Residents once again protest proposed Glendale homeless shelter


| lguerre@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre
THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Middle Village and Glendale residents once again protested the transformation of an abandoned factory into a homeless shelter.

No means no.

More than a hundred residents once again protested a proposed homeless shelter at an abandoned Glendale factory on Saturday.

Area residents have rejected the shelter, but since nonprofit Samaritan Village is not backing away from its proposal to the Department of Homeless Service (DHS) to transform the site at 78-16 Cooper Avenue into housing for 125 struggling families, the residents returned with posters and petitions.

“I would say that we are definitely determined,” said Middle Village resident Heather Truberg, who organized the rally. “Because if it is approved, and they start building it, it’ll be out of our hands.”

Residents feel the factory would not be a good location for the shelter because it is contaminated and therefore not suitable as a residence, and will require millions of dollars to clean up. They also believe it will force many new children into crowded surrounding public schools, and because the area is built without much transportation, commuting would be troublesome for the homeless families.

Samaritian Village recently answered a joint letter by elected officials to address community concerns. The organization confirmed that the facility wouldn’t deny housing to sex offenders and convicted criminals. This further outraged community members and elected officials.

Many residents feel that officials haven’t been doing enough to stop the proposal.

“It seems like it could happen. They said we’re not for it, but they are not doing anything,” Middle Village resident John Hegener said.

While the opposition against the shelter is strong, not everyone is up in arms.

“I know that they [the protesters] are thinking, ‘if it’s a guy from jail he might rob again,’” said Fran Malave, a Glendale resident walking past the rally. “But what about women that need help, or children?”

 

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