The Staten Island Downtown Alliance is working with Community Board 1 and other civic organizations to oppose the homeless shelters slated for Staten Island on the basis that only 1,300 of the 63,000 homeless individuals claim Staten Island as their home and; Staten Island doesn't have the government services necessary to assist homeless individuals obtain a better and safer quality of life.
While we have lawyers willing to work Pro Bono on the lawsuit, filing legal documents will be costly. We are therefore accepting donations to help us STOP THE HOMELESS SHELTERS ON STATEN ISLAND.
Your donation will be used solely for the purpose of stopping the shelters.
Photo credit: Staten Island Advance/Sydney Kashiwagi
Department of Homeless Services announced that they would be going ahead with building a 200 unit homeless shelter at 44 Victory Boulevard - right in the heart of the Bay Street Corridor where more than $1 Billion private dollars have been invested in projects such as Empire Outlets, Lighthouse Point, Minthorne and URBY and tens of millions of public dollars have been invested in grants to Local Development Corporations and business organizations to attract and retain businesses and to improve the surrounding community.
There are 42 separate homeless shelters and service sites scattered throughout Community Board 1's service delivery district. There are more scattered throughout Staten Island - but still the Mayor wants to build at least 3 homeless shelters on Staten Island to deal with the 1,300 homeless individuals who claim Staten Island as their last address.
While the Staten Island Downtown Alliance applauds the government for creating a plan to address the homeless crisis, it rejects the notion that Staten Island must accept 3 shelters (one for each Community Board as is proposed for other boroughs) because Staten Island is lacking too many of the necessary services that would help a homeless individual get back on his/her feet.
For example: Staten Island has no public hospital which means that homeless individuals will have to seek medical treatment at our 2 overburdened hospitals. Staten Island has no free access onto the island by car. Christine Quinn, Executive Director of WIN (the entity that would run the 200 unit shelter) said that most of the women owned cars. Staten Island lacks a subway and has limited bus service so there is no way for those without cars to get around. Staten Island has limited job opportunities because it is economically disenfranchised due to the $19 bridge tolls. Staten Island has limited rental housing which means that there will be nowhere for the women and their families who transition from homelessness to find permanent housing. Staten Island public schools are overcrowded and it has few Charter School options.
The list of how Staten Island is lacking in opportunities for its residents is long which likely contributed to the homelessness of these 1,300 individuals. Instead of hobbling them further, why not transition them in shelters close to needed services in Manhattan while using the funds for the lease for the SI shelter to build permanent affordable housing which can serve the homeless and reduce the problem in the future? .
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