[Hpn] Reprieve for homeless?

William Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Thu, 10 Jul 2003 07:49:35 -0400


HOMELESS FAMILIES GET LAST-MINUTE REPRIEVE

By FRANKIE ENDOZIEN

July 10, 2003 -- Hundreds of homeless families who faced imminent eviction
from two shelters in The Bronx and Queens got a reprieve yesterday after the
city agreed to a new two-year contract with the shelters' operators.
"We are tremendously relieved there is going to be no disruption in the
services to the families," said Department of Homeless Services head Linda
Gibbs.
The nonprofit Homes for the Homeless had issued notices to hundreds of
families at the Prospect Family Inn in The Bronx and Saratoga Family Inn in
Queens Tuesday night that both facilities would shut down because their
contract with the city had expired June 30.
The operators said they had run out of money to keep serving some 400
homeless families after they failed to agree on a new contract with the city
during a first round of negotiations in May.
But by yesterday morning both sides had agreed to come to the negotiating
table and hash out a new deal. Yesterday's meeting lasted two hours and both
sides came away satisfied that the new two-year contract would allow
shelters to continue to run without interruption.
Bloomberg administration officials have had troubles dealing with the city's
homeless population.
Officials have explored such solutions as housing families on cruise ships
anchored off city piers or giving shelter to families in old jails in The
Bronx.

The administration has also tried to get a handle on the homeless population
by conducting a census of people without fixed domiciles.
Several months ago the city reached an agreement with homeless advocates to
drop lawsuits against the city in exchange for more open dialogue.

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