"Of all the liars
in the world,
the worst are
your own fears"
Understand and recognize the manipulation tactics used to stoke primal fear and cause rational people to abandon their values, sense of decency towards neighbors & compassion for those in need.
Misconceptions and Deceptions
Jericho Board of Education President, Bill Ferro addressed the community about hurtful emails he and the Board Of Education members have received about the Jericho Family Support Center. This video was doctored and posted on social media to deceive our community. This was an attempt to turn us against a good man who has voluntarily served our community honorably for over 12 years. His commitment to excellence for this district, our children and community is one of the reasons why the Jericho school district is so highly ranked.
Who is Bill Ferro and what has he done for Jericho?
Other Misconceptions and Deceptions
Laura Curran's real plan is to move 300 men and 100 families to Jericho.
This fabrication appeared in the Locust Valley paper and is patently false. No single men or individuals will be moved to The Jericho Family Support Center (Formerly the Hampton Inn). 50 families with children currently live in Jericho in unregulated motels and they will be relocated, two blocks from their current location, to The Jericho Family Support Center. Another 30 other families with children will be relocated there from other motels in other towns. They will be safer, have security, offered services like childcare, 3 meals a day and services to help them get back on their feet so they can transition into permanent housing faster.
Most of the Jericho community is against this so there is nothing I can do.
This is not true. The "Concerned Jericho Parents" have just been the loudest voice which intimidates many people. They have also posted a lot of misinformation on their various platforms which stoke fear.
These families will be given $80,000 when they move there.
These families will receive no lump sum of cash beyond what their normal public assistance benefits allow.
The Jericho Family Support Center is an "illegal shelter".
The Concerned Jericho Parents refer to it as a "illegal homeless shelter" in an attempt to dehumanize the families and say they are protesting the illegallity of the shelter to disguise the cruelty of their actions against fellow human beings who are suffering and in need. Make no mistake, stopping this facility has a direct, negative impact of these families. They suffer each day that is remains closed.
There is some unknown danger having the Jericho Family Support Center 2 minutes away from Cantiague Elementary School.
The Jericho Family Support Center is a safe, nuturing environment for families in need and only serves Parents with children. These families nor their children pose a threat to the elementary school, faculty or our children. Security is so tight at Cantiague, that it is difficult to get in as a parent to see your own child. With strict protocols, our children are safe from any real or imagined threat at Cantiague.
Henry Grishman and Laura Curran donated money to the "Concerned Jericho Parents" Gofundme page.
"Concerned Jericho Parents" Gofundme page shows an $18 donation from Henry Grishman and a $5 donation from Laura Curran.
This is just like the nightmare that NYC had by putting homeless men in the hotels.
Nope. Nothing like that. The city placed homeless men that were living on the street into hotels as a way to control the outbreak of Covid-19. Close quarters in the city’s congregate shelters made it virtually impossible for hard-up New Yorkers to socially distance as the coronavirus pandemic exploded in March, which ultimately killed more than 23,000 across the five boroughs — including 104 who were homeless.The outbreak forced an initially hesitant City Hall to find more than 60 hotels with rooms for 10,000 people in a last-ditch effort to slow the spread of the virus, awarding the Hotel Association of New York City a $78 million contract to find the space (New York Post, De Blasio says he’s eyeing wind down of COVID-19 hotel shelters. By Julia Marsh and Nolan Hicks August 17, 2020 | 4:40pm)
A MEGA Shelter is being placed in our quiet community.
This facility holds has 80 rooms. The 3 Jericho motels hold 167 rooms combined. The motels are currently being used as temporary shelters for homeless. If the 3 motels were no longer used as temporary shelters by DSS, the Jericho Family Support Center would reduce the number of homeless in our community. The JFSC is a transitional shelter where families will receive support services to ensure a SUCCESSFUL transition into permanent housing rather than staying in the motels indefinately.
The Concerned Jericho Parents raised $87,000 to pay for lawsuit so it doesn't cost you any money to stop the shelter.
Think again. The lawsuit was initiated by Joseph Saladino and is being paid for by the Town Of Oyster Bay, so that means you. Yes, this is coming out of our local taxes that was not budgeted for so when our taxes go up next year, you'll know why. The Concerned Jericho Parents' motion to intervene in the case was denied by the judge on Sept 18, 2020.
FEAR: The Jericho Family Support Center will destroy our community and tear us apart.
Only actions of hate based on fear can do that. Examples of this would be 1) illegally protesting at our community grocery store (Whole Foods is on private property) with a petition to stop the “homeless shelter” under the guise of looking out for the rights of the homeless 2) putting up signs of hate throughout our peaceful community under the guise of need for “transparency” with the hateful message of “say NO to homeless shelter” or 3) sending hate filled, sometimes racist emails to our Board of Education, Superintendent and our elected officials. These actions run in direct opposition to the welcoming, caring community we know Jericho to be, and is a misrepresentation of the values at the core of our community. We are kind, inclusive and treat our neighbors with dignity and respect. So, in facing our fears we put this website together to keep our community informed with TRUTHS based in reality, rather than rumors based on fear. Our community can UNITE under the umbrella of KINDNESS.
FEAR: This is a Homeless Shelter that will house criminals, sex offenders and drug addicts.
TRUTH: The Jericho Family Support Center is strictly for families with children. It is not a half-way house for criminals transitioning into society, it is not a methadone clinic for recovering drug addicts. Sex offenders will NEVER be placed in the Jericho Family Support Center because children will reside there. The purpose is to provide a safe, secure, stable environment for families. The agency operating it has 29 such facilities in Nassau and Suffolk County, including a larger motel with 100 families in Suffolk County since 2013.
FEAR: Crime will go up and criminals will be roaming the streets of our neighborhood and bring drugs into our schools.
TRUTH: In addition to a safe secure stable environment for families in need, one of the goals of CHI is to create value in the community. Creating this type of facility to serve families will ultimately eliminate the other “welfare” motels in the Jericho area that do not provide services and are unregulated and unsupervised.
To ensure the safety of these families and our community, the Jericho Family Support Center will have 24/7 staff coverage, 100 CCT security cameras installed throughout the facility, a 9pm weekday curfew, an 11pm weekend curfew, and bag checks for everyone entering the facility.
FEAR: These families will be living there indefinitely for years.
TRUTH: CHI has an innovative system to deal with homelessness which sets a “blue ribbon” standard for homeless families designed to get them back on their feet and into permanent homes in a documented average of six to nine months. In addition to providing a safe, secure, stable environment for these families in need, CHI is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, and their educators and counselors are experts in the field. They provide services to help families transition more quickly into permanent housing, including assistance with housing applications, phone calls to landlords and realtors and education services to help sustain permanent housing.
FEAR: Hundreds of children will enter our schools and stay indefinitely.
TRUTH: Of the 80 families that have been interviewed for placement in this facility, parents of only 19 children have expressed interest in registering their children in the Jericho schools. Most opt to stay in their original home school districts because once families are placed into permanent housing, they must go to school in their home district at the completion of the school year.
FEAR: Jericho’s #1 ranking will drop because of new homeless students.
TRUTH: We are #1 because of outstanding teachers, support staff, principals, our Superintendent and our Board of Education members, who work tirelessly in their commitment to excellence and success for EVERY student to realize the potential for each child. They have all created a nurturing, learning environment rooted in kindness and respect for everyone. We have had children who are homeless attending our schools for many years, up to 45 students at one point, and our ranking has never changed because their commitment has remained steadfast and unwavering. Neither race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, heritage, economic status nor the ability of the parents to speak English has been a factor in the district’s commitment to our children. To indicate anything other than that is an insult to our amazing faculty and district leadership.
FEAR: The school district knew about this the whole time and kept the community in the dark.
TRUTH: There were preliminary discussions with the school district several months ago; however, there was nothing for the school district to communicate with the community. The Hampton Inn was only acquired in July, and was in review by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The state inspects and certifies such facilities and typically does not consult the local community. As soon as they got information they conveyed it to us immediately.
FEAR: The community wasn't told in advance so Laura Curran and CHI are engaged in some shady deal.
Homeless housing goes up throughout the state regularly without any fanfare or notification to the community because it is not required. The county is obligated to find housing for the homeless under state law. The state inspects and certifies such facilities and typically does not consult the local community. The CHI plan offers a solution to the homeless problem as a whole. The ultimate goal of the CHI plan is to reduce the homeless population by giving them the services and support they need to get out of homeless shelters and into permanent housing. All CHI properties are regulated and managed to ensure success for the families and the communities they are in.
FEAR: The location is unsuitable because there is no grocery store within walking distance and no crosswalks.
TRUTH: Three meals a day will be provided to these families. They do not have stoves in their rooms for cooking, so trips to the grocery stores would be unnecessary. Crosswalks are close by on Jericho Turnpike at safe crossing areas like by the Dunkin Donuts and The Home Depot. In addition, there will be a van and bus service providing trips to jobs and appointments for the families.
FEAR: New students can catch Meningitis in the shelter and bring to school.
Meningitis might be a concern for a "barracks" style shelter but would not be a concern for this hotel style. This was a Hamton Inn hotel that has individual rooms for families and that layout will remain for the Jerich Family support Center. When many people think of homeless shelter, they think of a large open room with cots lined up like military barracks, that is not the case for the JFSC. Think of staying in a hotel while on vacation, it is supposed to be like home away from home. The idea is to have a clean, safe, stable environment that is suitable for families until they can get back on their feet and move into permanent housing.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many rooms are there at the Hampton Inn?
There are 80 units.
How many families will be placed at the Hampton Inn?
A maximum of 80 families.
Will residents be cooking / have access to ovens / burners in each room?
No, there will be a microwave and small refrigerator in each unit. Three meals are provided daily, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, residents can bring meals back to their room or eat in the dining area if they so choose.
Will the layout of the hotel be the same as the blueprints on record, or will modifications be made, and new blueprints submitted?
The layout is the same. The pool area will be closed and off limits to everyone the pool will be emptied and locked down. Eventually the developer will apply for the permits to remove the pool, and replace with a childcare center.
Will this site be used as a halfway house, and will sex offenders be housed here? What sort of background checks will be performed?
No. This is not a halfway house. No sex offenders will be allowed as there will be children residing there.
Will there be any methadone administered at the site?
No. This is not a drug treatment program. No methadone will be administered.
Will there be a curfew for residents?
Yes, 9PM during school nights and 11PM on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays.
Will there be anything put in place to assure that there will be no drugs, violence and trauma at the shelter?
The facility will have 24-hour security staff and will be also be monitored through a CCTV system. Staff will conduct bag checks on all people entering the building, as well as regular room checks and random room checks.
Are all kids enrolled in the transitional housing program also enrolled in the school district?
The federal McKinney-Vento Act and New York Education law section 3209 provide important school selection and enrollment protections to preschool-12 students in temporary housing. Parents or unaccompanied youth in temporary housing may have up to three choices to enroll in school. They can choose:
- The school district where they were last permanently housed (district or origin), or
- The school district last enrolled in, even if the student was temporarily housed at the time.
- The local school district where the student is temporarily placed.
How many children will need to be enrolled in the school district?
As of 7/28/20 we anticipate 19 children being added to the Jericho School district at no cost to the district. (Jericho school district)
9 Elementary students
6 Middle School students
4 High School students
Will adding these children affect the reopening plans at Jericho in light of COVID-19?
As per the school superintendent this will not alter any school reopening plans
How do the additional students impact the school district’s resources, funding and budget? What is the funding source to meet additional needs, such as transportation, food, after-school care, etc.?
Any time a student is temporarily placed into a new district, the “home district,” or “district of origin,” remains financially responsible for the student’s education and transportation to school. Any gaps in costs between the student's home district and the Jericho School district will be covered by state and county(McKinney-Vento Act, DSS Commissioner Nancy Nunciata). There is no cost to the Jericho School District or added costs to Jericho residents. (Hank Grishman BOE meeting 08/13/2020 & 10/9/2020)
Will the families and students be homed permanently at this location or will this site be transitional? If temporary, how long can we expect students to be enrolled at Jericho?
This is not permanent housing. It is a transitional housing facility licensed by NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (NYSOTDA). It is expected that families will be housed anywhere from 6-8 months. Our directive to all providers is to move families to permanent housing as quickly as possible. This provider has one of the most accomplished records with respect tot his goal. This provider will be held accountable to adhere to this directive. The goal is to find suitable permanent housing for each family.
PROCESS & COMMUNITY INPUT
What is the approval process, and was it accelerated or circumvented? If so, why?
The approval process is through NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The shelter provider notifies the State of their intent to develop a shelter. The State conducts and initial walkthrough of the site to determine its appropriateness. The shelter provider then must complete an extensive operational plan, security plan a budget in accordance with the State Part 900 regulations. The State then must approve and make final determination.
Why was the community not made aware of this in advance?
Nassau County engaged directly with the impacted stakeholder in this situation, the Jericho School District. Discussions occurred in January 2020 with the District and a general plan was presented. While there will be an addition of a few students ranging from K-12, the district will bear no cost. The school district where the student was previously enrolled must pay the costs. Jericho school District has welcomed homeless students that have been placed in motels for many years. At one point the district had as many as 45 students. The only difference now is that the students will be housed in a safer, cleaner and more stable environment thus relieving some of the trauma and stress that negatively impacts the student learning abilities and abilities to concentrate on their studies. (BOE Zoom meeting 8/13/2020)
Why was the school district not given an opportunity to prepare for an influx of children?
A meeting was held with the school superintendent on January 14, 2020 to discuss this project and the small impact on the district. The distict has over 3000 students and only 19 students will be entering the school when it opens. This number is down from the average new enrollments in a new school year. (BOE Zoom meeting 8/13/2020) Again, there is no cost to the school district.
Who is managing the property?
The property will be managed by Community Housing Innovations (CHI). CHI has been serving the Long Island community for the past 29 years. The services cover the operation and management of 24/7 emergency housing, the development of permanent affordable housing and down payment assistance for first time homebuyers.
What is Nassau County’s role?
It is Nassau county’s role to provide emergency housing for homeless individuals and family but Nassau is not managing the property and has no role in the everyday operations for the shelter.
What precautions are being taken for COVID-19?
CHI developed a strong response to the COVID-19 virus including cleaning protocols for staff, supplying staff and clients with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies, COVID screenings on all clients and any authorized visitors including temperature checks.