Town of Babylon rejects turning Copiague motel into emergency housing shelter
Suffolk County will no longer proceed with a proposal to turn a local motel in emergency housing shelters.
The Babylon Town Board held a special meeting Friday to discuss the proposal.
The county was considering making South Bay Motel in Copiague into the housing shelter.
Many residents packed the room during the meeting to express their disapproval for the plan.
Babylon officials say if the proposal became reality, the town would have had to take on 50% of the county's single, homeless male population.
"At the end of the day, it's not fair what was happening," says Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey. "I was glad to stand up with the partners in the town, County Executive Bellone immediately went into action, called the DSS commissioner and said, 'We can't have this in the Town of Babylon, it's not fair.'"
The county has already authorized the operation of a homeless shelter at the Americana Inn in Farmingdale.
The East Farmingdale Fire Company were at the special board meeting and raised concerns that a recent rise in overdose calls at that facility, which they say is straining ambulance response times.
In response to their issue, the town board approved a second resolution that would require Suffolk County to contract with a private ambulance company to provide ambulance services to the Farmingdale homeless shelter.