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Thousands gather at City Hall to protest construction of ‘wet shelter’ in Gravesend

May 24, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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CITY HALL AND GRAVESEND — ABOUT FOUR THOUSAND NEW YORKERS joined City Councilmember Susan Zhuang (D-43) and Assemblymember William Colton (D-47), both of whom represent Gravesend and Bensonhurst, rallying to end permanently the construction of a homeless shelter at 2501 86th St. in Brooklyn. This latest rally was considered one of the largest held at City Hall in recent years, according to Councilmember Zhuang, who refers to the construction project as awet shelter,” explaining that this term defines a shelter that “uses taxpayer dollars to provide illegal substances to unhoused individuals in a controlled environment.” Multiple speakers on the steps of City Hall pointed out that the decision to build was made without input from the community or surrounding neighborhoods, and that the city and developer decided on the location at 86th St. and 25th Ave., near schools, daycare centers and other facilities with children, without first consulting with local residents and leaders. The City Hall event was just the most recent in a series of protests aimed at derailing plans announced last year to open a homeless shelter at the aforementioned site for 150 single men, many of whom struggle with addiction or mental health issues. Moreover, about 52,000 people have signed a petition opposing the plan.

The rally also attracted community leaders from Little Italy, Manhattan’s Chinatown, and Queens.

Assemblyman William Colton with some of the protesters.
Photo courtesy Office of Assemblymember William Colton

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