Maspeth Holiday Inn eyed for shelter

The Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn at 59-40 55 Road in Maspeth is being eyed as a possible location for a homeless shelter.

A city-hosted meeting between the NYPD, Community Board 5 members, community stakeholders and elected officials including state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth) and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) took place Wednesday morning to discuss the proposal.

A source who was at the meeting told the Chronicle the hotel will house 110 homeless adult families meaning couples or single parents with adult children and that no one under the age of 18 will be housed there. The capacity will be 220 people. The source added that the Bronx-based Acacia Network will operate the shelter, with the group promising a very robust security plan with on-site guards to the approximately 30 people at the meeting.

They also noted that it isn t clear whether the hotel will still operate as one when the homeless families move in, but the city hopes the shelter will open in a minimum of 60 days. The insider noted that CB 5 and elected officials have been given 30 days to search for an alternative site that can house at least 35 people. Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together President Roe Daraio said on the civic s website that city representatives told her on a conference call that it will reconsider the Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn plan if the community came up with a sensible alternative location.

The city also said many of the homeless residents being moved into the hotel would have formerly lived in addresses within Community Board 5, according to Daraio. The cost of the rooms at the Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn will be $60 per night, a fee expected to be paid by the city. Crowley issued a statement on Wednesday, saying she strongly opposes the proposal.

The community of Maspeth is already impacted by two existing homeless shelters along Queens Boulevard, Crowley said. The most recent city budget has allocated hundreds of millions for homelessness prevention and while we have seen a decrease in New York City s shelter population since December 2014, the administration continues to open up shelter after shelter throughout Queens.

I will be working with community leaders and residents to stop this, she continued.

It s very early in the process, there s a proposal that isn t even approved yet, Addabbo said in a phone interview.

We re going through some concerns now so we don t replicate issues that happened at the Pan Am. COMET member Christina Wilkinson said she wonders if the city will use the Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn as a shelter instead of the former factory at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale.

I m afraid … we may be inundated, Wilkinson said on Wednesday. Something s up and it s not good.

The source could not say whether the city was killing the Glendale plan in favor of the Maspeth one. The news of the proposal sent social media into a frenzy, with many residents posting their strong displeasure on Maspeth-related Facebook pages.

We need to all get together as a community and fight this, Mina Vassilakis wrote on the Maspeth 11378 page. Enough is enough.

A community meeting to discuss the Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn proposal has been scheduled for Thursday, Aug.

11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther School on Maspeth Avenue. Neither the Department of Homeless Services nor Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn management responded to requests for comment by press time.

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