Parkchester Residents Felt Disrespected and Taken for Granted by DHS

Parkchester Residents Felt Disrespected and Taken for Granted by DHS
Parkchester and Community Board 9 residents attended informational forum concerning a planned Adult Males' Shelter Opening in their residential community. Picture by Parkchester Times

By Sheikh Musa Drammeh:

Bronx, New York (4/12/2019) – Concerned Parkchester residents came out in drove to the informational session pertaining to the adult males’ shelter slated to open this year in their residential community.  Among those present at the packed gym at St Helena’s Church, were teachers and students from Charter School of Excellence. 

The forum was organized by Bronx Community Board 9. “I am only a messenger,” said Mr. William Rivera, the board’s District Manager, during his opening remarks. Mr. Rivera did a good job in explaining the information he was given by the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and Samaritan Village, the agency contracted with DHS to open the shelter.  But the angry residents politely informed Mr. Rivera that they needed officials from DHS and its contractor to come before them and answer their questions. 

Those present were infuriated and felt insulted that DHS or its contractor was not present at the forum to talk to them about the shelter and incorporate their input into the decision-making concerning the shelter.  The two district elected officials who attended the meeting, Assemblywoman Karina Reyes and Councilman Ruben Diaz, promised the audience for more actions to be taken collectively between their respective offices and the community in order to prevent the shelter’ opening.  They also plan to organize more forums and rallies in opposition to the shelter. 

The planned shelter will be housed on 2008 Westchester Avenue, right across from two elementary and nursery schools and surrounded by residential buildings.  The schools are St Helena’s School and Charter School of Excellency. 

The residents say the shelter poses a great danger to students, residents, and deprives their property values. One of the speakers at the forum asked “How did DHS arrived at their decision in bringing this shelter here. Who did they consult with who advised them that it’s okay for the shelter to be placed here in our residential community? That what I want to know!”

For further information about this planned shelter, you can contact Mr. William Rivera at Community Board 9. Parkchester and Community Board 9 residents attended informational forum concerning a planned Adult Males' Shelter Opening in their residential community. Picture by Parkchester Times.Parkchester and Community Board 9 residents attended informational forum concerning a planned Adult Males' Shelter Opening in their residential community. Picture by Parkchester Times.Parkchester and Community Board 9 residents attended informational forum concerning a planned Adult Males' Shelter Opening in their residential community. Picture by Parkchester Times.
Meeting registrations.Mr. William Rivera, Community Board 9 District Manager addressing the audience.Parkchester and Community Board 9 residents attended informational forum concerning a planned Adult Males' Shelter Opening in their residential community. Picture by Parkchester Times.Assemblywoman Karines Reyes addressing the audince.Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz is addressing the audiance.