Bragg Street Halfway House Proposal Withdrawn

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The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and when its a bunch of elected officials doing the squeaking, they bring a lot of juice as well.

That after the sponsor of a proposed re-entry facility, or halfway house on the Sheepshead Bay/Gerritsen Beach border informed the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) they are withdrawing their application following a tremendous show of opposition from elected officials, community organizations and residents.

The proposed site was 2261 Bragg Street – formerly Beth Aaron Synagogue. In November of 2015, the Rever Corporation – a private contractor – made public their intentions to submit the site for candidacy to make it a halfway house.

Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

The community victory follows a year of concerted effort by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, State Senator Roxanne Persaud, Councilman Alan Maisel, Former Councilman Lew Fidler and Borough President Eric Adams, who wrote the BOP demanding they deny the application on the grounds that the site was an inappropriate venue for recently released federally incarcerated inmates.

The elected officials expressed “grave concerns about the safety of the children and senior citizens” and the site’s inappropriate proximity to both schools and playgrounds. A letter writing and petition signing campaign that Weinstein spearheaded resulted in the collection of over 2,500 signatures and letters from leaders of local schools, religious organizations, civic groups and tenant associations.

”Working together with my colleagues in government, the organizations who serve this community, and our community members, we have been successful in defeating this ill-advised plan,” said Weinstein. “I am simply overjoyed that the Rever Corporation realized they could not fight our mounting opposition and have withdrawn the dangerous proposal.”

“Never doubt the power of a united community’s voice, a voice that speaks with passion about the importance of safe places to raise healthy children and families. I am proud that this caring and concerned coalition produced a meaningful victory for Sheepshead Bay,” said Adams.

State Sen. Roxanne Persaud
City Councilman Alan Maisel

“My colleagues and I were determined to work with the community in opposition to the opening of a Halfway House on Bragg Street. I agree with the decision by Rever Corporation to withdraw their request,” said Persaud. “While I am supportive of the efforts to relocate previously incarcerated individuals, this is not the location to do so.”

“I am very gratified that a tremendous demonstration of community opposition has stopped in its tracks the proposal to build a halfway house on Bragg Street. This ill-advised scheme would have been a huge detriment to our community.  Once again, a community that stands together can successfully fight for its best interests,” said Maisel.

“I am thrilled that the opposition of a united community to what was a bad idea for our neighborhood was heard,” said Fidler, who now works in Adams office. “I am convinced that our united opposition played a major role in this victory. When this proposal came across my desk at Borough Hall, I notified all of our elected officials and community leaders.  And all stood together to oppose and defeat this foolish plan.”