OCTOBER MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS

Public Safety:
Without being alarmist, we want people to continue to be aware of crime in the community: there was an attempted rape this past month on a Sunday, at 10:30 p.m. at 679 Sterling Place (between Franklin & Bedford Avenue). The victim was unable to give a description of the man because he approached her from behind and she didn’t see his face. Please be alert when you are on the street, especially when you are entering your vestibules.
Burglaries are still up, it is critical that we keep our windows locked, especially those on fire escapes.

Intake Center at the Armory:
A brief update from CBAAR (Coalition for Bedford/Atlantic Armory Reform)
The news regarding the Bedford Atlantic Armory is both good and bad. We have been in contact with the new Commissioner for the Department of Homeless Services: Seth Diamond. In response to our queries he has said that there are no immediate plans to open the intake center for single homeless men at the Bedford Atlantic Armory shelter. However when the intake center at Bellevue closes, the city still intends to open the intake center at the Armory.
We are holding the city off but we must remain vigilant and continue to oppose the intake center. We have requested that DHS keep us informed about the status of the intake center. However there is no guarantee they will do this. Right now and for the foreseeable future, it is imperative that each of us keep an eye on the shelter and report any changes back to us

November Elections
EVERYONE MUST VOTE: This is the most important community effort that you can make in November! It is crucial to the work that the Association undertakes that Crown Heights (and specifically Crow Hill) is seen as a caring and vocal community. The issues that we face are duplicated throughout the City and there are limited resources to deal with them. The communities which get out and vote and make the most noise, are going to be the communities that receive the most attention, it is that simple.
Please be sure to vote on November 2.

Landmarking Crow Hill:
On Tuesday, October 26th the Landmarks Preservation Commission will be holding a meeting at which a group of 13 buildings on Park Place between Franklin & Bedford will be presented for landmarking. Landmark status has already been granted to parts of Prospect Heights and other areas of Crown Heights North, we ask everyone who has an interest in extending this status into Crow Hill to attend this meeting in support.
Again, the meeting is Tuesday, October 26th at 11:35 in the Public Meeting Room of the
Municipal Building: 1 Centre St, 9th floor North in Manhattan.

SOS Peace March:
On Wednesday (tomorrow) there will be a walk sponsored by Save Our Streets beginning at 6 PM at the northwest corner of Utica & Eastern Parkway. We will walk west towards Franklin Avenue ending at Franklin and Eastern Parkway. There we will recognize the lives lost and those affected by gun violence in Crown Heights North. For more information contact Lisa Jones, S.O.S. Program Manager at 718-679-9410.

Garbage The Go Green/Go Clean committee has been working to get a Big Belly Solar powered trash receptacle/compactor for Franklin Avenue. It would be EXTREMELY helpful if whenever you see an overflowing city garbage can any corner of Franklin Ave. if you would call 311 and give its location.

Intake Center Still Planned

Sorry to disappoint those of you who have heard the rumor that we had won and stopped the intake center.Unfortunately this is not true.

The City’s Department of Homeless Services still intends to add an intake center to the shelter at the Bedford Atlantic Armory.

Where things stand now:

1. The Department of Homeless Services is only postponing moving an intake center into our armory for about a year.

2. Thanks to all of our efforts and the efforts of our elected officials in Albany:
Assemblymen Karim Camara and Hakim Jeffries and Senator Eric Adams, the state has mandated that the city maintain an intake center in Manhattan. This mandate shows how effective a united community can be. DHS is looking for a new Manhattan site. Although this is good, we have no details about the bed-count, location etc. And, DHS still plans to place an intake center at the Bed-Atlantic Armory. Until a new Manhattan intake center site is found, the intake center at Belleview will remain open.

3. As before, DHS says putting up half the money for a Track and Field at the Bedford Atlantic Armory is contingent on our communities’ accepting an intake center there.

The fact is we must stay united and continue to stay active in our fight to stop the city’s Department of Homeless Services from placing an intake center at the Bed-Atlantic Armory. We have pushed them back. Now we must stop them.

Please stay alert and report anything related to the Bed-Atlantic Armory shelter, keep the petitions coming and be prepared to participate in calls to action, forums, rallies and town hall meetings.

Bedford-Atlantic Armory Update

Representative from CB8, CHNA and CHRM attended two meetings at Borough Hall regarding the proposed intake center. In July, Burough President, Marty Markowitz, and his Chief of Staff, Carlo Scissura, Esq., and three other staff members met with the community reps. A second meeting held in August was attended by the same community reps and the three staff members. The BP and Chief of Staff did not attend the second meeting.At these meetings the community reps made it very clear that the communities at the epicenter of the potential Bed-Atlantic intake center will not accept an intake center under any circumstances.

We continue to state: that the city maintain an intake center in Manhattan; that a well-run Manhattan intake center is sufficient; and, that the city should stop considering the Bedford Atlanic armory shelter/assessment center as a potential intake center site.

We were invited to attend a third meeting at the BP’s office but the BP’s office cancelled that meeting. Instead they plan to meet with a number of our elected officials and possibly Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Hess to discuss the armories in Brooklyn.

We can feel assured that the elected officials (Eric Adams, Karim Camara, Letitia James and Hakeem Jeffries) who have been working with us to oppose the intake center will continue their opposition to the addition of an intake center at the Bed-Atlantic Armoroy shelter/assessment center. A number of other elected officials also stand with us on this issue.

We are planning a big community event to show our strength. It will take place in the next few weeks. You will receive information about this as soon as details are known.

Armory Update

The updates regarding the Bed-Atlantic Intake Center plan follow:

1. There have been rumors that we have stopped the plan to place an intake center for homeless men at the Bedford Atlantic Armory shelter/assessment center.

These rumors are not true. We have slowed the city down but we have not yet stopped this plan. We must keep up our opposition with petition signatures, phone calls and attendance at rallies and press conferences.

2. The Task Force’s Executive Committee met with our lawyers this week. The lawsuit is prepared and ready to go, when and if we need to deploy that strategy.

In the meantime, Councilmember James is planning a press conference for right after Labor Day to highlight the spate of shootings on Franklin Avenue near Bedford-Atlantic and the overall increase in gang activity in the area, in order to drive home the point that this is already an overstressed neighborhood, .

We also plan to have another rally in opposition to a Bedford-Atlantic intake center at the end of September. It is urgent that we to keep the pressure on. Everything we’re doing is having an effect.

So be prepared for a phone call or email asking for your help to bring people out to both the press conference and the rally. In the meantime, keep those signed petitions coming in..

CHCA Position on the Intake Center

Say NO
To the Intake Center at the Bedford-Atlantic Armory

CHCA is opposed to moving NYC’s only intake center for single homeless men to the Bedford Atlantic Armory.
We feel it is a bad plan for the homeless and that it will create a dangerous strain on our community.

UPDATE

The latest information we have is not good. The City is already going back on its word. We have been told that the Peter Young Shelter that DHS said would be closed as part of their proposal for the intake center is now applying to return to being a residential shelter and is asking for an increase of its current 150 bed cap.

Please do your best to attend the CB8 Housing Committee meeting to review this request on June 4, 6:30 p.m. at CNR – 727 Classon Avenue bet. Park Place and Prospect Place).

View fliers here & here

Petitions

We need about 10,000 signatures- ASAP, Each person should try to get one hundred + signatures. Click to DOWNLOAD your copies.

How to get signatures: People from any part of the city can sign.

  • leave a stack with merchants
  • bring to schools, churches and workplaces
  • stand at train and bus stations
  • go door to door
  • friends, relatives and anytone else you can think of.

Return of Petitions: As soon as you have filled a number of pages, be sure to get them back to us. Call (718)771-0787 to arrange for pick-up. We must get them back so that we can copy, tally and mail.Copies will go to: Mayor Bloomberg Deputy Mayor Gibbs Commissioner Hansell (OTDA) Commissioner Hess (DHS) Deputy Comm. Nashak. (DHS) and Marty Markowitz. Tally letters will be sent to: Bill Thompson Council Members: Tish James, Al Vann, Bill de Blasio, Senators: Eric Adams, Annette Robinson, Velmanette Montgomery, and Assembly Members: Kareem Camara, Hakeem Jeffries and others

Talking Points and Overview

Definitions

Intake Center: the first place every person new to homelessness must go to apply for shelter. It is at the intake center where the new homeless go through the initial screening process for eligibility, placement, behavioral, physical, and substance abuse, etc.

Assessment Center: One of three shelters in the NYC system where people with manageable serious issues (discovered in the screening process) live while they are evaluated and the next steps and placement for them are determined and found. The Bedford-Atlantic Armory is one of the three city assessment centers.

Overview

The City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) is planning to add a large intake center and a 30-bed detox unit for new homeless men to the Bedford Atlantic Armory Shelter. They plan to begin the process within the next 30-60 days. This shelter already houses an assessment center (see definitions above).

This plan is bad for the homeless and bad for the surrounding communities. The Bedford Atlantic Armory is located in Crown Heights North (and is adjacent to Bedford Stuyvesant, Crow Hill and Prospect Heights) yet more than 60% of the homeless are in Manhattan

The location of the Bedford Atlantic Armory is bad for new homeless men because:

  • Many will have to travel long distances in all kinds of weather from distant boroughs merely to apply for shelter.
  • Public transportationis too far from the shelter
  • The communities adjacent to the shelter do not have hospitals or other supportive facilities to respond to the needs of these men.
  • The reputation of the shelter at the Bedford Atlantic Armory is so bad that many of the homeless fear to enter.

DHS recently proposed placing an intake center in Manhattan in tandem with the Bedford/Atlantic site but still has not provided information regarding location, bed count, or duration of existence for said site. The current estimate is that the daily flow of unscreened, unknown men entering the community will be more than 14,000 per year. Even a small percentage of this amount is too many for our already struggling residential communities. Crown Heights North and neighboring communities simply don’t have the resources or resilience to support this and given the current economy the number of new homeless could be greater.

Why the Intake Center is a Bad Idea

  • Fair Share:
    Placing an intake center in our community is against New York City law –“Fair Share” Section 203 of the 1989 City Charter requires the fair distribution of the burdens and benefits associated with city facilities…
    Since the 1980s, a disproportionate amount of social service residents have been placed in Crown Heights North (Community District 8) and its neighboring communities. These communities are oversaturated to the breaking point. Today, Community District 8 is the most oversaturated Community District in Brooklyn. It has 6.3 times the median number of social service beds in Brooklyn.
  • ·According to the “Fair Share” law, the city’s plan to place an intake center at the Bedford Atlantic Armory does not meet the requirement to:
    1. Take into account the number and proximity of all other facilities.
    2. Provide a plan to foster neighborhood stability and revitalization by furthering the fair distribution among communities of city facilities.
    3. Site facilities equitably by balancing needs, efficiency, etc. and the social, economic and environmental impacts of city facilities upon surrounding areas.
    4. Lessen imbalances among communities in the level of responsibility each bears for facilities.
    5. Preserve the social fabric of the city’s diverse neighborhoods by avoiding undue concentrations of institutional uses in residential areas
    6. Promote government accountability.
  • Community Impact
    The proposed intake center is for single newly homeless men. Therefore most of the men entering the intake center will be unscreened. · An unscreened population will inevitably include some men with health or behavior issues that will negatively impact the community by:
    1. Undermining the safety, health and social fabric of the community
    2. Impeding the economic development needed to provide jobs and services for the people who live in the community now.
    3. Negatively impacting the community’s stability and hope for revitalization
    4. And, increasing the already large number of men loitering, panhandling, and selling and using drugs on our streets.
  • ·The DHS plan includes a redesign of the security screening at the entrance of the facility to provide better access control and detection of contraband. Obviously, DHS expects that among this unknown, unscreened daily flow of men, there will be those who require extra security measures. DHS’ plan will protect the Armory door but not our communities.
  • Our Community’s Opposition:
    In exchange for accepting the intake center, DHS offered $7M for an approximately $18M Track and Field to be developed on the drill floor of the shelter. Because of the many social, criminal and substance abuse problems presented by an intake center, the vast majority of community residents say they would never allow their children nor would they themselves use a recreational facility sited adjacent to it.
    1. In this economy, the city may not have $7M to put toward a track and field and if it does, where would our communities get the remaining $9M?
    2. No other community has been required to accept an Intake Center to get City money for a Track and Field. We must have respect. The city should unequivocally support a Track and Field for our communities.

Because of the extraordinary negative impact the City’s current DHS plan will have on our neighborhoods and on the homeless, thousands of people in our communities are unconditionally opposed to an intake center. CHRM has delivered 2,500 letters of opposition to the Intake Center to Mayor Bloomberg. The outraged opposition continues to grow.

Many of our elected officials and community organizations have jointly retained a law firm to represent the community in its opposition to the intake center. This is only one part of the effort to stop the intake center.

It will take the efforts of all of us to stop the intake center

Ours are compassionate, diverse, old-fashioned, friendly neighborhoods of churches, schools, and beautifully-tended gardens where, under the watchful care of neighboring adults, it’s still possible for children to play outside. Thousands of children reside in these communities. It is wrong to site an intake center and detox unit in their midst.

To learn more about the proposal and our opposition to it,

please visit CHRM’s web site or the blog: close it down

Peter Young Facility

CB8 full board meeting
Thursday Feb. 12 7:00 pm at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum
145 Brooklyn Ave. near St. Marks

On Monday evening CB 8′s housing committee voted 9 to 1 to recommend the approval by the full board of the change of use of the Peter Young facility on Pacific St. (across from the Bed/Atlantic Armory.)

The Peter Young facility is the homeless men’s shelter that DHS is closing in conjunction with their plan to add an intake center to the assessment center at the Bed/Atlantic armory. The proposal the housing committee voted for is to now make the Peter Young facility a 28 day residential drug rehab.

CB8 has a moratorium on new residential facilities. However, they approved this when the Peter Young group said that 90% of the people they will serve will be residents of this community. The full board will be voting on this on 2/12/09

3 Rallies Against the Intake Center

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES AND ADDITIONS

The hearing for the committee on General Welfare has been postponed until TUESDAY, Sept 23, 2008 at 10AM City Hall in the committee room.

There are still 3 important events to attend this week

Thursday, September 18 at 12:30 pm
Assemblyman Karim Camara will be hosting the Ecumenical Press Conference in Opposition to the Intake Center at The Church of St. Gregory the Great – 991 St. Johns betw’n New York and Brooklyn Aves

Evangeline Porter, President of the Crow HIll Community Association and Margaret McFarlane, Secretary of 1152 Pacific Street HDFC will be presenting our letters at the above press conference.

Friday, September 19
9 AM -Press Rally City Hall steps
10 AM -State Assembly Hearing on moving the intake center, 250 Broadway (19th Floor) – across the street from City Hall