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Hundreds fighting plans for proposed homeless shelter in Caroll Gardens

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CAROLL GARDENS, Brooklyn (PIX11) – Like so many other buildings in Brooklyn these days, 165 West 9th Street in Carroll Gardens was supposed to be a luxury building.
But the plans, which called for 10 condo units, stalled.

Since the Department of Homeless Services has targeted the spot for a new homeless shelter to help meet the “unprecedented” demand.

“Putting a homeless shelter is, I think, going to make the crime rate go up,” said Jose Clavell.

Jose Clavell recently spent several months in a shelter while he was homeless, but now lives near the proposed site which would house 170 homeless men.

Clavell says putting the new shelter on a block with two and three family homes just doesn’t make sense, even though he thinks the city needs more shelters to help the growing homeless population.

And many people living in Carroll Gardens agree.

Almost 1,500 people have signed a petition urging the DHS not to build the shelter.

Local Community Board 6 even voted 35 to 1 against the new facility.
But in a recent letter to Mayor Bloomberg, the DHS conveniently left out input from the community board, which detailed problems from a potential operators sketchy past to a lack of community input.

Chairperson Daniel Kummer responded in a letter saying, “I find it nothing short of astounding that neither of those sections acknowledges or advises the Mayor and his staff of my November 26, 2012 letter […] our letter should be regarded with continued full force and effect as the official position of Community Board 6 with regard to this wholly inappropriate shelter proposal.”

But not everyone agrees. Even though homelessness isn’t a visible problem here in Carroll Gardens, some say people in the surrounding neighborhoods like Red Hook could benefit from putting a shelter here on West 9th.

“I’ve seen people sleeping on sidewalks with rats on them, in housing.  It’s sad man,” said Nestor Arroyo.

Arroyo says he thinks the complaints are simply another case of “Not In My Back Yard” and says the community should be more supportive of those in need. “People need to live somewhere, not in the streets,” he added.

But in the past, Community Board 6 has said it’s willing to work with DHS so the Carroll Gardens Community, “can do it’s part to address the City’s urgent homelessness problem.”  They’d just like to see it come from a partnership, rather than having it forced on the neighborhood.

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