‘HELP’ no longer on the way! G’point homeless shelter plan is done

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A controversial proposal for a new homeless shelter in Greenpoint has unraveled.

HELP USA has quietly retreated on Friday from its plan to develop a 200-bed men’s center at a McGuinness Boulevard warehouse in the wake of fierce opposition from neighborhood residents.

The organization’s president, Larry Belinsky, said HELP bailed on the center because of its finances.

“Unfortunat­ely we were unable to reach an agreement regarding the operating budget for the project,” Belinsky wrote to the Department of Homeless Services and Community Board 1. “We are disappointed in this outcome, but we do not believe that we could operate a quality assessment center program at the required budget rate.”

But Councilman Steve Levin (D–Greenpoint) credited Greenpoint residents who attended community meetings and organized against the shelter as the reason behind the proposal’s failure.

“The community stood strong and united in opposition to this proposal,” said Levin. “I am proud to have worked closely with so many Greenpoint residents to stand up for our community’s right to have a say over what happens in our neighborho­od.”

The Manhattan-based transitional housing nonprofit, run by Gov. Cuomo’s sister, first floated the idea to locate a men’s assessment center in Greenpoint in August. The project would provide “comprehens­ive assessments, support services, and housing placement assistance” to homeless clients referred by the city but would stay at the site for no longer than a month.

Neighborhood residents had been organizing against the shelter proposal because of their concerns about public safety and the project’s failure to address Greenpoint’s homegrown homeless population.

Greenpoint residents welcomed the news.

“This is fantastic news for all of us because all of us were fighting against the shelter,” said CB1 Public Safety Chairman Mieszko Kalita. “It would have been a disaster if it happened. I’m glad they couldn’t find an agreement with the city.”

The future of Greenpoint’s homegrown homeless population remains unclear.

Updated 5:23 pm, July 9, 2018: Corrects a wrong cross street. It is Clay, not Calyer.
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Reasonable discourse

kevin says:
good news
Feb. 5, 2011, 10:55 am
Mike from Park Slope says:
Shows what hard work and community organization can accomplish. Way to go Greenpoint, and kudos to Council-member Levin.
Feb. 5, 2011, 7:44 pm
joey baggadoucio from bay ridge says:
Feb. 7, 2011, 11:37 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
show me the way to the next whiskey bar.
Feb. 7, 2011, 2:52 pm
Jim from Greenpoint says:
this Levine guy is the biggest looser especially with the Greenpoint people never liked him at all,

so lets stay positive ignore the person let him go to back to his buddy and trouble maker Lopez....
Feb. 7, 2011, 4:47 pm
Juniper from Greenpoint says:
This is fantastic news as this would have destroyed greenpoint. Greenpointers actually love Levin and he won by a wide margin. He's a great councilman and we are lucky to have him. This would not have happened if not for his efforts.
Now to address Greenpoint's real homeless problem that is multi generational. No one was opposed to a shelter for them, we just didn't want more brought in and these people Who we see everyday, not be helped by the project. Most thought this was stupid in the extreme.
Feb. 8, 2011, 8:34 am

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