Gonzalo Duran’s Statement on the Jacobi Hospital Just Home Project Conference

Dear Hearing Committee,

I trust this message finds you well. My name is Gonzalo Duran, and I have served as a community advocate for eleven years, specializing in Veteran housing while addressing various community concerns. Currently, I hold the position of CEO at Devil Dog USA Incorporated.

I am writing to express significant reservations regarding the Just Home project proposed by Jacobi Hospital. Specifically, the plan to house formerly jailed individuals with medical issues is not suitable for our community, especially considering the current timeframe.

The community has vehemently voiced its opposition to this project, surpassing the intensity of any other issue in recent memory. Each recorded event on this matter has generated a consistently negative response from the community.

In my capacity as the CEO of Devil Dog USA Incorporated, my office has experienced a substantial increase in Veterans seeking supportive housing. Many of these Veterans are grappling with medical issues stemming from their service to our country, particularly those who have been displaced due to the recent increase in migrant influx.

Additionally, in my role as the vice chairman for the Bronx County Conservative Party, I have engaged in numerous conversations with community leaders and constituents who oppose the Just Home project. Notably, not a single member of those I spoke to are in favor of it, primarily due to the perceived danger it poses to the specific community, located near homes, schools, and other family-oriented facilities.

While acknowledging the significant need for housing for incarcerated individuals and recognizing the importance of humanitarian efforts, it is crucial that the community’s voice is not overlooked. As an individual deeply connected to and actively involved in this community, I believe that while the community is willing to do its fair share in supporting the reintegration of individuals, the proposed project, in this specific location and at this point in time, is not aligned with their wishes.

I appreciate your attention to this matter and would welcome the opportunity to discuss it further at your earliest convenience.

Best regards,

Gonzalo Duran
CEO, Devil Dog USA Incorporated
Vice Chairman, Bronx County Conservative Party

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