The opening of the controversial Bergen Street homeless shelter in Crown Heights, initially scheduled for next week, may be stalled, as it is now facing a lawsuit from the community, according to NY1 News.
“The residents, old-timers, new-timers, new people like me, we are all united in opposition to the opening of 1173 Bergen,” said Jennifer Catto of the Dean Street Block Association.
Under Mayor Bill deBlasio’s new strategy to battle the homeless crisis, the city plans to create a total of 90 shelters. Part of the plan is to keep homeless individuals closer to their original home community, which disproportionally affects less affluent neighborhoods. While the city is set to push forward with the opening of the site at 1173 Bergen Street, it also vows to close five other shelters in the district this year.
Yet, with more than 1,200 homeless individuals spread across 15 buildings throughout their district, local residents insist that they have more than their fair share of homeless shelters. In their most recent attempt to resist the opening of yet another shelter, there is rumblings of them taking the mayor to court.
Councilman Robert Cornegy expressed his support of the community’s legal action: ”We have a situation of incredible oversaturation, and I think this particular shelter at this particular time really flies in the face of us being able to not have a tale of two cities.”