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Crown Heights Homeless Shelter Opens After Judge Tosses Lawsuit

 Formerly homeless men will move into this building at 1173 Bergen St. in Crown Heights
Formerly homeless men will move into this building at 1173 Bergen St. in Crown Heights "immediately," the Department of Homeless Services said after a court order lifted an injunction blocking its opening.
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DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith

CROWN HEIGHTS — A controversial homeless shelter blocked from opening for nearly two months by a lawsuit is now accepting new residents after a judge tossed out the suit on Monday.

Brooklyn Supreme Court judge Katherine Levine dismissed the legal challenge from locals that had halted people from moving into the 104-bed men’s shelter at 1173 Bergen St. in Crown Heights.

She said the dismissal was conditional on shelter provider CORE Services and the city abiding by certain terms, including creating a security plan for the facility, vowing to house only men 62 years or older and beefing up patrols around a nearby homeless facility, the Bedford-Atlantic Shelter, which has caused headaches for locals for years.

The order ends a legal battle brought by neighbors of the facility who sued to keep the shelter off their block.

In a statement, the plaintiffs called the order a “devil’s bargain” in which they were “forced to settle.”

“We continue to view the siting of this shelter — a mere four blocks from what is already the city’s largest shelter, the Atlantic Armory — and the mayor’s homeless plan as an issue of racial injustice for historically African-American and underprivileged communities,” they said.

On NY1’s Road to City Hall Monday night, Mayor Bill de Blasio described the agreement as “a good sign for our ability to keep moving forward” with a plan to revamp the Department of Homeless Services, including building 90 new homeless shelters.

“This is the fifth shelter since I made the announcement, and we'll continue building out throughout the summer,” he said.

DHS spokesman Isaac McGinn said men will begin moving into the Bergen Street shelter immediately.

“We will continue to work with the community, as we have throughout this process, to create a welcoming and supportive environment for these seniors as they stabilize their lives,” he said.