2017-05-26 / Front Page

Concerns Grow Over St. John’s Boys Home UPDATE

By Maria Elena Perez


Deputy Inspector Janice Holmes and Executive Officer, Captain Fung Chen of the 100th Precinct discuss community issues at the May 24 100th Precinct Community meeting. Deputy Inspector Janice Holmes and Executive Officer, Captain Fung Chen of the 100th Precinct discuss community issues at the May 24 100th Precinct Community meeting. (Editor's Note: The story has been updated to reflect the correct location of the laundromat, and clarified some of Ms. Mannino's quotes. We apologize for the errors. - MH)

Members of the community are not happy with some of the boys from the St. John’s Residence for Boys.

During the 100th Precinct Community Council meeting on Wednesday, May 24, council members and concerned residents in attendance voiced some of the issues they are seeing in the community.

The major topic of the night concerned allegations that some of the St. John’s Residence for Boys students are causing trouble and assaulting members of the community.

Local resident Kim Mannino told attendees at the meeting that, while she was at a local laundromat, she had several encounters with one of the boys from the home.

"I was approached outside of the Rockaway Park post office on Beach Channel Drive by a youth stating he was from the St. John's Home and asking for money," said Mannino. "When I refused to give him money, he followed me. I thought he was going to grab be but I turned around and told him, 'don’t even think about it.'"

After the confrontation outside of the post office, Mannino went back into the Beach 114th Street laundromat to finish her laundry.

"The boy ended up coming into the laundromat and was eyeing an elderly female that was sitting in a chair by the front door and rifling through her pocketbook," Mannino explained. "A friend of mine stopped him and, [a little while] later, he was sitting in his car, talking on his phone, and the kid tried to grab the phone. We chased him but couldn’t catch up, so we called the police."


The St. John’s Residence for Boys on Beach 111th Street. The St. John’s Residence for Boys on Beach 111th Street. Like many of the residents, she fears that if nothing is done to prevent this from happening again, someone can get seriously injured.

Deputy Inspector Janice Holmes, commanding officer of the 100th Precinct, reassured residents that when the boys do act out and commit a crime, they are caught and arrested.

According to Holmes, anything that happens after the arrest is all determined by the courts, where they are most likely sent back into the community.

“We know who they are, we pick them up, and we arrest them. The courts will determine what will happen to them after that point,” said Holmes.

The home, has been around since the 1930s and has continued to provide foster care services for young boys in the community. However, many people at the meeting complained that the facility should be shut down.

“If these kids are bad, we should demand that they be taken out of the community, or we will be out there fighting to close them down,” said Lew Simon.

Marissa Bernowitz of We Care NY – an agency that addresses the needs of cash assistance clients with medical and/or mental health barriers to employment – believes that the real problem is the facility itself, saying that it doesn’t provide the boys with proper necessities.

“There are 87 beds in there and they are not provided with the things that are needed and the community is left to suffer,” said Bernowitz.

She urged residents in attendance to complain to the Office of Child and Family Services instead of the administrators of the facility.

“You can complain to the director until you’re blue in the face, but you have to call the Office of Child and Family Services if you want these issues solved,” said Bernowitz.

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How does she know the boy was

How does she know the boy was from Saint John's Home? He could have just said he was as he wanted money!

beachymeema--There's a few

beachymeema--There's a few boys there causing trouble not all that's how we know!

Correction---Was not the

Correction---Was not the laundromat on Beach 116th Street it was the one by the Rockaway Park Post Office on Beach Channel Drive. Also it was a mans phone not a woman's phone. This is Danny who spoke about this at the meeting.


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