Since the proposal was made public, the community has gathered for rallies and often been a vocal opposition to the proposal at Community Board 5 meetings. However, they were greatly silent at last week's meeting.
Heather Truberg was the only resident who spoke during the public forum portion of the meeting about the shelter.
“Glendale has always been our home and our safe haven,” Truberg said. “The idea of building a 125-unit shelter right in the backyards of local residents, businesses and schools here in Glendale will change our community here forever.”
Truberg said she was mostly concerned that registered sex offenders would not be denied access.
“We are not opposed to sheltering those in need, but not at the expense of our property value, our small business, our quality of education, our quality of life or our safety,” she said. “What happens if a sex offender finds their way to the schoolyard of 119, 87, 113, St. Pancras or Sacred Heart, and follows one of its students home?”
The Glendale Civic Association Facebook page lit up following the meeting when someone posted, “where the hell were you people tonight?” The post generated well over 50 comments over the course of the weekend.
Kathy Masi, president of the Glendale Civic Association, said it may be too soon for any serious action to be taken, however she was also concerned that residents did not show up to the meeting.
“I was really disappointed,” Masi said. “If people don’t speak, it’s going to be the path of least resistance.”
CB5 District Manager Gary Giordano acknowledged the board has concerns about the proposal.
“We believe that the cost to rehabilitate that factory building, to make it conducive to anybody living there, never mind children, would be too astronomical to warrant development at that space for residential purposes,” Giordano said.
Congresswoman Grace Meng, State Senator Joseph Addabbo, assemblymen Andrew Hevesi and Mike Miller and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley have all raised concerns about the shelter to Samaritan Village president and CEO Tino Hernandez.
"I am against this proposal because I believe the site, on a number of levels, is not suited to accommodate and serve the intended purpose," Hevesi said. "However, I also recognize that Article XVII of the State Constitution, and years of precedent set by cases in New York State Courts, ensures the right to shelter and has created a process designed to limit the role of elected officials in siting these facilities.”