FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM APRIL 4, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 15
Queens lawmaker petitions for city’s homeless services boss to be fi red
BY MARK HALLUM
Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich is again
leading opposition to city Department of
Homeless Services Commissioner Steve
Banks with a new petition on Change.org
calling for the de Blasio administration
offi cial to be fi red.
According to Ulrich, his call is a plea for
better management of the homeless crisis
through Section 8 and aff ordable housing
to aid the population without a roof over
their head estimated to be between 63,000
to 70,000 citywide.
“Tonight, more than 65,000 men, women
and children will be sleeping in a city shelter
— and thousands more on the streets
and subways,” Ulrich wrote. “Mayor Bill de
Blasio should fi re Steven Banks for doing
an abysmal job running the Department of
Homeless Services. We demand real programs,
solutions and accountability, but
we will not see progress without real leadership.
Steven Banks must go.”
A rally in front of Banks’ home in
Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, last month
saw dozens of protestors who claimed the
city was not transparent in the deployment
of shelters which are oft en placed
near schools. Residents across Queens
have claimed that homeless residents near
families are a hazard.
Ulrich also claims that building new
shelters does not prevent homelessness
nor does it focus on transitioning people
out of facilities contracted by the city.
DHS, as per Mayor Bill de Blasio, has
launched the Turning of the Tide on
Homelessness, a plan that will place shelters
in communities near where the individuals
originate so they can have access
to family and friends. Th e agency has
began the process of phasing out the use
of cluster sites and hotel conversions.
A tour of a shelter in Brooklyn with
TimesLedger and DHS offi cials, including
Banks, in August showed that most residents
rehabilitate from the shelters within
about eight months. Residents have
access to mental health and medical services
on-site and do not leave the property,
operated by nonprofi ts, unless they
check out at the front desk.
Ulrich was criticized by de Blasio in a
recent appearance on NY1’s “Inside City Hall
Photo: Mark Hallum/QNS
with Errol Louis,” during which the mayor
shamed the Queens councilman for using the
term “poverty pimps” in a CBS interview to
describe the nonprofi ts contracted by the city
to service homeless shelters.
Although there is not a goal for the
petition to reach in terms of the number
of signatures, a spokeswoman for
Ulrich said the main objective is to urge
to mayor to ultimately fi re Banks.
Councilman Eric Ulrich at a March rally in front of DHS Commissioner Steve Banks’ house in Brooklyn.
Flushing Cemetery has completed construction of the
Memorial Chapel Mausoleum
Families now have the options of inurnment of cremated remains and
crypt entombment as means of interment and memorialization.
It is with great pride and pleasure that
the Board of Trustees of Flushing Cemetery
the opening of its newly constructed
Memorial Chapel Mausoleum.
The 75 acre countryside cemetery,
lovingly referred to as the
Wonderland of a Million Blooms,
has provided a beautiful resting place
for those who have passed on since 1853.
In addition to its nearly 3400 niches,
the Memorial Chapel Mausoleum
will provide Flushing Cemetery the ability,
for the fi rst time in its 165 year history,
to off er families the option of crypt
entombment in a community mausoleum.
General Manager John Helly stated,
“With cremation rates in New York expected to be
over 50% by the year 2022 and with many cemeteries
facing the reality of dwindling land acreage,
our new mausoleum, with its options of niches and
crypts, will allow Flushing Cemetery to serve the needs
of our community for decades to come”.
Those looking to inquire can call the cemetery offi ce at 718-359-0100
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