Last year I sat in a community meeting at Greenpoint Church on Milton St and listened to neighbors argue for and against the 10 bed homeless respite that had opened in the basement after Hurricane Sandy hit and the weather was getting down to freezing temperatures.

After the controversy it created, the church decided to shut it down and it moved to Ascension Church a few block north. But the respite did not reopen this winter season.

According to DNAinfo, this year “the city again offered money to run a community shelter — but since no local group stepped up, the funding was not provided,” city officials said.

At the time of the Milton St meeting, Stephen Levin said, “another person won’t die in the cold; not on my watch.”

Sadly, the worst has happened. Last Wednesday a man sleeping in McGolrick Park died overnight because of the cold weather.


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  1. The shelter might have been able to return to the Greenpoint Reformed Church this year, but the church has not met with its neighbors since that one meeting last January. Who knows what might have been? You can’t ever say for sure. But there’s been no outreach from the church or from elected leaders on this issue since then. A potential location for this winter, and an opportunity for collaboration, has been lost.

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