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Shelter exposed: Residents say Sunset Park home not helping homeless

Frustrated: Shelter resident Daniel said there are a lack of workshops and activities to help residents at the 49th Street shelter improve their situations. He would like to see a more efficient housing program at the facility.
Brooklyn Paper
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They’re calling it a bad Samaritan.

Residents of a Sunset Park homeless shelter claim operator Samaritan Village has not been making good on promises to help them find employment or permanent homes. Reps from the company — which runs the controversial, 150-bed shelter in a former hotel on 49th Street between Second and Third avenues — say they conduct weekly workshops to help people living there get out of poverty, but several residents say Samaritan Village has a poor track record of providing the services.

“No one ever told me about workshops or anything at all like that,” said Daniel, who didn’t want to share his full name for fear of reprisal. “In the three months I’ve been here, I’ve never seen workshops for housing or anything at all like that.”

Workers meet individually with shelter inhabitants weekly to help them find housing — and they also hold weekly workshops to teach groups of residents how to apply for low-income housing and to assist residents with job-hunting, a Samaritan Village spokeswoman said.

Six residents interviewed confirmed there are housing and employment specialists on site, but say they do not hold regular meetings and Samaritan Village did not avail them of the regular workshops.

“Where? Where are these workshops. They’re not here,” said a second man, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from the shelter. “I’ve never heard of, seen, or been to any.”

Reps from Samaritan Village and the Department of Homeless Services maintain that workshops are available to those living at the shelter and that some residents simply choose not to participate.

“Not every client takes advantage of these services,” said Lauren Gray, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeless Services. “We will continue to offer and support these services and encourage clients to utilize the resources and support available to them.”

But residents reporting they are in the dark about services is concerning, according to some Sunset Parkers. Neighbors on 49th Street say shelter residents with little to do hang out in front of the building and harass locals — and failing to provide social services is not helping, according to a board member of Community Board 7.

“If you bring homeless shelters into the community, give them productive things to do,” said Carmen Toress, who has been lobbying operators to provide job-training and housing services on a daily basis.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Removes details for an upcoming meeting of the shelter's community advisory board, because the meeting is not public, according to city officials.
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Reasonable discourse

Choo-Choo Rodriguez from Sunset Park says:
This "shelter" is not helping the homeless, it's helplessing the homes. Samaritan Village is actually Satan's Villiage -run by the devil himself!
Sept. 7, 2016, 6:32 am
Mommycita from Sunset says:
This is more like a shelter for homeless rats than people!
And it has bed bugs! In the beds!
Sept. 7, 2016, 11:19 am
Jennifer Lopez from Sunset Park says:
I stayed here for two nights when a homeless rented me his cot via air b-N-b. I gave it three out five stars, mostly for the breakfasts.
Sept. 7, 2016, 6:16 pm
this monkey's gone to heaven from sunspit park says:
this shelter isn't close enough to bozo de blasio's crib. put up a homeless hojos next door to him (in park slope), and have all the homeless vomit and piss on his yard while charlatan and family watch from their big bay windows.
Oct. 30, 2016, 5:45 pm
Paradise Video from Sunset Park says:
Paradise Video: 757 Third Avenue, (near 25th Street) Brooklyn, NY.

Is this the reason why Every Sunday early mornings at around 5:00 am. to 9:30 am., there are many of hue, who seem to straggle to the Paradise Video sex store where there are video booths at the back of the store where gay sex and other dubious dealings and bartering occur? There is only one worker in the store at this time and cannot check the video booth area because he needs to tend to the cash register area. Are these stragglers coming from the shelter?

I don't see these type of people (mostly Afr Am's) who frequent the store at this time, setting the alarm for 3:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning to shower, dress and leave their comfortable abodes in order to stand for hours, doing what they are doing -- straggling!
Jan. 5, 2017, 9:19 pm

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