Town demands county ‘vacate’ homeless shelter

‘Alternative sites’ demanded by legislator


On Tuesday, Oct. 17, during a Town of Islip Board meeting, the town council voted unanimously to approve Resolution 22, which addresses steps to shutter the Travelodge in Bay Shore that is currently operating as a homeless shelter.

The resolution authorizes the town supervisor Angie Carpenter to sign any and all necessary documents demanding that the Suffolk County executive and commissioner of the Department of Social Services immediately terminate any discussions regarding the location of the homeless shelter and have the property vacated immediately.

“We have an awful lot of people today on the issue of the Travelodge, or shuttered Travelodge, in Bay Shore, that has all of a sudden become a county-operated homeless shelter,” said Carpenter at the opening of the meeting, with nearly a dozen speakers signed up for the public portion to address the homeless shelter.

“We are absolutely opposed to the county’s unilateral decision to operate a shelter in a residential neighborhood without any concern for the community; we will be looking forward to pursuing the actions necessary,” said Carpenter.

Carpenter said that the town did not receive any notification from the county of the usage of the Travelodge as a homeless shelter, which is against legislation passed in 2000.

Specifically, under Congregate Emergency Shelters law of Suffolk County, § 438-3 under “Siting procedure; operating conditions,” it is stated that “if a sponsoring agency intends to establish a congregate emergency shelter within a municipality, it shall notify the Division of its intent to locate such shelter at a specific site in writing and include in such notice a description of the nature and size of the facility.”

“We never received notification,” said Carpenter.

A congregate emergency shelter is defined as a residential facility providing temporary (nondomicile) housing to at least four individuals or families who or which are homeless, for which such temporary use and occupancy of the housing facilities the owner or primary tenant of the property receives compensation, either directly from the temporary occupant or through reimbursement from a third party on behalf of such temporary occupant, or both.

The spouse, issue, brother, sister, parent, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent-in-law, niece, nephew, grandmother, grandfather, great-grandparent or cousin of an owner of the residential facility, which owner is also occupying the residential facility in question as his or her own domicile, shall not be deemed “an individual receiving treatment” for the purposes of this definition.

Said facility may also provide ancillary services such as counseling, treatment or other support services.

“Today shows how government works,” said Carpenter. “You contacted us, we immediately sent code enforcement there, fire marshals [to the Travelodge], and found that their were violations, including a potential gas situation.”

Legis. Steve Flotteron (R-11th District), whose constituency the Travelodge motel is located in, said that the Bay Shore Travelodge has been an “unmanaged problem” in the community for decades.

“The fact the county executive, along with SC DSS, entered into a contract without notification to me, the county legislator, nor the Town of Islip, is irreprehensible!” said Flotteron.

Characterizing the company contracted to manage the home as a “reputable Bay Shore organization,” Flotteron said that they will provide staff and security 24-hours a day, “which has never been done at this location.”

“I’m insisting the County Executive’s Office and DSS furnish my office with alternative sites in the county. The Bay Shore community is already saturated, and these homes are becoming a burden on the residents,” said Flotteron. 


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