Ozone Park civic group hosting five-borough civic summit on homeless crisis

A Queens civic association is calling for an emergency five borough summit call to action Friday night to discuss the city’s failed response to the homeless crisis.

The Ozone Park Residents Block Association (OPRBA) is calling on every leader of a community group in the city to join the forum on Feb. 8 and help find a solution to the city’s plan to place 90 shelters in residential communities and discuss legal action, such as a class action suit, to stop the process.

Sam Esposito, the OPRBA president, said the meeting is not open to the public. They are asking for one representative from every civic, organization, block association and community boards to come to the meeting at the DESHI Center at 83-10 Rockaway Blvd. in Ozone Park on Friday at 6 p.m. Interested leaders are asked to register online at ozpkba@aol.com to receive credentials to attend.

“Please be respectful as our Ozone Park elected officials, as week as others, who have supported us from the start will be present at the meeting,” the OPRBA said in an email. “We will not allow for disrespect or bashing. This is strictly to discuss two things and that is it. Please be ready and prepared to … fight together for a better NYC.”

The organization will also provide pizza and bottled water.

“We will discuss having this summit in each of the other boroughs and moving around the city as we are welcomed but in order to change the narrative, we need to show the administration, the City Council and the elected officials we can and will mobilize our people if we are not treated with the respect we deserve,” the email continued.

In a separate email sent to city and state elected officials throughout the borough, Esposito urges them to attend the forum because “they have the power to change the narrative, make a difference, be the hero this city needs right now.”

Esposito emphasized the organization is not against homeless people but the way the city is handling the crisis.

“This is not going to be a forum for people to complain, bemoan, whine, protest, accuse, or criticize, any one or any policy,” Esposito wrote. “This is about being proactive moving forward.”