Katz can't ignore emergency homeless shelters
Jan 28, 2015 | 5478 views | 3 3 comments | 92 92 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s first State of the Borough Address last week, many Queens residents spoke highly of her ideas and presentation. But many others were puzzled, or even angered, at the gap in Katz’s speech when it came to addressing homelessness in the borough.

Though she did not skip the issue of the rising number of homeless people in the city altogether, many saw Katz’s approach as the easy way out. Noting the increased homeless population, the borough president called on the New York City Housing Authority to increase its number of allotted housing units for homeless families.

In the past year, however, one of the biggest hot button issues not only in Queens but in all boroughs, has been the number of emergency homeless shelters that have popped up in locations overnight, and then unceremoniously turned into permanent shelters six months later.

From Glendale and Astoria in Queens to Greenpoint in Brooklyn, residents in neighborhoods across the city have woken up shocked to find homeless shelters where there were none the night before.

And residents are tired of it, with many continuing to fight what they believe to be an undemocratic process on the part of the Department of Homeless Services, placing shelters without gathering any community input.

Katz is certainly aware of this issue and the frustration of her constituents, yet she did not address it during her address about the homeless in any shape or form.

Regardless of her feelings on emergency shelters and the process through which they are created, Katz owed it to the many residents in Queens who have felt blindsided by these shelters to make note of their concerns and acknowledge what has been an important part of the history of Queens in 2014.

If nothing else, Queens residents would then at least have felt like their cries for transparency were being heard.

Comments
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k miller
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January 30, 2015
Start the conversation politicians should not be given a free ride for lack of delivering or not accountable to the people .
Tom M
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January 29, 2015
The issue of the homeless starts with tenants not paying their rents. It would be MUCH less expensive to increase rent subsidies and keep these families in their homes and communities. The WAREHOUSING of the homeless in converted factories is the real crime being committed by the DHS.
Joseoh
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January 29, 2015
Not sure whose responsibility it is, but the issue of the HOMELESS is becoming more and more of an issue, when it had not been. If anyone travels the subway in the evening hours, especially those coming to the Borough of Queens on the E and F trains, one can SMELL and SEE it. Where have they all come from! And so yes, someone, whether our BP or the MAYOR must address this concern.