Talks about a shelter that will house 98 families with children were tabled until January by the Community Board 5 Housing Committee as the provider did not have renderings and a full presentation.
On Dec. 15, the CB 5 Housing, Jerome Avenue Oversite and Land Use Committees held a joint meeting where the Department of Homeless Services and the Bronx Parent Housing Network spoke about a new shelter coming to 2 Mt. Hope Place. DHS notified the CB about the shelter in November.
The property, which was rezoned as part of the Jerome Ave. is scheduled to open in late 2021 and also offers 64 units of affordable housing. Additionally, the Bronx Parent Housing Network will move its headquarters to this facility.
Dr. Bola Omotosho, chairman of Community Board 5, said it would be difficult for the board to ask questions if they don’t have all of the information.
“We would prefer to have all of the plans in one meeting before taking it to the next level,” Omotosho said.
Many of the board members wanted to know the breakdown of units, the number of bedrooms for transitional housing and breakdown for permanent housing units and the budget and monies allocated for the project.
Victor Rivera, president and founder of Bronx Parent Housing Network, told the committee how he is formerly homeless and incarcerated, so he knows how important a shelter is. He noted that people become homeless for many reasons, including loss of work, illness, death or mental health.
“Not every homeless family is a drug addict,” he explained. “I founded the organization to provide affordable quality housing for homeless children. I want people to really have an open mind when it comes to shelter residents.”
The facility will offer 24/7 security and comprehensive support services, including case management, permanency planning and housing placement assistance, referrals to medical and mental health services, support groups, independent living and life skills workshops, recreational programming for children as well as residential services and support in finding and securing employment.
Bronx Parent Housing Network will also provide a 24-hour open line for the community to provide feedback in a timely manner and to immediately address any concerns that may arise.
As an added measure, a total of 100 security cameras and two network video recorders will be installed throughout the building and across the shelter grounds.
There is a 9 p.m. curfew and residents with late work hours will receive passes to return to the facility after curfew based on their documented work schedule.