A former rehab facility on Bushwick’s DeKalb Ave is about to reopen as a 100-bed homeless shelter. The facility aims to effectively cater to the unique needs and concerns of the Bushwick community.
The building at 1154 DeKalb Ave, which formerly housed the organization Damon House, will open in June as a temporary homeless shelter. In two years, the shelter will become permanent supportive housing.
Priority at the facility will be given to clients with last addresses in Bushwick and Bed-Stuy as Department of Homeless Services (DHS) has over 3,000 individuals in the system with previous addresses in these two neighborhoods.
Additionally, the city has committed to ensuring that more than half of the open jobs at the facility go to locals.
The facility will be operated by the Bronx-based Neighborhood Association for Inter-Cultural Affairs, a non-for-profit organization with a holistic approach to homeless services which includes “affordable housing development and construction, housing management, legal assistance and representation, homeless prevention and stabilization, case management/case work, and community education and development.”
The shelter, which DNAinfo reports is widely welcomed among surveyed neighbors, will not offer specialized services for substance abuse or mental health issues, though it will offer other services and programming for clients.
The shelter will only house single adult men, and officials have emphasized that it will not house sex offenders–the facility is located across the street from the EBC High School for Public Service–and will have round the clock security.
The opening of the shelter is among the steps the city is taking to address a situation that that has recently been characterized as a “homeless epidemic.” Citing a recent comprehensive review of homeless services called for by the de Blasio administration, NYC Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks called the new shelter a part of DHS’ efforts to develop “new solutions to rehousing homeless New Yorkers.”
ILLUSTRATION: Housin Aziz / The Noun Project