Peter’s Place, a 24 hour shelter dedicated specifically to serving the elderly, homeless population in New York City, will be closed according to a new plan proposed by the Department of Homeless Services. The plan is part of broader cuts in funding for shelters that specifically target certain sectors of the population (women, mentally ill, etc.).
Peter’s Place opened its doors 16 years ago in the basement of St. Vincent DePaul Church on 23rd Street. Since then, the shelter has provided meals, clean clothes and showers to homeless elderly in New York City. Although Peter’s Place does not provide beds to the seniors, its services are specifically geared towards assisting the elderly, particularly those suffering from mental or physical disabilities and illnesses.
The Senior Outrage Coalition protested the proposed change at a rally at City Hall on June 24, 2009. The Senior Outrage Coalition also plans to meet with the Mayor’s office in order to discuss alternatives before June 30, 2009. Jim Fouratt, a candidate for Council Speaker stated, “Let’s call elder abuse exactly what it is and where it is in this city. Elder abuse starts in the mayor’s office, and elder abuse starts in the speaker of the City Council’s office.”
Peter’s Place outcry grows as closure looms, The Villager – Chelsea Now, Patrick Hedlund, June 25, 2009.