Community furious over possible new men's shelter on Blondell Avenue
The Westchester Square community is furious about a possible men's shelter being built on Blondell Avenue.
The Department of Homeless Services wants to build a 200-bed facility for men. The City Council voted to rezone the industrial area last year, so the Blondell Commons project was approved.
"I am not against homeless shelters. I myself was homeless for two years as a teenager. However, the super-duper ultra concentration of these kind of facilities between only a few blocks is a disgrace. It's criminal, and it's deliberately targeting this community," said Westchester Square-Zerega Improvement Organization Director Sandi Lusk.
DHS tells News 12 the high-quality facility will be the first of its kind.
News 12 is told community members feel as though there is no space to accommodate the hundreds of people that may end up living at the shelter.
Residents say there are already multiple shelters in the area and that they do not want any more.
DHS released a statement saying, "Working together with neighbors and nonprofit service provider Care for the Homeless, we're confident that these individuals will be warmly welcomed—and through collaborative support and compassion, we will make this the best experience it can be for these individuals as they get back on their feet."
They also say the priority for the shelter will go to those who have roots in the community.