Manhattan neighborhood frustrated by homeless shelter
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Residents of Manhattan's Kips Bay neighborhood are bracing themselves for a long, hot summer and asking the city and state for help. They tell Fox 5 they've always welcomed the massive homeless shelter down the block but are now worried about their rapidly declining quality of life.
Mauro Pennachhia lives right at First Avenue and East 30th Street, directly across from the Bellevue Men's Shelter. It has 851 beds. But what is going on outside has him and his neighbors upset. Pennachhia says some of the men have acted aggressively towards women and children.
Property owners on the block have put up even higher fencing to keep out men they say were doing things that should only go on behind closed doors, and to discourage sleeping and aggressive panhandling. One super says they shifted to going to the bathroom right out in the open, in front of homes.
Community activists insist they're not anti-homeless, just opposed to bad behavior which seemed to escalate last year.
Last year, the state prison system discharged more than 800 inmates directly to the shelter, overburdening the system. DHS Commissioner Stephen Hanks says the department is addressing the community's issues.
People living here tell me they are seeing more police the area, but what they'd really like to see is more foot patrols on the block.