Brooklyn residents protest proposed men-only homeless shelter in their neighborhood: ‘It’s going to be a war’

Hundreds flooded the streets of a Brooklyn neighborhood this weekend to protest the establishment of a men-only homeless shelter.

Residents, politicians and local business owners of the neighborhood of Bensonhurst united in protest Saturday against the creation of the shelter that is expected to hold 150 homeless men, including those with mental health challenges.

Marie Brullo, a Bensonhurst resident for the past 58 years, told local affiliate FOX 5, “It’s just going to cause more problems than we already have. It’s going to increase crime. People are going to be fighting against them. It’s going to be a war here.”

Some at the rally held signs calling for more affordable housing instead of a temporary shelter that they say can’t truly help the homeless, while others emphasized concerns about community safety and proximity to schools and playgrounds.

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Marie Brullo in Bensonhurst holds a sign calling for homeless shelters to be kept away from playgrounds and schools. (FOX 5 screenshot)

A local father at the protest, Michael Huang, expressed his worries surrounding the shelter and the possible danger it poses to children attending schools in the neighborhood.

“We’re concerned that the homeless will affect the safety of kids,” Huang said.

City officials plan to open the shelter later this year and pushed back against opposition from local residents. They said Bensonhurst, which has a predominantly Asian population, is one of the few neighborhoods without a shelter, and that residents have known about the project since November.

However, some local elected leaders have joined residents opposing the new facility and plan to fight back.

District Assemblyman William Colton doesn’t agree with the shelter plans.

“This is the wrong place and the wrong policy. Homeless shelters don’t help homeless people, and we are not going to be silent about it,” Colton said, according to FOX 5.

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A large crowd protested a new homeless shelter in Bensonhurst. (FOX 5 screenshot)

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., whose district includes Bensonhurst, opposes the shelter and said in a press release, “Instead of building permanent solutions to the housing crisis, the City has resorted to warehousing people in shelters that offer no transitional resources to get their lives back on track. Placing a homeless shelter in Bensonhurst just blocks away from six different schools is not only unfair and unsafe for the surrounding community, but also demonstrates a lack of leadership when the federal government has taken action to increase opportunitiesfor citiesto build more affordable housing units.”

The city-proposed shelter is set to include a 32-room hotel that will provide case management, housing placement, and more through a partnership with the non-profit Project Renewal in order to help the housed men find employment and guide them towards permanent housing.

NYC TO DENY SOME IMMIGRANTS ‘RIGHT TO SHELTER’ AFTER COMPROMISE WITH ACTIVISTS

A woman holds a sign against NYC Mayor Eric Adams at the Bensonhurst homeless shelter protest. (FOX 5 screenshot)

“This will be the first shelter in this community district offering New Yorkers experiencing homelessness the critical opportunity to receive quality care as they get back on their feet. As part of our equitable shelter siting approach, we are ensuring that every community has the safety net resources to help their vulnerable neighbors, and this community district has no shelters so we look forward to bringing this vital resource to the community,” a DSS official told FOX 5.

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Alba Cuebas-Fantauzzi is a freelance production assistant at Fox News Digital.

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