FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2009
Contact: Sandy Taggart at (718) 771-0787
Council Member Letitia James; Council Member Bill de Blasio; other local electeds; along with representatives from community groups including the Crown Heights Revitalization Movement (CHRM); Coalition for the Homeless; and the Crown Heights North Association; as well as advocates for the homeless and neighborhood residents, gather for a press conference on the steps of City Hall this Sunday to oppose the Department of Homeless Services’ plan to move the Bellevue men’s homeless central intake center located in Manhattan, to the Bedford-Atlantic Armory shelter in Brooklyn – and to question why DHS has not earmarked money in their 2010 budget to open a men’s homeless intake center in Manhattan also, (as promised) - DHS is actually now proposing a budget savings, and a savings from the Bellevue intake center closure should not be reflected in DHS’s budget, if an intake center in manhattan is to remain open – this appears to be the case though, despite testimony by DHS Commissioner Robert Hess stating that DHS will open a new intake center in Manhattan, which he gave at the General Welfare Committee’s preliminary budget hearing for the Department of Homeless Services
**Press conference to protest DHS’s move of the men’s homeless central intake center from Manhattan to Brooklyn, and to demand that funds be allocated by the Department of Homeless Services in their budget for a Manhattan men’s homeless intake center, as stated by the Commissioner**
This press event is in support of homeless individuals and the community. Please join us to fight DHS’ misguided plan that will not benefit the City’s male homeless population (over 60% reside in Manhattan), and will harm an already overburdened community. Also, a central intake center for homeless men has existed in Manhattan for more than 30 years. Below is a portion of Commissioner Hess’s testimony, but at this time, there is no reflection in the Department of Homeless Services 2010 budget for funding to open a men’s homeless intake center in Manhattan.
“We've received considerable feedback regarding our plans to move men's intake from its current location at 30th Street in Manhattan to the Bedford Atlantic Armory in Brooklyn, when the current site closes. And based on that input, we have developed a new plan that will allow us to have in place two intake sites - one site in Manhattan, and a second site in Brooklyn at the Bed-Atlantic Armory. We will ensure that there is a new intake site in Manhattan by the time DHS exits 30th Street facility.
Who: Advocates for the homeless, the Crown Heights community and public officials
What: Press conference to demand that the Department of Homeless Services abandon plans to close the Men’s Homeless Central Intake Center in Manhattan, and move it to the Bedford-Atlantic Armory Men’s Shelter in Brooklyn - without funding in DHS’s budget to open a men’s homeless intake center in Manhattan
When: Sunday, June 7th, at 3 pm
Where: Steps of City Hall