Community Board 5 has already voted against the now-defunct plan to convert the Holiday Inn Express into a homeless shelter. They already passed a resolution with several recommendations to the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), including renovating existing vacant buildings and fixing up more public housing apartments.
But tonight at their October meeting, CB5 members took their involvement in the shelter issue a step further by creating a special homeless committee to better understand the issue, the people affected and the services offered.
The committee will be led by board member Dmytro Fedkowskyj.
“Nothing is going to change unless change takes place in the Department of Homeless Services,” Fedkowskyj said. “The lack of transparency about placement is damaging to the cause and needs to change.”
He added that makeshift shelters are not the solution, and that it’s more of a Band-Aid approach.
Fedkowskyj said the committee will work with all elected officials on the situation. The committee will also examine the options homeless people have when it comes to shelters and the services they are given.
It will also see how local communities are impacted by the issue.
They plan to meet during the first week of November, and are hoping to have a guest speaker from Breaking Ground, a nonprofit organization that helps place homeless people from the streets into shelters.