The Times Ledger
And here's a rough translation from the World Journal:
Elmhurst residents accuse elected officials of dereliction of duty
Once again more than 1,000 Elmhurst residents protested against the conversion of the Pan American Hotel into a homeless Shelter. A public hearing was held at the Elks Lodge, which is not far from the Pan Am hotel. Dept. of Homeless Services and Samaritan Village representatives were present along with Democratic State Senate contender SJ Jung, City Councilman Danny Dromm, State Senator Toby Stavisky and New York State Assemblyman for the 39th district in Queens, Francisco Moya. SJ Jung blamed elected officials for not fulfilling their duties.
“These homeless people have begun to wander, even into our backyards, garages, and even pressing our doorbells asking for money." This was expressed by not more than one protester. Since the last protest, the authorities have not stopped the homeless from moving in. As of Monday, the Pan American Hotel houses more than 90 homeless families.
"I spent almost 600,000 thousand dollars to buy my house, and I do not want to live together with these people" as Miss Tang said. She also participated in the previous protest.
A small group of homeless families, who already moved into the homeless shelter stood across the street from the protest and began a shouting match with the protesters. "go back to China” said one homeless individual. “Go make us some chicken wings” said another, drawing the ire of the protesters as police officers intervened.
One after another the residents expressed their concerns. A representative from New York City School District 24 indicated the district has no extra room for any more students. Members of the Community Board surmised that the previous owners, who did not attend, were not able to pay their mortgage and sold the hotel to the government. Many Asian residents believed that DHS chose this site because they wanted to “Take advantage (bully) of people of color, who are and often reserved people”.
At the hearing, a resident call into question one of the reason for homelessness as given by The Dept. of Homeless Services and Samaritan Village, and identified that the latest increase in homeless people was not caused by Hurricane Sandy, but from other factors.
Many community residents observed that these homeless people mostly wore expensive athletic shoes (sneakers), or had manicured nails, and some of them even have a car. The protesters were very angry and think the homeless shelter should be removed from the community.
The protesters were most critical of the “Non-transparent” action by DHS in its decision to open a homeless shelter. And the biggest casualty of this criticism was Councilman Daniel Dromm. At one moment of the hearing, a resident even said loudly
"Next year, we won’t vote for you!”
Dromm said he really did not get any advance notice and did not intentionally withhold any information. Stavisky, also said that she was not notified in advance, and expressed that the number of homeless people should be reduced to zero as soon as possible. Once all the current homeless people are moved out none should be allowed to move in.
Vice Secretary of Samaritan Village, Doug Apple explained that they have personnel to address homeless residents with “medical” problems, and they encourage the homeless to go out to find work or job training. DHS representative Lisa Black explained that this is just a temporary homeless shelter. By the end of this year, a majority of them will be moved out. She also stated that under New York law everyone is entitled to shelter."