Rep. Fossella, Sen. Golden & Cb 10 Chair Eaton Call For Action To Resolve Homeless Problem In Bay Ridge

Martin J. Golden

December 01, 2006

[Brooklyn, NY – Congressman Vito Fossella (R-NY13), Senator Marty Golden and Community Board 10 Chairman Craig Eaton today called on the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to send outreach teams to Bay Ridge to help homeless individuals congregating at several sites throughout the community.

The call for action comes in response to a recent survey conducted by Community Board 10 that found homeless individuals congregating at eight sites in Bay Ridge. In a letter to DHS Assistant Commissioner Michele Brown, Fossella, Golden and Eaton urged the agency to make an immediate effort to target the sites.

Fossella said, “While we have made progress addressing the homeless problem in Bay Ridge, I have become aware that homeless individuals have recently begun congregating in other areas of our community. We’re asking the City to send outreach teams to these areas to work with the homeless and ensure they are placed in shelters or treatment programs. This would ensure that the homeless population receive the help and care they need and, at the same time, bring piece of mind to area residents who worry about aggressive panhandling, unsanitary conditions and the safety of children in the areas.”

Senator Marty Golden stated, “The continued efforts of the Department of Homeless Services and the New York City Police Department to keep the homeless off of our streets must be applauded and at the same time expanded. Throughout Bay Ridge, there are numerous locations where homeless men and women tend to congregate. For the quality of life of
these homeless individuals, and for the quality of life and the safety of our neighborhood and residents, we must continue to work together to offer assistance and help. I encourage the Department of Homeless Services to send outreach teams to address this problem as we approach the cold winter months. This is the right path to take to address this problem."

Eaton said, “As the winter approaches and the temperature starts to drop, we are concerned about the homeless population in our community and we are equally concerned about the quality of life issues which directly relate to homeless individuals congregating in large groups in CB 10. Our survey identified eight such sites. It is imperative that the City take immediate action to insure the safety of all concerned. We worked with Congressman Fossella on the homeless problem at the Bay Ridge Towers and his support and efforts helped us to bring that issue to closure. With his help we are certain that we can successfully address this issue in a timely manner.”

The sites where homeless have been seen congregating are:

· J.J. Carty Park (95th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway)
· Leif Ericson Square (66th Street between 3rd and 5th Avenues)
· Steadman Square (67th Street and 3rd Avenue)
· Under the BQE Overpasses (92nd, 86th, 79th, 72nd @ 7th Avenue)
· 4th Avenue between 92nd and 99th Streets
· Park at 95th Street and 4th Avenue
· Shore Road Bus Shelter (Shore Road between 3rd and 4th Avenues)
· Kathy Reilly Triangle (Fort Hamilton parkway between 77th and 78th Streets)

In September, Fossella, Senator Diane Savino and Eaton secured an agreement from the City to close the homeless encampments and take action to help secure the site around the 65th Street rail yard.