Riverdale residents ‘blindsided’ over plans to build homeless shelter in neighborhood
Riverdale residents said they were "blindsided" by the city’s plans to build a male homeless shelter in the northwest section of the neighborhood.
Residents said they only found out a few days ago at a Community Board 8 meeting that the city is building a homeless shelter on Broadway and West 262nd Street.
The news prompted some residents to gather in the area to protest the city's decision. Many of them said they’re concerned the addition of a homeless shelter will affect the safety and security of this neighborhood, which houses a large population of young children and senior citizens.
They said they are not against the idea of building homeless shelters for those in need, but the problem is building it in their neighborhood.
They said a shelter housing numerous homeless men in one room won't allow them to thrive, and that they cannot be placed in an area where they don't have access to resources to help them turn around their lives. They explained that their part of Riverdale has limited access to public transportation and food.
Residents have made an online petition that has already received more than 1,000 signatures.
According to the Department of Social Services, the all-male shelter will have 130 beds and will open its doors in fall 2023. There will also be a 10 p.m. curfew and security 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the facility.