EDITORIAL

Since when is it OK to turn our backs on the homeless?

Posted

You’ve likely never heard of Pat Fitzpatrick. But to hundreds of people in the college town of Gainesville, Florida, he’s a hero.

Fitzpatrick worked tirelessly to overturn a local ordinance several years ago requiring a soup kitchen to limit its daily meals for the homeless to 130. The ordinance was packaged as a way to “protect” business in downtown Gainesville, which some feared could be hurt by having too many homeless people hanging around.

Fighting for that 131st person turned away each day, Fitzpatrick was a common sight at local government meetings, many times shooed away because some profanity would creep into his protests, and for simply reminding leaders of things they didn’t want to be reminded about. Yet, he never gave up, and in 2011, the Gainesville city council finally surrendered, allowing St. Francis House to serve every person who was in need.

When he died in 2015, a second kitchen renamed itself “Cafe 131” in his honor. It’s just too bad that when it comes to our elected officials, there aren’t more Pat Fitzpatricks in the world.

Officials like Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Councilman Andrew Cohen are livid over a proposal to turn new apartments at 5731 Broadway into units catering to homeless families trying to get back on their feet. While there should absolutely be a better system in terms of notifying a community about such plans — 30 days simply isn’t enough — both Dinowitz and Cohen go too far with rhetoric that helping our fellow man will somehow be detrimental to business, or simply ruin our quite privileged way of life.

We’ve been programmed to believe homeless people are lazy, they’re drunks, they’re addicted to drugs. And while that might be true of some who are homeless, it’s also true of many who aren’t. 

Most if not all of us have experienced rough times in our lives. Sometimes we get through it quickly, other times it lingers longer than it should. But every time, we can point to at least one person or maybe even one organization that helped us get through it. And we’re always grateful for that helping hand.

That’s all these families want. They’re not here to destroy businesses, or ruin neighborhoods, or fill up the schools. They are here to get their lives back together.

We shouldn’t need a Pat Fitzpatrick to remind us of our roles as human beings. We should know that already.

Because really, you never know. Someday you might need help, and let’s just hope your neighbors rally around you — and not against you.

Comments

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CelticWoman

"That’s all these families want. They’re not here to destroy businesses, or ruin neighborhoods, or fill up the schools. They are here to get their lives back together."

Whoever wrote this obviously doesn't have any sort of homeless shelter or Section 8 garbage living on their block. My parents have a Section 8 house on their block (not in the Riverdale area, other side of the Bronx) and this family (anywhere from 6-8 kids) has done nothing more but destroyed the block. In the 2.5 years they have lived there the children have:

Broken windows

Thrown rocks at cars, both moving and parked

Thrown rocks at windows and doors

Destroyed private property - smashed another homeowners pumpkins, ripped down signs, broken another neighbor's fence.

Use the sidewalk and street for their garbage - anything they eat and drink gets tossed. Never use a garbage can.

Forced the family that lived directly across the street (and who lived there before them) to move because they couldn't deal with the nonsense.

My husband used to live off of Kingsbridge and his neighbor was on Section 8. She didn't work. Instead she blasted music at 2am and smoked weed in the hallway. If THAT is what this writer wants living next door to them, feel free.

The problem is that this city, specifically the Bronx, has too many single mothers. This disgusting culture has got to stop. These women either don't work or have menial jobs that don't pay enough to support them and their children. They get zero financial support from the sperm donor and they are now everyone else's damn responsibility to take care of.

I don't want to support single mothers. Children are a choice. If you can't support that choice don't have kids. It's very simple. Taxpayers weren't put on this earth to support every stupid choice. They lay down with anyone and get knocked up. Then it's everyone else who has to help them along the way. Enough already!

Don't breed em if you can't feed em!

Friday, July 28
Jennifer Scarlott

Thank you to The Riverdale Press for this moving and courageous editorial. I implore The Press and all leaders in our community to engage in the deep and sustained work required to address the discriminatory hate expressed here by "CelticWoman." It is incumbent on everyone to directly and actively engage in leadership on these issues. The tendency to look away when racism is expressed, to view it as somehow inappropriate for polite conversation, sends our society into the downward spiral it is currently in. The current occupant of the White House has emboldened many people to articulate and act upon views that do profound damage to us all. They do violence to us all, most severely to people and communities of color at whom they're directed. There is no excuse, and could never be any excuse, for racism. Anecdotes, personal stories of grievances, real and perceived are no excuse for deep-seated racism and intolerance. Further, it cannot be the task of people of color to educate whites about the workings and history of racism. Far too many people and communities of color are struggling to survive and to raise their children safely, without also being tasked with trying to correct the hate they are surrounded by, from discriminatory practices by government, by police, and from the fear and loathing of their neighbors. To all board members of Community Board 8 and to all our elected officials: if you harness the kinds of views expressed by "CelticWoman" and by many in the roaring crowd at last night's Land Use Co. meeting, you are implicated in them. If you simply look away as these views are expressed, you are implicated in them. Worse, you are encouraging them. This is not leadership. It is something very, very dangerous, six months into the Trump era, and at any time. You needn't support the emergency, transitional housing for CB8's homeless families with children on Broadway, (though I urge you to support it). Go ahead and express and act upon your belief in the need for improved transparency and community outreach and work by the Department of Homeless Services. Go ahead and express your anger at the Stagg Group, and at the de Blasio administration's collusion with private developers, etc etc. These are legitimate issues. Fight, truly fight, for sustained, permanent solutions for the homeless crisis. Work, every day, to find solutions and long-term, sustained assistance to the 360 homeless people in CB8. But if you harness the whirlwind of hate and fear of many of our neighbors for their fellow human beings that is arising in response to the transitional homeless shelter on Broadway, if you pander to those views, then you are implicated in them, and I and others will work hard for your defeat in coming elections.

Friday, July 28
Riverdale__NY

@Jennifer Scarlott: There's no "imploring" needed. You have a different viewpoint on the issue. I for one agree 1000% with Celtic Woman. I'm a resident of Riverdale and have been for years. As a young Riverdalian, I work my @ss off and pay a ton in taxes. I don't want my hard earned money supporting low lives that aren't contributing to society. There are people that ARE hard working and fall on hard times, and those people should be helped. HOWEVER, you are living in a fantasy land if you believe that all of the people are Section 8 and other government programs should be given a free ride. It's complete and utter nonsense, and I won't sit by and allow you to claim that Celtic Woman is encouraging discrimination. That is just total BS. What she's advocating for is for HEALTHY GROWN-UPS to go out and SUPPORT themselves and WORK instead of looking for handouts, and I see nothing wrong with that. I for one work damn hard to not live around people that don't give a damn about where they live, and I would fight tooth and nail to BLOCK any sort of Section 8 housing in my area of Riverdale. If you have a problem with holding people accountable, well you're free to house all of these "wonderful" people in YOUR residence. What's stopping you? You claim you have a heart for these people. Put your money where your mouth is then, and you can take your tax dollars and pay for them too!! Riverdale is a wonderful neighborhood and I am not going to sit back and allow it to be turned into a ghetto like most of the Bronx. No way in hell. Keep that crap down the hill!

Riverdale, NY - For a BETTER Riverdale, for ALL Riverdalians!

Friday, July 28
KateBB

Thanks to Jennifer Scarlott and Riverdale Press, for articulating a point of view that I know is shared by other Riverdalians. Not all, obviously, but count me among them.

As for the location of the controversial building, 5731 Broadway, it sure seems "down the hill" to me and any residence next to a shrieking el train can't be categorized as particularly upscale. Would the developer have even been able to rent apartments there at market rate? Doubtful, and that's why I suspect our Board was rained with lies, lies, and more lies about the building's intended purpose. And, clearly, the Board kept demanding reassurances about the building's purpose because they harbored suspicions. A hot mess, agreed.

| Friday, July 28
Jane Eyre

The politicians are not mean spirited in the least. They are fighting for all members of the Kingsbridge community and they have heard from their constituents. The CB 8 meeting last night was standing room only, with no parking and several police officers. The Broadway corridor has a few homeless/fleabag hotels already wreaking havoc, and affecting the neighborhood and the children. The new editors of the Riverdale Press have ignored history. The Stagg group has a long history of coming before Community Board 8 (and other community boards) and doing the bait and switch - getting the land, promising affordable or market rate, then changing their tune and opening up shelters or supportive housing. They were even quoted in 2014 at a CB 8 meeting (and it was written up in this paper) that they would never do the bait and switch. That they don't agree with it. Nobody is talking too, about the effect on the local schools, all of whom are overcrowded. While land seems to always be found for charter schools and shelters, the DOE cannot ever seem to find land for that new elementary school we have been promised for many years. And don't think for a minute that people were not interested in renting that building. Many staff from the local hospitals (NCB and Montefiore) had their eyes on that building. Being near the 1 train is a huge plus too, for those commuting into the city. Yes, let’s do the right thing. Bult lets do the right thing for Kingsbridge.

Friday, July 28
Democrap 4 life

You have not seen the last of the homeless shelters being built in this area (10471)

Anyone get to see what they plain on doing on 261 street and Riverdale ave and halfway down 261 street?

Friday, July 28
Riverdale__NY

The Press should also do an article on what is really going on this city, which is the MIDDLE CLASS is being screwed over by this administration! You want affordable housing? How about affordable housing for MIDDLE CLASS people? De Blasio just lowered the income limits so that more of this housing goes for those who make and contribute THE LEAST, and yet the middle class people are the ones paying the taxes!! Tell me what's logical about that?

I also think that it behooves the Press to go out and find out just how many of these "homeless families" actually reside within the confines of CB8. I'm a strong believer in homeless shelters going where the need is greatest. If that's the South Bronx, then so be it. Let the South Bronx and whatever other communities have the problem deal with their own problem. Don't bring your problems up to Riverdale. If Kingsbridge has an affordability crisis let Kingsbridge handle their problem.

The one thing I hope happens is we can get this moron(de Blasio) out of office and elect Malliotakis or Dietl who can aggressively get these homeless people out of our parks! Has anyone seen these people laying around all over the benches destroying what was a brand new park (Ewen Park)? Ridiculous. The park is supposed to be for our young Riverdalian kids to enjoy. What I see more than anything when heading to the express bus or Metro-North in the morning is it being inundated with homeless from everywhere BUT Riverdale. Typical and disturbing.

Riverdale, NY

Friday, July 28
Richnhil

Homeless people have been the subject of controversy in this community before. A couple of decades ago a courageous group of local people, mostly from the Riverdale Presbyterian Church, organized the Northwest Bronx Support Committee for the Homeless (NWSBSCH).

They found a program based near the Port Authority Bus Terminal that offered a variety of services for the homeless, including health services, job training and meals. What it couldn't offer in its limited space was a place for them to sleep. Churches and community centers all over the city took up the slack. Clients were bused to places in every borough where volunteers welcomed them late in the evening with snacks and warm beds or cots. Very early in the morning they awoke to be bused back to 42nd Street for showers and breakfast. Most of them spent their daytime hours working regular jobs.

The Kingsbridge Heights Community Center agreed to take in six homeless men (at the time they had the hardest time getting accommodations) for four nights a week. The Riverdale Neighborhood House board agreed to take the men in for the other three days, but held a series of meetings with its neighbors before beginning the program.

All hell broke loose. Board members received repeated death threats over their home phones. Members of NWSBSCH were shouted down at public meetings by red-in-the face protestors insisting that the homeless men would roam the streets of Riverdale after dark, molesting women, breaking into homes and brawling with each other — they'd bring awful diseases like tuberculosis into Neighborhood House's child care rooms.

The reaction was so vehement that NWSBSCH withdrew their request to use Neighborhood House, but the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center went ahead and provided shelter. And kept on providing shelter for more than a decade. Eventually, after several years, the Riverdale Yonkers Ethical Culture Society finally took up the task of providing space for the additional three nights in their Fieldston meeting house.

So, how many untoward incidents did these hapless, homeless fellows bring down on these local agencies and their neighbors? NONE!

What did the Neighborhood House protestors accomplish? They saw to it that six innocent men had no choice but to sleep in hard-backed chairs three nights a week.

Friday, July 28
Riverdale__NY

@Richnhil : What proof do you have that these homeless men didn't cause any issues? There are a few of these types that come up the hill to Riverdale. They either loiter, roam through recycling set out for collection making a mess or both, dirtying up our sidewalks which could lead to unjustified fines from the City. In addition to that, I've seen random men just hanging out on our streets like vultures on the prey. While crime is low in Riverdale, we continue to have issues with car break-ins, and on occasion we've had women raped along Broadway. I don't care what anyone says... Having creepy vagrants randomly walking around ANY part Riverdale (uphill or along Broadway) is NOT ok, and should NOT to be tolerated. If the situation became severe, I would recommend that we started a volunteer patrol task to protect Riverdale from such savagery. I don't want these people coming up the hill destroying our neighborhood. It's bad enough having them hang around and loiter everywhere. Thank God we've had a cool summer.

Riverdale, NY

Friday, July 28
Riverdale__NY

Correction: like vultures on the prowl*

Riverdale, NY

Friday, July 28
SJCBronx

I agree with JenniferS, KateBB, Richnhll, and hope the Community Board does not express, reiterate or amplify the tone of other comments in this thread, some of which are made by people who don't live in CB8. I support affordable housing/homeless housing in the community. The units are a drop in the bucket of available housing and diversity makes communities stronger. I would urge officials and community leaders to address the things that can be changed, such as the 30-day decree, and the selling of public lands to private developers that the De Blasio Administration and City Planning Commission are currently engaged in. Pier 5 and Mill Pond Park are prominent examples.

Saturday, July 29
KbridgeRez

Sign the petition against Stagg Group Lies:

https://www.change.org/p/stagg-group-deny-stagg-lies-affordable-housing-bait-and-switch-in-the-bronx

Sunday, July 30
Jennifer Scarlott

Recommended:

NY Times, 3/26/17: Adding homeless shelters is a political risk, but de Blasio sees no alternative: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/26/nyregion/new-york-city-homeless-shelters-de-blasio.html

Monday, July 31
CelticWoman

@Riverdale__NY - BRAVO! I'm sick and tired of Jennifer Scarlott and the rest of the bleeding hearts preaching to the choir and calling everyone a racist over this. No one has pointed out race. I don't give a flying fig if the entire shelter were whites off the boat from Ireland. It's a horrible idea and it's NOT fixing the homeless problem.

The Bronx already has the most shelters of any borough. Middle class areas are now getting dumped upon. Ana Charle was murdered like an animal last year after a homeless thug in the shelter she worked in followed her, sexually assaulted her and then killed her NAKED while on a Bronx street. That alone should infuriate everyone. In the minds of people like Scarlott, it's racist - you know, Ana Charle should have known better.

On my parents block it has been problem after problem. NOTHING can be done about it other than the landlord kicking out these ghetto goons and sending them back to Hunts Point where they came from. The landlord knows the issues - he LIVES in the house! But he doesn't care because he has his guaranteed rent every month. Doesn't matter what his tenants do - everyone should just suck it up and deal with it.

And believe me - I know that things could be a lot worse. After growing up in Inwood, I know these are petty issues compared to what could happen. But why allow it?

Throgs Neck is supposedly getting another shelter - this will be their second one. People are outraged over it! People loike Scarlott have no idea what it is to bust your hump for a home only for the city to crap all over you. The city wonders why it loses their middle class, why their city employees don't want to live here, why their first responders move out? THIS IS WHY!

Monday, July 31
Jennifer Scarlott

From Michael Hinman, Riverdale Press editor, on another comment thread on this topic:

"... name-calling, personal attacks, release of personal information or anything like that, will be removed. That is not an appropriate way to discuss issues here, and we hope you will help us keep this conversation informative, passionate ... and civil."

@CelticWoman, I don't wish to engage with you personally, so I will close with a few quick points. The first is that you don't know me, and therefore your assumptions about me have no foundation. While you deny that you hold racist views, your choice of words like "ghetto goons from Hunts Point" says otherwise. Finally, since, as you yourself have stated, you don't live in the area, perhaps you should leave this dialogue to those who do.

Monday, July 31
SJCBronx

I'd second the comment on CelticWoman. This isn't Pelham Parkway.

On the petition posted in these strings, we don't really have enough information about the program that will go into the Broadway site. However, we do know that there are 85 families numbering some 350 individuals from our community who are spread across the city in shelters and cluster sites. They are in need of better support to get better outcomes.

I notice in the petition's commentary that the murder on Broadway was referenced, but we really don't know enough about exact circumstances to generalize about all homeless people, and one thing is certain, proper support and services can circumvent such tragedies from occurring in the future.

The comment that shelters are a gateway to the '70s and a Burning Bronx a bit dramatic. This is a different era, with a different gestalt, and a drug (opiate) problem already exists which we know has nothing to do with homeless shelters.

As far as PRAXIS and some of the city's practices - it is possible that bundled services like these are the only way to provide adequate services for good outcomes. Ultimately the taxpayer pays, anyway, as homelessness is a reality of the city. If they produce a healthier, more stable community the benefits accrue to everyone.

Monday, July 31
Jennifer Scarlott

The New York City Department of Homeless Services provided the following one-page public information document about the proposed homeless facility at 5731 Broadway at the CB8 Land Use Committee meeting on the evening of 7/27/17:

5731 Broadway

Operated by: Praxis

Location: 5731 Broadway, Bronx, NY

Total units: 83 units for Families with Children

When is this facility scheduled to open?

This shelter for families with children will serve 83 families from this community and surrounding communities in the Bronx, and is scheduled to open in mid-August.

Who is the social services provider?

Praxis is the not-for-profit service provider partner that will operate this site. Praxis has long track record of success, improving the quality of life for New Yorkers facing adversity and providing quality transitional housing services for more than 30 years—demonstrating its dedication to helping homeless families with children, adult families, homeless and runaway youth, and single adults, as well as individuals with HIV and AIDS stabilize their lives.

Who will be served by this facility?

The shelter will serve 83 families with children with priority offered to those who have roots in the Bronx’s Community Board 8. This will provide those who previously resided in CB8 before becoming homeless the opportunity to remain closer to their communities and support networks, including the anchors of life that we all rely on, like schools, family, friends and houses of worship. We have already identified homeless families who currently send their children to schools in CB8, but are presently required to commute long distances to keep their kids in these schools.

Praxis will provide an array of on-site services and off-site service linkages to help these families stabilize their lives and ultimately return to independent living. On-site services include case management, housing placement assistance, programming for children, recreation space, health/mental health services, screening/assessment/interventions for substance use disorders, and employment counseling. Off-site service linkages include primary healthcare, childcare substance use treatment, vocational training, employment placement, GED instruction, conflict mediation, and legal services.

What is the average duration of stay?

The average length of stay for families with children in shelter is approximately one year.

Is there a curfew for clients?

There is a 10:00 PM curfew for residents. Clients who are employed with late work hours will receive passes to return to the facility after curfew based on their documented work schedule.

How did the City select this site?

Not-for-profit providers propose new shelters through an open-ended RFP process, which means proposals are accepted on a rolling basis. When a proposal is submitted, the quality of the proposal (including the need for the proposed shelter capacity at the location, the viability of the building, the scope of the client services, the experience of the provider, pricing and other operational matters) is evaluated and scored by agency program experts working with the Department of Social Services Contracts Office in accordance with New York City Procurement Policy Board Rules. The proposal is also reviewed by Agency leadership for consistency with the borough-based approach, and the capacity and equitable siting goals that the plan will achieve when it is fully implemented.

Addressing Ongoing Community Concerns

Our top priorities are ensuring this facility is seamlessly integrated into the community and our clients are welcomed as neighbors. To that end, we are committed to continuing to maintain open engagement and productive dialogue with the community. We welcome community input as we move forward, and where possible, will make adjustments based on community feedback

What is the security program?

A secure and safe environment is critical to the success of any program facility. Praxis will provide on-site security around-the-clock. A security officer will be located at each building entrance to control building access and to monitor security cameras, which will be located throughout the building and grounds. There will be a total of three security guards per shift. A roving patrol will monitor the surrounding block and provide a 24-hour open line for the community to provide feedback in a timely manner and to immediately address any concerns that may arise.

As an added measure, a total of 32 security cameras will be installed throughout the building and across the shelter grounds. These cameras will allow security officers to continually monitor compliance with house regulations and will act as a deterrent for inappropriate or illegal activities. Recordings will be made available to authorities in the event that arrests or prosecution are warranted.

The NYPD works directly with DHS to oversee security in all shelters, including this one.

Will there be future community meetings regarding this site?

Yes, we are hosting a community meeting with Praxis before the shelter opens its doors. The City and Praxis together are committed to open engagement with all community stakeholders, including local elected officials, community board members, local block associations, and community-based organizations. We have already reached-out to local elected officials and community boards, and remain committed to developing a Community Advisory Board (CAB) that will hold regular meetings to ensure that any community concerns are proactively addressed. We are also deeply committed to working with interested community members who may wish to volunteer their time and talent to further assist the shelter residents.

###

Monday, July 31
Jennifer Scarlott

In addition to the document in the comment immediately above, the NYC Dept. of Homeless Services provided the following public information document about the proposed homeless facility at 5731 Broadway at the CB8 Land Use Committee meeting on the evening of 7/27/17:

Turning the Tide on Homelessness in New York City

Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced “Turning the Tide on Homelessness in New York City,” his borough-by-borough plan for addressing the challenge of homelessness, which affects every community across the five boroughs. The Mayor’s plan will completely end the use of all 360 cluster sites and hotel facilities citywide, while opening a smaller number of 90 new, more effective traditional shelters. This will reduce the number of Department of Homeless Services’ facilities by 45 percent across New York City.

The plan’s guiding principle is community and people first, giving homeless New Yorkers, who come from every community across the five boroughs, the opportunity to be sheltered closer to their support networks and anchors of life, including schools, family, houses of worship, and communities they called home in order to more quickly stabilize their lives.

Turning the Tide in Community District 8: The Facts

Ending Stop Gap Measures: No More Hotel and Cluster Use— Central to our plan for addressing homelessness is our commitment to ending the use of cluster sites and hotel facilities, which together are more expensive for taxpayers and less effective for homeless New Yorkers. In this neighborhood, we have only one commercial hotel facility serving families with children, which we will completely phase out by the end of the year, and one family residing in the last remaining cluster unit in this district, which will also be phased out. 5731 Broadway will be the first traditional shelter in this Community District—as well as the first facility dedicated to serving families with children.

Creating New High-Quality Capacity: Meeting Family Needs— Today, 70 percent of shelter residents are families, but Community District 8 currently has zero shelter facilities for these homeless families. This new facility is dedicated to helping homeless families get back on their feet and will have comprehensive social services, ranging from a community space where afterschool programs may be held to employment counseling and housing placement assistance that will help these families find permanent housing and move out of shelter.

Closer to Community and Support Networks: 83 Families Return Home— We are offering 83 families from the Bronx the opportunity to be sheltered closer to their support networks and anchors of life, including schools, family, houses of worship, and the communities they called home in order to more quickly stabilize their lives. In fact, we have already identified homeless families who currently send their children to schools in CD8, but are presently required to commute long distances to keep their kids in these schools.

Stabilizing Lives: Helping Homeless Neighbors Get Back on Their Feet— Under the de Blasio Administration’s Housing New York Plan, the City has financed more than more than 77,650 affordable homes, including enough affordable housing to serve more than 200,000 low-income New Yorkers. This administration has created more homes for the lowest income New Yorkers than previous Administrations, with more than a quarter of all affordable housing financed under the Mayor’s plan serving New Yorkers with incomes below $31,100 for an individual or $40,800 for a family of three, and more than 14 percent serving New Yorkers with incomes under $19,050 a year, or $24,500 for a family of three. Additionally, under the Mayor’s plan, more than 6,530 apartments have been set aside for homeless New Yorkers. In Community District 8 specifically, the City has financed 224 affordable units—217 of which, or 97%, are for low-income New Yorkers and below. Additionally, under this Administration, DHS has helped transition more than 240 households out of shelter and into permanent, affordable housing in the Kingsbridge area.

Engaging the Community: Seeking Input and Open Dialogue— We welcome community input as we move forward, and where possible, will make adjustments based on community feedback to ensure our facilities are seamlessly integrated into the community and our clients receive a warm welcome. To continue this ongoing dialogue and to support our mission to help our homeless neighbors stabilize their lives, please consider joining the Community Advisory Board for 5731 Broadway.

Monday, July 31
DR10463

I keep trying to find a new way to express my sentiments towards this whole issue but CelticWoman and Riverdale_NY pretty much sum it up. After living in Bronx for 35 yrs it has been my experience and the experience of friends and family that were born and raised in the Bronx that any time a homeless shelter or section 8 housing is introduced into an area, the quality of life goes down the tubes. It doesn't matter what people like Jennifer Scarlott say in support of these places because no person can argue against what I have seen with my own eyes. If this shelter was opening in Riverdale, it wouldnt stand a chance. People are opposed to this shelter for a reason and its not because they are cold hearted and racist. In my opinion those in favor of the shelter are idealistic and out of touch with the reality of what introducing a shelter into a community can do. Do you even live in the Bronx? Where do you live? I have signed the online petition to keep the shelter out and I encourage everyone else to do the same.

https://www.change.org/p/stagg-group-deny-stagg-lies-affordable-housing-bait-and-switch-in-the-bronx

Tuesday, August 1
Riverdale__NY

@ Scarlott & @SJCBronx:

I LIVE in Riverdale, and I have a say in this conversation. I am not going to mince words. You can call it racism if you'd like, but the fact of the matter is the Bronx for YEARS has seem TONS of housing projects, homeless shelters dumped ALL over the borough. This is a FACT, and it is THE reason why the borough as a whole has struggled for so long to shake its image. We have a handful of good neighborhoods in the borough, with Riverdale always being considered #1. Why is that? Because Riverdale was protected from the nonsense that is seen elsewhere from the start. Yes, we have some Mitchell Lama buildings, but things like that are kept quiet. For the most part, this neighborhood consists of homeowners and upper middle to upper class people. You can call it middle class if you want and try to simplify things, but there are people with money here too, and they are vocal. That is why this neighborhood hasn't gone down the tubes.

I'm all for having a heart, but when is enough enough? The Bronx has way too many homeless shelters as it is because there are too many affordable housing options here to begin with, but yet we MUST build more and more and more and more. Where are middle class and upper middle class supposed to live? I'm a young upper middle class person and I SICK of supporting people that don't work and just mooch. I don't care what their skin color is. The City is allowing this crap to go with no end in sight, and I'll say it again. I would take every legal option possible to stop such a shelter from opening up here in Riverdale, NY. This neighborhood has remained my home for almost a decade and I'll be damned if I'm going to let de Blasio and some other idiotic liberals tell me what my neighborhood needs and destroy my quality of life. The Riverdale Press can take that to the bank and there's nothing racist about it.

@DR10463: I've known of people who lived in the decent parts of the Bronx (City Island, Morris Park, parts of Pelham Parkway, Pelham Bay, Country Club, Woodlawn, and parts of Throggs Neck to name a few) and I think all of us in these neighborhoods have to take a stand against the de Blasio administration and say ENOUGH is ENOUGH. Enough of the dumping of shelters. The Bronx was built as a retreat for true middle and upper class residents and it's a damn shame that so few good neighborhoods remain. We have to work to rebuild that imagine again and get the Bronx the respect that it deserves, and get people to see that Riverdale isn't the only beautiful and safe neighborhood.

Riverdale, NY

Tuesday, August 1
Riverdale__NY

typo *image

Tuesday, August 1
SJCBronx

Really, folks, there are 60,000-70,000-plus people living in the Riverdale, Kingsbridge, and Spuyten-Dyvil area. Eighty-four families is not going to impact you, or bring your neighborhoods down. Homelessness has been around for years, from the dawning of cities, and recently in ours, it has been increasing. The Mayor has proposed a change in the way the system works, to make it work better and to stem the "tide." This has nothing to do with "liberals." It's called reality and dealing with reality as humanely and sensibly as possiible, using real data and best practices. It is also about treating people with the same dignity and respect all people deserve. No more, no less.

Tuesday, August 1
CelticWoman

@SJCBronx - you tell that to my parents and the other 23 homeowners on their block that have had continual problems with ONE house with about 10 tenants. Since you don't live with it or don't mind it, make sure you LIVE w/it.

Then let us know how it turns out for you.

Tuesday, August 1
CelticWoman

@Riverdale__NY - NICELY SAID!!! I too stand with Riverdale/Kingsbridge. It doesn't matter that I'm not a resident - my husband has family that lives right behind McDonalds and others who live off of Broadway, all of which have children. As a middle class homeowner on the other side of the Bronx in one of the neighborhoods you mentioned, we must ALL stand up for this. When it happens to one neighborhood, it happens to all.

The Bronx has been a dumping ground for the last 50 years or so and it has to stop. The irresponsibility of many is what has tarnished the Bronx and continues to do so every damn day. I'm sick and tied of seeing it. No more low income housing. No more pandering to these single mothers who continue to bring down the Bronx. No more Section 8. It needs to end and needs to end now.

If some one this board want to continue yapping about racism - let them. They are the hypocrites who I'm sure live "up the hill" and away from the riff raff. I'm also sure if they have children they are attending private/parochial school.

Tuesday, August 1
CelticWoman

@Jennifer Scarlott - nice copying and pasting but it doesn't take away from FACTS that you continue to ignore or just don't want to accept because many of us see through your hypocrisy.

I don't care what de Blasio says - I do not like the man and there is nothing he can do or say that will change that. Having the blood of 6 dead cops on his hands in a matter of 3.5 years speaks volumes to me. He doesn't care and he continues to dump on the Bronx. I never voted for him before and I"m certainly not about to now.

You don't wish to engage in a conversation with me because you damn well know I'm right. I call that mess on my parents block ghetto goons from Hunts Point because that's what they are and that's where they are from! There are a few Hispanic and Guyanese families that agree and want zero association w/them. The wife of the Guyanese family wants to move because she's had it w/them - I didn't mention how the gate to the backyard where these folks live had to be locked because they kept tossing garbage into their yard. But in your world, that's ok. How dare anyone call these people names or expect them to act like human beings. Heaven forbid. Again, YOU don't live with it - stop preaching to everyone else how they should think and feel about something you have no experience with!

Since it's not YOUR home that YOU busted YOUR butt for, perhaps it's best if you didn't comment on something YOU aren't living with. We already lost one couple who sold their house last month because they were fed up with having rocks tossed at their home in addition to the wife being sexually harassed by this bunch.

Continue to call me a racist because that's all you have. At least this racist can attest to growing up in a mostly non-white neighborhood, being one of the few whites living on their block and being married to a non-white, something that you can't do no matter hard you try. Experiences don't make one racist -they make one a realist. You need a quick reality check because you are clueless to all of this!

Tuesday, August 1
CelticWoman

@SJCBronx - again, when the city allows shelters and Section 8 housing (including low income housing) into middle class neighborhoods, it becomes the beginning of the end. If you want this next door to you, that's on you. I don't. And I don't need to live in this area to not have an opinion on it. I'm a homeowner in the Bronx, a middle class nobody who doesn't want to see another middle class area get crapped on all for the sake of being politically correct. I have a right to be concerned about this and I have every right to be against this even though I am physically not living near it. When it happens to one area, it happens to another.

I will continue to stand w/those who do not want this shelter. Fight the good fight people. They did it in Maspeth, it can be done here too!

Tuesday, August 1
Jennifer Scarlott

Remarkable, but there is a point of agreement of sorts:

@CelticWoman writes: "I have a right to be concerned about this and I have every right to be against this even though I am physically not living near it. When it happens to one area, it happens to another."

I agree. I have a right to be concerned about racism, classism, hate, bigotry, discrimination, and stereotyping based on anecdotal evidence and experience wherever I live and whatever happens to me in my life. When racism, classism, hate, bigotry, discrimination, and stereotyping based on anecdotal evidence and experience happens to one area, it happens to all.

These views hurt us all, do violence to us all. Wherever we live, we are bound to educate, to call for loving solutions, and to refuse to sit still or look the other way when hate appears.

Tuesday, August 1
CelticWoman

Should read some of the comments on the News 12 Facebook page about this. I guess all those folks who against this are also racist. Imagine that...non-white racists.

Wednesday, August 2
CelticWoman

@Jennifer Scarlott - in 1991 I was raped by 2 illegal Dominicans in the Inwood apartment I grew up in. So was my 12 year old sister and her 14 year old friend. Do NOT, I repeat - DO NOT - speak to me about racism. classism, hate, bigotry, discrimination, and stereotyping. Go preach that to your clueless white friends.

Wednesday, August 2
Jennifer Scarlott

@CelticWoman... I am deeply sorry about your tragic, horrendous experience. Human to human, woman to woman, I am deeply sorry for that experience and the ongoing repercussions of it for you and yours.

My comments on these threads are not meant for any particular person, though I do sometimes direct them at specific individuals, as some individuals direct theirs at me and others. My comments are meant to offer my own perspective to anyone who happens to be reading and considering these issues. Men of all backgrounds and ethnicities rape. Those who rape are criminals. Those who do not, mustn't be implicated in the crimes of those who do. Your experience is heart-breaking, full stop. But. It does not make it right to impose guilt and to stereotype and discriminate whole classes and ethnicities on the basis of your experience. I have no interest in "preaching." But nor can I bear, ever, to stand by when whole categories of people are demeaned, degraded, abused, and trampled, in name or in practice. I simply won't and can't. Perhaps you can consider respecting my views, and my life experiences that have led me to my views, as I express to you my sorrow for the horrendous and inexcusable agony you've experienced.

Wednesday, August 2
CelticWoman

@Jennifer Scarlott - do not patronize me. You are the same woman who will allow illegals, sanctuary cities and shelters to be dumped into middle class neighborhoods.

Woman to woman? Please. I'm off to the parole board tomorrow to beg them not to release one of these thugs. There has never been and never will be one person to support me or my sister. We are on our own with as we have been for over 25 years.

Anyone who supports sanctuary cities supports the rape of children. Remember that.

Thursday, August 10