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Queens Chronicle

Drop-in opening day pushed back for now

No known starting date for the center

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Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2017 10:30 am

The controversial Ozone Park drop-in center on Atlantic Avenue was supposed to open Monday — but March 20 came and went and the site remained vacant.

A spokeswoman for Breaking Ground — the nonprofit that will operate the center for homeless people to get a bite to eat and shower or stay the night — said there is no known date for the site’s opening.

Sources briefed on the matter said the building, at 100-32 Atlantic Ave., does not yet have heat, internet or other utilities.

Dozens of people, including Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa and Public Advocate candidate Anthony Herbert, showed up to the site Sunday to protest what they believed to be the imminent opening of it.

The center has been a point of contention in Ozone Park, Richmond Hill and Woodhaven since news of it first started spreading last August.

Residents believe it’s not a suitable site because it’s less than 200 feet from a high school and registered sex offenders could walk in and request services. Breaking Ground and the Department of Homeless Services have said sex offenders will be sent to other sites. Last week, three residents filed two lawsuits seeking to stop the center’s opening, which are pending in court.

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