Rep. Fossella, Sen. Golden & Cb10 Chair Eaton Announce City To Address Homeless Problem In Bay Ridge

Martin J. Golden

December 12, 2006

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

Earlier this month, Fossella, Golden and Eaton asked DHS to target eight sites in Bay Ridge where homeless individuals have been recently congregating. The sites were identified by Community Board 10 in a November survey for DHS.

DHS has agreed to send its outreach provider, Volunteers of America (VOA), to the sites to assess the situation and submit a report of its findings to the agency. VOA will work with the NYPD Homeless Outreach Unit, the 68th Precinct and the Department of Health and Mental and Hygiene’s outreach providers to encourage any homeless individuals to enter an emergency shelter, temporary or permanent housing, rehabilitative treatment or other appropriate services.

Fossella said, “We’re delighted to deliver on this promise to the people of Bay Ridge. This initiative will give the homeless the opportunity to reclaim their lives by getting the help they need. It will also enhance the quality-of-life for Bay Ridge residents and bring piece of mind to those who worried about aggressive panhandling, unsanitary conditions and the safety of children in the areas. We now have an action plan in place to address this problem in advance of the cold winter weather. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Hess and Assistant Commissioner Brown for their quick response to help the homeless living in Bay Ridge.”

Senator Golden said, “I applaud the Department of Homeless Services for recognizing the severity of the problem and for their quick response. Working together, we will bring about change in the community that will positively impact the quality of life of. For those who are in need, we will soon be offering help to them. It is an accurate response to a community problem and I thank Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Hess and Assistant Commissioner Brown.”

Eaton said, “"On behalf of our District Manager Josephine Beckmann, the Members of CB 10 and the residents of Bay Ridge I applaud the efforts of Congressman Fossella and Senator Golden for assisting us with obtaining a commitment from the City of New York to send outreach teamsto Bay Ridge to review, address and resolve the homeless sites that were identified inour recent survey. Such action will insure for the health andsafety of the homeless individuals and the safety of our residents, keeping Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton, the best neighborhoods in the City of New York. It is an honor and a privilege to work with such dedicated and hard working public officials such as Congressman Fossella and Senator Golden who work tirelessly on behalf of all our residents."

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.