Assemblyman William Colton (D – Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) had alerted the community in November of 2021, that city is planning to build a homeless shelter at 137 Kings Highway. My office conducted research and discovered several problems with Home Life Services Inc.
“The community is concerned about this institutional structure that is planned for a residential neighborhood which is surrounded by schools, parks, daycare centers, dance and tutoring centers, parks such as PS 682 Campus, PS97, PS247, IS 96 (Seth Low) Success Academy, Magen David HS, Yeshiva Ohel Moshe, Highlawn Public Library, Seth Low Park,UCA Community Center and Bensonhurst JCH, within blocks of 137 Kings Highway and such as PS 200, IS 281, PS 128, Brooklyn Studio HS, Elite High School, and Bensonhurst Park, and which is also all within blocks of the 2147 Bath Avenue proposed shelter. We know nothing about this shelter planned by Home Life Services Inc. at 137 Kings Highway in Brooklyn besides that there are two lawsuits pending in the Supreme Court against them and that the developers and operators of both proposed centers have an inadequate record of serving homeless people,” Colton stated.
“The taxpayers are paying for this, and the city has no plans to make it better. The number of homeless New Yorkers has spiked and it's the highest since the Great Depression. Many shelters are run by not-for-profits like Home Life Services Inc. It is painfully obvious that the homeless crisis is only getting worse. People choose to remain on the street because conditions in city-funded shelters are awful and unsafe. Those individuals who need supportive services, including mental health and treatment for addictions, get little or no help. No one has looked at how the locations for new shelters are selected, flipped, and developed by a web of third parties, LLC’s and companies that ultimately pass the cost on to taxpayers. Instead of providing permanent solutions for the homeless crisis such as subsidized or supportive housing, these shelters have become little more than businesses that provide an opportunity for developers and operators to make a profit,” Colton continued.
“Therefore, I together with the 47th AD District Leaders Charles Ragusa, and Nancy Tong, elected officials, and Community Leaders are inviting the community to join us in a Public Rally to Stop the Proposed Homeless Shelter at 137 Kings Highway. As a member of the community, please come and express your opinion at the rally on Sunday, January 23, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. on Kings Highway and West 13th Street. We cannot allow this project to go on. Together we can win this fight,” Colton added.