Community stakeholders are gearing up to protest a proposed homeless shelter at an existing carpeting store on Webster Avenue in Norwood. The move follows weeks of unanswered questions by the New York City Department of Homeless Services, which has remained mum on the project.
Sam’s Carpeting Inc. at 3041 Webster Ave. is under consideration to become a homeless shelter. The business is across from PS/MS 20, angering residents who would like to see the shelter placed elsewhere.
“We feel strongly that the Mayor’s Office and DHS should work with the neighborhood into finding an appropriate site,” Barbara Stronczer, president of the Bedford Mosholu Community Association (BMCA), said. “We’re not saying we’re against having the homeless in our community, but we do not want it opposite an elementary school.”
Stronczer, who’s also a Community Board 7 member, is organizing the protest alongside other members.
Rumors of a shelter surfaced last year when Sam’s Floor Covering was approached by a nonprofit shelter provider to consider replacing the store with a shelter. Records from the city Buildings Department showed the property filing to change its designation early this year to allow for sleeping accommodations, a sign the property would be converted to a shelter.
Councilman Andrew Cohen, whose district covers Norwood, has been attempting to persuade DHS to review a property at 3600 Jerome Ave., the former site of the F.E.G.S. social services center. The property is largely isolated, though a school rests
Norwood hasn’t seen a protest in the neighborhood for the last few years. Stronczer hopes the turnout will convince DHS an alternate location is better.
“We feel strongly that we have to get the community out to support this protest,” Stronczer said.
Editor’s Note: The protest takes place Sept. 19 at 2:45 p.m. in front of Sam’s Floor Covering, 3041 Webster Ave.