Crown Heights homeless shelter opens amidst controversy

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn — A new homeless shelter in Crown Heights that has only been open since Monday is already stumbling out of the blocks in the eyes of the law as well as those it is trying to house.

When PIX 11 News asked one resident if she wanted to be in Brooklyn, she simply responded, "No" adding that she was, "Shocked, what am I moving to Brooklyn for?"

The new tenant then admitted she had no connections to Crown Heights.

The city's newest homeless shelter is located at 267 Rogers Avenue in Crown Heights.

In an early Tuesday morning email, a Department of Homeless Services spokesman told PIX11 News, "We proudly welcome ten families with children from Brooklyn to 267 Rogers, a high-quality transitional housing facility offering homeless families the opportunity to be sheltered closer to their support networks and communities they called home as they work to stabilize their lives."

One man PIX11 News spoke with, named James, had the following reaction when reminded of the fact the city's stance is they want to put people in shelters near apartments or where they used to live at, "The city is full of s***! And you know it. I hope you quote me on that! They are full of s***!"

There is tension on both sides.

For weeks the community has been upset over yet another shelter and more beds being placed in Crown Heights. Residents in the community wished the new facility was permanent affordable housing. James even sending Mayor Bill de Blasio and DHS a message over record sums of money being spent to handle the homeless crisis through the shelter system, "I've seen the money the city pays for us to be in a shelter. You would not give us $1400 a month to pay for a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment?"

The city is also paying for social services to the shelter provider. They even detailed the services in an email to PIX11 News, however, one of the tenants we spoke with says the services do not exist.

When asked if anyone has met with her professionally about the social services they are offering, the tenant said, "No, No."

Separately, late Tuesday afternoon a Brooklyn judge granted the Crown Street Block Association a temporary restraining order through Thursday, meaning the Department of Homeless Services cannot place families at the Rogers Avenue location until the two sides appear in court.

A Department of Homeless Services spokesman failed to respond to PIX11 News inquiries on reported the lack of social services as well as the temporary restraining order that was issued.