You are reading

Residents Complain About Homeless Problem At Woodside parks

Windmuller Park

Windmuller Park

June 30, 2016 By Christian Murray

Several residents attended the 108 Police Precinct meeting in Sunnyside Tuesday to complain about a growing homeless problem in Windmuller and Doughboy parks.

Attendees claimed that there were homeless people hanging out near the bathrooms at Windmuller Park (located between Woodside Avenue and 39th Drive) and on the embankment of the adjacent Doughboy Park. Residents said that the homeless were using the bathrooms to keep themselves clean and were in there for an extended period of time. Some were concerned about the safety of children now that summer has begun and the pool at Windmuller has opened.

Captain John Travaglia, the commanding officer at the 108 Precinct, said that he had been getting phone calls about an older homeless lady and, separately, a younger man being there too.

Travaglia said that the police have stationed an officer by the pool and that should help. He said that being homeless is not a crime, although the police are able to ensure that they don’t go into a playground without a child.

The number of homeless in New York City is greater than anytime since the Great Depression. In April 60,000 people were homeless, according to the Coalition for the Homeless.

Travaglia said that the precinct has alerted Homeless Services about the issue at Windmuller, although the homeless have resisted shelter assistance.Doughboy

He said that the precinct has been tackling a homeless problem on Roosevelt Avenue—between 59th and 61st Streets—and that some of the individuals may have moved to the park.

He said that he is still working with Homeless Services to resolve the issue.

Gennaro Massaro, who lives across the street from the park in Berkeley Towers, claimed that there was a lack of police around Windmuller in general and complained about teenagers smoking pot, drinking and noise from kids bouncing basketballs until 3 a.m.

He also said that many of the homeless are illegal immigrants and that it was not fair to US citizens. This led to some racial tension with other attendees.

Doughboy Park

Doughboy Park

 

email the author: [email protected]

62 Comments

Click for Comments 
Brent

There’s a park by my house that smells like urine constantly. Every day the park bench is taken up by homeless belongings, every night it’s taken up by homeless people. So glad I pay taxes but can’t use public spaces.

Reply
Anonymous

I’ve been chased twice this year by the same homeless man.. The police came the first time but not the second. It’s terrifying to not be safe in a one block radius from my home. I find many of the homeless in our area to be polite and kind, I often spare my change or coffee and snacks…. But to be chased down the block… Ducking into a store for safety while I call the police and he blocks the door …

Reply
Sandra

I wouldn’t go to any NYC shelater even if I had a semi-automatic. It’s sleep only no case workers. Big joke.

We have nothing in Queens for them except a cappy pan am hotel. Ask private places how to really run a shelter.

Reply
Fan of doughboy park

There is a fire going in Doughboy Park as we speak. Good thing their is nothing flammable and construction sites are fireproof.

Reply
Anonymous

They have a fire going in middle of Doughboy Park as we speak, nice. Saw it from 2 blocks away.

Reply
Michael

THANK YOU MAYOR DIBLASIO – WE ARE BACK TO THE 70s IN YOUR THIRD YEAR. ONE TERM MAYOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply
Owen May

I live in Wisconsin, but called Berkeley Towers home in the 1960’s and 70’s. The park would later be a safe and delightful haven for my then toddler in the 1980s (although the kids drinking in the park at 2 a.m. were a problem even then.)

But now, really REALLY not so nice? I can’t help but ask myself, what has changed? What’s in the marrow of our society that has changed so dramatically? Rents in NYC, true. But with them a systemic attitude — often fostered by the people we elect to office — that someone ELSE can be responsible for the pickle that some people choose over more responsible and citizen-like behavior.

Hope and change. About 8 years of it. And de Blasio after him. And the attitude thrives: “I’m out. Let someone else cover my needs.”

And to think we all passed on that Romney guy.

Reply
Scoler

Thank God we passed on Romney! He would have been extremely ineffective. He’s done nothing for this country in the last eight years except for taking an occasional potshot at issues he can’t begin to grasp. I think President Obama has done an excellent job in fixing the mess he inherited and improving life in America. Think back on the headlines we saw 8 years ago- things were rapidly unraveling.

Reply
johnny

All our parks are being overtaken by shady characters.
The local bums run John Downling park, Give the illegals a bad name.

Reply
concerned_parent

just like they will take over the proposed new park at the Phipps playground site. the one drunk guy lives across the street in phipps

Reply
bono wont even attempt to solve this problem

just a couple dominicans taking a siesta on the grass! when they wake theyll be walking around glass eyed drinking out of a paper bag and urinating all over the park. what a pleasant site for me and my kids.

Reply
Sunnyside Sam

This park has been a sh*thole for most of the time I’ve lived in Sunnyside. Dead grass, garbage, crappy benches, and homeless people. If they’d spend the money to clean it up and make it a livable green space, not unlike the waterfront in LIC, then people would frequent the park and keep ‘undesirables’ out. The problem is that the demographic that lives in the area is not one of wealth. LIC is full of executives with properties that have Manhattan views. They get taken care of like the subway stations near wall street and the upper east side. This is how things get done. Rich people get amenities while middle to lower class people get Doughboy park. Just like penalties for going below minimum balances while those with lots of money get free checking etc. The homeless problem has been with NYC forever. People just don’t want to spend the money to help those in need, and some of those in need prefer to sleep in parks and behind bushes. I propose a tax on the wealthy to build shelters and aid those that cannot help themselves. Instead, we get the High Line, a new subway line, and Trump tower. It’s a clear choice society has made.

Reply
QueensGal

I am constantly shocked by the fact that SO many people in our community continue to complain about the lack of green space yet this huge park sits here in total disrepair.
We should all continue to write to JVB and petition to have this park cleaned up! Let’s have SOME police presence, let’s push to have the lawn cleaned up and stricter rules put in place to fine dog owners for allowing their animals to pee and poo all over the grass!
I would absolutely love to be able to enjoy this park with my family.

Reply
Delicate Chihuahua

I am glad dandelions are edible but I think they make homeless poop smell. If the neighborhood infrastructure were a little stronger, the poop would flush faster and the homeless could continue to the end of the 7 line. Make the bench uncomfortable for sleeping and put rat poison on the grounds, this will take care of illiterate people and animals.

1
1
Reply
Dog Owner

Dogs are allowed to pee and poop on the grass, as long owners pick up the poop there is nothing to fine.

Reply
classic liberal NIMBY response

so these hardworking migrants from other countries looking to better their lives for their families are not welcome here? and liberals say no to affordable housing in their backyard.

Reply
Gman

These so called hard working immigrants are not immigrants at all. They are here illegally and should be deported and made to apply to come into the United States legally. They are ignoring our laws and by coming here are denying someone who might want to perform a job that they are taking, the opportunity to work.

It is time to tell people from any other country that coming here and ignoring our laws will not be tolerated and if they are found to be here illegally, they should be sent back to where they came from immediately. They shouldn’t have the right to anything. They are law breakers and show their disdain for our sovereignty. They should understand that if you come here without properly applying and being accepted that you will be sent home. In Mexico they get ten years in jail and a $10.000.00 fine if they break in illegally but no one is going into Mexico from the United States. The problem is all of the immigration is one way.

Please honor our laws. The people who built this country fought very hard to make it the greatest country in the world. They wanted to be Americans. The people coming here today are just trying to take our money and have no use for this great land.

As I saw on a tee shirt the other day being worn by a guy in the park, it read, I’m not an Illegal alien, i’m an undocumented Democrat. Come here illegally and get everything others worked very hard to build.

Reply
Anonymous

@Gman There is a lot of illegal stuff going on in the neighborhood. Illegal Bingo Friday nights 6pm at the Berkeley Towers. Illegal street fairs without permits where the space on the public street is sold for $10. We have to put a stop to all.

Reply
Sirf Walter Raleigh

This by far is one the most ignorant posts I have ever Read!!! your blind hatred of people of color is so obvious. By the way the Irish happen to be the biggest Illegal aliens in Sunnyside and talk about DRUNKS! you see I can do it to.

Reply
classic liberal NIMBY response - no better than what trump

so these hardworking migrants from other countries looking to better their lives for their families are not welcome here?

Reply
senor trumpo

many are illegal immigrants? i can use them to help build my wall, when the last brick goes up theyll be on the other side. problem solved. Adios amigos!

Reply
Scoler

Are you sure they weren’t maintenance workers digging up weeds? Are the greens growing there really worthy of a salad?

Reply
Anonymous

There are lots of wild greens that are good for a salad. I frequently see dandelion, lambs quarters, plantain and purslane growing all around Woodside. And don’t worry about the dog pee and poo. Is cow pee and poo any cleaner? That’s what they make fertilizer from. Wash them all carefully before eating. That’s all.

Reply
Scoler

Fertilizer is best from animals that eat grain and plant matter, not meat. Some urban farmer you are!

Reply
Anonymous

Maybe it is best, but if you have it from animals that eat meat, so what? It is second best. Fertilizer is fertilizer. We are dealing with what is. Not what we wish it were.

Reply
Deniz

I visited Windmuller and Doughboy Parks only last week and was shocked to see how filthy it was. Homeless people do not bother me, but the benches and grounds were disgustingly filthy. And to add to that, there were people foraging the landscaping! They had bags, and were pulling up greens – I stared at them and then they walked away.

Reply
Scoler

They were “foraging the landscape”? Holding “bags and pulling up greens.”?

Are you sure they weren’t gardeners and maintenance workers pulling up weeds? or were they picking greens for a salad?

Reply
Sunnyside-_Native

I noticed the beginning of this happening on the other end of the neighborhood. There is a Korean Church abandoned on 40th & Skillman, which had an alcove. These guys would shelter up there all night. Really, what’s it my business? They don’t seem to be hurting anyone? Well, what do they do when the sun comes up? Go hang at the playground in Skillman Park drinking , peeing and who know what else? Agreed, these folks need services, and there are some available to them, however, if you are choosing to be homeless in NYC, during weather extremes, all indicators point to mental health/substance abuse issues, which we have learned heightens are crime rates. Where are the shelter alternatives? What was all the hoopla about Thrive NYC? Our lawmakers and trusted servants have to do a better job with this

Reply
Woodsidesince89

Sunnyside Is the most racist out of all most of the Sunnysiders that can’t afford rent are moving to woodside and bringing there racist sht here keep out sunnysiders you are not welcomed !!

Reply
Danny

Not only do the homeless need to go but something also needs to be done about all of the people allowing there dogs to run free all over the park. Every night I walk home through this area and there is atleast a dozen dogs running off leash everywhere. There is a tall man with a big black dog that I see even letting the dog run down the streets without a leash this should not be allowed there is small children and older adults that can seriously get injured. Even putting this animal at risk to get hit by a car or fighting other dogs.
This park is an absolute free for all I see the homeless and the garbage everywhere.
Instead of allocating more money for more parks clean up what is already there. People don’t respect what they already have how do you think they will take care of anything else new?

Reply
oscar da Grouch

Dogs are allowed off leash in many city parks after 9pm. It’s called ‘off leash hours’

Reply
oscar da Grouch

Once the school construction is done they will work on the new/improved dog run. Thus, you’ll whine a little bit less.

Reply
A.Bundy

time to raise rents and gentrify the area with new condo developments. that’ll keep em out.

Reply
David

Michael You obviously weren’t here in the 80’s. Many many more homeless back then. Thanks for the hype.

Reply
Michael

I agree. I was here in the 80s. I will adjust to-
Thank you Mayor Di blasio for bringing us back to the 80s in just two and a half years! ONE TERM MAYOR!

Reply
Scoler

Mike, you’re not making any sense. You’re entitled to your opinion on the Mayor but it’s wrong to blame him for the homeless situation in NYC. He inherited a huge problem. maybe you need to pay attention to what’s going on?

Reply
michael

WE CAN THANK MAYOR DIBLASIO FOR THE HIGHEST HOMELESS SINCE THE 1930s. ONE TERM MAYOR!!! VOTE ANYONE ELSE IN 2017!

Reply
Barbara

@Michael Please explain how Diblasio created the homeless. This sounds like a blind rant to me and I’m a Republican…That’s the problem today with what people call political substance no substance details or explanations, just baseless slogans and screaming….

Reply
dd

DiBlasio didn’t “create” the homeless problem. However, he is ill equipped to deal with the problem. Guiliani and Bloomberg administrations had services in place to help the homeless and conditions in the shelters were far better than they are now. I’ve spoken to some of the more coherent, truly homeless people who have said that the shelters are currently overrun by bedbugs and rodents and they prefer the streets which are cleaner. Let’s also not forget that the DiBlasio administration now allows public urination, drinking in the streets and all other petty and “broken window” crimes so it’s free reign in the streets of NYC at the moment.

Reply
David

This is a problem that has been occurring for over two years now. The problem is that they deficate and urinate behind the bushes. They also have women come visit them and they have sex under a blanket. They use cardboard boxes and save them behind the bushes. It’s very sad but something needs to be done to help these people. The park itself looks abandoned. There is garbage all over and the grass looks like it has not been mowed in a long time. I have been meaning to write a letter about this to the council member. I see this every day because I walk with my dog through the park. I stopped walking through because of all the men lying on the ground but I went back this week and it has gotten worse.

Reply
Danny

You can thank Gary the manager of the park for not cutting the grass and keeping up with it. Another neighborhood freeloader with an easy job and still doesn’t do what he’s supposed to. Call Jimmys office and tell them.

Reply
Unsafe

Agreed. I feel unsafe. The drunk guys started yelling at me and calling me names and “hey baby come over here”. It’s one of the only patches of grass we have and now it’s littered and scary. It’s unfair we feel unsafe in our neighborhood.

Reply
Tony 'The wrench'

If you don’t close the boarder, this problem is only going to get worse. Yes, not all of the homeless are immigrants… But that’s not the point. A lot of these people hanging around the parks, are the same immigrants who stand around (jornaleros) waiting for work. There isn’t always work, so what do these individuals do when there isn’t work? A few weeks ago, a friend of mine heard noise in her backyard, she went out right as this thief was passing her mountain bike over to his buddy’ she was scared and only managed to just watch as this happened, then immediately calling the cops… The bike is basically lost’ but she saw the thief, and told me it was the same type of guys that hangs out at Doughboy hill’ sprawled out on the grass getting piss drunk at 2 in the afternoon’
Thumbs up’

Reply
oscar da Grouch

Homelessness will always be a big problem in a city like NYC. There are simple solutions to a few of the problems that are occurring in that park. 1. PORT-a-JOHNS. EVERY big park in NYC should have 1, and it should be cleaned each day. Most park bathrooms close by around 5pm. Where are these homeless people supposed to go to the bathroom? They have no choice but to go outside. 2. More trash cans. 3. Outreach workers should expand their mission to include teaching these people why it’s important to clean up after themselves. 4. Cops need to do a better job in dealing with them- zero tolerance for drinking/drug use/sex in public. All the rookies that just graduated should be on foot patrol for a year in areas of high crime/concern, we need community policing. People come here illegally for work, and who is hiring them? People just like you-construction, landscaping, painting, you name it. I see the people picking them up on 69th street every morning. Guess what color they are…white. why would they hire illegals? Simple, it’s more profitable. You should be coming down as hard on them as you are the illegals.

Reply
Joe Dummy

If the rent was lower the crime rate would go up inviting lower class residence that rob and steal as there secondary income dumb ass

Reply
Ur dum

Residents* , their* … remember that time you tried calling others stupid but misspelled every other word in the comment? Good times.

Reply
The Sunnier Side

Yes- this is an issue. And what about the safety of the homeless people? From my perspective, a person with a home who visits the park for an hour or two at a time and goes back to shelter, stability, cleanliness, and dignity is much safer than a person who lives exposed to the elements, in uncertainty about how to access the basics of life: food, shelter, community, hygene.

I completely agree that our parks are not an ideal place for people to live. And I don’t think that relating to homeless humans as inherently more problematic or violent than the rest of the population is going to solve anything. Please remember as you speak that these are people first, homless second.

Reply
Anonymous

Parks are not a place to live period. You obviously don’t live near this park. It is becoming unsafe. The people living there need to move along. The last time this happened a small girl was raped.

Reply
Scoler

If I were homeless, where would I go? Some sidewalk? A patch of grass in a park under a tree? Where would you like them to move to? And please, spare us the cheap shots about little girls being raped- totally irrelevant and probably not true.

Reply
Myca

A woman &young teen were raped in that area. Google & you will see. These ppl do nothing but drink beer & smoke pot all day. Then look for cans to sell and buy more beer & blast radio all day & night. They are of all different races & defecate & urinate in public when bathrooms are closed. Hope they go hangout by your home.

Reply
Scoler

This IS my home. Homeless people are not rapists. This IS a big problem and no one wants these kinds of problems but trying to associate homeless people with rape is wrong and unfair. If you ARE homeless, it’s not always your fault- life is hard for many people. If a homeless person has no access to a bathroom, what should they do? Where should they go? What would happen to you if you had a string of bad luck? Maybe here is someone who would reach out and help you, maybe not.

20 Years baby

for all these new comers to the neighborhood, it never has been like this. I’ve been here for over 20 years, basically since birth. When I used to play in the parks there were just about 10 homeless people that were common. Now im seeing crazy people left and right. The man by DD on 43 doesnt bother anyone. The annoying “change?” guy by starbucks has drugged out more and that really tall guy whose hunched over isnt around. The library is DISGUSTING. fuck these people. who says they need peace and homes when they almost always are drugged out their minds. Let them rot until they die out.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Op-ed: An urgent call for revising NY’s criminal justice reforms to protect public safety

Apr. 11, 2024 By Council Member Robert Holden

In 2019, the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice system by enacting several laws, including cashless bail and sweeping changes to discovery laws. Simultaneously, the New York City Council passed laws that compounded these challenges, notably the elimination of punitive segregation in city jails and qualified immunity for police officers. These actions have collectively undermined public safety and constrained law enforcement effectiveness.