“As of November, we were about $300 short of $63,000 and that's from four months,” said Brian Dooley, coalition treasurer and president of the Glendale Property Owners Association. “We're doing very well, and we have broad based support.”
According to Dooley, a total of 375 donors have contributed to the cause so far, with an average donation of $175. To date, the coalition has spent $15,000 on legal actions to fight the establishment of the Samaritan Village-run shelter at 78-16 Cooper Avenue in Glendale.
One of the central sources of fundraising so far has been through the use of block captains, who have been going door-to-door soliciting donations from friends and neighbors. Deborah Kueber of Coldwell-Banker Kueber Realty in Glendale explained the block captain model.
“Much like when you do a block party, there's always one person who gets the signatures to get a permit,” Kueber said, telling the crowd gathered in Pfeiffer Hall in Glendale last week. “Speak to each of your neighbors, talk to them and hopefully get donations. That is the ultimate goal.”
According to Dooley, 32 block captains showed up to the most recent meeting, about half of those who have signed up for block captain responsibilities.
Kathy Masi, president of the Glendale Civic Association and coalition founding member, believes that through the use of block captains the group will be able to meet its fundraising goal in short order.
“On my block, it was as simple as taking a form letter that we have and attaching a personal note to it and leaving it in the mail,” said Masi. “I collected $7,000 that way on one block alone.”
While Dooley said he understands the crisis of homelessness in New York City, he doesn’t believe that the style of shelter – which would house 125 homeless families - being forced on Glendale is the right answer.
“What we are against is this facility, which is a former manufacturing facility,” he said. “We ought to have another factory in there because it would bring jobs into the community.”
Further, Dooley said he is disappointed in the city officials who seem so focused on sheltering homeless individuals that they are ignoring other issues affecting his community.
“The fact that no one at the city level is thinking about traffic and schools, it makes you wonder who is looking out for the taxpaying citizens of the city,” he said. “It may be nobody.”