Feb. 6, 2015 By Michael Florio
A peaceful protest is expected to take place Saturday in front of the Westway Motel calling for the shelter to be shutdown.
The protest, which was planned earlier this week, originally called for the removal of James Bryant, a level two sex offender, from the shelter. However, the public was informed yesterday that Bryant had gone.
The protest is now calling for the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to close the shelter.
Posters have been placed throughout the neighborhood—such as on car windshields and on walls– urging residents to attend.
The posters state that the community has lost faith in DHS and it needs to be closed.
“DHS recklessly endangered our children’s safety by housing a convicted child molester…against the wishes or consultation of local residents.”
The organizers of the protest, who have be unavailable to reach, wrote on the poster:
“We have succeeded in forcing DHS to remove this sex offender. But our goals are not fully met,” it reads. “We demand the closure of Westway Motel as a DHS operated homeless shelter.”
The residents are not alone in expressing their outraged over recent events at the shelter.
“The presence of a sex offender at the Westway was the latest example of DHS’ continuing pattern of failing to properly inform our community of developments related to this location,” State Sen. Mike Gianaris said in a statement this morning.
He added that he will continue to work with other local politicians to resolve the troubling actions being taken at the Westway Motel.
“We deserve better,” he said.