Catholic Charities programs continue to serve most vulnerable

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Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens is asking the Glendale community to support their programs that assist neighbors in need.

Since 1899, CCBQ has helped build communities and serve neighbors in need with mercy and compassion. The organization sponsors more than 160 programs and services for children, youth, adults and seniors.

Their programs have helped those who are mentally ill, isolated or have developmental disabilities. CCBQ is also one of the largest faith-based providers of affordable housing in the country.

CCBQ is affiliated with organizations such as Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, Catholic Migration Services and Saints Joachim & Anne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, all of which provide a range of services to the most vulnerable in our communities.

The impact of CCBQ’s programs can be felt across the boroughs, from behavioral health center clinics to immigration integration programs and senior housing.

Lately, some of the most important work has been providing food assistance through food pantries at parishes, home-delivered meals and even pop-up events. From Corona and Elmhurst to Bensonhurst, CCBQ has provided thousands of meals to people suffering at home from the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Now, CCBQ is asking the Glendale community to support the work they do through donations. Thanks to the donation of a benefactor, Catholic Charities is matching gifts up to $400,000.

Donations of $50 will become $100, and $100 donations will become $200, and so on.

According to CCBQ, 91 cents of every dollar will go straight into programs that “reduce poverty, bring food and comfort to those less fortunate, uplift our youth and assist our elderly neighbors.”

To donate to CCBQ, visit their donation page here: www.ccbq.org/give-donate/.

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Holden calls for closing Cooper shelter permanently

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Following a report of another assault at the Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center in Glendale, Councilman Bob Holden is calling for the homeless shelter to be shuttered for good.

Holden issued a statement last week that his office was informed of an another assault at the site.

 

DHS has informed the Glendale pol that they plan to remove all 120 men from the shelter and relocate them to hotel rooms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While he called the temporary move “welcome news” for the men who live at the shelter, Holden wants the location closed permanently. 

The Glendale representative also asked Comptroller Scott Stringer to not approve the contract and “put an end to the fraud, waste and abuse” of the homeless shelter system.

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Borough president announces appointments to community board

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Acting Borough President Sharon Lee appointed 339 people to serve in Queens’s 14 community boards on Tuesday.

Of the 399 appointees, 76 are first-time members who have never served on the board, but have shown a commitment and understanding to the community’s needs.

The two-year term for these appointees run from May 31, 2020 to March 31, 2022.

The office received 595 applications, including 252 from applicants who had never served on a community board. More than 340 were from those who were reapplying at the end of their 2020 term.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee announced in late March that community board members whose terms end on March 31 would continue for an additional 60 days.

Here are Borough President Lee’s appointments for the 2020-2022 term for Community Board 5, which serves Glendale:

  • Bhubaneshor Adhikari
  • Antonetta Binanti
  • Eric Butkiewicz
  • Robert Cermeli
  • Patricia Crowley
  • Dmytro Fedkowskyj
  • Shawn Fisch
  • Sukh Gurung
  • Frederick Heller
  • Frederick Hoefferle
  • Richard Huber
  • Kinga Kurzyna
  • John Maier
  • Edgar Mantel
  • Eileen Moloney
  • Margaret O’Kane
  • Michael O’Kane
  • Michael Porcelli
  • Kelvin Rodriguez
  • Luis Rodriguez
  • Dennis Stephan
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Meng hands out PPE at Glendale Veterans Triangle

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Although the COVID-19 curve has flattened, community members still need to wear face masks, stay six feet apart with social distancing and frequently wash their hands with soap.

Today, Congresswoman Grace Meng, in partnership with Community Board 5, the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol and Glendale Kiwanis, provided 1,000 mask to Glendale residents.

Meng distributed them at the Glendale Veterans Triangle, located at Myrtle Avenue and Cooper Avenue. She also delivered masks to nearby St. Pancras Church.

“As we continue our efforts to combat COVID-19, it is vital that local residents have the PPE they need,” Meng said. “Having a face mask is essential and I encourage other houses of worship in my district to contact my office if they need access to masks.”

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Check out this gallery of the Ridgewood Reservoir

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While programming is shut down for the Ridgewood Reservoir, that doesn’t mean community members can’t engage with this important part of our community.

NYC H2O has curated a new exhibit at the Queens Museum about the reservoir, including an incredible new video.

And while the museum is closed during the pandemic, you can view the online gallery here.

Hopefully, this gallery will inspire you to look forward to visit the reservoir soon!

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SHELTER WATCH: Pol says Cooper site feels like a jail

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At last week’s Community Board 5 meeting, Councilman Robert Holden detailed his March 6th visit to the Cooper Rapid Re-Housing Center at 78-16 Cooper Avenue.

Holden, who toured the site along with Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi and representatives from other elected officials’ offices, said when he walked in he immediately saw a security station and a metal detector.

They walked to the second floor and ran into another security station. On the other side of the hallway was another security checkpoint with monitors and security guards. They found the same set-up on the third floor.

The elected officials then visited the dormitories, which had ten beds to a room. Holden noted that he felt the space was tight, and that the men were “on top of one another.”

“To me, I felt, this is not a place to live,” he said. “This looked more like a minimum-security jail.

Read more of this week’s shelter watch in the Glendale Register newspaper.

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Pol wants investigation into police response at Sacred Heart

Screen shot via Google Maps
Screen shot via Google Maps

After a concerning incident involving a stranger trying to enter Sacred Heart Catholic Academy, a local politician is calling for an investigation into the NYPD’s poor response.

Councilman Bob Holden wants the 104th Precinct to be probed for its four-hour response time after staff members at the Glendale school called 911 to report a suspicious man lurking around the facility.

Holden says that a man knocked on the door of the school at about 12:30 p.m. on February 25 “while holding a stick-like object” in his hand and wearing a bag over his shoulder.

A faculty member answered the door, followed by the man asking for directions. The faculty member, who felt uncomfortable, closed the door. The man lingered for a few minutes.

Sacred Heart faculty then called 911 twice to report the incident, but no officers arrived until after 4 p.m., according to Holden.

The 104th Precinct’s response was that a car accident with injuries took priority over the situation at the school.

“I am extremely frustrated with the lack of response and urgency from the 104th Precinct,” Holden said.

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SHELTER WATCH: Shelter opponents protest mayor’s town hall

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In the wake of the opening of the Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center at 78-16 Cooper Avenue, opponents of the Glendale shelter took their frustration directly to the mayor.

Last Wednesday, members of the Glendale-Middle Village Coalition protested outside JHS 190 Russell Sage in Forest Hills, where Mayor Bill de Blasio hosted a town hall meeting.

Among those protesting was coalition leader Mike Papa, who was collecting signatures for a petition to “remove and prosecute” the mayor for “crimes against the people of the city.”

“We took the opportunity to see the mayor face to face,” Papa said. “We’re here to let him know he’s not getting away with it.”

Among the “crimes” Papa described were closing Rikers Island and other city jails, opening homeless shelters that he said act as “halfway houses,” and signing high-priced contracts for developers to build those facilities.

Other topics that he wants de Blasio to be investigated for include the ThriveNYC program and the deal that sold the Rivington House on the Lower East Side.

“We’re going to take this to the U.S. Attorney’s office and try to get him investigated and prosecuted for it,” Papa said.

The mayor was booed and heckled by the crowd at the town hall in Forest Hills, which focused on topics like bail reform, the new borough-based jail in Kew Gardens, protected bike lanes on Queens Boulevard and the district school desegregation plan.

De Blasio defended the Glendale shelter as a way to put a roof over the heads of “working people.”

He acknowledged that people don’t want homeless shelters in their neighborhood, but blasted any notions that there were backroom “deals.”

Papa, who has been a vocal opponent of the Glendale shelter, made his goal clear.

“We want to get rid of de Blasio,” he said.

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Infit Nutrition celebrates grand opening

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Glendale’s newest health and nutrition-focused store celebrated its official grand opening over the weekend.

Infit Nutrition, located at 69-44 Cooper Avenue, offers a variety of products to help customers live a healthy lifestyle, whether their goal is to lose weight, gain weight or boost their energy.

Among the options on the menu are low-calorie, low-sugar and high-protein smoothies, teas, bowls and other specialty drinks and snacks.

Owner Jonathan Acosta, who opened Infit Nutrition in January, said the smoothies taste like ice cream and their teas taste like juice, but are all healthy. He said they put aloe in many of their products because it helps clean out the digestive system and burn fat.

“We want people to have healthier options,” he said.

Read more about Infit Nutrition’s grand opening on the Glendale Register here.

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Cooper Avenue shelter is now open

The proposed homeless shelter in Glendae on Cooper Avenue
The proposed homeless shelter in Glendae on Cooper Avenue

The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) officially opened the Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center on Friday.

The transitional housing facility at 78-16 Cooper Avenue will provide “high-quality shetler and dedicated employment services” to single adult men experiencing homelessness, a DHS spokesperson said.

The facility welcomed eight men on its opening day, and will gradually increase the number of residents over the next few weeks.

“We look forward to welcoming and supporting more neighbors in need at this location over the next few weeks,” a DHS spokesperson said in a statement. “Working together with service provider Westhab and the community, we’re confident that we will make this the best experience it can be for these individuals as they get back on their feet.”

DHS will also set up a community advisory group that will provide a phone line for community members to call with concerns or issues.

Read more about the opening of the shelter in this week’s Shelter Watch in the Glendale Register.

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