Greenpoint to Add Two More Homeless Shelters

It looks like Greenpoint is going to get two additional small homeless shelters in November.

Groups serving the homeless held a meeting to discuss the new Greenpoint shelters. (Photo by Eryka Volker via Nowy Dziennik)

Last Monday, volunteers from the North Brooklyn Homeless Task Force, and representatives from Common Ground, and the Department of Homeless Services met to discuss two new shelters in Greenpoint – one for women, the other for men.

Council member Steven Levin and Krzysztof Olechowski, president of Community Board 1, also attended the meeting. Both support the new initiative. Contrary to the assessment center — which recently opened at McGuinness Boulevard, and serves as the registration site for homeless people from all over the city, who are later transferred to other locations — the new shelters will provide the homeless in Greenpoint with a roof and a warm place to stay overnight during the upcoming winter.

The new shelters will be organized on parish premises and are scheduled to be opened on Nov. 1. The coalition of institutions cooperating over the creation of the shelters has not yet revealed exact addresses of the shelters “in order to avoid unnecessary protests by residents,” said Pat McDonnell, head of the North Brooklyn Homeless Task Force.

City representatives have already done on-site inspections and approved the new locations, which will be adapted into lodgings for the homeless. The facilities will be financed partly by the city, and run — for the most part — by volunteers. The homeless people will be able to stay there overnight from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., eat a warm meal, use the shower and laundry room, and attend rehabilitation classes. The organizers will implement a pilot program that prepares the homeless for a return to normal life, and helps them to quit drinking and find a job.

According to the North Brooklyn Homeless Task Force, there are currently 25 homeless people in Greenpoint, including 20 men and 5 women. Poles constitute the majority of the group — 20 people (17 men and 3 women).

“Because of the high percentage of Poles in the homeless group, we will need Polish-speaking volunteers,” says Eryka Volker, a Polish activist, who has for years been engaged with helping the homeless.

In order to find volunteers and obtain funds for the shelters, the North Brooklyn Homeless Task Force together with CitiStorage will organize a fundraiser on Sept. 27 at 5 North 11th St. in Brooklyn starting at 6:30 p.m.

One Comment

  1. Homeless people need IMMEDIATE REAL HOUSING…not these prison-like & all-controlling 8-hour shelters that costs ten-times what REAL HOUSING costs…

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