Shelter For Homeless Families Proposed For Neptune Avenue

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The intersection of Neptune Avenue and West 23rd Street. (Photo: Google Maps)

A shelter for homeless families may be coming to Coney Island.

A proposal for a family homeless shelter, to be located at the corner of Neptune Avenue and West 23rd Street and operated by non-profit Women In Need (WIN), is pending before the City, said sources familiar with the project.

It is not clear whether the shelter would be located in an existing building, or whether a new one would be constructed, the sources said. If the shelter is approved by the City, WIN would actively engage with community members during the planning stages, they added.

WIN currently operates 10 family shelters, its website notes, serving roughly 1,400 homeless families. Former City Council speaker Christine Quinn is the organization’s president and CEO. WIN says that it is the largest provider of shelter for homeless women and children in New York City.

Residents of WIN family shelters are overwhelmingly women and children. Almost half of the children in WIN shelters are under the age of 6, the organization reports. Some of the mothers are women fleeing situations of domestic violence. WIN also maintains a shelter exclusively for single women.

WIN says that it provides a variety of social services to resident families, such as counseling, guidance for job seekers, childcare, and assistance in finding long-term housing. The group says it has placed 750 formerly homeless families into permanent housing in the last year.

Eddie Mark, district manager of Community Board 13, told us that no proposal for a homeless shelter had come before the community board yet and that he was anxious to learn more about the project. The Coney Island area already has a significant population of vulnerable residents, Mark said, noting that Board 13 has seven New York City Housing Authority developments, and new affordable housing and veterans housing projects are also planned for the area.

Almost 60,000 New Yorkers — 23,576 of whom are children — are currently living in homeless shelters across the five boroughs. Homelessness in New York City has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, reports the Coalition for the Homeless. The number of New Yorkers in city shelters is 87 percent higher than it was ten years ago, the Coalition says.

  • David Remington

    The key to the story is: Treyger, Harris and Community Board 13 knew about this for months and did not inform the public because of the Sept 13th elections. That is where the real story is.

  • Marge

    Do you prefer having homeless out on our streets the way they are now? Take a look on the sidewalk near the old Shore Theater, right in the heart of the Coney Island amusement area on Surf Ave. where there is a large group that turned the closed up theater into a trash and sewage filled eyesore. It’s been that way for years and years. There is a homeless camp off the path behind Home Depot, right on Coney Island Creek, but no one talks about it or thinks about flooding there. You are right, the Creek is polluted, yet there are all sorts of kids programs there all summer long. So what’s better, if homeless move to a shelter that will hopefully have some sort of security and services or is it better if we just keep stepping over them on the street, put up with their panhandling and their stink and dodge the excrement that they leave all over the sidewalk? If you think a shelter is a bad idea for Coney Island, how about they build it in Bay Ridge or Dyker Heights? We’ll make sure that all of your politicos know about it well in advance and shout it from the rooftops Everyone wants a solution but no one wants it in their neighborhood.

    • Coney

      Oh Marge, do you really imagine that the authorities are going to round up all the homeless people in Coney Island and sentence them to a stint at the homeless shelter on Neptune Avenue against their will just to keep them from annoying you? Your knee-jerk reaction is pathetic! You don’t even have a clue into what’s going on here.

      The folks populating the sidewalk in front of the Shore are there because the police have told them that they could stay there and 2: Because they want to be there. Most of the street folks in Coney right now are young drug users and not interested in shelters. Talk to them. Many of the others in front of the theater have mental health issues and are not actively looking for shelter and need the kind of help that is not being provided by “warehousing.” The issues are deeper. Many have suffered abuse in shelters and have no desire to go back.
      The proposed shelter on Neptune is supposedly for women in need with families. You have such a low opinion of the needy and your attitude really shows: you want them rounded up and put away. Pathetic! So sorry that you have to “step over them.” The real issue here is that the shelter project is being put together in secret by the Mayor and Quinn. The real issue is: does the community have a voice, and why would a shelter by built in such a dangerous location? And why is this project being kept a secret? It’s not the best location for women in need with vulnerable children. Why not provide them with safe shelter in the new developments on Surf Avenue two blocks south? Unless you have a problem with that.

      • Marge

        You missed my point entirely. You are concerned about a shelter in a flood zone yet you are not aware that there are loads of homeless already living in the flood zone in horrible conditions. Any new construction would have to be resilient and in an emergency shelter residents could be safely evacuated, not left behind in unseen places. As far as vulnerable children, there are several schools a short distance away as well as a community health center. A shelter on Surf Ave. would still be in the flood zone. Practically all of Coney Island flooded during Hurricane Sandy. Also not every homeless person here is young drug abuser. There are men and women of all ages.

        I don’t think this project was such a big secret. Most people in the neighborhood knew it was coming, but Community boards do not meet over the summer and nothing much gets done. I am sure that there will be numerous meetings about this shelter now that the summer is

        • Coney

          Who said anything about a flood zone? I didn’t. I said it was a dangerous area, and it is for many reasons. Keep dreaming! The community board has already met and not a peep about this project! There has been absolutely no community input, negative or positive, concerning a project that affects local residents and that is not the way to treat the neighborhood.

        • David Remington

          So your solution is to put even MORE people in flood zone? 2+2=5 according to your logic. In a emergency the shelter would be evacuated and then where would the people be taken? They would be taken to another location to wait out the storm, so build this shelter there. Why have all these moving pieces when they are not necessary. More moving pieces means for chance for failure.

          Also the Creek is contaminated, it should be a federal super fund site. There is an article that just came out that beach haven has been dumping fecal matter into the creek. Is this where we place our homeless?

          Those people we see on the streets here in Coney Island are either 1) Vacationing homeless, they travel, live on the streets, when its gets cold they leave. Then they come back when its warm. 2) They live here, but refuse services when asked. They choose to live in the streets,. If a homeless shelter was built, they wouldn’t go in regardless or get kicked out for using drugs.

          We have a homeless shelter here in Coney Island. Have you been to the Mcdonalds on Stilwell and Mermiad? Its not mothers with young children homeless in Coney Island, lets be real. Its the drunkards who hang out in front of the same liquor store, it’s the same men who ask for change to purchase narcotics. You must be new to the neighborhood Marge or blind. (Not making fun of your possible handicap)

          This project was a secret. Did you go to a public meeting to hear about this? No you didn’t because it wasn’t announced to the public. Thats why this story was just written now, thats why physical posters have just begun to pop up in the neighborhood. Why the secret? I’m sure Quinn has a reason to keep this on the down-low.

          Coney Island First.

          • Yolanda

            Unbelievable what I’m reading up on this reply this can be our friends and family we talking about here. People are in need of shelter and a fresh beginning in life. We are not here to pass judgment on mankind. That’s not our place in life. It’s God will. How, is that some of you heartless being pass bad, selfish and uncaring remarks to people that need help. We, have trouble all over this world and if you know better it’s not going to get better. Coney island has its ups and downs with many issues but, we are strong. Yes, we can deal with a shelter. People need to love, care and help each other because, it’s our will to help one another. I don’t want to hear about rapest, pollution, beggers, drunks, prostitution, killers, druggie an thieves they live among us as we reply. They, are all over this planet. They, have families an friends that still look out for them. Most of them are not homeless. We all need help regardless. I support for sheltering our brothers and sisters and if they need help when it’s built i would gladly support for the cause. Shameful! to those who think that homeless people have no right to be anywhere in any neighborhood in this life time.

          • Yolanda

            Flood or not we do what we do best, support each other and evacuate an hope for the best like the rest of the population in the flood area zones. We deal with this situation. Like, we do with everything else. Calmly, and constructing a solution to help not to be critical towards many, other issues in coney. People say oh, why, we never talked about this or hear about that. We know something about it now, it’s in the air now ready to make a move with us or without us.
            Lets, get those flyers ready, and send out the truth of the matter is sheltering women and children. If other wise then the ones we see with men and drunkenness an loitering, etc. It’s the voice of the people in the community that should get with the right people an discuss this issue and make big changes. Because, it’s deeper then drugs it’s our faith the church be mostly closed and palm reading an botanica polluting toxic in our community and I see no one talking about evaluating that from our community. If, we allow all this and more then, evaluating a shelter in need should be simple

          • Yolanda

            If it’s a major problem then I might say that the whole area of coney island flood zones should be consider relocation for anyone who might wish to leave the area for permanent living, housing an business, passed Storm I might say, I witnessed my share of seeing how people’s houses, cars and stores were being rob and it was during the storm. People are going to do what’s best for them. Coney, island needs to built strength and Unite an clean out whats keeping our neighborhood from failing situation. It’s deeper then just a shelter and floods. Stop, using the cheapest bids to built we need a solution on our structuring a stronger foundation to preserve what we have. Nothing is stable in coney.