FORT GREENE, Brooklyn — Auburn Adult Family Homeless Shelter in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, is a facility with a checkered past, and a long history of unconfirmed, whispered complaints of sexual misconduct by staff members.
New York City Department of Homeless Services housing specialist Clyde Johnson’s reputation preceded him at the front gate Tuesday night.
Following a probe by the city’s Department of Investigation, the 54-year-old Jamaica, Queens resident was arrested at his home, accused and criminally charged with forcible touching, sex abuse, and harassment, in four separate incidents, for making sexual advances against two female residents inside this shelter.
A homeless woman staying here did not want to be identified, but told us she too was harassed by Johnson, who, according to his Facebook page, just got married two years ago.
None of this surprises Georgianna Glose, executive director of the Fort Greene Strategic Neighborhood Action Partnership.
“They’re victims, and they have nowhere to go,” Glose said.
Glose says she has been listening to terrified homeless women accuse Auburn Shelter staffers of sexual misconduct for more than a decade — women who are often too scared to report the crimes.
Glose adds the dynamic between a male housing specialist who preys on homeless women, often the most vulnerable members of our society, is really no different than what we’re seeing in high-profile sexual-harassment cases in the world of entertainment — with one significant exception.
“They are the key to whether you’re gonna get a place to live, or not,” Glose said.
Glose blames a lack of training, and oversight, by the Department of Homeless Services, the agency that manages the Auburn Shelter.
A DHS spokesperson sent us a statement that reads in part: “We have absolutely zero tolerance for this alleged behavior. We are in close collaboration with authorities and we are seeking this individual’s termination.”
If convicted on all counts, Johnson faces up to six years in prison.