Residents in Chinatown came together Thursday night to rally for their safety and against a city plan to open more shelters in the neighborhood.
“Being an Asian woman at this time, I feel very unsafe,” said Susan Lee of the Alliance for Community Preservation and Betterment.
Four homeless shelters have been proposed for the neighborhood, including one at the site of a local hotel at 231 Grand Street.
There are already six shelters in Chinatown, the proposal would bring the total number to 10.
Attendees at the rally said they worry there could be an increase in crime after the shelter opens.
“I’m worried about the safety of my kids, but also the kids in the preschool that’s directly across the street,” one rally-goer said.
Homeless advocates, however, say that it’s important for the city to also show concern for the homeless population, a population that has also recently come under attack.
“What this site offers is a place for people to come inside, use the bathroom, take a shower, get cleaned up and take advantage of the mental health and support services right now,” said Corinne Low, co-founder of the Open Hearts Initiative.