Greenpoint residents are up in arms over reports that the city moved more than a dozen sex offenders into the men’s homeless shelter on Clay Street.
Assemblyman Joe Lentol sent a letter to the city’s department of homeless services on Thursday saying that Greenpoint has enough sex offenders and the city needs to send these new ones somewhere else.
“Without consultation or consent, Greenpoint has taken on a new population of sex offenders,” Lentol (D–Greenpoint) said in his letter to the city. “To say that I am disturbed is an understatement.”
According to a story in Thursday’s New York Post, the city moved the 16 sex offenders to the 200-bed Bowery Residents Committee shelter on Clay Street between McGuinness Boulevard and Paidge Avenue after it reported earlier that the men were in a shelter in Manhattan and outraged neighbors complained.
Some Greenpoint neighbors are equally outraged.
“These people are the last thing we need in our neighborhood,” said Greenpoint resident Gretchen Latt. “We already have so many homeless people here, and now this. It is not safe for our children.”
Lentol agreed that Greenpoint has done more than its share when it comes to the public welfare.
“For more than 40 years, Greenpoint has been its brother’s keeper when it comes to homeless shelters, and we continue to accept that responsibility on the condition that we are not unfairly singled out to carry this burden.”
The city and Bowery Residents Committee both refused to comment.
The new sex offenders are in addition to more than 20 other sex offenders who have been living in the shelter since it opened in 2013.
Some residents took the news in stride, saying that public shelters are a better place for sex offenders than private homes.
“I certainly do not like the fact that there more of them, but we already have a lot and nobody has been screaming about the ones we already have here,” said Greenpoint resident Teresa Toro. “At least in a shelter, they are being regulated and you have an eye on them.”