Community leaders: Wakefield carries disproportionate share of homeless shelters
A men's shelter opened in the Wakefield section of the Bronx, but community members say they've been fighting against it for years and claim it happened under the radar amid broken promises.
A joint statement by elected officials says a promise was made to them by the Department of Homeless Services that the 150-person male shelter would not open at that location. They also say they did not receive a courtesy call that it was going to open.
The Department of Social Services told News 12 that it cannot confirm specific locations being used as shelters because the address of where Social Service recipients live is protected by state law. They did issue a statement that said in part:
While the building in question is not a hotel, it is big enough to accommodate social distancing if needed during these times.
"By using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse just shows their shared apathy towards the residents of the community we represent," says Dr. Michael Burke, the first vice chairman of Community Board 12.
In the joint statement, officials said in part: