Washington Manor, a Washington Avenue boarding house complex which also houses the Queens Galley soup kitchen, will be completely renovated, restored and developed into what developers say will be a “pre”-assisted living facility.”
While those renovations are taking place, developers say Queens Galley is welcome to stay, but it seems the soup kitchen may well need to start looking for a new place to hang its ladles.
This week, the situation was murky. The current owners of the 254 Washington Ave. compound have informed Queens Galley/Washington Manor director Diane Reeder that the manor’s month-to-month rental agreement between the parties has been terminated. However, Joe Sangi Jr., who once owned Washington Manor and who says he is now in charge of the redevelopment plan, is saying he wants to accommodate the soup kitchen until Reeder is ready to move, though Sangi admitted he was not yet totally certain how to integrate a soup kitchen into his long-term plans, however is willing to do so. Sangi emphasized that he is not pushing her out, and added that he has offered to help Reeder find another location, and even help her secure extra funding if possible. Sangi added that he has no plans to evict any manor resident currently residing there; Reeder said there are 36 people now renting rooms at the manor.
Reeder has long publicly criticized the landlords of the 16,000-square-foot 50-bedroom facility for not making necessary repairs to the deteriorating structures. (The site was slapped with more than 17 building safety code violations last August, but was allowed to remain open after the worst violations were addressed.) The facility has suffered everything from broken windows to faulty plumbing to a backed-up septic system and a leaky roof.
According to Reeder, as Washington Manor administrator she draws a salary of $36,000 per year to take care of the residents and maintain order, respond to emergency calls, make repairs, collect rent, work with nurses and mental health departments and help transition residents to independent living. Washington Manor has two full-time and one-part time employees on the payroll — including herself. Reeder is also president and CEO of Queens Galley soup kitchen, also located on the property, which serves three meals per day, year-round, without requiring any certification of need. Queens Galley is 100 percent donation-funded, and pays $1,200 per month in rent. According to Reeder, Queens Galley employs two full-time and five part-time employees; she says that she herself takes no salary from the Galley.
Reeder said she collects $650 per month from most of the residents; the Department of Social Services pays $13.30 per day per resident for eight residents (their standard rate for boarding); and five residents, Reeder said, pay nothing, citing an inability to fill out DSS paperwork or provide necessary documentation. For what tenants pay, or don’t, they get room and board, cable, housekeeping and laundry.
Slideshow image: Queens Galley/Washington Manor director Diane Reeder. (Photo by Andy Uzzle)