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Photo by Jeff Stone

Though donations have slowed down in recent weeks, the Glendale/Middle Village Coalition is continuing to raise money to pay for its legal battle to block a proposed homeless shelter.

The group has raised $70,000 for a fund to pay for legal fees in its lawsuit against the city on the proposed Glendale homeless shelter.

“We want to make it clear that we are not against helping homeless people,” said Dawn Scala, a member of the coalition. “We are against the warehousing of them in large facilities.”

Over 445 different people and groups have made donations to the community coalition. It was something that Brian Dooley, treasurer of the coalition, was proud of because of his concern with how the city handles the homeless.

“We should all be very proud of this number,” said Dooley.

Sal Crifasi, president of the coalition, said that donations have been coming in less and less over the past few weeks, but he remains optimistic that they will reach their goal of $130,000 as he believes the slow-down in donations of late is because of the holiday season.

“We used to get about 15 checks a day coming into the office, now we are getting two or three,” Crifasi said. “But every donation counts.”

Crifasi said most of the donations are coming from Glendale residents. But he wants to branch out into Middle Village as he believes the homeless shelter will affect that neighborhood just as much as, if not more than, Glendale.

At this point, the coalition has spent $15,000 on the Article 78 filed against the city, which was an appeal against the Environmental Assessment the city did on the land. They will have to spend another $15,000 on this first action, which will leave them with about $40,000 to work with, Dooley said.

The coalition’s members feel that the city did not take a “hard look” at the area in order to determine the impact of a homeless shelter at the site. They want a full Environmental Impact Study done.

“This is a bad spot and a bad idea,” said Fred Haller, a member of the coalition who is also a lawyer. “This has been a great effort by all the groups in the neighborhood. Legal fees are expensive and we are raising a lot of money.”

The city has until Dec. 12 to answer the Article 78 filed against them. Haller said that the coalition, along with their attorney, are discussing further lawsuits they could bring on city, state and federal levels.

“[The proposed shelter] is not the right answer for helping these people,” Dooley said. “We have a lot more fighting to do.”

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