The Ozone Park Block Association (OZPKRBA) is calling out for all leaders and members of community boards, organizations, clubs and associations from all boroughs for a summit meeting on ways they can work together to overcome the homelessness crisis facing the city. Currently, 90 shelters are set to be opened in heavily-residential neighborhoods.
The group has a specific agenda, saying that there will be no discussion about the impact of specific shelters in specific neighborhoods or any other community complaints or issues. Rather, they plan to discuss plans of taking legal action against the City to prevent the shelters from opening. OZPKRBA recently acquired a lawyer who has found possible grounds for lawsuits and is seeking additional support from all communities impacted.
In addition to taking legal action, the association wants to discuss solutions to the crisis that they can present to the City in the future. The goal is the prevention of warehouses and hotels being used to house the homeless.
“We are not anti-homeless but we are not happy with not being consulted, not having local community board input and not helping the homeless to transition and assimilate, but to keep them oppressed and in the system. It’s time for change,” said Sam Esposito, President of OZPKRBA stated in a press-release for the summit.
Esposito has sent out letters to all senators and assemblymen across the state in addition to representatives from all five boroughs in hopes for everyone to come together to be proactive on the crisis. The goal is for one councilman, senator and assembly member to be present. Considering the objective is for all of the City to come together to solve the issue, hopes are for all five boroughs to be represented.
OZPKRBA encourages any Community Board members or those of other neighborhood associations to register in order to attend the summit by emailing OZPKRBA@aol.com. The meeting will be held on Friday, Feb. 8th at 6:00 p.m. at Deshi Senior Center, 83-10 Rockaway Blvd.