Neighbors protest new Bed-Stuy housing facility for recovering addicts

January 28, 2010 01:01PM

A new temporary housing facility for recovering alcohol and drug addicts in Bedford-Stuyvesant has the surrounding community up in arms over its potential impact on the neighborhood. Roughly 20 new residents of 332 Malcolm X. Boulevard “came in over night,” said Eric Smith, president of the Bainbridge Street Block Association. Bedford-Stuyvesant “needs that place like a hole in the head,” he said. Neighbors say they’ve seen the men throwing out empty beer cans and liquor bottles from the home, though the Gelzer Foundation, a private organization that runs the facility insists the men had not been drinking and have been undergoing outpatient treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. There’s already a men’s shelter one block away from the three-story building, whose safety is already in question as it has also been hit with a temporary stop work order for building without a permit. “Why would you bring a shelter on a block that has a history of drug issues that we’re trying to kill?” said Henry Butler, chair of Community Board 3. Butler is meeting with city agency representatives this evening about the stop work order at the site.

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