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83-Unit Homeless Shelter Opening in Kingsbridge Next Month, City Says

By Kate Pastor | July 19, 2017 9:27am

KINGSBRIDGE — An 83-unit homeless shelter is coming to the neighborhood in mid-August, according to the Department of Homeless Services.

The facility, to be located at 5731 Broadway, is set to open as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's controversial plan to end shelter housing at "cluster sites" and commercial hotels in a bid to house homeless people in the neighborhoods they come from.

DHS said 359 homeless people from Community District 8, which encompasses the borough's most affluent neighborhoods, currently live in city shelters outside the district. Only 81 people are housed within the district — in a single commercial hotel for families with children and in one remaining cluster unit. The city plans to phase out both by the end of the year, the department said.

DHS spokesman Isaac McGinn called the shelter planned for Kingsbridge a "high-quality facility" that will give families "the opportunity to be sheltered in their home borough, closer to their support networks and communities they called home as they get back on their feet."

He said he was confident residents would be "warmly welcomed" at the shelter.

But reactions to the plans in some other parts of the city have been anything but warm.

In Crown Heights, where three shelters have been proposed, a judge blocked one of them from opening after facing backlash from residents. Public outcry initially stopped a facility from opening in Maspeth last fall. And in Harlem, residents have spoken out about the need for the rest of the city to bear its fair share of the burden.

While Community District 8 currently has no shelters, neighborhoods in Community District 6, which includes Belmont, West Farms and Bathgate, historically have had one of the highest concentrations of homeless shelters in the city, right behind Manhattan's Community District 10, which covers Central Harlem.