Wakefield community opposes new HIV shelter
Some Wakefield residents are recruiting local officials in a bid to stop a planned HIV shelter from opening in the neighborhood.
Community Board 12 Manager George Torres is leading the opposition to the shelter, which would place HIV patients at a former warehouse on East 242nd Street.
Torres says it's against city policy to house homeless people in the location, but building permits at the former warehouse state that it will undergo structural changes.
Neighbors say they oppose the plan due to safety concerns. Last year, Ana Charle, the 36-year-old director of another shelter in the same area, was murdered by a former shelter occupant.
"We are just saying enough is enough," Torres says.
He prefers using the building to host new businesses to create jobs in the community.
The group behind the project tells News 12 that it has a record of working with communities to address neighborhood concerns, but could not comment further due to privacy laws.
An earlier version of this article misidentified the community leader opposing the shelter. Community Board 12 Manager George Torres is voicing opposition, not Councilmember Ritchie Torres.