It's looking like the city may be backing out of a promise to spread the burden of caring for the city's homeless population by opening a Manhattan-based intake center to complement the one it's dumping on Crown Heights. Here's what DHS Commissioner Robert Hess said last year on the topic:
We've received considerable feedback regarding our plans to move men's intake from its current location at 30th Street in Manhattan to the Bedford Atlantic Armory in Brooklyn, when the current site closes. And based on that input, we have developed a new plan that will allow us to have in place two intake sites - one site in Manhattan, and a second site in Brooklyn at the Bed-Atlantic Armory. We will ensure that there is a new intake site in Manhattan by the time DHS exits 30th Street facility.
The only problem is that the city's 2010 budget does not reflect any plans for a new Manhattan center, suggesting that the Bedford Armory will the single point of entry into the shelter system for the male homeless population in the five boroughs. In addition to being an unfair burden on the community, it also neglects the reality that the majority of homeless men are in Manhattan. To protest this, Council Members Letitia James and Bill De Blasio along with a number of other elected officials and community groups are holding a rally on the steps of City Hall on Sunday at 3 p.m. Meanwhile, some homeless folks are shacking up at a recently developed luxury condo building in the neighborhood. Not too shabby.
Update on the Bedford Armory Homeless Saga [Brownstoner]
Shelter Woes Spread From Crown Heights to Bed Stuy [Brownstoner]
Homeless Intake Center Plan Provokes Broad Opposition [Brownstoner]
Pols Gather to Pan Crown Heights Homeless Plan [Brownstoner]
Crown Heights Rally: Don't Dump On Us! [Brownstoner]