Cooper Avenue homeless shelter opens its doors in Queens: DHS

The former factory at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale is shown undergoing renovation in this April 2019 photo. (Photo by Robert Pozarycki)

A week after a judge dismissed a lawsuit aimed at halting construction of the proposed homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale, Queens, the Department of Homeless Services sent out a statement that the shelter had opened Friday. 

After hearing the news last week, the group of Glendale residents who had launched the legal challenge still hoped that they could stop the construction through objections they filed with the Department of Buildings alleging the proposed shelter would violate its current zoning requirements.

A DHS spokesperson said Friday that those issues have been resolved over the last week. 

 “Today, we proudly open our doors at the Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center, the first and only transitional housing facility in the Maspeth/Glendale community, which is now providing high-quality shelter and dedicated employment services to single adult men experiencing homelessness as they work hard to restabilize their lives. We look forward to welcoming and supporting more neighbors in need at this location over the next few weeks. Working together with service provider Westhab and the community, through collaborative support and compassion, we’re confident that we will make this the best experience it can be for these individuals as they get back on their feet.”

The facility welcomed 10 individuals on its opening day. It will gradually increase the number of residents over the coming weeks, according to the DHS. 

The agency is also in the process of setting up a community advisory group that will act as a communication bridge between residents and the facility. Once established, the group will provide a phone line for the community to call.

This is a developing story that first appeared on qns.com.

Max Parrott