June 24, 2019 By Christian Murray
A drug and alcohol rehabilitation center is planned to open on Roosevelt Avenue near the 52nd Street subway station this fall.
Representatives from Argus Community, a non-profit organization that treats people with substance abuse problems, told Community Board 2’s Land Use committee Thursday that it plans to move into a 7,800 square foot space at 52-22 Roosevelt Ave.
The building is under construction and Argus aims to move in by October. The non-profit did not say what floors of the 5-story, mixed-use building it would occupy but did say it was close to signing a lease.
The organization plans to use the site to treat up to 45 adults with drug and alcohol problems via an inhouse treatment program. The inhouse patients would be at the facility 24/7 for a 21-day detox period.
Argus also plans to open an outpatient clinic on the site that would operate from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The plan was not viewed favorably by some members of the Land Use Committee who said that it was not a good place for the facility.
“You should anticipate an enormous amount of community pushback,” said Patrick O’Brien, a member of the Land Use Committee, to the Argus representatives.” The neighborhood is going to go bananas over this.”
He said the facility would be just one block away from the Quality Inn homeless shelter on Queens Boulevard, which many residents are already unhappy about.
Additionally, it would be located in a poorly-lit section of Roosevelt Avenue that is not that far from two schools—P.S. 11 and the Razi School—as well as the Woodside Library. He said that there have been problem bars and crime in that section of Roosevelt Avenue too.
“It’s the perfect storm,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien recognized a need for the facility but said it wasn’t fair to the residents who live in close proximity to the proposed location. He asked the Argus representatives if they looked at other sites in the district.
An Argus representative said yes, but was unable at the time of the meeting to say where.
Argus officials said the facility would have security. They said that the patients undergoing the 21-day detox program would be inside the facility the entire time and they would not leave unless they are escorted. Furthermore, when the patients complete the program, they are discharged to family members or go into other programs to ensure a smooth transition back to the community.
Argus does not need to get a special permit or require a rezoning for its plans to move forward. However, it does need the New York State OASAS (Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services) to sign off on the proposal. Argus has been working with OASAS on the location.
Questions were raised by the board about the outpatient component of the program and whether it would result in patients loitering at nearby parks or in the streets.
Argus insists that it has security personnel to minimize problems and that it would conduct regular sweeps of the area. However, board members noted that Argus doesn’t have any authority outside the facility.
But not all members opposed the plan. Some argued that there is a need for programs like Argus’ and that Community Board 2 should not adopt a NIMBY approach to it. Some argued that no matter where it would go there would be pushback. They were reluctant to reject it.
The committee, by a 5-3 vote, ultimately decided to write a letter in opposition to the plan arguing that the board needed more information about the plan. The letter is being addressed to OASAS and elected officials.
I hope you guys are fighting it.
De Blasio is putting s*t all over Queens.
The Mayor’s Kew Gardens Homeless Shelter houses mentally ill males who are wreaking havoc for a 2 mile radius.
Judging by the increase in crime and the rape and missing persons lately, I don’t feel comfortable with this opening up. Crime will definitely increase. I have seen a lot of these clinics, I don’t even believe 50% of these people are clean, … The people that don’t make it end up sharing information with others on where to get more drugs and stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if home burglaries went up again
I AM NOT going to live near a rehab place . OK . I pay enough in taxes . I am a homeowner living down the corner to the temporary shelter I get enough of the weed odor that goes on here on the block !! You have no idea what kind of ignorants & TRASH comes on our block . Where is Community Board ?? YES center on 61 st & Woodside Ave is filled with alcoholics , take a look at Duane Reade park – its filled with them on benches.
They building a homeless shelter on 51 St and no one is doing squat !! Iam moving out of Woodside .
Since you’re tired of alcoholics, you should definitely be against rehab for people trying to stop being alcoholics.
Go ahead and move, they’ll be one in your new neighborhood too! Lol!
Reply to if I move :
I like to think that new location where I will be moving will be much better than living near crack&
dope heads . Why don’t they put rehab near Queens Plaza plenty space there???
I like to be surrounding by better class of people. Its my choice .
It is a medical facility, same as any other medical facility. Pull your heads out of your collective asses.
Is this place going to be “drug free zone” or “free drug zone”???
Hell no, we do not want this in our neighborhood !!!!!!!!!!!!
Imagine trying to recover from addiction with the sounds of people partying from across the street at Deseos night club. You look across the street to see what the hooting and hollering is all about and you see the bright neon signs of Aldolfo’s Liquor. Is torturing these people with temptation apart of their recovery plan?
Not to mention the constant nerve wracking rumbling of trains. This site doesn’t serve anyone very well.
Build it in Park Slope. This area does not need more degenerates. There was some drunk screaming outside my apartment at 3am.
> There was some drunk screaming outside my apartment at 3am.
Welcome to NYC. You’ll get more used to it after your first week.
Complain about the homeless in the park, then they’re housed in shelter, let’s complain about that. Complain about the people who use drugs in the park, then complain about agencies trying to help them. Hmmmm………complain complain, where shall these people be placed, where’s a good spot? Oh, wait, I know, perhaps a leper colony is the solution! I hate that my neighbors publicly continue to shame and place stigma on those who need help. Wondering how many of them I sit next to in church on Sundays? Very Christian of all of you, oh wait, there are some of you who don’t think church is a good place for a homeless person to warm up and stay alive in, that’s right. Good Christian folk!
I’m not a Christian, I’m an atheist so I guess I’m allowed to be fed up with all the crap being dumped in our neighborhood.
That kind of atheism brings shame on the rest of us.
Maybe a trip to 62nd and Woodside Ave is quicker. Let us know what you see up there, outside of WQRS. They’ve been in operation for many years, and I’m sure there’s no issues, or we would have had many rants about it!
So who wants to make a bet that Jimmy Van Bramer or AOC won’t do anything to relocate this. Great idea putting it in a dark area next to a bunch of schools….I can see our local drug dealers can’t wait to get some new customers.
What part of rehab did you misunderstand?
Can you tell us who can we call to complain about it?
what’s wrong with the commercial spaces on the other side of queens boulevard by the PC Richards and the strip club?
Roosevelt Avenue is problematic enough: dark, dank, filled with pigeons, bars, and sometimes very questionable characters. Not the safest place to walk around during the night and not so great during the day. This area needs to be cleaned up – now there is zero chance of its happening.
These are people trying to get better, you are all a bunch of idiots
Yes, and they ALWAYS succeed. And there’s never any drama or police activity around drug treatment facilities.
In the words of the great philosophers David Bowie and Freddy Mercury:
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can’t we give love that one more chance?
Why can’t we give love, give love, give love, give love
Give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?
‘Cause love’s such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love (people on streets) dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
I think we need more of these centers, but please build it near Jimmy Van Bramer’s home in Sunnyside Gardens, these centers are needed in our neighborhood to accomadate many of our new neighbors who live in the homeless hotels on Queens Blvd and throughout the neighborhood some which are in dire need of these services, so on one hand drug addition centers and on the other a group wanting to legalize recreational marijauna WTF!!!. Now all that will be missing is the Cherry on Top the build-up of a community jail in the vicinity. All great additions to Queens, instead of Amazon, 25,000 direct and thousands more in direct jobs, thanks to Jimmy “The Job Killer” Van Bramer, Michael Giannaris and others. We need to take back our local government and elect people that will represent all of us and not just one segment of society. Watch JVB come out against this center to make himself look like he’s really in your corner and win points for his next elected office run.
Treatment centers are also needed to treat many existing members of our community, as well. Do you live in a bubble?
“The neighborhood is going to go bananas over this.”
Like that mattered when people complained about homeless shelters. It makes no difference there is never enough pushback, they will do whatever they want.
The comments made by Mr. O’Brien are a serious concern to me. As an active life long member of the Sunnyside community, who happens to be in recovery from substance use disorder, as well as many of my family members and friends, I cannot believe the closed minded, uneducated statement this person gave to any member of the press. I also work in this field, and having a treatment center in the neighborhood is a positive addition for people who need help to get it without having to spend time traveling. I wonder how many crimes have been committed up near 62nd and Woodside Ave between the hours of 9am -9 pm as a direct result of Western Queens Recovery Services being there as well as The AIDS Center of Queens County? Before we go insinuating that people who have a problem with drugs or alcohol getting help will ruin our neighborhood – do some research, get some stats and then make your comments in a more informed way!!!!!
Duane Reade was robbed and if u look at the park near it all u see are drunks .
Area smells like a public bsthroom . Yea its cos of thst center.
Perfect location! Down the block from the Shelter Hotel that was silently put into the neighborhood. Easy walk. But, Amazon Van Bramer yells about!? Thank goodness for term-limits and someone totally new coming into office in 2021 for our neighborhood. They have a lot of work to clean up afterwards to do. Add this one to the list!
So needed for people seeking a hopeful future. Good news for all.
Thank you Sister Tesa! A welcome voice. Your agency does such great work. I only wish people could recognize that most people in situations where substance use disorder is prevalent didn’t plan their life to be that way, and wish they could see a way out. Hopefully, Argus will begin to make a difference in a neighborhood where treatment options are so limited. I only hope the naysayers can see that sitting in judgement doesn’t ever really help anyone.
Awesome! Crackheads to greet you at the train.
Da Truth- Funny you never mention the one that’s been at 61st Street and Woodside Ave. for years. You obviously never noticed it.
I’m pretty sure that’s happening already, without anyone seeking treatment services, just look in both pigeon parks. Lifelong drug and alcohol users who aren’t seeking help. Does it make it okay that they’re born and raised in Sunnyside/Woodside? Perhaps we know some of their family members? Maybe their kids sit next to ours in school! What if their wife is a co-worker? You might want to keep your shitty sarcastic remarks to yourself!
Not saying that woodside should not have these facilities, but hopefully the methadonians and pillheads will be kept at bay. Take a trip to 125th st and lexington ave and look around. Or, take a trip to 100th st and madison ave. on a saturday morning. Let everyone know what you see.
I see this everywhere in the Bronx!
Ummmm …has anyone noticed the amount of junkies hanging outside the Occupational Therapy office beside Dunken Donuts on 58th and Roosevelt – not to mention the triangle park beside Duane-Reade? Seriously?! Woodside is the epicenter of the in-between. They don’t want it in Sunnyside (Van Bremer), Astoria (Gianaris), or Jackson Heights (AOC), so they dump their ‘close but not TOO close’ projects in Woodside. Because every Woodside Middle school and high school student should be made walk through homeless junkies shitting on the street and being strung out every day instead of every other day!!
These types of facilities should be well located! in good central locations that will help the most people in the nicest setting possible. These places shouldn’t be dumps, hidden or in bad neighborhoods….everyone has an alcoholic or drug addict in their family that has needed help at some point. Would you want them to be in a dangerous neighborhood getting treatment??? ….Every neighborhood has AA programs, this is not a big deal. Its a rehab clinic/mini hospital where people will get care. This place will probably also provide jobs for the community. Its just another business.
What the hell? Like it’s not crappy enough over there?
US has concentration camp at down south…and we spending money on this thing??? We need to build refugee camp at sunny&wood side!
People are using the words “concentration camps” a little too loosly. We do not have this in the South. Do you know your history? AOC for President…..God help us. If she is so concerned, has she gone down to the detention centers? Is she doing anything to help the situation?Have a little respect for this country. Never Forget 911
What the U.S. is doing at the U.S.-Mexico border today by detaining hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants and children “fits very cleanly” inside the historical definition of concentration camps, Pitzer argued.
Such barbaric facilities existed decades before the creation of Auschwitz and other Nazi Germany political prisons, where millions of Jewish people were murdered in the Holocaust during World War II, she noted.
Though the term “concentration camp” today often elicits images of Holocaust death camps, it’s also been used historically to refer to the mass detention of people, often political prisoners or members of a persecuted minority group, without trial.
“The death camps ― which were on top of the existing concentration camps system, including Auschwitz and a series of other camps in which you had gas chambers, mass killings ― that is a singular moment in history,” Pitzer said Tuesday. “And for the people that want to respect that, I think that’s fine and that’s important.”
She continued: “If we want to call it ‘irregular detention,’ if we want to call it ‘extrajudicial detention,’ I don’t think we have to get stuck on that term. I wrote a history of the term … and what I would really like people to know is that the same thing is happening here now.”
Oh sweet jaysus. This is bound to get ugly.
It already has, with the usual suspects.
where did they get all that $$$$ to pay rent in a brand new building……
From us, where else?
There goes the neighborhood; between the bike lanes, and the welfare motels it is downhill. We can thank Little Jimmy and his pal Gianaris for this.