65 beds for mentally ill coming to St. Mary's hospital
  • Subject: 65 beds for mentally ill coming to St. Mary's hospital

    Get the word out: there will be a hearing on Thursday Oct 2nd at the Center for Nursing and Rehab on a proposal by Concern on Independent Living to open a 65 unit facility for the mentally ill at the former St. Mary's Hospital on Buffalo and Rochester.

    It was bad enough that they closed this hospital, the second to close in 15 years in Crown Heights, leaving us with not one hospital in the community, but to now use it for yet another supportive housing project in CB 8, already super-saturated with assisted living facilities, is a major insult.

    The Board voted in June to impose a moratium on any new assisted living facilities. I wonder if Concern for Independent Living is aware of this?
  • I don't see the problem here. The mentally ill need housing just as much as the rest of society and the site of the former St. Mary's is intact and offers a cost-effective way to reach this goal (as opposed to building a new structure and waiting years for grants, construction, etc.) Supportive programs such as this one provide essential case management services that greatly increase the chances of treatment compliance - otherwise, many mentally ill will wind up homeless or in jails/prisons. It makes no sense to move it elsewhere just because a few people have an outdated view of the mentally ill as disruptive. In order to get into one of these programs, an individual has to undergo a rigorous screening process, as opposed to a place like the armory shelter, which is much larger and, by and large, serves an unstable population (e.g. homeless, active substance abusers, people just released from prison, often a combination of these factors). This basic difference cannot be emphasized enough.

    With proper support, of which stable housing is an essential component, many mentally ill people can work full-time jobs, attend school, and lead constructive lives, so why should their mere presence, especially in such small numbers, be cause for alarm? If this were a project providing housing to senior citizens without mentall illness or substance abuse, would you be so concerned?

    I reside near a domestic violence shelter and a residential substance abuse treatment program; both are well-run, respectful of neighbors, and hardly a burden to my quality of life.
  • I don't know about anybody else, but I'm making a reservation today.
    :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2: :shaking2:
  • Jack Krohn wrote: I don't see the problem here. The mentally ill need housing just as much as the rest of society and the site of the former St. Mary's is intact and offers a cost-effective way to reach this goal (as opposed to building a new structure and waiting years for grants, construction, etc.) Supportive programs such as this one provide essential case management services that greatly increase the chances of treatment compliance - otherwise, many mentally ill will wind up homeless or in jails/prisons. It makes no sense to move it elsewhere just because a few people have an outdated view of the mentally ill as disruptive. In order to get into one of these programs, an individual has to undergo a rigorous screening process, as opposed to a place like the armory shelter, which is much larger and, by and large, serves an unstable population (e.g. homeless, active substance abusers, people just released from prison, often a combination of these factors). This basic difference cannot be emphasized enough.

    With proper support, of which stable housing is an essential component, many mentally ill people can work full-time jobs, attend school, and lead constructive lives, so why should their mere presence, especially in such small numbers, be cause for alarm? If this were a project providing housing to senior citizens without mentall illness or substance abuse, would you be so concerned?

    I reside near a domestic violence shelter and a residential substance abuse treatment program; both are well-run, respectful of neighbors, and hardly a burden to my quality of life.

    No one is objecting to supportive housing, but rather the concentration in one neighborhood.
    In Park Slope, where Jack Krohn lives, there are hardly any supportive housing projects. Funny how that works out, right Jack. If they're so great, why not have a few more in your n'hood?
    According to the report prepared by Crown Heights Revitalization Movement, Crown Heights North has FIVE times the average number of supportive housing beds per acre as the average community, the highest concentration in Brooklyn. Jack simply doesn't get it because he doesn't understand how a glut of supportive housing project depletes the resources of a community. Try running a block association when a third of the residents on the block are incapable of independent living, let alone showing up to a block meeting, writing their council person, chipping in for the block baked goods sale, pledging at the local church, joining the community board, etc. etc. Multiple that times 200 and you have an idea of what it's like to live in Crown Heights.

    For more on the maldistribution of supportive housing beds, see:
    www.revitalizecrownheights.org

    In New Jersey they solved the maldistribution problem of affordable housing with the Mount Laurel decision, requiring every township to have a minimum number of affordable housing projects. Maybe we need a similar decision for NYC about supportive housing. We could call it the Jack Krone Decision. What da' think, Jack?

    At least the City Council should pass a resolution requiring the City Planning Commission to prepare a report showing the distribution of supportive housing beds throughout the city. The City Charter requires a fair distribution of resources throughout the city. The Mayor fought hard to ensure that each boro got it's fair share of waste transfer stations. Why shouldn't the same idea apply to supportive housing?
  • Just reading this now...I do NOT live in Park Slope. Please tell me, if you will, how you arrived at that conclusion, especially since my profile clearly states that I live in Prospect Heights.

    As I said in my original post, there are residential treatment facilities near my home and I have no problem with them. Plus, allowing a perfectly usable structure like the old St. Mary's, which has been vacant for several years and literally has weeds growing around it, go to waste simply because there happens to be a concentration of social service agencies in the neighborhood seems like a weak argument. In the end, it's about helping the mentally ill find housing and achieve stability, not about your precious "community resources".

    And, yes, I would support the very type of equitable distribution that you propose, because I have no problem living next door to a person with a mental illness or anyone else who needs a helping hand.

    By the way, October 2 is long gone. Did your efforts succeed a blocking this proposal?
  • A difficulty with CB 8 is that it stretches horizontally along Eastern Pkwy. The result is that it spans a lot very different n'hoods. Comparing Ocean Hill to Prosepct Heights is like comparing night to day. And St. Marys Hospital is certainly bordering on Ocean Hill.
    In any case, the proposed site for the facility is not the large vacant poured concrete hulk that used to be St. Mary's Hospital but rather a smaller, older building that apparently was where St. Mary's used to be housed.
    Jack, I would suggest you a ride out to the site in question, and see all of the homes for sale, the dozens of half-built houses, the many homeless and street people hanging around, and then imagine yourself a person with mental issues living there. Not a pretty picture, for the mentally challenged or the struggling home owners.
  • Zombie thread.

    6 years later, the main building of the hospital is to become a nursing home:

  • I am closing this thread.  Feel free to start a new thread about the conversion of the old hospital facility to a nursing home.

    There is no need to stir up old controversies, with attendant bad feelings, after several years of dormancy
This discussion has been closed.
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