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Plans for emergency shelter for migrants at the Superfund site in Brooklyn are facing some setbacks

NEW YORK — There is resistance to an emergency migrant shelter the city plans to open in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

The problem? The size and the fact it’s on a Superfund site. But many residents told CBS New York’s Kristie Keleshian they support it.

The building at 130 Third St., right on the Gowanus Canal, is a former brewery. Work permits are imminent and the city is ready to make way for an emergency shelter for 400 recently arrived single adults. There are also flyers in the area advertising a town hall meeting on the matter.

“If you ask, the majority of people might support it, but the people who actually go to meetings, or have the time to organize the meetings, are the ones who talk about it the most. And they’re the ones who talk about it the most. who might turn it down,” said Brooklyn resident Evan Agovino.

The Third Street Block Association is hosting the meeting. The flyer listed discussion points, such as whether the shelter would be able to care for 400 people. Block Association President Robert Mesnard spoke with Keleshian on the phone.

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“Third Street supports shelters… We believe that the shelter for residents should be reduced in size by the number of residents, and that the land under the shelter should also be tested to see if toxins are present there,” he said . .

The city confirms it is now reviewing a lawsuit against the plan, citing the environmental problems in the Gowanus Canal area. The Environmental Protection Agency describes the canal as “heavily polluted” from old factories and placed it on the national priority list in March 2010. It said cleanup efforts would continue until 2023.

“If you look, it seems like there’s quite a bit of stuff being built in the Gowanus Canal, so it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of environmental issues associated with that,” Agovino said.

The city’s Department of Social Services says Bhrags Home Care Corp. will provide comprehensive services and case management for residents. It says that with more than 178,000 migrants in the city, “additional capacity is urgently needed” and that the shelter system is “way past its breaking point.”

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“Obviously no one should have to live in a toxic shelter, but to the extent that it can be used as a pretext to keep people from having a home, I think that’s pretty awful,” said Brooklyn resident Sarah Saadoun.

The Block Association meeting on this matter will take place on Monday, March 4 at 6 p.m. The association says the DSS, Department of Homeless Services, Bhrags Home Carp Corp and Councilor Shahana Hanif will also be at the meeting.

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