Group home proposal moves forward on 83rd Street

Group home proposal moves forward on 83rd Street
The abandoned convent on 83rd Street between Third and Fourth Avenues would be turned into a group home for senior citizens with intellectual disabilities under a plan approved by a Community Board 10 panel on Monday.
Photo by Michelle Manetti

A proposed home for 16 developmentally disabled adults moved forward this week, as a community board panel offered its unanimous support.

Community Board 10’s Senior Issues, Housing, Health and Welfare Committee on Monday night backed the proposed center inside the former St. Anselm’s Convent on 83rd Street between Third and Fourth Avenues.

“There is a need for programs like this,” said the Housing Committee Chairwoman Judith Grimaldi.

YAI Network, a health and human service agency, plans to renovate the vacant convent into a 12-bedroom home, primarily for senior citizens who are wheelchair-bound.

“We don’t want to put our elders with disabilities into nursing homes,” said Fred Feibusch, director of residential services for the agency. “They need more help and attention, we want to meet their needs better.”

Interior renovations, including the addition of an elevator and laundry room, will start in September and take nine months. New windows and garden landscaping will be the only change to the exterior of the building.

“We want to keep the integrity of the building,” said Sandra Speiser, a director at the agency. “There won’t be any signs indicating that this is a group home.”

This will be the 22nd group home within Community Board 10, but Grimaldi didn’t think that was too many.

“There is room in Bay Ridge for this,” she said.

The committee’s approval now heads to the full board, which will discuss the matter on June 20.

Community Board 10 will meet at Shore Hill Community Room [9000 Shore Rd. between 91st and 92nd Streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 745-6827] on June 20 at 7 pm.

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