Photo by Bruce Adler
N E W S
M A R C H 12
L E H A V R E
College Point residents resolve
to keep up shelter fight
BY JENNA BAGCAL
College Point residents continued their relentless
fight on Sunday against the city’s planned 200-bed
men’s shelter as the deadline for its September opening
On Feb. 24, A Better College Point and the CP
Residents’ Coalition (CPRC) gathered with hundreds
of community members and northeast Queens
lawmakers at a pop-up rally outside of the shelter
site, at 127-03 20th Ave.
This latest rally comes fresh off the heels of the
College Point Civic and Taxpayers Association rally
on Feb. 16 and, two days prior to that affair, a press
conference organized by longtime shelter opponents
state Senator John Liu, Assemblyman Dan
Rosenthal and Councilman Paul Vallone.
“We need to stay organized. Don’t listen to the
people who keep telling you, ‘Oh, it’s a done deal.’
Ignore them. Educate them,” CPRC spokesperson
Jennifer Shannon said at the Feb. 24 rally.
“Under the dark of night, the city, the de Blasio
administration have put this institution … without
letting anybody in the community know about it, and
making us believe that it’s a done deal. Jennifer is
absolutely right: nothing is a done deal,” added Liu.
Shannon encouraged the crowd to continue writing
12 LEHAVRE COURIER | MARCH 2019 | WWW.QNS.COM
letters to Governor Cuomo despite a lack of
support from the state official.
“This is going up to our governor, who is ignoring
us. Many of you have written the governor and you
get back a nice little letter that says, ‘Sorry, can’t
help you, talk to the city.’ Last time I checked, I lived
in New York and he represents me,” Shannon said.
At the beginning of February, concerned residents
from all across New York City formed the “5 Boro
Coalition” to fight the 90 homeless shelters the city
plans to create over the next five years.
State Senator John Liu and Assemblyman Dan
Rosenthal were among speakers at Sunday’s rally
According to Shannon, who serves as the Queens
coalition chair, the board members are trying to get
legislation passed that will help keep people in need
in their homes.
“You cannot fight this in College Point. We can’t
fight it in Ozone Park. We can’t fight it in Queens.
No one’s listening,” said Ozone Park resident and 5
Boro Coalition President Sam Esposito. “But if we
fight it collectively as the five boroughs … they’re
gonna hear us loud and clear and they’re gonna
come to us and they’re gonna work with us on solutions
to the problem.”
Also at Sunday’s rally was public advocate candidate
Manny Alicandro, who just recently became
vocal about his opposition to the shelter.
“It’s very, very important that we keep up the
pressure. We can’t stop the pressure,” Alicandro
said. “We have to be concerned about the safety of
our communities. We have to be concerned about the
safety of our children.”
Jennifer Shannon addresses the crowd at the Feb. 24 rally outside a proposed College Point homeless shelter site.