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Queens Chronicle

Pan Am shelter public meeting this Monday

Samaritan Village to field questions

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Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:20 am, Thu Jul 3, 2014.

The hundreds of Elmhurst residents incensed over the Pan Am hotel transforming into a homeless shelter seemingly overnight three weeks ago will get a chance to ask questions of those operating the building next week.

On Monday, June 30, at 7 p.m., there will be a public meeting regarding the shelter at BPO Elks Lodge #878 at 82-20 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst.

The meeting will be hosted by Community Board 4 and the board’s district manager, Christian Cassagnol, who said Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) will all be on hand to discuss the shelter.

Cassagnol said Samaritan Village, the human services agency tasked with operating the homeless shelter, has confirmed its attendance, while the Department of Homeless Services is expected as well.

“The purpose is to provide some sort of transparency,” Cassagnol said in an email Monday. “Basically, this has to be brought to the full public.”

Many residents felt duped by DHS after an assistant commissioner, Lisa Black, said in May that the Pan Am would never be used as a homeless shelter.

The meeting space can hold around 150 people. Anyone interested in speaking at the meeting is asked to call CB 4 at (718) 760-3141 ahead of time to register. All testimony will be limited to two minutes.

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