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DHS To Open 200-Room Women’s Shelter In Dutch Kills

Verve

Verve

Oct. 5, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge

A new homeless shelter will open in western Queens, this time in the Dutch Kills area.

The 200-resident shelter, which will be for women, will open at the Verve Hotel, located at 40th Avenue and 29th Street, according to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and several others who attended a meeting with the DHS and the Mayor’s office on Friday.

The City is in gear to take over the hotel within the next week.

This will be the second shelter the City is opening this year, and the second in Community Board 1’s district after the Westway at 71-11 Astoria Blvd. It will join a handful of others in the western Queens area that were opened with minimal community notification, including most recently the Landing Hotel Shelter in East Elmhurst.

A particular worry for Dutch Kills residents is that the Verve shelter will be one of many shelter conversions for this area, which is currently undergoing a hotel boom.

“If the administration succeeds in siting this shelter, we’ll work with everyone to make sure that both the women are cared for and the neighborhood is cared for,” Van Bramer said. “But going forward, with over 20 hotels just like this one having opened in the Dutch Kills area, we cannot have a domino effect where these hotels all become homeless shelters.”

“The residents of Dutch Kills have rightly been concerned that the massive number of hotels opening in their midst would be converted to other uses and this news confirms their fears,” State Sen. Michael Gianaris similarly said in a statement.

Friday’s attendees were also concerned about the shelter’s proximity to schools, Van Bramer said.

The Verve Hotel is steps from the Growing Up Green charter school, Newcomers High School and the Academy of American studies high school.

Regarding the shelter’s proximity to Growing Up Green, Community Board 1 District Manager Florence Koulouris said, “that’s a bit troublesome.”

“We want people to have a place to stay,” she added. “But is this really the right location?”

“I certainly can understand that some parents might be concerned to learn that a homeless shelter is opening across the street from their child’s elementary school,” Van Bramer said, adding that social services and facility security were major themes.

Employment help, money management and mental health services will be provided on site, among others.

Security at the shelter will include 24/7 staff stationed inside and outside, scanners at the shelter entrance, and a series of cameras, among others.

Ishanee Parikh, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s office, said, “we’re seeing more single adult women entering our shelter system and we want to ensure we can provide shelter and services – including employment services and clinical services – to these women as they rebuild their lives.”

According to the Mayor’s office, the notification process for this shelter began last week, although the specifics of this process were not provided.

Neither Van Bramer nor Koulouris were aware of other meetings that have been held so far regarding the shelter.

Lymaris Albors of shelter provider Acacia Network directed all inquiries to the DHS.

The DHS did not respond to questions or requests for comment on this story.

As of Monday, the Verve Hotel was still accepting reservations.

 

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35 Comments

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Marcy

DB1 is 100% right. This “anonymous ” guy clearly wasnt in LIC during that time. It was absolutely among the most dangerous parts of NYC. Even LIC High School had more violent incidents than any other HS aside from Boys and Girls HS in Bed Stuy. If this guy actually was in LIC, he was hiding under a rock. LIC was like the South Bronx but with less arson. Queensbridge alone could put LIC over the top back then

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Anonymous visitor

You are talking about the hellholes of Queens Plaza and Queensbridge. Yes, I agree those places were the worst. But not Hunters Point. The neighborhood near the 108th was always safe and quiet. Don’t just ask me. Ask anyone who lived here since the Depression and they would say the same.

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DB1

You clearly dont know LIC, and obviously dont even know NYC as it was in the 70’s and 80’s. You sound like a total a-hole. I lived it, I was there. What were you, living under a rock at that time? Obviously you must have been. You were probably nowhere near the Queensbridge houses, Vernon, Jackson or Hunters point where the real sh*t in LIC was going down. I was there. It was NO safer than the South Bronx and the statistics from that time proved it. I should know. I was living it. I was caught in the middle of gunfire twice in Hunters Point alone, never mind the time in Queensbridge. NYC was by far the most violent city in the US at that time. Far more murders and other crimes than any other city per capita. Youre obviously some 20 year old who wasnt even there. You could NOT have been there with your completely inaccurate persepctive

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Anonymous visitor

You must still be high on something from the 1970s. Gunfire in Hunters Point? Twice? Shit going down at Vernon-Jackson?!? Thanks for giving me the best laugh I’ve had in a while.

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Really?

Hey troll! You are rude AV, and yes that area was “Hot” like the south Bronx. It was full of prostitutes, drug deals, and crime. Not until recently when fancy hotels started taking over the area has it been safe to walk alone. I’ve seeing it since the late 80’s.

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DB1

LIC was a total piece of sh*t town when I grew up there. The people who lived there were no higher class than a homeless person. You must be from the new, queer, gentrified LIC. When I grew up there it was exactly like the old South Bronx. Abandoned building, squatters doing drugs everywhere. Stabbings and shootings in the HS… you clearly dont know the same LIC I was raised in. I was mugged twice, stabbed, and arrested three times for revenge attacks on the people who did it to me. One was from the Queensbridge projects, and one we had to hunt down in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. Homeless people were the LEAST of our worries. That was the REAL LIC. Clearly it has turned into a town of pansies since then

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Anonymous visitor

Get the hell out of here. The neighborhood was NEVER like the way you describe it. It wasn’t pretty, and neither were many parts of the city, but it was never a violent or dangerous place. Just as lots of people today love to glamorize how wonderful NYC is today, there are plenty of others who glamorize how hellish it was in the past. Both people are full of it.

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Angelo

Go easy on DB1. Clearly he is overcompensating for still living with his mother or other small inadequacies.

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DB

What the fck is it with all this renaming BS? So sick of these idealists with their idiotic, worthless attempts at gentrification that no self respecting NY street kid like I was would ever want to happen. When I grew up in LIC in the 70’s and 80’s there was NO SUCH THING as “Dutch Kills”. It was simply called “LONG ISLAND CITY”, PERIOD! Enough with this queer BS

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Anonymous visitor

That’s all you have to say about LIC becoming a dumping ground for homeless people? I was born and raised in the neighborhood too and I don’t care what name they give that area. I do, however, care very much that the city has chosen our neighborhood to warehouse the poor.

Pick your battles, buddy. Your fighting the wrong one

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Angelo

DB – Dutch Kills was one of the hamlets incorporated into Long Island City in 1870.

Per Wikipedia: “Long Island City, as its name suggests, was formerly a city, created in 1870 from the merger of the Village of Astoria and the hamlets of Ravenswood, Hunters Point, Blissville, Sunnyside, Dutch Kills, Steinway, Bowery Bay and Middleton in Newtown Township.”

Perhaps the NY street kid should learn a bit more about his neighborhood before making grand pronouncements. Start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Island_City

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Anon

No more in Dutch Kills and what about Court Square?!?!!! They say the area is overburdened with hotels but they keep letting the “hotels” be built?!?!!!

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Anonymous visitor

Welcome to the future of New York City. You’ll either be a do-nothing corporate office worker or foreign oligarch holed up in your glassy tower or some poor shnuck bumming for a handout in a flea pit hotel, forever.

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JTR

Yes I agree 3 options only 1) endentured slave for a rich corporation 2) poor & dependent on government 3) rich elite from China, Russia or offspring 1%. The city should have allowed the community some voice in their neighborhood. They pay taxes & should be allowed an opinion

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AnLIC

And in addition to this, they are about to build ANOTHER 8 story homeless shelter at 21-16 44th Drive. We have to do something about this.

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Anon

I had written an entire response to you on the LIC Court Square Blog, but they chose not to publish it for some reason. I wonder who they shill for?

If you know of anyone with the resources to make flyers for this, I think it should be done and posted or handed out to the brownstoners on 45th. This is happening in their backyards. There must be someone there who has some sort of clout with JVB or CB2. There need to be enough people protesting- write to or call the Queens City Planner, JVB, the QBP- everyone!

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Ya

How do we put a stop to it. Did they have a cb2 meeting about this? Granted we wouldn’t know about it, but there has to be some push back opportunity here.

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Angelo

Great – Comrade Mayor has decided that Queensbridge and the Planned Parenthood facility are not importing enough crime and derelicts into the area. The 5-year plan has a quota for street crime that must be met.

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KD

This is terrible. Why wasn’t the community notified in advance of this? Why didn’t they give people a chance to voice their opinion? Did Van Bramer just found out about it? Thanks, Di Blasio.

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Anonymous visitor

From the article, it doesn’t sound like Van Bramer is opposed to the shelter, so I wouldn’t throw the blame at the mayor.

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Proud Dutch Killer

To anonymous,

We in Dutch Kills DO oppose this shelter, but we do not share your ignorant, mean-spiritedness. We understand the City,as a whole, must find shelter for its citizens and we accept to caring some responsibility in doing our share. BUT, The City has manipulated our small, vibrant residential neighbor of Dutch Kills, since the rezoning of 2008. We were lied to and tricked and now we have over 20 and counting hotels overtaking the residential character of our area. After months of pretending to LISTEN to the residents throught the time consuming and pointless ULRP, The City, under the management of Amanda Burden, Commisioner of City Planning for NYC, or as I saw her a modern day “Marie Antoinette”, went ahead and did whatever the planners and Burden wanted with ZERO regard to the wishes of residents,

It is for THAT reason, after 20 hotels, we are fearful that this administration will AGAIN, roll over Dutch Kills and allow any number nof these hotels to overwhelm us with shelters of homeless people.

That is our objection, not your vicious hatefullness. Residents of Dutch Kills are skeptical that rhis one shelter will mark our full participation in helping to end this homeless crisis. We fear that this will be just the beginning of conversions of these hotels to more shelters. For that reason, we must ask our elected officials to oppose and get legal guarantees, to prohibit any kore hotel conversions to shelters in Dutch Kills. Instead of allowing 20 hotels to overcome our area, why couldn’t apartment buildings been built? We would have welcomed new permanent residents.

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Dude

People against these shelters are assholes.

“They need a place to stay, as long as it’s somewhere else.”

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Anonymous visitor

Don’t be such a bleeding heart putz. People haven’t invested zillions of dollars in this community just to see our progress thrown into the ditch by mashugana projects like this. We already have our fair share of shelters and programs for the poor in LIC. Let some other rich liberal neighborhood in Brooklyn or Manhattan do their share.

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Anon

It is well documented that these homeless shelters are poorly operated, with no real security. There are homeless people who choose to sleep on the streets, because of how horrible the conditions are. This is not about not wanting to help the homeless. It is just puzzling how they (whomever that is) decide on this part of LIC as the best area. They are building luxury all around, yet they are going to allow for DHS shelters with less than stellar records of accomplishment.
It’s also important to remember what the real underlying issue is here. The city needs to do better. Instead of allowing for shelters everywhere, and paying property owners 2K or 3K, they should build actual affordable housing. They should give that 2K or 3K to the homeless families so they can pay for rent on permanent housing, not a poorly operated shelter.

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Anonymous visitor

I was with you until your last mashugana sentence. On what planet do you think taxpayers should be handing out $3,000 a month to a bunch of lost causes. Oy vey. These people are hopeless. They will forever be sponging off the system. Who are we fooling?

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Anon

I don’t truly believe everyone is a lost cause. We are already shelling out this money to a homeless shelter. What’s the difference?

Anon

It’s very well reported that the shelters run by the DHS are run very poorly, with no real security. There are homeless people who actually choose to live on the streets because the conditions at the shelters are so poor. This is not about not wanting to help the homeless, this is about not wanting to bring this type of poorly run facility into a neighborhood they (the city or whomever) is trying to make better.
There is also a larger underlying issue here. The city would do much better to take the $3K or whatever they pay per unit and actually create real affordable housing for these families. Why not give each family that type of money to live in an affordable apartment, instead of making these horrible landlords rich and by creating these shelters. That’s the real issue here.

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Anon

It has been well documented that the DHS does not take care of their shelters and they are run poorly, with no security. I imagine this would be worse with a private landlord or group. There are even reports of homeless persons choosing to live on the streets instead of going to a shelter, because they are such horrible places. It’s not about not wanting to help the homeless, it’s puzzling why they (the city, community board, or whomever) would want to include these types of places in an area they’re trying to build up. It’s an odd choice when they’re trying to turn everything into luxury surrounding it.
It’s also important not to forget the real underlying issue here. There’s a real problem in this city. Why can’t they take the 2K or 3K they’re giving to the private entities building and operating these shelters, and instead build true affordable housing. They can give the 2K or 3K directly to the families to pay for rent on an actual apartment, not a homeless shelter.

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