CB5 Planning Special Meeting On Shelter

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

In response to the ongoing controversy of the proposed homeless shelter in Glendale, Community Board 5 is planning to host a special meeting on the issue later this month.

Vincent Arcuri, the Chairman for CB5, said they are working on finding a location for the public meeting, but it should take place sometime in April.

This is in response to a letter the board received from several elected officials representing the area saying they should let Samaritan Village, the company that is proposing to bring the 125-family shelter to the vacant building at 78-16 Cooper Ave., and the Dept. of Homeless Services present their plan during a CB5 meeting, despite much community opposition to the proposal.

“It is our belief that the Department of Homeless Services and Samaritan Village have a responsibility to remain accountable to the communities in which they propose to operate facilities,” stated the letter, signed by six elected officials including Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), State Sen. Joe Addabbo and Borough President Melinda Katz. The letter was dated April 1.

Instead of allotting them time at a CB5 meeting, Arcuri said they would organize a meeting that solely focuses on the shelter issue.

Many residents have voiced strong opposition to the shelter because of several concerns, including its close proximity to several elementary and middle schools in the area. The neighborhood behttp://queenstribune.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=6074&action=editing underserved by public transportation is another concern.

Arcuri also expressed frustration over being left out of a meeting the elected officials’ offices had with DHS and Samaritan Village. He said they had been requesting a meeting with them in the past and were not told about the meeting, which took place on March 17 according to that letter.

According to a spokesman for Crowley, the City of Dept. of Homeless Services invited Crowley and five of her colleagues to a meeting regarding the proposed project. Crowley and her colleagues wrote to Community Board 5 to invite continued participation from community partners and involved parties.

Despite missing out on that meeting, Arcuri said they will host the meeting to have the community and the agencies discuss the plan.

“We’ll take care of our people, we’ll have the whole community involved,” he said.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated on Friday, April 11, to include a comment from Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley’s office.