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Queens councilman looks to bring transparency to Department of Homeless Services

May. 17, 2023 Elijah Hamilton

Queens Councilman Robert Holden introduced a bill last week that would require the city’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to post an interactive map on its website with information related to shelters across the city.

According to Holden, this bill will provide essential information, which will include addresses and the populations of each shelter. DHS would exclude information about certain shelters from the map due to security concerns.

Holden said this bill would add much-needed transparency to DHS.

The councilman previously introduced a bill similar to Intro 1036 back in 2018. However, he said his original proposal didn’t pick up any traction.

Holden has long been critical of the Cooper Rapid Rehousing shelter, located at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale, which opened in 2020.

He said there have been many violent incidents at the Glendale shelter, leading to several arrests.

“There have been violent arrests at Cooper Avenue and we couldn’t even get information on where these men were from,” Holden said.

Holden said that he learned none of the men residing at the Glendale homeless shelter were from the Community Board 5 area. Community Board 5 covers Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale.

He hopes this bill passes and gives his office more information shelters like the Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center.

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