2016-08-24 / Front Page

Holiday Inn For Homeless?

Residents and business owners in Maspeth will be able to speak their minds about a proposed homeless shelter in the area at a Public Hearing hosted by officials at Community Board 5 (CB5) later this month.
CB5 District Manager Gary Giordano said the hearing, scheduled for August 31 will provide the community with a formal opportunity to learn the specifics of the controversial proposal, to question representatives from city agencies about plans for the shelter, and to testify for or against the proposal. (Location to be determined; stay tuned, as we will update as soon as possible.)
Giordano stressed that he and other board officials would make every effort to conduct the hearing in a respectful, thoughtful manner. “Banners, posters and/or signs of any kind will not be permitted during the CB5 hearing, and all attendees will be subject to the rules and regulations that govern the Community Board,” Giordano said.
The hearing is a response to a proposal by the city Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and the Human Resources Administration (HRA) to utilize the Holiday Inn Express at 59-40 55th Road in Maspeth as a residence for homeless couples, or for parents with adult children.
Area residents and business owners came out in force in recent weeks, voicing strong opposition to the plan. Angry crowds shouted down DHS and HUD representatives at several recent meetings and at a rally held last week at Martin Luther High School, where the crowd spilled onto the sidewalk outside the school.
Community members interested in speaking at the Public Hearing may register in advance by calling the CB5 office at 718-366-1834, Giordano said. Speakers will be limited to 3 minutes or less, depending on the number of people who register, he explained, adding that those wishing to speak are being asked to submit a copy of their testimony at the time of the hearing.  
—Liz Goff

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