Filed under: 11101, 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Long Island City, Long Island City Queens
As I indicated in an update on this post this “open house” was not, in fact, open to the general public. The reason for this given was (presumably to those who were turned away) that the email I received was incorrect and this was by invitation only. Go figure.
In any case, I know someone who was invited and she was kind enough to tell me a little about what came to pass. A lady named Laura writes:
I couldn’t attend the open house, but Mike did. The “open house” was not open to the public. It was by invitation only. Mike took notice that only two elected officials were represented at this open house. Rami (Metal, Community Liaison for our City Councilman — Ed Note) attended for Steve Levin. And of course Lincoln (Restler — Ed. Note) attended. No other elected officials attended or were represented. If it hadn’t been for Rami and Lincoln talking to the director, the people who showed up wouldn’t have been able to get in. That’s including the local business owners. So they aren’t being community inclusive at all. In fact, since Meredith Hoffmann from DNAinfo was late, and didn’t have Lincoln or Rami with her, she couldn’t get in. She was waiting outside when the tour was over.
The things that stuck out to Mike were that this will be on average, a 21 day assessment facility, where clients come after they’ve been to the 30th & 1st intake center. After 21 days of being at 400 McGuiness, clients will be place in permanent shelters. There will be shuttle buses running for clients that will let them off at 21st in LIC, as to not “impact” the community. There will be an advisory board which folks can become part of, only by calling the main #(212) 803-5700 at BRC. You can provide your name and need to make reference to 400 McGuiness. Attached are the handouts that Mike received.
You can view these above-mentioned handouts by clicking here.
This comes via a tipster. Anyone who wishes to view this facility, ask questions (Examples: How will the 20 beds allotted to our local homeless be administered? Are there Polish-speaking staff on site?) and/or voice concerns, this is the time to do it! I for one would like to take a moment to thank Mr. Rumore for (at last) reaching out to the community. However, I suspect I write on the behalf of quite a few folks that a little more advance notice would have been nice…
UPDATE, August 17, 2012: Yours truly has received word that this “Open House” is apparently by invitation only. Fascinating. I have, however, received an account from someone who was permitted to attend. This I will relay via a separate blog post in a bit!
If the above missive is any indication it would appear there not only will be one but our Mayor will be present.
Here’s the deal folks: whether or not you are for this facility the fact of the matter is we as residents of this community had a right to know it was open. In fact, the operators of this shelter were required to notify both our Community Board and elected officials when this came to pass. This did not happen. Rather, a temporary Certificate of Occupancy was secured, an emergency was declared and this facility was quietly and conveniently opened while Community Board 1 was on summer break.
The issue at hand is one of transparency. One would hope we as citizens/tax payers would be entitled to this from our civil servants. Obviously this is not the case.
Given the fact this facility is slated to open this upcoming September I feel compelled to pass along this item from the New York Daily News. Follows is a passage I found particularly intriguing:
“Transient residencies are allowed in certain types of manufacturing districts,” he said, noting that 20 beds in the dormitory shelter will be specifically set aside for Greenpoint homeless…”
I for one think this is a splendid step in the right direction— but it does pose some questions. For example: how are these beds going to administered? Taking into account the fact a great many of our community’s homeless are Polish speakers, certainly a Polish speaking staff member will be required. I suspect I speak on the behalf of many of my neighbors (be they for or against this facility) when I write that I want BRC to provide us with a concrete “plan of action” as to how our homeless will be accommodated (Think: outreach, substance abuse counseling, etc.). Methinks this is not too much to ask.
Apparently a new floor, per the person who saw fit to copy me on the following email (which included the General Manager of Community Board 1, among others). She writes:
Rebars are being placed on top of 400 McGuiness Blvd. Are they building upward? Does anyone know?
Naturally I was very curious about this, so I did three things:
1. I checked Google Maps so as to ascertain what the roof-line of this complex looked like “pre-rebar”.
I have indicated the work site in question in yellow. As you can see the western part of 400 McGuinness sports an additional floor. The area highlighted does not. Which brings me to…
2. See this for myself.
A new floor has been added and a means of egress/ingress (as highlighted above) leads from the original structure to its new neighbor. In addition, all the entrances save one on Clay Street and one on McGuinness Boulevard have been replaced with windows.
One such former entrance was where this intercom system (which they have inexplicably seen fit not to remove) is located.
And of course here is a shot of the rebar in question— along with a new HVAC unit. Which, in turn, brings me to…
3. Is this legal?
At a cursory search, I honestly cannot tell. Thus I have requested a disinterested party “in the know” about such matters to tender his/her take.
To be continued…
P.S.: On the way to 400 McGuinness Boulevard I noted a few items of interest on Box Street:
The on-going work of art that is 62 Box Street is for sale. Exclusively no less.
And the Box House Hotel is keeping up appearances.
A number of people have asked me about the status of the proposed 200 bed assessment center slated to grace 400 McGuinness Boulevard. Aside from noticing that it appears to be nearing completion I have drawn a blank. Until this morning which is when I received the item at left via an anonymous tipster.
As you can see a lawsuit is in the works and a meeting of the newly christened Greenpoint Neighborhood Coalition will come to pass at McGuinness Power Brake Service next Monday, March 19th, at 6:30 p.m.. Those of you who harbor concerns about this facility or simply want to learn more should make it a point to attend!
Greenpoint Neighborhood Coalition meeting regarding the proposed assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard
March 19, 2012 starting at 6:30 p.m.
McGuinness Power Brake Service
404 McGuinness Boulevard
Brooklyn, New York 11222
A pair of simple mishaps or a sign of something more sinister? Given the controversy surrounding— if not outright hostility directed at— the proposed 200 bed assessment center at this location I am not so quick to rule out the latter. Therefore I have brought it to the attention of the head of the 94th Precinct, D.I. Hurson. He has assured me he is looking into it.
UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: I have word from Mr. Hurson no reports have been filed regarding this. Interesting…
brooklynbureau: 5 Reported Deaths of Homeless in Greenpoint Bklyn in past 15 months: http://t.co/CQlfmNQR
Original Tweet: http://twitter.com/brooklynbureau/statuses/152474257392275457
This was brought to my attention by an anonymous tipster (thanks!). Those of you who are so inclined should take a moment to read Brooklyn Bureau’s piece about homelessness in Greenpoint and the proposed assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard. Follows is a breakdown of the five (I suspect preventable) deaths outlined therein:
…In October, reports of a homeless man hanging himself in McGolrick Park marked the fifth reported death of a homeless man in Greenpoint’s parks in the past 15 months. Two have taken their own lives (the second man in Barge Park off Commercial Street), one man drowned in McCarren Park, another died of hypothermia in the same park and a third died of unknown causes, also in McCarren Park.
“It’s a sick way of thinking because the person could die in the street and then no one’s responsible,” says McDonnell, “is that what we do, do we just let people die and not be responsible?”
Indeed. However, what what this tome overlooks is Greenpoint’s homeless will not simply be able to go to 400 McGuinness and receive shelter. They will have to go through a processing center in Manhattan and then come back here. Given the language gap many of our homeless face (as Polish speakers)— and the fact many of them have serious substance abuse problems— do I realistically see this arrangement working? No, I don’t.
Image Credits: The image at left was taken by yours truly at McCarren Park this summer.
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, New York City
Taken by Christa.
Although I posted this last week I wanted to take a moment everyone that the rally to protest the proposed assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard is tomorrow!
Rally To Stop The Proposed Assessment Center At 400 McGuinness Boulevard
September 21, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.
New York, New York 10007