New Yorkers who lost their Homes offered refuge at Former State Prision?! [Photo]
They want them to go from no house to the Big House.
The state is eyeing the recently shuttered Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island as a temporary home for people displaced by the ravages of Sandy and this week’s nasty nor’easter, officials said yesterday.
Closed last December, the medium-security prison could feed and sleep as many as 900 people with nowhere else to go.
“Our facilities staff have to go through it to determine what it would take to get it up and running for such a purpose,” said Peter Cutler, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections.
“Of course, the challenge is the fact that it was closed a year ago and all of the major infrastructure components, such as boilers and wastewater system, were deactivated.”
There are as many as 40,000 New Yorkers who need shelter from the one-two punch of extreme weather events, according to city estimates.
On Staten Island alone, about 5,200 people applied for temporary FEMA housing, but only about two dozen people have been successfully placed, federal sources said.
So it may resemble a scene out of “The Walking Dead,” but officials and displaced people alike say the former prison ought to be considered as a refuge.
“It’s empty. They might as well use it,” said Rob Conigatti, 39, who lost his Dongan Hills home and is now staying with his extended family. “At least they have the right facilities. You can’t keep them in schools. The kids gotta go to school.”
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Arsenio Hall says: “Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….”