As the calendar turns to 2019, State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. doesn’t want to leave behind one of the biggest issues his constituents faced in 2018, the proposed large population homeless shelter in Ozone Park.
The Department of Homeless Services Commissioner, Steve Banks, informed Addabbo that the Mayor’s office still has intentions to utilize the former Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at 85-15 101st Avenue in Ozone Park, as a homeless shelter site for 113 single men, some with mental illnesses.
Addabbo still stands in solidarity with the residents of Ozone Park who do not want the ill-conceived plan to go forth as it currently stands. Mayor de Blasio’s plan involves housing 113 single and mentally ill men at the site, just blocks away from five schools. In a meeting with the mayor last year, Addabbo brought forth his constituents’ concerns regarding the shelter’s population and its proximity to several schools.
“I remain open to negotiating with the Mayor to change the homeless population to homeless seniors, veterans or women and therefore doing our part in helping with the homelessness crisis facing our city,” Addabbo said. “I am extremely concerned for the safety of all and the burden on our local 102nd Precinct if the mayor does not change his plans.”
Addabbo plans to continue to urge Mayor de Blasio to address the concerns over this shelter’s size and population.
“Before any plan for this site is finalized and people are moved in there, I intend to remind the mayor of our concerns,” Addabbo said. “If the size is reduced and the population is changed, we would welcome this shelter with open arms and help those individuals get back on their feet. Until that time, I am opposed to this current plan.”