Community Board 9 will soon be home to two new shelters.
On Tuesday, December 3, NYC Department of Homeless Services announced the city will be opening facilities at 951 Olmstead Avenue and 1144 Evergreen Avenue.
Both of these will provide temporary shelter for families with children, with priority offered to those who have roots in CB 9. Olmstead Avenue will open in 2021 and Evergreen in mid-2020.
According to DHS, there are more DHS clients from CB9 in its shelter system citywide than capacity available to shelter them.
There are 878 households comprised of 1,992 individuals from CB9 in shelters across the city, however, there are only 790 people housed in Community Board 9, including 468 across five cluster sites, all of which will be phased out by the end of the plan in 2023.
Once these remaining cluster sites close, this district would then have approximately 1,600 fewer beds than what would be required.
The shelter at Olmstead will provide for 161 families and Evergreen will house 51.
Non-profits URI (Urban Resource Institute) and CAMBA will provide services at Olmstead and Evergreen respectively. They will offer case management, individual and group counseling, permanency planning and housing placement assistance, income building services, referrals to medical and mental health services, support groups, independent living and life skills workshops, recreational programming for children and residential services and support in finding and securing employment.
CB 9 district manager William Rivera is all for providing housing for the homeless, but feels CB9 is being oversaturated with shelters. With these two shelters, there will now be a total of 12 in the neighborhood.
The question is – are other shelters going into other areas of the borough and if not, why so, he asked.
He noted that CB11 has zero shelters and CB10 only has three.
“We shouldn’t be getting any more shelters unless the other districts have their fair share,” Rivera said. “There’s a homeless epidemic we understand that. We have a moral responsibility to help people.”
Rivera told the Bronx Times as soon as he was notified by DHS about the shelters he put the news on social media.
While residents and board members recognize the need for housing, they share his sentiment of confusion as to why more shelters keep coming to CB9.
Rivera plans to meet with the two providers, DHS and elected officials in the near future.