Providing shelter for Sandy victims in Carroll Gardens

Providing shelter for Sandy victims in Carroll Gardens

As you are likely aware, yesterday evening the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) relocated 120 homeless veterans to 165 West 9th Street, between Court Street and Hamilton Avenue, in Carroll Gardens. During Hurricane Sandy, these veterans were evacuated from a shelter in Long Island City and, for the last week, had been staying on the drill floor of the Bedford-Atlantic Armory with hundreds of other hurricane victims. DHS plans to house these veterans here until the shelter in Long Island City is repaired, which DHS estimates will take several weeks.

Please see below for my joint statement with Borough President Marty Markowitz and State Senator Daniel Squadron about this proposal.

 

November 7, 2012

Yesterday, the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) relocated 120 evacuated male veterans who had been living in a homeless shelter that was damaged during Hurricane Sandy to 165 West 9th Street in Carroll Gardens. Brooklyn Community Board 6 (CB6) received notification of this plan late Monday night. When the storm hit, these veterans were evacuated to the drill floor of the Bedford-Atlantic Armory, where they stayed with hundreds of other hurricane victims. DHS plans to house the veterans at 165 West 9th Street until their shelter in Long Island City is repaired, which DHS estimates will take several weeks.

Hurricane Sandy brought unprecedented devastation to our city. While much of the Carroll Gardens neighborhood escaped serious damage, we know that many people’s lives have been tragically impacted, and some will stay that way for quite a while. As a result, we are supportive of the use of 165 West 9th Street as a temporary shelter for evacuees during this time.

Our community has stepped up over the last week to channel volunteers and donations to the thousands of people living amidst crisis and trauma in neighboring Red Hook, to the hundreds of people staying in two evacuation shelters in Park Slope, and to those who are struggling across the city (especially in the Rockaways, Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Lower Manhattan). We will extend this same spirit to these homeless veterans, who have been displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

We continue to have very serious unanswered questions and concerns – as we have made clear previously – about the long-term proposal from DHS and Housing Solutions USA to site a permanent shelter for 170 homeless men in this building. We continue to insist that DHS provide us with plans for the building (which we do not believe has an appropriate C of O for 170 occupants), for social services, for security, and for community space, and that potential conflicts-of-interests be closely examined. This dearth of public information and the lack of opportunities for community input raise serious questions about the responsible operation of the long-term shelter proposed here.

We continue to oppose that existing permanent proposal and urge DHS to work with us and our community in a collaborative fashion to develop an appropriate plan for this building beyond this short-term use. In addition, we expect the owner and operator to comply with all of their legal obligations and applicable requirements.

We are cognizant of the fact that there will very likely be issues that need to be addressed surrounding the relationship between the evacuation shelter and the neighborhood. Our offices will work with the shelter operators to address issues that arise during this time.

 

We have begun to work with the staff there to identify their immediate needs in order to offer Carroll Gardens’ hospitality to the evacuated veterans in this time of crisis. Donations of men’s coats, socks, and pre-assembled hygiene kits (which should include a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body gel, and lotions) should be labeled “Veterans Evacuation Shelter” and directed to either:

 

Sacred Hearts and St. Stephen Church at 108 Carroll Street (near Hicks Street) Donations accepted in the church yard, everyday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm

 

Cobble Hill Think Tank at 274 Court Street (near Douglass Street) Donations accepted on weekdays from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm and on weekends from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm

 

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