By Helen Klein
It may just have been a coincidence, but Brooklyn District Attorney Charles “Joe” Hynes paid a surprise visit to Community Board 17, to talk about the new Family Justice Center that will be opening shortly in the borough, just a couple of months before he goes before the voters and asks them once again to give him their nod. Hynes — a four-term incumbent who faces primary challenges from a laundry list of Democratic opponents including State Senator John Sampson and attorneys Braxton Freddie Fenner, Arnie Kriss, Mark Peters and Paul Wooten — spoke briefly to the crowd gathered in the auditorium of SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 395 Lenox Road, about the center. Brooklyn, he said, is one of 15 jurisdictions in the United States to open one, as part of a federal program stemming from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women. A total of 150 jurisdictions competed to be part of the program and receive the accompanying grant, said Hynes. The goal of the center, which Hynes called, “An exciting new innovation,” is, “To keep families together, not to destroy families,” said Hynes. The program, he stressed, is, “The widest safety net ever offered to victims of domestic violence.” How will the Family Justice Center operate? If a victim comes to the center, said Hynes, that victim, “will be met by an assistant D.A. and a social worker, and their needs will be assessed. If they have an immigration problem, they don’t have to go to Manhattan. On the same floor, there will be immigration lawyers. “If they have a family court problem, there will be a family court specialist on the same floor,” Hynes went on. “If they have a housing court problem, same floor. If they need shelter, depending on the background and culture involved, they will get a shelter, short-term, if there’s a danger. If they need some money, there will also be a grant of money—not a loan, a grant. It will be one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to the protection of domestic violence victims.” The center will be opening temporarily at the D.A.’s office, 350 Jay Street, said Hynes. Eventually, it will be housed in the old Family Court building, which is being refurbished to that end. District Attorney Charles Hynes paid a surprise visit to Community Board 17. Photo by Helen Klein State Senator Martin J. Golden will be hosting a Rally in Support of US troops at 2 p.m., June 26 in Marine Park near the Flag Pole, Fillmore Avenue and Marine Parkway. The event will include an array of patriotic music, performed by the USO-NY Metropolitan, and words of encouragement and support for the troops. Care packages and letters of support for our troops will be accepted. All are invited to attend. For more information, call Golden’s District Office at 718-627-3659.