Tuesday, October 8, 2013

NY - Controversial homeless shelter could house sex offenders

Vacant warehouse
Vacant warehouse
Original Article



The more they learn, the more they hate it.

Convicted sex offenders could be among the inhabitants of a homeless shelter that’s being proposed in Glendale, and civic leaders have been even more fired up since they made that discovery last week.

The revelation came after Samaritan Village — the Queens-based group that wants to convert a vacant warehouse on Cooper Ave. into a 125-family shelter — outlined their plans in a letter to Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi.

[City Department of Homeless Services] has both a mandate and obligation to provide shelter to any eligible homeless person or family, regardless or criminal background,” the group wrote to Hevesi, in response to a question as to whether the population would include felons and sexual deviants. “The Sex Offender Registration Act does not restrict where a sex offender may live.”

The proposed shelter has drawn unanimous opposition among the area’s elected officials and civic leaders — and the details left many of them aghast.

This is frightening,” said Kathy Masi, of the Glendale Civic Association. “It’s walking distance within two schools.”

Samaritan Village said it would maintain 24-hour security, a 9 p.m. curfew and a strict no-visitors policy.

It sounds like they’re anticipating a problem,” said Masi.

Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) told the Daily News that he opposes the plan.

Michael Wilner, who owns the property and is working with Samaritan Village, refused to discuss the residents’ concerns and hung up on a reporter.

Elizabeth Crowley
Elizabeth Crowley
City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley said she introduced two different entrepreneurs to Wilner, but he balked at both of their offers to rent the property.

For them to embark on this project makes no sense,” said Crowley (D-Middle Village).

Crowley predicted that the cost of getting the one-time factory cleaned up — which she said would range in the “tens of millions” — would eventually sink the proposal.

It’s clearly irresponsible, and that’s why it’s not going to happen,” she said.

The city Department of Homeless Services is reviewing the project, but an official declined comment. The agency has the authority to approve or reject the proposal.

Denaul Jenkins II, a manager at the nearby Artistic Stitch Sports Complex, said the plan doesn’t make sense for the quaint Queens neighborhood.

This is a family-oriented neighborhood,” he said. “I feel sorry for the people who have lived in this area for generations, because the homeless shelter will reduce the value of their property.”

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1 comment :

Loneranger said...

Sir you are correct. Property values are always subject to anything negative that is located near by. Someones house needs a paint job, the neighbor over has junk cars in his yard, And oh by the way fourteen sex offenders live in this neighborhood as well. Now we can paint the house get rid of the cars and raise the property values but lets hang on to the registry? Or each time it is inconvenient and might cost someone on their property values zone then into the swamps. Getting to the point where it is becoming all to clear. Like you say it really about the money.