Residents call for closure of Commack homeless shelter

Homeowners argue that the school district is overcrowded and the teachers are already overworked.

Homeowners argue that the school district is overcrowded and the teachers are already overworked. (11/25/13)

SMITHTOWN - Suffolk residents are calling for the closure of a Commack homeless shelter.

For a third time, angry residents of the Hauppauge School District went before a committee of Suffolk legislators, asking them to support a bill that would essentially close a shelter for homeless people in Commack. But for a third time, they didn't get what they want.

Residents say the extra students are overburdening the school district. They say Suffolk officials are violating the county's own law, which calls for a maximum of 12 families in a homeless shelter. Homeowners say there are two shelters within a mile and a half of each other which house about 100 families each.

Suffolk officials say homelessness has increased across the county because of the recession and Superstorm Sandy. They say the county is obligated to provide emergency shelter.

County Legislator John Kennedy says emergency housing should be spread out across the county.

According to Suffolk Social Services, there are 565 homeless families in Suffolk County right now. Last year, there were 430.

The measure will come up again at the committee's hearing next month.

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