Neighborhood Group Calls For Mayor, Chancellor and City Councilman Antonio Reynoso's Support
Bushwick, Brooklyn - April 14, 2019 -- Parents of public school students in Bushwick are raising serious security concerns about the city's planned 80 bed men's shelter in Bushwick that is scheduled to open May 1 within blocks of three schools that serve 1,500 students.
Alarmed residents have formed Bushwick Neighbors United to unify concerned resident, parents and other relevant stakeholders in the neighborhood.
At an informational session for school parents on Thursday, attendees heard from Core Services, the vendor that the City's Department of Homeless Services is contracting to run the shelter, on their plans for the site. While Core representatives touted security measures they plan to put in place, Bushwick Neighbors United says it's not enough.
"We are deeply concerned about the safety of the more than 1,500 students who attend the three schools that are within blocks of this shelter," said Martha Bayona, president of Community Education Council 32. "This is about the students and making sure they are learning in the most productive environments possible, and this shelter will not help."
"The Community Board recommended this be a facility for senior women or families, and the Department of Homeless Services has simply ignored that recommendation from the community," Bayona added.
Bushwick Neighbors United called for City Councilman Antonio Reynoso's support for the community. The group said that as a member of the committee that oversees the Department of Homeless Services, he should be helping the community as it works to ensure a safe neighborhood for residents and school students.
The group also calls on the schools chancellor Richard Carranza and Mayor Bill de Blasio to support the schools and students.
Local residents have called for the Department of Homeless Services to reduce the number of residents from 80 to 40 men to alleviate security and safety concerns in the residential neighborhood.
The Department of Homeless Services has called it a facility for "seniors," but Bushwick Neighbors United calls that disingenuous because the minimum age of residents is 50.
The group vows to keep fighting for the neighborhood and urged concerned parents and local residents to sign up for updates at bushwickneighborsunited.com or follow the group on Twitter at @BushwickUnited.
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