AND you wonder why Jamaica has such a big homeless problem with encampments in Rufus King Park, Major Mark Park, Jamaica Center Station, Sutphin LIRR station, plus all the walking dead and all the problems that go with this crap.
26 homeless shelters and hotels turned homeless shelter. TWENTY-SIX and this does not even include the group homes, like the group home where four savages lived and brutally raped a mother of two July 11th, and the hybrid hotels that have floors for guests and floors for homeless, like the Comfort Inn on 162nd St in Downtown Jamaica, which has 3 floors for hotel guests and 3 floors for homeless.
From DNAInfo New York:
Halfway House Where Sex Attack Suspects Stayed Opened Secretly, Locals Say
The suspects accused of sexually attacking a woman in Jamaica last week lived in a halfway house at 145-53 South Rd., police said.View Full Caption
QUEENS — The brutal sexual assault of a Jamaica churchgoer last week has shed light on several long-term issues in the neighborhood, including an influx of homeless shelters and halfway houses, as well as poorly lit corners that can be dangerous to those passing by at night, officials said.
The halfway house at 145-53 South Road — which authorities said housed four of the suspects involved in the assault — opened secretly last year, according to local officials who said they had no idea that the facility had been operating in the neighborhood.
Unlike shelters, which are operated by the Department of Homeless Services, TIL is overseen by the Department of Youth and Community Development and focuses specifically on helping homeless youth aged 16 to 21, providing them with training and support necessary to transition to independent living.
There are no signs outside the building, and local officials said they were not notified when it opened.
SCO Family of Services did not return a phone call seeking comment, but DYCD spokesman Mark Zustovich said in an email that the program is not part of the city’s adult shelter system, and therefore is not required to notify local communities when opening.
“In order to provide youth with a caring, home-like environment safe from external issues such as sex trafficking and domestic violence, confidentiality and privacy are important parts of the transitional independent living experience for young people who enter our City-funded programs voluntarily,” Zustovich said.
But Yvonne Reddick, district manager of Community Board 12, which covers Jamaica, Hollis and St. Albans, said the group running the facility “should talk to the community board anyway, even if they don’t have to, out of courtesy.”
“It makes me wonder how many more [facilities] similar to that are there in the district,” Reddick said.
“We have more shelters and hotels [used to house homeless families] than any other district in the borough of Queens.”
According to data provided by DHS, there are currently 13 homeless shelters within the board’s boundaries, in addition to 13 hotels used to house homeless families.
Statistics related to halfway houses in the district were not immediately available.
A spokeswoman for DHS said the city is “committed to ensuring that, over time, shelters are distributed equitably to meet the need in all five boroughs.”
But state Sen. James Sanders Jr. said that “the community of Southeast Queens has done more than its fair share for the disadvantaged populations of the city” and that “oversaturating one community does not allow for the healthy growth of that community.”
Because the attack took place around 11 p.m., some in the community also wondered about supervision at the facility.
In many adult shelters, curfew is set at 10 p.m. But Zustovich said that in this case, “program curfew is determined by the contracted provider and… can vary based on the educational and working schedules of the young people in residence.”
“DYCD is reviewing SCO policies and the circumstances of the specific youth allegedly involved,” he added.
Police so far have arrested Brandon Walker, 20, Julisses Ginel, 19, and Justin Williams, 17, who they said attacked the 50-year-old victim shortly after she had left the Celestial Church of Christ on Liberty Avenue on July 11.
A staff member at the halfway house reported suspicions to the police, leading to their arrest, the NYPD said.
The fourth suspect, identified by police as 20-year-old Isaiah Shorter, remains at large, authorities said Wednesday.
According to the criminal complaint, the men confronted the woman at gunpoint on 150th Street near Beaver Road, demanding she hand over her wallet and MetroCard, and perform oral sex on them.
While the attack sparked an outcry in the community, Kevin Livingston — a local resident and founder of 100 Suits for 100 Men, a Jamaica-based organization assisting formerly incarcerated men and women — said it’s important not to “ostracize all young people” in the community.
“These young men who live in these SCO facilities — some of them are on medication, some of them are dealing with family issues, homosexuality — there is a lot going on in these particular homes,” said Livingston, who works with people living in several halfway houses in the area.
He also pointed out that the stretch where the assault occurred has been poorly lit, making it dangerous for those walking to the train at night.
The assault occurred near the intersection of 150th Street and Beaver Road, which locals say is poorly lit at night. (DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg)
Sen. Sanders said he has reached out to the Department of Transportation “to ask them to do a study to find out if more lighting can be added to the area.”
The agency said that it is planning to add one new light on an existing wood pole at the intersection and upgrade another existing light to higher wattage.