NYC Dad outraged over plan to open ‘low-barrier’ homeless shelter next to son’s elementary school

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NYC Dad outraged over plan to open ‘low-barrier’ homeless shelter next to son’s elementary school

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New York City plans to open a “low-barrier” homeless shelter in a building attached to an elementary school in Lower Manhattan, meaning parents could soon find people with a criminal history or substance abuse issues next door to their kids.

“You just start to wonder, what was the thought process? Who’s checking boxes? Who’s placing these locations within the [Department of Social Services]? Who’s doing their due diligence to find out where they should go? There’s not even a certain amount of feet. It’s attached to the building of this elementary school,” father Kenny Grant told “Fox & Friends Weekend.”

Grant, whose son is set to enter kindergarten at the Peck Slip School, is one of many parents outraged by the decision that came to everyone’s attention last week.

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Despite continuous assurances, he said nothing shared about the plan has made him feel better about it going into effect.

“They’re giving these soft assurances that, ‘We will be great neighbors. We’ll have monitors. We’ll have security team. We’ll keep folks in check,'” he told Will Cain.

“These individuals… [not all of them are] bad, some of these are good people who need a home, need a safe haven or place to lay their head, but they do become part of the community. They’ll be in your open spaces,” he added.

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The sun rises on the skyline of midtown Manhattan and the Empire State Building in New York City on December 12, 2023. A Lower Manhattan community continues to seek answers regarding a homeless shelter slated to be opened beside an elementary school. (Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

One father whose daughter is in pre-K at the school told the New York Post he is concerned about mental illnesses among the population since, sometimes, those with mental illnesses can be “aggressive.”

Another father of a third-grader told the outlet that the idea for the shelter was pushed through “when no one [was] around.”

Grant similarly told Cain on Sunday that the community received little warning about the shelter, arguing those behind the plan have been “flying under the radar” to make it happen.

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A homeless man sits at Times Square on November 30, 2022 in New York City. New York City, like many other major U.S. cities, continues to feel the wrath of the homeless crisis.

A homeless man sits at Times Square on November 30, 2022 in New York City. New York City, like many other major U.S. cities, continues to feel the wrath of the homeless crisis.

When reached for comment, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Social Services offered the following statement to “Fox & Friends“: “This area has seen an increase in the number of unsheltered individuals, & facilities like this have been instrumental in our efforts to move more New Yorkers off the streets and subways and into shelter and permanent housing…”

The statement added, “We look forward to bringing this critical resource online, and as always, we remain committed to maintaining open lines of communication with the community, working collaboratively to support our vulnerable neighbors, and addressing any concerns as they arise.”

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