REMINDER: Homeless Shelter Town Hall Meeting Next Week

March 31, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

It has come to my attention recently that a number of folks hereabouts are unaware:

1. That another RFP for a 200 bed assessment center for 400 McGuinness Boulevard, this time at the behest of Bowery Residents Committee, has been filed.

2. There is a Town Hall meeting next week regarding the aforementioned proposal. A representative of BRC, Muzzy Rosenblatt, is scheduled to be present so as to answer questions.

Mark your calendars:

Homeless Town Hall Meeting 2.0
April 5, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.
Polish National Home
261 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Deja Vu

March 10, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Here we go again, folks. I for one found the rather vague term “homeless individuals” intriguing. I’m guessing these chaps learned from 400 McGuinness 1.0 that the phrase “homeless single men” is off-putting to some people hereabouts.

On the other hand, at least they have shown some willingness to work with our local Community Board. Speaking for myself, I want to see for myself exactly what this organization is proposing. Especially in light of the fact a representative of the Department of Homeless services stated on February 8, 2011 (the latest Town Hall Meeting) that no plans for a homeless shelter/intake center in Greenpoint were in the works—- yet this property was sold shortly thereafter and yet another RFP has been filed for basically the same thing. What gives? By all appearances it would seem the Department of Homeless Services is intent on putting an intake center there.

Most importantly of all: what’s in it for Greenpoint and our homeless population?

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: Dispatch From The Town Hall Meeting

As many of you are aware yours truly attended the public hearing and monthly meeting of our local Community Board instead of attending the Town Hall forum regarding the proposed (and withdrawn) proposal for a homeless assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard. This is a shame because if the following person’s account of said meeting is any indication, I missed a rather provocative evening. S writes:

Dear Miss Heather, While you were attending the Community Board 1 meeting this past Tuesday, I was patiently waiting with a room full of older Greenpointers and lively Polish folks for Councilmember Stephen Levin to show up at the town hall meeting scheduled for the same time. Naturally, Mr. Levin was about 45 minutes late. No one really seemed to mind and when he did arrive and announce that the proposal for the men’s intake shelter at Clay and McGuinness was withdrawn, he was met with applause. The excitement didn’t last for long and seemed to come to halt when the representative from NYC DOH took the mic. Although a shelter is not going in at that location, nor any other location in Greenpoint for the time being, people were still very pissed. At one point, a rather beautiful young Polish woman yelled out that if a shelter did go in in the future, “it would be torched, it would be burned to the ground (emphasis mine — Ed. Note).” Mr. Levin and his staff struggled to gain order, and when I left about 45 minutes in, people were ignoring his request to raise hands and speak in turn and were yelling out and over each other. My understanding of the situation is that all attempts to put in a shelter at that location have been aborted. The people that currently live in the building are filing to have more control over the rental property and to co-op it. DOH has no further plans at this time to put in a shelter in Greenpoint, nor does Help USA. So the passion at this particular meeting seemed to me to be passion wasted. Thought maybe you would be interested at the goings on over at the Polish National Home.

New York Shitty analysis: See what happens when our Public Safety Chair (who, it should be noted, has been present at every prior such meeting) goes on a vacation? Total and utter chaos.

In closing, here’s a more concise account of this event I received from a chap we’ll call D:

Meeting Summary: Help USA “Organization that would manage homeless shelter” formally withdrew their proposal to the Department of Homeless Services “Government agency that would pay Help USA to run the shelter”. A disagreement on how much DHS would pay Help USA was the formal reason. The DHS representative mentioned that no other proposals are on the board, although they will consider future ones. Councilman Levin argued strongly that the over 500 letters written had an impact on negotiations. DHS rep said that if the proposal was accepted, it begins a process that considers community input and current government projects in the area already having an impact (Newtown creek, garbage transfer stations.) I brought up the point that the owner of the building is the one who will start any process of selling/leasing his property for this use and he has refused to come to meetings. I will follow up with Steve Levin regarding how to reach out to the owner directly.

Miss Heather

TONIGHT: Homeless Shelter Town Hall Meeting

Even though the owner of 400 McGuinness and HELP USA have withdrawn their proposal for a 400 bed assessment center for single men, I have been advised this meeting will go forward as planned. Among other things, it is a concern that the gentleman who owns for 400 McGuinness may very well try to shop around his building to other organizations interested in outfitting a homeless shelter. I have also been told a representative from the Department of Homeless Services will be on hand to answer  questions.  NOTE/CAVEAT: this forum directly conflicts with this month’s public hearing and board meeting of Community Board 1.

Homeless Shelter Town Hall Meeting
February 8, 2011 starting at 7:00 p.m.
Polish National Home

261 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

LAST GASP: Withdrawn!

February 4, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Special thanks goes out to Sherry Wasserman who writes:

Per Joe Lentol’s Twitter update and Facebook page, which links to a document of withdrawal:

Holy Shit Tits, Batman! We did it!

for bringing this to my attention! We did it!!! Let this be yet another example that community action can and does work! In closing, I would like to give props to our Community Board, City Councilman, Steve Levin; State Senator Martin Malave Dilan; Assemblyman Joseph Lentol and my fellow Greenpointers for their hard work and due diligence fighting against this project.

Miss Heather

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Homeless Shelter Town Hall Meeting 2.0

January 29, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

As promised by City Councilman Steve Levin, another Town Hall Meeting regarding the homeless assessment center slated to occupy 400 McGuinness Boulevard will come to pass February 8, 2011 at the Polish National Home. The more eagle-eyed among you have probably noticed that a representative from HELP USA will not be on hand to address our community’s concerns about how this facility will impact the quality of life or address the extant homeless problem in our fair burgh. Can I honestly say I am surprised by this? No, not really. Nonetheless, their silence speaks volumes.

Those of you who wish to help spread the word can download a printable jpeg of the above notice by clicking here. Otherwise, the Polish and Spanish version can be had by clicking here. To RSVP for this event please email Mr. Levin’s Community Liaison, Rami Metal, at rmetal (at) council (dot) nyc (dot) gov.

Town Hall Meeting 2.0
February 8, 2011 starting at 7:00 p.m.
Polish National Home (AKA: ” The Warsaw”)
261 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Photo Du Jour: McGuinness Boulevard

A few thoughts/observations about this missive (which I spied this afternoon while walking down the Champs-Élysées of north Brooklyn) and the person who created it:

  1. This chap is obviously very unhappy at the prospect of having a 200 bed homeless intake center for single men near his home.
  2. How do I know this, you ask? Well, in addition to the above missive I have met him at one of the Town Hall meetings regarding the aforementioned shelter.
  3. During our conversation I also learned he was responsible for this, which is just plain awesome.
  4. This gentleman is 75 maybe 80 years old if a day. In addition, I came away from the previously-mentioned conversation with the distinct impression his politics lean most decidedly to the right. Thus I am rather surprised— and in a very good way, I’ll add— that he knows what Village Voice is, much less be bothered to take a copy home to read or annotate.

I suppose it just goes to show that the Garden Spot— and the people contained therein— still have a few surprises up their respective sleeves! God bless you, Greenpoint Greenpernt!

Miss Heather

From The New New York Shitty Photo Pool, Part II: Bloomie French Tips

October 18, 2010 ·
Filed under: Bloomblight, Culture War, Manhattan, New York City 

Steven R. Hazlett (who took the above photograph) opines:

If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse  —-Woody Allen

(nothing else need be said)

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Disambiguation About “The Petition”

October 8, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A person I call CHAT writes:

I have found resistance to the petition because people are not sure whether they are signing against it or signing because they want more information.  I don’t have the answer.  I have contacted John Liu’s office and have received a call today from Jorge, who is I believe in charge of public relations.  He has told me that the comptroller only gets the contract after it goes through other agencies, in this case being the Department of Homeless Services.  He claims that they only yay or nay it depending on if it is legal and financially sound.  They are not a liaison for the community in this capacity. He said that while he is happy to answer questions and point people in the right direction to obtain info or to voice their concerns and that as far as his office is concerned this is non-existent because they do not have any contract in their office as of yet.  He suggested that I contact DHS, our councilman, assemblyman, and senator and also attend the community board meeting (while it is not obligatory for HELP USA to attend as they are not a city organization).  I emailed Seth Diamond at the DHS with my questions via this site.

To disambiguate:

  1. The petition is against the shelter.
  2. The notice I wrote emphasizes the fact HELP USA seems not to be interested in dialoging with our community. A community which has (as many have observed) a homeless problem. To put it country simple: how can a Representative of DHS, Department of Homeless Services, assure us that having a 200 bed homeless intake shelter will not effect our quality of life when even he does not have any specifics about it? How will our homeless problem— which let’s face facts— is quite unique in nature be addressed if HELP USA won’t come to the table and discuss it with they very people who are familiar with it? The answer is: it won’t be.
  3. HELP USA has been asked, no less than three times, to meet with the community where their shelter will located. And while it is HELP USA’s right to refuse, does this foster much faith if/when their shelter graces our community? It doesn’t.

For the above reasons I would advise anyone who wants an open dialogue with HELP USA (regardless of their stance on the shelter) to make it known! To them, our elected officials and Community Board. On a closing note, here is a notice about said shelter in Spanish. I created this because quite frankly I was very disturbed by the lack of awareness about this shelter in our local Latino community. They, above all others, will be impacted by this shelter more than anyone.

Miss Heather

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