The construction of two new homeless shelters in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn has resulted in a wave of protests from locals who do not want to have to live next door to poor people.
But according to Brooklyn Paper, one of the people active in the opposition — and the author of a new petition demanding that New York City leadership back down from their plans — is somewhat surprising: Indian-American economist and feminist activist Dr. Shruti Kapoor, the founder of Sayfty, an organization that seeks to give women and girls in India resources to prevent domestic and sexual violence.
While she says she would support a smaller homeless shelter project in the neighborhood, she is vocal in her opposition to the project as designed.
"We support the city's efforts to house the homeless, but we believe that locating two large buildings for the homeless on two adjacent blocks is not fair to our community," states her petition, which goes on to say that the shelters will impose "concentration rather than diversity" and "will make integration impossible and will negatively affect the sense of community."
While Kapoor did not specifically note the property value of her condominium as a reason for her opposition in the petition, she expressed it as a concern to Brooklyn Paper.
"Even though in the town hall they said historically there’s no data that shows property values aren't affected by shelters, the fact is there's very little data on this type of huge [project]," said Kapoor. "There's no doubt this will have a negative impact on the property value."