As the Bronx-based non-profit organization Housing Solutions U.S.A./Aguila gets ready to open a homeless shelter for over 170 people at 165 West 9th Street in Brooklyn, the community became enraged. While it would seem that the act of opening the homeless shelter is at the center of the debate, it's not.
Carroll Garden residents and elected officials are focusing on the fact that this non-profit sent one letter of notification and with promotion from New York City will open it's doors in 30 days under an “emergency contract” rule. This means that no community member or local elected official has the authority or even the input - to neither stop the homeless shelter from opening up or even come up with an arrangement that works for the surrounding community.
A petition has surfaced created by community members demanding the right to have their voices heard. However, no matter what opinion those voices have, they will inevitably all sound like a cry for the homeless shelter to get out of the neighborhood, when in fact many are just angry they didn't get a say in the matter.
This will make the resident looks out of touch and insensitive to the homeless population of Brooklyn. The message of “we want a voice” cannot be confused with “we don't want a homeless shelter.” Sadly, for the residents of Carroll Gardens it will be.
So Housing Solutions U.S.A./Aguila will open up a homeless shelter, avoid miles of red tape and look like heroes who are overcoming the adversity of community residents with the goal of doing some good in the neighborhood.
In actuality they just cut the line and made residents feel useless.