The Department of Homeless Services has extended invitations to area elected officials for a meeting later this month regarding the proposed Glendale homeless shelter.
A 125-family shelter at the site of a former factory at 78-16 Cooper Ave. has been a thorn in the side of politicians, Community Board 5 and area residents over the last year, and DHS has confirmed the elected officials opposed to the project will be able to speak their mind in a conference with agency commissioner Gilbert Taylor.
“We got all their letters. He certainly wants to meet with them,” Lisa Black, a DHS spokeswoman, said. “He wants a meeting on the books this month.”
While Black would not name which elected officials have been invited, the chief of staff to Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), Roman Paprocki, confirmed that the councilwoman, who has repeatedly voiced her opposition to the shelter in the past, will be in attendance.
“They have reached out to us; we’re just trying to hammer out a date,” Paprocki said. “She will be there.”
An noteworthy party that has not been invited to the meeting is Community Board 5.
District Manager Gary Giordano says he isn’t familiar with the planned discussion about the shelter, but he is interested in what will be said.
“This is the first I’m really hearing of it,” Giordano said Tuesday. “I’ll be reaching out to one or more elected officials about it, though.”
CB 5 has sent multiple letters to officials, such as state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, urging them to reconsider Samaritan Village’s proposal of a shelter.
The human services agency’s credibility came into question last week, as nearly $1 million in state funds appeared to have been misused from mid-2009 to mid-2010, according to an audit just released by the state comptroller’s office.