A transitional facility has been proposed for a former coffee factory in Ozone Park, according to a letter given to Community Board 9.
The facility is being planned by a nonprofit group called Breaking Ground, which seeks to help homeless people with immediate needs, such as food, bathing and short-term shelter. Still early in its planning stages, is center is slated for the former site of Dallis Brothers Coffee at 100-32 Atlantic Ave., which technically is in Ozone Park but just steps from the neighborhoods of Richmond Hill and Woodhaven. The coffee manufacturer moved to Long Island City several years ago.
At Saturday’s Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA) meeting at Emanuel Church of Christ — four blocks from the proposed site — Assemblyman Mike Miller said the facility is “not the type of homeless shelter you’re used to hearing about,” but rather aimed at helping homeless and needy people “grab a shower, some food and get back on their feet.”
The concerns about the facility come as the city seeks to open a homeless shelter at a Maspeth hotel, and plans are still alive — as they have been for several years — for another facility to house homeless people in Glendale.
The plan at the Ozone Park site aims to “enhance our services for the street homeless in Queens, which will benefit that group as well as the borough as a whole,” Breaking Ground’s Assistant Vice President for Quality Assurance John Lee wrote in the letter to CB 9, which the WRBA’s communication director, Alexander Blenkinsopp, read at Saturday’s meeting.
WRBA President Martin Colberg stressed patience, saying that there needed to be more information about the facility before any possible organized opposition.
“I don’t think having facilities like that is a bad thing,” Colberg stressed. “But we have to make sure we get all the information we need and follow up.”
Breaking Ground is scheduled to present their proposed to CB 9’s Health Committee Tuesday night.
The nonprofit has sites in Brooklyn, Bronx and Manhattan and several outside the city including one in Rochester, one in the Hudson Valley and two in Connecticut.