It was a reminder to the Ozone Park Residents Block Association, and its president Sam Esposito, why the fight against the homeless shelter for 113 mentally ill men was important.
“We’ve been inundated with homeless men recently,” he said.
Over the weekend, the group rallied to support Mazumder. They bought flowers and sent them to her home.
“Taslima, all our hearts go out to you and we are so sorry that you became a victim,” Esposito said in a statement. “But know that you helped change this situation, for all your neighbors and for your community. Please let us do something for you and your family.”
But Esposito also came to the rally bearing good news for the 100 people in attendance. He announced that, according to several “well-known sources,” the city is starting to consider not opening a shelter in Ozone Park.
Instead, Esposito said, he believes officials have found an alternative location that is not in a residential area like Ozone Park.
“We believe the sources to be true, and we believe we won the battle,” he said. “It’s just not official.”
The city’s flip-flop came after the Ozone Park group filed a lawsuit to stop the shelter on September 17. According to Esposito, all interior work has come to a complete halt at the site.
He said the city will make it official by October 15, but until then, Ozone Park residents will not give up their fight.
“We’re going to keep fighting until we get the official word,” he said.