Number of homeless increases in Bay Ridge
With the city awash with reports of more homeless people living on the streets, solid, middle-class neighborhoods like Bay Ridge are not immune to the problem, according to local officials.
While the numbers of homeless in Bay Ridge are low compared to the rest of the city, the numbers are on the rise, said Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann.
The number of calls coming in to the city’s 311 system from residents complaining about seeing homeless people in parks and on sidewalks has increased since last year, Beckmann told the community board at its meeting on Sept. 21.
“Homeless complaints are up. In 2014, there were 24 calls to 311. In 2015, there have been 36 calls,” said Beckmann, who brought up the subject while delivering her district manager’s report to the community board members.
Many of the calls coming into the community board’s office are not complaints, Beckmann said. “People are concerned and they want help for the homeless,” she told the Brooklyn Eagle on Wednesday.
The homeless tend to gravitate to local parks, Beckman said, adding that they have been spotted sleeping on benches in Steadman Square on Third Avenue and 67th Street; Leif Erickson Park on 67th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues; Fort Hamilton Memorial Park on Fifth Avenue and 94th Street; and Tom McDonald Triangle on Sixth Avenue and 83rd Street.
The citywide numbers are grim, according to the Coalition for the Homeless, which lists the statistics on its website. In July, there were 58,270 people sleeping in city-run homeless shelters. The coalition did not count the number of homeless individuals sleeping on city streets, but the organization’s website estimated that the figure is in the thousands.
The New York City Department of Homeless Services has an outreach program in which teams are deployed out to the streets around the clock to talk to homeless people to try to convince them to enter into transitional or permanent housing, according to the city’s website, www.nyc.gov.
In other news, Beckman reported that there are 16 locations within the Community Board 10 (Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights) in which depressions have appeared in streets. “We have many recurring street depressions in Community Board 10,” she said.
Rather than a patch-up repair job, a full trench restoration might be needed, according to Beckmann, who said she sent a list of the 16 locations to the Department of Transportation and the Department of Environmental Protection.
The community board office has received complaints from residents about new LED street lights recently installed by the city. “The lighting is too bright. The residents are requesting shading,” Beckmann said.
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