Have You Noticed Any Changes since the opening of the homeless shelters? - Brooklynian

Have You Noticed Any Changes since the opening of the homeless shelters?

Considering all of the anger and outcry from area residents about the Bergen House homeless shelter for single, elderly men, and the Rogers Ave Family shelter, I am just curious if anyone notices any significant changes to quality of life since opening. Currently, my main beef is with the Rogers Family shelter, because the building operator has not landscaped, the exposed dirt surrounding the building is gross, and the paper blinds look shitty. I live a few blocks south of Bergen House, but have not noticed any significant upticks in men on the streets or anything of that nature.

Comments

  • They need time to get their bearings on the available benches, liquor stores and make friends at the corners. I have noticed there are more old men at Prospect and Nostrand.
  • There seems to be more homeless sleeping on benches during the day on Eastern Parkway. Not sure if that has to do with the summer weather, though.
  • Yeah, I am having some trouble figuring out if the increase in older guys on Nostrand is just summer and the nice weather or if it is related to the shelter.
  • Shelters have curfews. The one I am most familiar with had a 9 PM to 9 AM curfew. So, if you are seeing someone who is unsightly during those hours they are either likely either unaffilated with the shelter, or lost their bed. ....which means they have to start over at the men's assessment shelter again.
  • There seems to be more homeless sleeping on benches during the day on Eastern Parkway. Not sure if that has to do with the summer weather, though.
  • edited June 2017
    Have You Noticed Any Changes since the opening of the homeless shelters?

    Nope.

    What kinds of changes were being anticipated?

  • We have a new shelter for homeless women on my block - Prospect Place between Vanderbilt and Carleton -- and there have been some developments I'm not happy about. Almost as soon as the shelter opened one of my kids was hit up with the "I need $20 for a train ticket and I lost my wallet" bit by a woman while she talked on her iPhone. My husband watched the woman walk down the street and sure enough, she walked into the shelter (formerly Phoenix House). I made contact with the director asking that she urge her residents not to panhandle on the very block which has welcomed them with open arms (I really don't want to deal with this outside my front door). She promised she would, and I hope she has. 2 days later, however, another young resident asked me for money. And we have a new group of folks who I presume are residents hanging out on the Milk Bar bench at the corner of Vanderbilt. I'm definitely not a NIMBY-er, but I do wish the shelter folks taught their residents how to be good neighbors.
  • I think you may be believing shelters have a lot of power over their residents. While they have more power over their guests than a Marriott has over theirs, it falls short of what you seem to desire.
  • Panhandling may be annoying. However, I don't think much can be done about it because laws against panhandling have been found unconstitutional.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/10/nyregion/police-charged-panhandlers-under-unconstitutional-law.html

  • I view panhandling as being like prostitution. It shows that people have lost self respect, and I often suspect addiction is involved.
  • whynot_31 said:
    I view panhandling as being like prostitution. It shows that people have lost self respect, and I often suspect addiction is involved.
    I don't disagree.

    I also hope if one were to ignore them, they'd go away.

  • They seem to gravitate toward bullet resistant liquor stores and/or places that they are able to get money.
  • I teach my kids to say to the panhandlers . "I gave at church". Wheather true or not the panhandler never asks us again, perhaps out of respect.
  • I haven't had any personal impacts, but friends live on the block where the shelter went up that has been in the news all spring. They've been posting regularly on FB pictures of tenants coming down the block to stand near their driveway and smoke (something stronger than weed). They too have talked to the developer/managers but now changes yet.
  • While some cities have adopted safe injection sites for opiates, I am not aware of any that have opened sites where people can freely smoke K2, crystal meth, or crack cocaine. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/opinion/injecting-drugs-under-a-watchful-eye.html
  • I just applied for an apartment at the northwest corner of Carroll and Rogers without realizing the proximity to the new shelter and now I'm wondering if it should be a reason to stop pursuing the place. I currently live a few blocks south of the Atlantic/Bedford men's shelter and have had no real problems over the years, and I'm inclined to think this place will be better than that one because it's families instead of just single men. Often shelters end up being much less troublesome than the pre-opening protests promise they will be, and I've certainly seen plenty of people in NYC do plenty of wild stuff nowhere near homeless shelters. That being said, I'd be a woman living alone and often traversing the surrounding area alone (I'd almost always be headed north or west when walking, though, away from the shelter), and this does seem like something I should consider. On the other hand, the price of the apartment is great for how nice it is (I'm guessing because of its proximity to the brand new shelter, whose opening happens to coincide with it coming on the market after a renovation), so if the impact is mostly just the occasional crack pipe, hey...I am not brand new to the city. I'll take the rent break. I'd be really interested to hear from anyone else who lives on one of the immediately adjacent blocks about what they've noticed since it opened, if anything.
  • I just applied for an apartment at the northwest corner of Carroll and Rogers without realizing the proximity to the new shelter and now I'm wondering if it should be a reason to stop pursuing the place. I currently live a few blocks south of the Atlantic/Bedford men's shelter and have had no real problems over the years, and I'm inclined to think this place will be better than that one because it's families instead of just single men. Often shelters end up being much less troublesome than the pre-opening protests promise they will be, and I've certainly seen plenty of people in NYC do plenty of wild stuff nowhere near homeless shelters. That being said, I'd be a woman living alone and often traversing the surrounding area alone (I'd almost always be headed north or west when walking, though, away from the shelter), and this does seem like something I should consider. On the other hand, the price of the apartment is great for how nice it is (I'm guessing because of its proximity to the brand new shelter, whose opening happens to coincide with it coming on the market after a renovation), so if the impact is mostly just the occasional crack pipe, hey...I am not brand new to the city. I'll take the rent break. I'd be really interested to hear from anyone else who lives on one of the immediately adjacent blocks about what they've noticed since it opened, if anything.
    If you weren't bothered by the men's shelter bear Atlantic, I definitely wouldn't let a family shelter discourage you from moving into the area. I often saw men outside the Atlantic shelter sleeping on the ground,shooting dice, etc., etc and I expect there will be a lot less of that at a family shelter. Maybe a few women asking for money, but you're going to have beggars any where you love in NYC. I also agree that concerns about a shelter coming to the neighborhood likely are overblown compared to the actual impact on your daily life, which again I expect to be much less from a family shelter.
  • Rick656 said:
    I also agree that concerns about a shelter coming to the neighborhood likely are overblown compared to the actual impact on your daily life, which again I expect to be much less from a family shelter.
    If this were true then why are the shelters coming here and not Park Slope, or clinton Hill, etc.? they are protecting their vested interests from the unknown, because hind sight is 50/50.
  • When there is affordable and available space in those neighborhoods, DHS will not hesitate to put in a bid. ...In Crown Heights, DHS was the highest bidder.
  • The numbers of loafers hanging round the two liquor stores on Nostrand nearest the shelter have doubled but no real harassment and only a little more begging for cash to buy another drink.
  • It is an pretty old group of guys.
  • I'm pretty grateful that the demographic assigned to our local shelter at Bergen Street. The vibe is much more "downmarket retirement home" than homeless shelter, and the residents seem to keep pretty much to themselves, other than trips to Nostrand for food and beverage and to the branch library to check email and read the paper online. Given the demand for spots at the shelter for elder men, this city really needs to step up the provision of low-cost (tied to the general Social Security monthly payment) studios and efficiencies for low-income elders who are obviously not going back into the job market and who need decent and safe places to live. This is why I think it is insane that the plans to build additional housing on NYCHA parking lots have been so resisted; especially when so much of the housing proposed is this kind of housing for seniors!
  • Double-whammy of the housing crisis on the ground in Crown Heights: “What we’re finding is there is little effort to distinguish homeless people living in shelters from legacy people, some of whom are very educated. The indigenous legacy neighborhood is African-American and Caribbean. When you have a shelter presence that concentrates people of lower income, it’s a difficult task for the new gentrifiers to tell the difference.” http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-residents-fear-living-hell-homeless-crisis-grows-article-1.3827576
  • Whoa. There is some deep classism going on in the above comment.
  • What passes as journalism also seems odd.
  • I still question the use of "idigenous" together with Caribbean. Are any of us native to crown Hts ? "Legacy" is an interesting one though and provokes real sympathy.
  • I've noticed more human sized feces.
  • edited February 22
    The shelter at Bedford and Atlantic is not among the new ones. ...the new ones serve populations that are "better", and therefore do not require the security that it does: http://www.ny1.com/nyc/brooklyn/politics/2018/02/15/training-nypd-inside-look-program-give-security-bedford-atlantic-armory-shelter
  • I like the warning at the end that the community will likely see increased police presence in the community as the trainings start. I actually think that will be welcome by residents surrounding the Armory, and may help make the Armory itself safer.
  • If we still had journalism, I would expect someone to write a piece on how the increasing violence at the Bedford Atlantic shelter can be linked to the downsizing of Rikers along with the diversion of men with severe mental illness from Rikers and the city hospital system.
  • whynot_31 said:
    If we still had journalism, I would expect someone to write a piece on how the increasing violence at the Bedford Atlantic shelter can be linked to the downsizing of Rikers along with the diversion of men with severe mental illness from Rikers and the city hospital system.
    This sounds like something that Gothamist can explore if/when it comes back.
  • It appears to me that some who shouldn't be in shelters are and some who should be aren't. Case in point....there was a guy living on the median on Conduit Ave. for most of the winter. He had a tent built and lots of the stuff that he found. He was there through all those nine degree days we had and I was hoping he wouldn't freeze to death. There was no way that you couldn't spot his stuff and I saw him sitting out a few times. The cops didn't get him and all his stuff until last week. There are at least three shelters within three miles of where he was but still city services seemed to totally miss this guy who obviously needed help.
  • A few of the homeless are unknown to street outreach teams, but most have been offered shelter repeatedly and refused. This assertion is made as a result of knowing that the workers utilize pretty good databases and often take pictures of the homeless they are working with to prove that they were responsive to the 311 calls. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dhs/outreach/street-outreach.page
  • https://www.wnyc.org/story/number-state-parolees-nyc-homeless-shelters-climbing/ Huge numbers of parolees being released directly into NYC's homeless shelters. Recipe for success.
  • Nightly count in December was 63,000. ...The efforts of DeBlasio are not keeping up with the demand. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/population-city-homeless-shelters-hits-record-high-63-495-article-1.3872792
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