Maspeth community will protest the proposed homeless shelter at a meeting next week

Incidents of violence at other Acacia Network shelters, like Pam's Settlement in LIC, have Maspeth residents concerned.
Photo courtesy of Holiday Inn Express

After the major announcement made on Wednesday that the Mayor’s office is looking to turn a hotel in Maspeth into a homeless shelter for adults, the community has banded together to try and fight this development.

Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) invites members of the community to a public meeting on Thursday, Aug. 11 at Martin Luther High School, located at 60-02 Maspeth Ave., at 7:30 p.m. to discuss their options on how to prevent a homeless shelter coming to the Holiday Inn Express at 59-40 55th Rd.

Local elected officials are also expected to be in attendance.

The city made the homeless shelter proposal — which would house 110 single adults or married couples with adult children at the hotel — during a meeting at Maspeth public library on Wednesday morning in front of the area’s elected officials, NYPD, members of Community Board 5 (CB 5), and some local residents.

Acacia Network is set to take the reins of this operation if the site gets going.Acacia Network currently operates the shelters in Corona, the Bronx as well as a women’s shelter Long Island City infamous for its outbreaks of violence.

When word of the proposal got out, the community was outraged, especially since the Mayor’s office wants to get this shelter up and running within the next 60 days. However, the community does have 30 days to provide the Mayor’s office with an alternate site for the proposed shelter.

The community has also created a petition to Mayor Bill de Blasio, asking him to stop the shelter from opening. So far the petition has over 350 signatures and is making the rounds on social media to try and garner even more support from community members.

“Our community has been adversely affected by the Pan Am Hotel on Queens [Boulevard] becoming a homeless shelter,” the petition states. “We have had our fair share of homeless shelters set up in close proximity of our neighborhood. Crime has already risen in our neighborhood. This shelter will be near schools and a park.”

To add your name to the petition, visit the website here.

Photo courtesy of COMET
Photo courtesy of COMET

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