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City Plans to Open New Homeless Shelters—Including One in Brooklyn

Officials say additional facilities are needed to keep up with rising demand.

The city plans to open at least five new shelters—including one in Brooklyn—by the end of this year to combat rising homeless numbers, says the Wall Street Journal.

The additional facilities would bring the total number of city shelters opened since May to 15.

The new Brooklyn facility will most likely be located at the Bedford Atlantic Armory in Crown Heights. In August, a Request For Proposals was opened for the ground lease, development and operation of approximately 50,000 square feet in the historic home of New York's 23rd Regiment.

Citywide, three family shelters with 169 apartment-style units and two shelters for single adults with 234 beds are slated to open in the next few months.

Two shelters will be in The Bronx, while Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn will each get one additional facility.

Recent numbers put the citywide shelter population at 46,036, with a 29 percent increase since spring 2011.

The city has the highest shelter occupancy record in history, according to data released in August.

For those shelters already open and struggling, their futures are just as murky as ever.

In September of last year, Patch heard complaints of broken utilities at Fort Greene’s Auburn Family Shelter, as well as verbal abuse by staff members to clients and a general lack of resources to go around (for instance, one microwave is utilized by 60 families).

At Tuesday’s City Council hearing, council members blasted the Bloomberg administration for failing to respond to the city’s homelessness crisis. 

Councilman Stephen Levin, D-Brooklyn, said that the city's homeless problem is getting worse, and that “unless there is a significant change in policy, those trends will continue to get worse.”

"There was nothing new offered to confront a big crisis," Councilman Brad Lander, D-Brooklyn, told the paper.

In fact, back in August, Bloomberg said that homeless shelters were “ which he said was the cause of high occupancy rates.

Paul Leonard contributed reporting.

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