

Wow....that is just bad reporting. How many cliches can can you use?  VOICE, you can do much better.

 

This has the cadence and subtance of high school journalism.  Very lazzzzzzy....

guest1950
guest1950

I'd also like to point out that within your own article, you state "And this is strange because the neighborhood is no stranger to Department of Health programs: a housing complex for abused women and a clinic for heroin addicts already exists." How do you think adding 170 transient men to this mix sounds from a logistic standpoint? ...In a 10 unit building, nonetheless. I totally support a housing solution that has been more thoroughly thought through. But THIS doesn't seem to be the answer. And I don't think that pointing that out would make a neighborhood "quasi-bourgeoisie."

JohnSurico
JohnSurico

@riceid Also, also: there is no mention in that Times piece that the Carroll Gardens residents had any idea about this landlord's past.

JohnSurico
JohnSurico

@riceid Also, also, also: there is no mention in that Times piece that the Carroll Gardens had any idea about this landlord's background.

JohnSurico
JohnSurico

@riceid Your piece came out after I wrote mine... Jumping to 'snidely incurious' is cool, though.

roje
roje

This is very ignorant reporting, as the other commenters have mentioned, although it is (sadly) typical of many media outlets' me-too reblogging.

 

John: You're young and probably have very little knowledge of NY's social services landscape. Read the Capital NY piece linked to by a previous commentor, as well as this excellent article on the Upper West Side's social services issues in the City Journal: www.city-journal.com/2012/22_3_upper-west-side.html

 

There's nothing wrong with taking on this issue as a journalist, but you need to understand the context before injecting snark.

 

guest
guest

I like when self-hating gentrifiers complain about entitled gentrifiers.   It's a weird and wild social dynamic playing out.  

CGRHneighbor
CGRHneighbor

Yeah, nobody is saying "not in my backyard."  You seem to have done almost nothing to inform yourself about the facts here -- you're just plugging in your prejudices from other shelter stories you've covered.  This block is right on the border of Red Hook and the building's neighbors are largely middle class.  More than that, as every article written about this shows, most people in the neighborhood are fine with a homeless shelter that makes even a little sense and isn't more crowded than Attica.  But these people are trying to cram 170 people into a 10-unit building, and the people the city's paying an arm and a leg to do it have a checkered record of crime, unsanitary conditions and overall incompletence in their buildings.  And to do it, they've invoked a 30-day emergency contract that means there is no process at all.   While you're dragging your soapbox  to your next target, we'll be stuck cleaning up a problem that could have been avoided with some reasonable planning.  Read the article in Capital New York this morning to see what I'm talking about.  If the Voice still has any reporters on staff, send them over.  We'd love to talk to them. 

Hunter
Hunter

 @nick 

I don't think "gentrifiers" are asking for your sympathy.  In fact, they likely don't give a shit about your opinions and trite social theories, b/c you are lower-class trash.   

riceid
riceid

@JSuricz You are right, and I eat my words

JohnSurico
JohnSurico

@riceid It's alright. We can be friends.

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