“Riverdale has always been a community devoted to lending a helping hand and assisting those in need. These deeply rooted principles make me proud to represent Riverdale and are core values underlying my support for the newly proposed homeless shelter at 6661 Broadway in Riverdale. Homelessness is an epidemic that will take all of us to end, and our community can and should be a part of the solution.
The proposed program will provide residents with the necessary resources to acclimate into society such as counseling, housing placement assistance, and life skills workshops so they may find and secure permanent housing. The shelter will also work in tandem with the community even after its opening by forming a Community Advisory Board for shelter residents, community members, businesses, and elected officials to engage in ongoing conversations regarding the program’s success. I am committed to working alongside the City to ensure there is sufficient oversight of the implementation and success of the program, and that the needs of shelter residents and surrounding community members are prioritized.
There is so much that I have learned in my time as your State Senator. Under this set of circumstances the learning that most comes to mind is that the “othering” of anyone, but especially of those who find themselves without the means to eat or to call anywhere home, only serves to divide us. We can all agree that no one is immune from falling on hard times. So let’s pause in this moment and realize together that this shelter is one way for Riverdale to live up to its values by helping to house those who are facing their darkest and greatest moment of need.
I encourage every member of the Riverdale community to stand with me in support of the proposed shelter and welcome every new resident, regardless of their housing status. Housing is a human right, and we must fight until everyone has access to the stable, safe housing that they deserve.”