With school starting back up again, parents across the borough are excited to be sending their kids off to school with their backpacks and lunchboxes. However, the parents at several Ozone Park and Glendale schools have a major concern looming overhead.
Through Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Turning the Tide on Homelessness” plan, the former Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church located at 85-15 101st Avenue, in Ozone Park is slated to become a homeless shelter for 113 mentally ill men by early 2019, while a former factory in Glendale, located at 78-16 Cooper Avenue, is also being considered to become a homeless shelter.
State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. is continuing to call on the mayor to reconsider both of these shelter locations. The main reason being that these two shelters are in very close proximity to several local schools.
“Now that schools are open, we can all see the students and parents with strollers passing by a site that in the near future could house over 100 mentally ill men, with limited services,” Addabbo warned.
This is one of the main reasons that these residents are opposed to having these homeless shelters in their communities, Addabbo said. Mothers do not want to walk with their children passed or near a shelter.
“With both the Ozone Park and Glendale sites being proposed for a large population of mentally ill men, with no guarantee of eliminating sexual offenders, this is a huge public safety issue for my constituents,” the Senator stated.
“As a father with two young girls in the school system, I can relate to these parents’ concerns,” Addabbo continued. “Our children’s safety is our utmost concern and sending them to school where homeless men — especially mentally ill men — are being housed is very concerning. I understand that my constituents are aware of the need to assist the homeless, but building large population shelters in such close proximity to several community schools is not the right answer. I look forward to continue working with Mayor de Blasio to find a solution to our city’s homelessness problem that works best for everyone.”
Addabbo has personally spoken to the Mayor about the Ozone Park and Glendale sites and while he appreciates the Mayor considering the Senator’s concerns, Addabbo intends to follow up those conversations in the coming weeks.