July 2, 2019 By Christian Murray
A non-profit organization that announced last month that it was going to open a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center on Roosevelt Avenue has decided to scrap its plans.
Argus Community, a non-profit organization that treats people with substance abuse problems, notified Community Board 2 last week that it is no longer going to move ahead with its plan to move into 52-22 Roosevelt Ave., where it planned to treat up to 45 adults with drug and alcohol problems via an inhouse treatment program.
Denise Keehan-Smith, Community Board 2 Chair, said the board received a letter from Argus last week notifying them that the organization was no longer moving ahead with its plans. She said that Argus did not cite a reason.
Representatives from Argus, when they announced their plans to open a facility at Community Board 2’s Land Use committee last month, did receive pushback from committee members.
Members were not opposed to the opening of the facility—just its location.
“You should anticipate an enormous amount of community pushback,” said Patrick O’Brien, a member of the Land Use Committee and former CB2 Chair, to the Argus representatives at the time.
O’Brien, who recognized that Argus was providing an essential service, expressed concern that it would be located just a block away from the Quality Inn homeless shelter on Queens Boulevard. He said that many residents in this section of Woodside were already upset by the shelter.
He asked Argus to look for other sites in the district.
Additionally, O’Brien noted that the facility would be located near 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, which is a poorly-lit stretch.
Representatives from Argus could not be reached. There is no word as whether the non-profit is looking at other sites.