Glendale Homeless Shelter Still A Concern

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

Concerns over the possibility of sex offenders living in a proposed homeless shelter have raised the ire of the
shelter’s opponents.

Samaritan Village, the homeless services organization proposing to open a homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave., Glendale, responded to a series of questions in a letter, collaboratively written by five elected officials who represent that neighborhood.

Earlier this year, Samaritan Village proposed to turn the currently-vacant building on Cooper Avenue into a 125-family homeless facility. Many in the community came out against their plan, saying it would have several negative impacts on the area.

Samaritan Village said the Dept. of Homeless Services is mandated to provide shelter to a person or family regardless of their criminal history and if they are in the sex offender registry.

“The Sex Offender Registration Act does not restrict where a registered sex offender may live,” Tino Hernandez,
Samaritan Village’s president, wrote in the response letter. “If an offender is under the supervision of parole or
prohibition, that supervising authority would be aware of any geographic restrictions for the offender if they exist.”
Kathy Masi, president of the Glendale Civic Association, said the possibly of sex offenders living near four schools in the neighborhood has her concerned.

“It’s pretty scary,” she said. “The fact that they are mixing families with sex offenders should be a red flag.”
Other details of their plan include three licensed and uniformed guards patrolling the building and installing 75
closed circuit television cameras that would monitor the interior and exterior of the facility.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) is still opposed to the shelter after reading the organization’s
response to their questions.

“Remediating this site for residential use would be a tremendous waste of time and resources, and I will continue to lead the fight against this shortsighted proposal,” Crowley said in a statement.

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