NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 400 children will be removed from two city-owned homeless shelters.
The shelters have been cited many times over the years for unacceptable conditions.
Inspectors have long warned that the Auburn Family Residence in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and the Catherine Street shelter in Lower Manhattan were unfit for children. They’ve found vermin, violence, insufficient heat, mold, lead, spoiled food, fire hazards and the presence of sexual predators.
WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported being confronted by a number of security guards outside the Catherine Street shelter on Friday. Lamb said he was told to get off the property and complied.
There are currently 64 families with children sheltered at Auburn and 83 families with children are currently residing at the Catherine Street shelter.
Bonnie Stone, who runs Women In Need, a 31-year-old non-profit organization that houses and relocates families, applauded de Blasio’s efforts, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
“The big insurmountable issue with those two shelters, is that they have communal bathrooms and communal kitchens. Which means there is no privacy for the families,” Stone said.
The city is looking for subsidized permanent housing or other temporary shelters for those affected.
“We won’t leave these children and these families behind. We believe in our fundamental responsibility to lift up those going through adversity and crisis,” stated de Blasio.
The city is planning to improve security and programming at both shelters, as well as renovations at the facilities.