Homeless families in Nassau County are set to move into an old hotel in the small hamlet of Jericho amid the coronavirus pandemic — but some locals aren’t exactly welcoming the newcomers with open arms, according to local reports.
Next month, 80 homeless families in the Long Island county are expected to move into the former Hampton Inn Hotel on Jericho Turnpike, County Executive Laura Curran previously announced.
County Commissioner of Department of Social Services Nancy Nunziata said the number of homeless people in Nassau County has increased by about 20 percent since the start of the health crisis, News 12 Long Island reported.
An estimated 19 children will be housed in the facility, which will be operated by the nonprofit Community Housing Innovations, and are expected to attend Jericho schools, Curran has said.
But some Jericho residents are ra ising objections over the impact the influx will have on the community, which is home to about 14,000 people, Newsday reported
“Nobody in the local community knew anything about it until last week,” Wei Zhu, who has two daughters in the Jericho school system told Newsday. “They should’ve held a public meeting for this project. At least let us understand what’s going on.”
Melissa Wang, a mom with twins in a local elementary school, said she was worried about the tax implications and the impact of a new arrival of school-age children on the district.
“Nobody is telling us how many students will come, how long they will stay and how the school will handle this,” Wang told Newsday. “Personally, I don’t object to this program. But … without a corresponding plan, it’s not fair to us. It’s not fair to the families [that will be sent] to the facility.”
Another resident, Jing Huo, told News 12 he was “very shocked” by the plan.
“This decision has a lack of transparency so we don’t know nothing about it,” he said.
“After six months when those families move, their kids still have a right to remain in the district. The accumulation of these kids is going to grow so large that eventually it could crash the Jericho School District.”