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Public hearing scheduled on Westway, Homeless Services takes steps to make shelter permanent

Community meeting on Westway

Meeting on Westway at Museum of Moving Image in July

Jan. 6, 2015 By Michael Florio

Residents will get their say at a public hearing next week about the Department of Homeless Services’ plan to turn the Westway Motel on Astoria Blvd into a permanent homeless shelter.

The Department of Homeless Services’ plan to convert the shelter into a permanent facility comes six months after the agency unexpectedly turned the hotel into a 121-family facility for those needing long-term shelter. The agency was only given a six month contract to offer shelter for 121 families in this fashion under an ‘emergency contract’ with the city.

Westway, located at 71-11 Astoria Blvd, has traditionally provided the homeless with shelter for one night only—and that has mainly been when other city shelters were beyond capacity.

The city, however, must approve the Westway ‘contract’ before it becomes a permanent facility. As part of the process, the city is required to hold a public hearing.

The public hearing is scheduled for Jan. 15 at 10 am, at 125 Worth Street. The public is encouraged to attend and is free to give testimony.

The Comptroller’s office will then review the permanent ‘contract’ and then render a decision, according to a DHS spokesperson.

The DHS stated in an e-mail today that there is a shortage of space for the homeless and that the facility is needed as homelessness increases.

In July, when DHS converted the facility into a long-term shelter for families, several elected officials expressed their outrage about the lack of notification about the shelter and were uncertain as to whether it would overwhelm nearby schools.

Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, who has publicly expressed her strong stand against the shelter since July, is expected to release a statement on the matter later in the week.

Councilman Costa Constantinides would not comment on the issue.

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70 Comments

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Carmen

Many of you are so racist and quick to judge …yes there are the goid and bad in this shelter every boro has it. I live in this shelter with my 3 daughters and we are not here cause we want to …i despise it here plain blank ditmas very racial i was walking wirh my 3 girls to go to the park and i was aprouched by a man without doing anything in front of my girls called me a spik and tell me to leave out his area .im a better person then that i didnt argue and told him to stay away or i was going to call the cops on him my girls were scared. Second time. I was in that small park and my 9 year old was playing with another girl they was laughing and enjoying playing the mother didnt realize i was her mother she called her daughter and told her that she didnt want her playing with my daughter ..that she look like that she from that bad shelter and that she can be dangerioys and may have disease or lice. Do you know how low that mother was to say that about a little girls i aprouch the mother and educated wise told her she is so ignoranr and racist that i feel bad for her daughter on what kind of teaching she was teaching her. That she needed to go back to school herself and get educated and not to judge a book by its cover my daughters are honor role students never got into fights are against bullying and are very generious and kind. None of you know how it is being in here we all dont want to be here and there is more decent people living here that has class and manners and respect this shelter is juicing out your taxes not us by keeping us here over a year we fight and argue with the supervisors why we havent heard anything yet and if we report it and have advocate defending us they staff retaliate on us and make our lives hardwr and keep us longer in here we get limited on lot that your taxes are providing for us they go after us that they know it will affect the children. The kids go threw depression anxiety and stress they dont have much activity for them here. This past christmas the supervisor gave permission to take one chistmas gift thats givin and donated to the kids in here the security gaurds stole all the gifts and most of these kids never got the gifts or the cloths that was givin to them some of the residents in your area has donated gift cloths ect….we never see it or get it. The food is sickening prisioner eat healtheir then us my kids has gotten sick. Many people has gotten sick. Old fruits the food smells it taste gross and looks like cat food. Many of us are on a fighting to get out we go to legal aide councel advocate to complain. We all want to get stable .i had a apartment with my children and the landlord did a short sale on the house i didnt even know his house was on forclosure i became very ill andbhad to go on disability as a single parent i list everything and i was placed here …the room are falling apart i have no kitchen to cook for my girls they give us a hard time to get somthing fixed. They do false allegations on us when we report them they call acs on family just to do harm when we try to fight back our rights gets strip off or privacy get put out there we get slandered and we get so much little help when we complaint. Our children suffer and we suffer. Ive never gotten sick so much or my kids in my life since ive been here i almost lost my 5 year old cause of the distress and the conditions in here and the closure in such a small room ot affect her and now she suffers from seizures. I almost lost my life cause of malnutrition i was so badly anemic i had no oxygen in my body and i had 3 seizures and was intubated my case worker called acs and said i over dosed so she i could lose my kids and get me removed cause she never put in for no program to get a apartment i was cleared when the doctor didnt find no medication whats so ever i had blood tranfusuon and now im on seizure medication. Ive been here for 16 months and the worker and most the supervisors has kept me here for no reason. Trust me we are fighting here as well and we even tried to record the meeting we have and they snatch the phones and we get kicked out on comunity meetings the ghetto nasty one in here making ditmas they way you claim its us noooo its the higher up….you wanna help go after winnyc and dhs and coulition of homlessness and go after the supervisor and directors. They the one holding us in here. They had tried and keep us on camera that we dont do a petition on them cause they know they will get fired. The way you are fighting out there we are fighting in here to get out…go after the real source the director and make a investigation on how long family are living here and why.the maxx we supose to be here is a year there people living here almost 2 years. And they say to them they still waiting. There people with jobs in here. And just waiting..there one single mom who works for the city as a crossing gaurd they tell her to quit her job cause that not enough hours for her to qualify for a program and its a lie as long she working and getting help she qualify for some programs. We do have our bad apples in here but most of us are not we are decent family who had run into bad luck and just trying to get back and stable our family. Find out the truth do your homework investigate ask those who live i. Here what they are going threw and you will find out the the truth …westway inn is corupted really bad and they make sure we dont get the resources to get help and get out 5000 is a good way for a owner of a shelter to get paid for each family every month now calculate 128 family x 5000 every month.let just let me let you know on this last thing we only get one hot meal a day and if we are not there before 7pm they rather throw out the food then hold on to them in a fridge for those who has so money for food to feed the kids. And ohhh and for those who say we have money to wear top quality cloths …many of ut is donated ralph laurance gap old navy …just today we was givin gap socks. And we get sent to churches and places to get cloths and shoes. But please again dont judge to quickly its not the homeless its the staff and supervisors and director and winnyc.org dhs and coulition of homlessness. And get your evidence from us not rumors. Have a good day all and god bless

Reply
Nickola

Unfortunately me and my two kids were placed there and I hate it they smoke all day and we smell it in my room my room has mildew my two kids have bronchitis and they won’t let me transfer to a close shelter I work in Brooklyn and my kids attend school in Canarsie Brooklyn. I am thankful for shelter but I don’t like the kind of people there and environment….can’t do much much but deal until I get assistance with renting an apartment.

Reply
Elaine

Trish,

I understand what you are saying and I have tried to live my life as “my brother’s keeper”. I have lived in Astoria for my whole life, going on 60 years. I have three children and Westway has always been my neighbor.

Since the past summer, I have experienced things that I have never experienced before. I do not have definite proof that it is all Westway related but, this has started since the past summer and it has never happened before.

Our neighbors caught a minor going in and out of backyards in the wee hours. He was picked up by the Police and he was only 15 years old and had a list of arrests, almost as many as his years of age. He had approx.14 arrests, for burglary of homes and cars and he came from Westway. In our multi family building alone, we have had three cars burglarized. I have never had any car broken into before. If you contact the 114th Pct it is documented that a child living at Westway was molested by an adult man. My children have gone to PS2 when they were young and now a worker from the school was held up at gunpoint. The police themselves have commented that this was something that was not heard of before in this area and they have said that crime has gone up.

To be homeless must be very frightening and depressing and yes if we are human we have to have feeling for these people but what is happening in the area lately has caused a fear that I and others have never felt before. I have found beer cans inside my yard (up to 40 cans at one time), ice tea containers in my back yard along with drug paraphernalia. My dog barks like crazy in the evening (it is less now that the weather is cold) and I know it is because of trespassers. I can no longer go into my garage in the evenings, when it is dark and I am careful during the daytime. Yes, Astoria like all communities has it’s drug problems but it is also common knowledge that there is a substantial percentage of drug addicts, criminals and mentally ill people among the homeless. Sometimes drugs are part of the reason a person becomes homeless and other times they may get into contact with drugs while they are homeless.

DHS and WIN just clumps these poor people together and drops them into shelters with many empty promises. These people are not evaluated according to the mental and physical capabilities. When a person is a drug addict, we all know that they need to support their habit, that is all they have on their mind. The addict does not care about anything but getting drugs to feel better. When you are homeless you have to go into the neighborhood to try to support your habit, you have no other means, you are homeless. At the Westway, I am sure that you have “clean” fathers, mothers, families trying to sincerely improve their lives and they are placed with drug addicts, criminals and the mentally ill. This is not fair to these homeless people. When the City and WIN does this, they lower the success rate, money is waisted and a community becomes frustrated. I am sure that there are people at Westway that are living there in fear of themselves and their family.

How do we resolved this?….I do not have a complete answer to this sad situation but, to begin with, the building is sub adequate for what they are trying to do. They can not fit kitchenettes in rooms that are already overcrowded, there are fire hazards (chained exits and bunk beds across windows etc.) subway is a mile away, location next to a parkway, etc.
DHS AND WIN has to be more responsible and professional in how they take care of the homeless. They have to be held accountable for the lives they are trying to assist. You can not clump people together when there are people who are capable to greatly improve their lives put with people who are ill. At the Hearing Downtown a Rep. from the Pam Am Homeless Shelter said that once DHS and WIN succeeded and placed all the residence into the shelter, they started having many safety issues in and around the shelter. She said that you were unable to get anyone to rectify the problems. Once they placed the people into the Shelter, no one seemed to be minding the situation.

At Westway multiple people have tried to reach Ms. Bonnie Stone, the Pres. and CEO of WIN, and she does not return
calls. People have called the Security many times at the Westway and most of the times they we of no help. People have filed complaints to the City, no avail. There is a lot of things going all in Westway and there seems to be no authority or supervision. How do we police the City-DHS and WIN? This is a serious situation on multiple levels. Political power and financial power seems to be controlling everything and in the meantime people are getting hurt and paying the price.
We have to keep speaking up and keep trying to be heard for everyones sake.

Reply
Elaine

REMINDER!!!
We have to work with the 114 PCT and keep our voices heard.
I spoke to P.O. Coleman of the 114th PCT 718-626-9327:
EVERY 4TH TUESDAY OF THE MONTH AT 7PM AT RICCARDOS THERE IS A COMMUNITY RELATIONS MEETING. WE NEED AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE TO ATTEND, WE CAN NOT GIVE UP. WE HAVE TO SAVE OUR COMMUNITY. THANK YOU
Likes(4)

Reply
Elaine

The Community meeting at Riccardo’s with the 114th PCT is postponed due to the weather conditions.

Thank you

Reply
anonymous

I didn’t hear anything about this meeting? nor was there papers up in upper ditmars and lower ditmars saying there will be a meeting about the westway motel how come last time there was papers all over ditmars???? what happened now?? they don’t want ppl to attend so they can get away with making the westway motel a permanent shelter? why not put some where they are wanted in Astoria they are not wanted they didn’t get it in the last meeting. why destroy a place that has value had no problems bringing them to Astoria will destroy the value and make it unsafe.

Reply
Trish

I am a homeowner in the neighborhood, and I have lived here since I was born. I think it is disgraceful to see the same people who file in and out of Church on Sundays up in arms over the presence of a shelter. Complaints about the level of security are warranted. The rules and curfews do need to be more strictly enforced. Even so, none of this justifies the ignorant, judgmental comments being posted here. You mean to tell me you think what was going on at the Westway before it was a shelter was all legal family fun? There were plenty of illegal activities in that place long before the homeless population entered. Drugs have been a problem in Astoria for decades. It’s sad but true. When an upper middle class kid dies of an overdose it’s tragic, but when a kid fighting poverty turns to drugs, he’s just a pathetic thug. Does no one else see a problem with this? As a homeowner and taxpayer, I don’t have a problem with a shelter in the area, but I do agree that it needs to be regulated more strictly and that the rules need to be enforced.

Reply
Elaine

Hi Trish,

Thank you for your comment. I understand what you are saying and I have tried to live my life as “my brother’s keeper”. I have lived in Astoria for my whole life, going on 60 years. I have three children and Westway has always been my neighbor.

Since the past summer, I have experienced things that I have never experienced before. I do not have definite proof that it is all Westway related but, this has started since the past summer and it has never happened before.

Our neighbors caught a minor going in and out of backyards in the wee hours. He was picked up by the Police and he was only 15 years old and had a list of arrests, almost as many as his years of age. He had approx.14 arrests, for burglary of homes and cars and he came from Westway. In our multi family building alone, we have had three cars burglarized. I have never had any car broken into before. If you contact the 114th Pct it is documented that a child living at Westway was molested by an adult man. My children have gone to PS2 when they were young and now a worker from the school was held up at gunpoint. The police themselves have commented that this was something that was not heard of before in this area and they have said that crime has gone up.

To be homeless must be very frightening and depressing and yes if we are human we have to have feeling for these people but what is happening in the area lately has caused a fear that I and others have never felt before. I have found beer cans inside my yard (up to 40 cans at one time), ice tea containers in my back yard along with drug paraphernalia. My dog barks like crazy in the evening (it is less now that the weather is cold) and I know it is because of trespassers. I can no longer go into my garage in the evenings, when it is dark and I am careful during the daytime. Yes, Astoria like all communities has it’s drug problems but it is also common knowledge that there is a substantial percentage of drug addicts, criminals and mentally ill people among the homeless. Sometimes drugs are part of the reason a person becomes homeless and other times they may get into contact with drugs while they are homeless.

DHS and WIN just clumps these poor people together and drops them into shelters with many empty promises. These people are not evaluated according to the mental and physical capabilities. When a person is a drug addict, we all know that they need to support their habit, that is all they have on their mind. The addict does not care about anything but getting drugs to feel better. When you are homeless you have to go into the neighborhood to try to support your habit, you have no other means, you are homeless. At the Westway, I am sure that you have “clean” fathers, mothers, families trying to sincerely improve their lives and they are placed with drug addicts, criminals and the mentally ill. This is not fair to these homeless people. When the City and WIN does this, they lower the success rate, money is waisted and a community becomes frustrated. I am sure that there are people at Westway that are living there in fear of themselves and their family.

How do we resolved this?….I do not have a complete answer to this sad situation but, to begin with, the building is sub adequate for what they are trying to do. They can not fit kitchenettes in rooms that are already overcrowded, there are fire hazards (chained exits and bunk beds across windows etc.) subway is a mile away, location next to a parkway, etc.
DHS AND WIN has to be more responsible and professional in how they take care of the homeless. They have to be held accountable for the lives they are trying to assist. You can not clump people together when there are people who are capable to greatly improve their lives put with people who are ill. At the Hearing Downtown a Rep. from the Pam Am Homeless Shelter said that once DHS and WIN succeeded and placed all the residence into the shelter, they started having many safety issues in and around the shelter. She said that you were unable to get anyone to rectify the problems. Once they placed the people into the Shelter, no one seemed to be minding the situation.

At Westway multiple people have tried to reach Ms. Bonnie Stone, the Pres. and CEO of WIN, and she does not return
calls. People have called the Security many times at the Westway and most of the times they we of no help. People have filed complaints to the City, no avail. There is a lot of things going all in Westway and there seems to be no authority or supervision. How do we police the City-DHS and WIN? This is a serious situation on multiple levels. Political power and financial power seems to be controlling everything and in the meantime people are getting hurt and paying the price.
We have to keep speaking up and keep trying to be heard for everyone’s sake.

Reply
Elaine

storia
Hi Trish,

Thank you for your comment. I understand what you are saying and I have tried to live my life as “my brother’s keeper”. I have lived in Astoria for my whole life, going on 60 years. I have three children and Westway has always been my neighbor.

Since the past summer, I have experienced things that I have never experienced before. I do not have definite proof that it is all Westway related but, this has started since the past summer and it has never happened before.

Our neighbors caught a minor going in and out of backyards in the wee hours. He was picked up by the Police and he was only 15 years old and had a list of arrests, almost as many as his years of age. He had approx.14 arrests, for burglary of homes and cars and he came from Westway. In our multi family building alone, we have had three cars burglarized. I have never had any car broken into before. If you contact the 114th Pct it is documented that a child living at Westway was molested by an adult man. My children have gone to PS2 when they were young and now a worker from the school was held up at gunpoint. The police themselves have commented that this was something that was not heard of before in this area and they have said that crime has gone up.

To be homeless must be very frightening and depressing and yes if we are human we have to have feeling for these people but what is happening in the area lately has caused a fear that I and others have never felt before. I have found beer cans inside my yard (up to 40 cans at one time), ice tea containers in my back yard along with drug paraphernalia. My dog barks like crazy in the evening (it is less now that the weather is cold) and I know it is because of trespassers. I can no longer go into my garage in the evenings, when it is dark and I am careful during the daytime. Yes, Astoria like all communities has it’s drug problems but it is also common knowledge that there is a substantial percentage of drug addicts, criminals and mentally ill people among the homeless. Sometimes drugs are part of the reason a person becomes homeless and other times they may get into contact with drugs while they are homeless.

DHS and WIN just clumps these poor people together and drops them into shelters with many empty promises. These people are not evaluated according to the mental and physical capabilities. When a person is a drug addict, we all know that they need to support their habit, that is all they have on their mind. The addict does not care about anything but getting drugs to feel better. When you are homeless you have to go into the neighborhood to try to support your habit, you have no other means, you are homeless. At the Westway, I am sure that you have “clean” fathers, mothers, families trying to sincerely improve their lives and they are placed with drug addicts, criminals and the mentally ill. This is not fair to these homeless people. When the City and WIN does this, they lower the success rate, money is waisted and a community becomes frustrated. I am sure that there are people at Westway that are living there in fear of themselves and their family.

How do we resolved this?….I do not have a complete answer to this sad situation but, to begin with, the building is sub adequate for what they are trying to do. They can not fit kitchenettes in rooms that are already overcrowded, there are fire hazards (chained exits and bunk beds across windows etc.) subway is a mile away, location next to a parkway, etc.
DHS AND WIN has to be more responsible and professional in how they take care of the homeless. They have to be held accountable for the lives they are trying to assist. You can not clump people together when there are people who are capable to greatly improve their lives put with people who are ill. At the Hearing Downtown a Rep. from the Pam Am Homeless Shelter said that once DHS and WIN succeeded and placed all the residence into the shelter, they started having many safety issues in and around the shelter. She said that you were unable to get anyone to rectify the problems. Once they placed the people into the Shelter, no one seemed to be minding the situation.

At Westway multiple people have tried to reach Ms. Bonnie Stone, the Pres. and CEO of WIN, and she does not return
calls. People have called the Security many times at the Westway and most of the times they we of no help. People have filed complaints to the City, no avail. There is a lot of things going all in Westway and there seems to be no authority or supervision. How do we police the City-DHS and WIN? This is a serious situation on multiple levels. Political power and financial power seems to be controlling everything and in the meantime people are getting hurt and paying the price.
We have to keep speaking up and keep trying to be heard for sake of everyone and see what is really going on with Westway,DHS and WIN.

Reply
anonymous

I wish I had know about this meeting i would have taken off work to attend. Jose Peralta has been sending me mail but NOTHING mentioning this meeting! I read metro and am each day and listen to 1010 WINS. Where was this meeting ADVERTISED? Now one flyer near my home on Ditmars.

Reply
Astoria neighbor

I commend everyone who showed up at the hearing yesterday. There were a lot of great points & statements made by our politicians but also the community. This contract makes no fiscal sense- WIN truly doesn’t care about these people or as stated by the CEO of WIN about being “good neighbors” when she basically made her statement & left shortly after. She did not bother to listen to her “good neighbors” complaints nor answer any questions. Not to mention I don’t see her philanthropic mission when she’s paying herself a sizeable $235K salary (Corp America doesn’t even get that) – its American Greed masked behind the “non profit” veil! The City (and Mayor) is blatantly negligent; they don’t seem to care about irresponsibly squandering our tax payer money (when it can be used more constructively – – you can build a town with that money outside of NYC – give these people a real home & provide real assistance). Let’s not kid ourselves, this has nothing to do about people & all to do about money & special interests. That said, lets not give up on this issue. And for the neighbors who were too “busy” yesterday to show up; please reconsider the next time there is a meeting regarding this issue. We need to all stand united!

Reply
concerned

Meeting was yesterday and residents of the neighborhood brought up many concerns and violations none of which pertain to race or socioeconomic status. Important points brought up:
Lack of security
Minors unsupervised past 11 pm playing in parking lot
6 residents per room with no kitchen
Bunk beds covering and blocking windows and doors
Garbage and construction debris blocking a handful of sidewalks for weeks on end
Occupancy violations. .maximum occupancy waa for 85 people not 100 families

More outrage should be with the city and the so called not for profit millionaire club WIN who is allowing these children to live in unsafe deplorable conditions in a facility that is unable to meet their needs. This is a fire hazard waiting to happen.

Reply
Neighbor

I completely agree & appreciate that someone is pointing out race and class have no part in the situation. If the people living in there were white and committing crimes everyone would be just as unhappy. No matter who is living there, if they were minding their own business why would anyone mind? We mind because there is a noticeable spike in crime and just an overall feeling of insecurity. The city is putting poor people 1 block away from beautiful large houses and private schools nearby. Of course the people living there are going to resent the surrounding residents and it is only a matter of time before things get more violent.

Reply
Stacy

I would personally like to go in there and tell these “families ” how much Win is getting paid $24 million times 2 for 2nd 3 years contract for a cramped up bedroom with 6 people in there without an individual kitchen. With that money and abandoned building can be fixed somewhere else. They have no idea how much Win is getting. They wouldn’t like this idea either and neither does the community. This isn’t the right location at all!!!

Reply
stacey

Head of women in need Bonnie Stone made over $235,000 in salary last year according to the Financials on their website. Now you know why they need nearly 24 million from city to fund.

Reply
Mike

dear useless people on welfare including robbers with dreads take your EBT cards and move to queens bridge where you belong. You haven’t reached middle class stature yet because your lazy dope fiends and used to having free bees just like Al Sharpton. In case you don’t know because you can’t read Al Sharpton doesn’t pay his taxes so I guess he doesn’t support your sorry asses. Now you moved into a working class neighborhood which is good for you cause when you run of dope money you can rob a working class person, just leave your room and visit the nearest bus stop.i get a kick out of these people waiting at the bus stop early in the morning with a joint in one hand and their kids hand in the other . they have money for weed but no money for their kids to go to school with because the board of ed feeds them for free .I have to go to work everyday and pay taxes and my kids educations while everything is for free for these lazy fuckin animals yes iam sick and tired of it and them get a job like most of us. and get the fuck out of Astoria.i watch them waiting between ditmars and Astoria blvd 71 st waiting for the crack dealer every once and awhile I know their not waiting for a school bus at 11 oclock at night.a pissed of astorian !!!!!!!

Reply
Nick Maliagros

The residents of Astoria/eastelmhurst should not let the politicians dictate what kind neighborhood we should live in.The tax payers and the families living in Astoria for many years have created the great neighborhoods in Astoria.We are not going to wait till they steal our kids bicycle with a knife or rape our daughters and wives. We all should go to the meetings and show those politicians that the Residents of Astoria decide who is going to live in our neighborhood and no politician will destroy Astoria no matter what .As for the city of new york they should just decide the increase in taxes they should shake the homeowner down for every year not our quality of life.

Reply
CLR

Everyone knows that hotels/motels that are turned into shelters attract drug dealers & pedophiles, there’s no point in trying to sugar coat it. That’s just what happens. We are middle class New Yorkers that have bought property as an investment, not to lose money. This is going to start a chain reaction, residents are going to start moving out, selling their homes at a lower coast to whomever and there goes the neighborhood. I’ve lived here all my life and I’m going to fight this. I pay a lot of money to live in a safe environment & find this to be extremely unfair. The city has blocks and blocks of empty property in the Bronx I know because I volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. The homeless deserve a real 2nd chance with a real home not 5 people in one little room made for a one night stays. It’s unsanitary and not built for permanent residency, period. This isn’t logical and nothing to do with being prejudice.

Reply
Dimas Blvd renter

I would like to know if property values are going down as a result of the westward then how are the rents reaching such high prices? A 1 bedroom in east Elmhurst right by the westward is now 2k per month? How’s that?? If the westward is such an issue how is Astoria having such an increase in rental prices?

Reply
Elaine

If you want to go to the PUBLIC HEARING THIS THURSDAY, JAN.15TH 10AM
Please contact Senator Jose Peralta’s Office at 718-205-3881 and they will provide transportation to and from 125 Worth St. 2nd Floor NYC. Thank you

Reply
Robert

With homelessness you have joblessness, drug and alcohol abuse as well as drug sales. Astoria is a quiet area rich for opportunistic criminals. Westway is NOT the place to put them. Try Roosevelt Island.

Reply
Ted Bouratoglou

I for one will attend the meeting regardless if it’s in the city or another place if they feel they are going to make it difficult to deter any of us from attending and shall voice my opinion and facts. I recommend to all those that want to make a change to leave work and attend!!! These animals aren’t going to ruin our neighborhood !!! Stop making remarks and excuses and attend, there is power in numbers!!! Voice ourselves and stand tall and proud of where we live, where our parents live, where our children go to school and where we call home!!!

Reply
NS

Maybe Lucila and Nicole don’t pay income or real estate taxes to the city, otherwise they would not make their obnoxious comments. Our freedoms in this great country of ours should not be taken for granted but we do pay a very high price for them. Our taxes support all who do not work and need assistance from the city programs. Therefore, the only ignorant is the one who speaks with out knowing all the facts. Not one individual in the neighborhood would have complained about the shelter if the individuals being housed there showed respect for the neighborhood they are living in. Instead people are being harassed in front of their homes in the buses schools everywhere they turn. At a time when real estate tax abatement were given by Mayor Bloomberg to attract the wealthy to our city our real estate taxes have doubled…we are the backbone of our city…everything we make we put in our homes. If our neighborhood is not taken care of now who will help us when our homes are worth nothing and we can’t even sell them to move out. Respect is earned therefore for the neighborhood to be understanding to the situation these individuals need to show respect and care to the people who have been here working so hard to keep a safe environment for their families. Our politicians are voted into office by us therefore when actions as these are taken in our own neighborhoods with out our vote – our say-our opinion is not counted what is the point of representation when we really aren’t. I pray that the best thing for our community as a whole is done here!!!!

Reply
Elaine

Thank you for that well written comment.
I would just like to say that you can see a 26 min interview with Bonnie Stone on You Tube from June 2014. She is being interviewed by Eldridge & Co. Aside from catching her in lies, it occurred to me that she is hurting her organization by putting these shelters into the middle class communities.
WIN has helped many people improve their lives AND they rely heavily on donations! It is just a matter of time until we have hard facts and documentation that the shelter has damaged the area. When we and other communities relentlessly bring this further into the light, it will hurt their reputation and the donations that they need to survive. Ms. Stone can not stick shelters into ANY community and CLUMP all the residents into the same shelter. They have to place a resident with other residents that are at the same level in mind and body. For example, you can not place a drug addict in the same facility as a parent who is clean and wants to work and raise her child. The organization would be much more effective, have better success and not upset communities if they would just make changes to their operations.

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Marika

Since July, this emergency shelter has been nothing but bad news. And they are not keeping their curfew. Nothing about this seems legit. It’s not about being racist but about safety. The stories I’ve heard from a mother being threatened on a Q69 train, to car breakins, robberies, shop lighting at the LaGuardia center– is very disturbing. The overnight shelter was better where they were bussed in to sleep late at night & out the next morning. Besides, the already overcrowded schools & infrastructure can’t accommodate another 100+ families. Not to mention, we shouldn’t have to tolerate the crime that comes with it.

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Pay

there was a robbery at gun point a few days ago near 74th/75th street and 21st avenue, I can almost guarantee it was someone who resides at the westway. IT MUST GO, I understand the need for homeless shelters but personally I don’t want one in my neighborhood.

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you are all dumbasses

Pay do you know for a fact they lived there? you shouldn’t assume because it makes an ass out of u and me. Stupid closed minded people you all make me sick and should be ashamed of yourselves. My grandmother was born and raised in Brooklyn. I cant imagine how selfish, and ignorant you guys are. Only a few of you actually have a heart and a brain..

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Anonymous visitor

My friend robbed at gunpoint lastnight in front of PS2 elementary. I was open to the idea of the homeless shelter but not anymore. Pissing on private property, harassing people is one thing, this is a completely other.

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GD

Aside from dealing with ConEdison on one side of the neighborhood which we’ve put up with since I can remember, now we are having homeless shelters forced on to us. I’m all about sheltering the homeless but completely against not having it approved by the neighborhood and done in a proper manner. Security was to be provided on a 24/7 basis -clearly not the case, residents are supposed to remain in the shelter late at night – clearly not the case. I’m friends with officers in the area whom are all dealing with a A SUBSTANTIAL jump in crimes and calls from the motel. I’d love to see a print out of complaints and calls into the precinct PRIOR and AFTER the shelter was put into place.

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Anonymous visitor

This is unfair and scary to our community! Our representatives should do something about this and not be afraid to speak out against it! This is a big city, why here!?!?!

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Lucila Morales

I was born and raised in astoria and I think its a beautiful idea to make that a shelter it doesn’t matter if its in astoria! These are humans who deserve a roof over their head. Please lets not begin to act like astoria has never had any crimes and that this little shelter is bringing them. I’m so sick of everyone being so snobby. YES ASTORIA IS BEAUTIFUL AND WE PAY ALOT OF RENT. Half of the people who’d like this shelter to be removed is for racial reasons. You are just angry that astoria has changed. I know a lot of people that have been in astoria for years who sell drugs and do plenty of horrible crimes. Jesus sake. STOP being ignorant snobs and just appreciate the city doing something for these people in need.

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lucila

yes i do! and i went to school with half of your kids who sell drugs and do plenty of illegal things, I know everything that goes around in astoria people are so snobby

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There's that race card!

Racial? Really? You seem to be the racist one since you’re insinuating that homeless people and/or an increase in crime would be related to blacks/Hispanics.

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Stacy

Not a good idea when they are smoking Marijuana while waiting for M60 bus next to their kids and ringing my door bell asking me why I’m looking out my window. Also, they should all be drug tested they have money for an i phone 6 and drug fixes. Only if you can see what happens there.

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Dave Alvarado

What a race baiting narrow minded person you are. People that have no argument will always invoke racism these days. Go to a shelter, any shelter in NYC, and smell it, see it, go in it, and when you’re done with that, let me know if you want that next to your house? Or more importantly why would you want any human being to live in one.

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Ben Dover

Lucila Morales, you just mad because you probably got pushed out of Astoria. We true Astorians love haters though. And if you are a resident, don’t come crying to me when a low life with worm braids rapes you!!!!

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Barbara

Ben Dover you sound like a ignorant. Son of a bitch and no she born and raised in Astoria you should be so.ashamed of yourself for stating that good luck

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lucila

No I live here and many of family lives in astoria, I see the ignorance everywhere when I was 12 I remember playing basket ball in P.s. 2 and all of the kids in the neighborhood would being smoking pot and this was years before the homeless shelter has been put there.

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Barbara

I will pray for you !!! Racist !! There are so many drugs prostitution and alot of other illegal activities in Astoria and taking it out on poor homeless people go get a life mr dover

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Anonymous visitor

HEY LUCILA AND BARBARA YOU 2 SEEM SO SYMPATHIC TO THESE POOR HOMELESS PEOPLE. MAYBE YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER IS ONE OF THEM? WELL IF SO YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT THE CITY PAYS $5000.00 PER MONTH FOR THOSE SHITHOLE ROOMS THESE PEOPLE LIVE IN. 1 LITTLE ROOM WITH NO KITCHEN FACILITIES AND 4 & 5 PEOPLE LIVING IN IT. I COULD RENT A 3 BEDROOM HOUSE WITH A BASEMENT AND YARD IN ASTORIA FOR LESS THEN THAT. IF YOU’RE SO CONCERNED ABOUT THE WELFARE OF THESE PEOPLE MAYBE YOU SHOULD TAKE YOUR ANGER AND NARROW MINDEDNESS OUT ON THE AGENCY THAT PUT THEM IN THERE AND NOT ANYONE HERE WHO ARE EXPRESSING THEIR OPINIONS. PLENTY OF CHILDREN LIVE IN THERE YET A CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER WAS PLACED THERE WITH THEM. A GUY WHO RAPED A 7 YEAR OLD GIRL. THAT’S EQUIVALENT TO LETTING A CHILD RUN FREE IN A CANDY STORE. WERE EITHER OF YOU AT THE PROTEST TO GET HIM OUT OR WERE YOU TOO BUSY HITTING THE “DISLIKE” & “LIKE” BUTTON ON ALL THESE COMMENTS. JUST THINK, IT’S YOUR TAX MONEY THAT PAYS THE $5k EVERY MONTH UNLESS OF COURSE YOU COLLECT WELFARE YOURSELVES. YOU AND BARBARA SHOULD RALLY TO GET THESE PEOPLE YOU’RE SO CONCERNED ABOUT REAL HOUSING INSTEAD OF THE FIRETRAP THEY LIVE IN NOW.

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Maxxie

I guess you don’t live anywhere this roach motel. Well I live on the same block as it and I see everything that goes in an out of it. Baby daddies that don’t live there are always seen going in and out of the emergency exit on Astoria Blvd btw 73rd and 72nd. So much for curfew because they all use that door. Also the “so called” security guard hangs out and parties with them because he’s one of them. So who’s minding the store?? You say this is a racial thing – why?? because everyone in there is black or Spanish?? Maybe they should try to better themselves instead of blaming society for their situation. They certainly don’t mind my “white” tax $$$ supporting them. Maybe you should hang out on 72nd street on a nice spring night and tell me how safe you feel. Granted there are probably decent people in there that, for whatever reason, are down on their luck but the majority are low life hood rats and I’m sick of them in my backyard.

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Carmen Aquino

You are so much of a lier and not true they have camera and it rings very loud when the emergency backdoor rings. We have cameras all over inside pointing at hour doors… parties we and employers dobt have parties we are not even aloud to have visited they not even aloud to pass the front desk not even the delivery man we are not aloud to hang out in the front of the building. You are very racist I’ve seen in rite aide when I’m shopping there kids around in this astoria stealing and being disrespectful dress up like wanna be hoodrats smelling like weed then being in school and I could go on my knees in church and swear on that what I’ve seen here.

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Anonymous visitor

Another liberal idiot on our hands, Lucila Morales. Ever thought about moving in with the little hood boogers then ? Don’t worry we care about them too my tax dollars puts the KFC on the table. Regular or extra crispy?

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Anonymous visitor

While they’re not spending their own money to live or eat they can spend it on all the crack and weed they smoke. Our support allows them to do that.

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Carmen Aquino

False cause astoria crime rate has gone high wayyyyyy before this shelter was build here

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anonymous

You think we are ignorant Lucinda? What about these women having four or five children they cannot afford, yet smoke cigs and talk on I phones while yelling at their toddlers. They are the smart ones, beating the system right. I hope you enjoy having 40 percent of your salary taxed to pay for these ciggs and i phones. Oh wait, you are probably on WELFARE too!

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Barbara

Dont listen to negative people some on this site think they own astoria and what ben dover said he is a racist.garbage and people like him are just plain miserable and anonymous why say anything if clearly you dont want anyone to know who you are forget it i pray the homeless people in that shelter.stay and be taken care of properly and. That they are protected by god from these crazy people

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Tom Buckley

Can someone please tell me where are all these HOMELESS people coming from? Are they all living under bridges right now and waiting for DHS to find them?

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Anonymous visitor

The amount of crimes/complaints that have already occurred since the residents moved into the location is astounding and it’s only been a few months. Mind you these are occuring on the property itself and don’t even reflect the additional crimes/complaints that are occuring in the surrounding area by the residents of the westway. Felony assault,burglary, sexual assaults domestic violence quality of life crimes etc have all happend in the short time this shelter has opened. It has a direct impact on the surrounding neighborhood and should not be tolerated in a quiet community where crime/complaints were minimal.

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Elaine

We have to work with the 114 PCT and keep our voices heard.

I spoke to P.O. Coleman of the 114th PCT 718-626-9327:
EVERY 4TH TUESDAY OF THE MONTH AT 7PM AT RICCARDOS THERE IS A COMMUNITY RELATIONS MEETING. WE NEED AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE TO ATTEND, WE CAN NOT GIVE UP. WE HAVE TO SAVE OUR COMMUNITY. THANK YOU

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Anastasia Apostolopoulos

A permanent homeless shelter at the Westway will destroy property values in upper Ditmars as well as the overall quality of life of the residents of Astoria

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Melissa

So why do apartments in astoria the size of a shoe box coast over 2k a month , stop with the bullshit the only thing that should is the rules be enforced in this shelter and everyone stop with all the judgmental comments.

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GD

I don’t understand how it’s fair to the community to hold a meeting in downtown Manhattan at 10 AM on a weekday. Makes zero sense. Can someone explain how i’m supposed to close my company up for a few hours to go voice my opinion at this meeting?

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Elaine

Political gain and the greed of the Westway owner (who will make tens of millions of dollars every year), are using the poor homeless people and the residents of the neighborhood to accomplish their dishonest goals. This is not the spirit that our Country was founded on. It is time for the people to start to open their eyes and open their mouths. There are vacant buildings in all of the boroughs that could be renovated with the monies that is given to these greedy people, like the Westway owner. How can they pack the homeless people in rooms like cattle and cause a fire hazard by having bunkbeds blocking windows, so people can not escape. This is not the best that we can do for the homeless. There are much better and humanitarian ways to resolve this. For example place one or even two families in renovated apartments that they can call HOME. This is much more beneficial mentally, emotionally and physically. We have to stop allowing people who use their fellow man as pawns for their greed and their dishonesty. BRING BACK THE TRUE AND HONORABLE VALUES THAT HAVE MADE THIS COUNTRY GREAT!!!

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Astoria Resident

Great! Why don’t you start a petition to have them move into your apartment building or home? The most over word used lately is greed. Not all homeless people are people trying their best but just down on their luck. You have to see the scary people I’ve seen showing up around Astoria from this shelter. You’re very naïve.

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