No on Homeless
As someone born and raised on the Rockaway Peninsula, I have been at the forefront of every issue since the late 70s. Once again again the City of New York is attempting to dump on the Rockaways! The proposed 120-bed men’s shelter is very troubling to all of us.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) plan to warehouse homeless people in a community that already has been inundated with homeless shelters, nursing homes, adult homes and many other unwanted programs with no employment opportunities for our residents.
They are giving us the most deeply challenged citizens of society who cannot by law be forced to take their much-needed medications and who will be out on the streets during the day without jobs. We live on a peninsula that has the highest unemployment rate citywide already, we can’t support a new population of homeless men here. Transportation is already a problem, adding these individuals to the neighborhood would only make it worse.
The proposed shelter is in close proximity to a number of public schools, a church, and a catholic school as well as senior centers. This is unacceptable.
We must all come together and send a clear message to City Hall. Rockaway is on an economic boom, and we can’t afford to allow it to decline. We don’t want to be in fear of walking in our own community.
Homeless people deserve permanent housing and we have too many shelters and programs in the Rockaway community already.
By now most of us have heard about the climate report from the United Nations. It says we have only twelve years to transform our economy to preserve the stable climate we all depend upon (and have depended on for millennia).
It seems we all need to get on board, immediately, to respond to the demands of science (and, honestly, to use a slightly eye-roll inducing word: justice). Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call. Beach erosion is a nightmare. Asking for the government to to anything feels like shouting into the abyss. Plus, as a younger adult watching the news, seeing how difficult it is for both “sides” to get along, and feeling slightly helpless, this is terrifying.
Lately, though, I’ve been a bit more optimistic. The Green New Deal (the resolution proposed by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Markey) will keep us safe from climate change while creating jobs. After reading it, I really believe that there is, genuinely, something for everyone. In fact, that’s its intention. So refreshing! I hope people read about it, talk about it, debate it and (I really hope) get behind it.
At this point, for me to take any of the presidential candidates seriously, (I don’t care which “side” they’re on), I’d need them to get behind this resolution.
Thank you for the work you do and thank you for listening!
Sarah Kenny Werner
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