"I blame our elected officials," Blackshear said recently of the reason that hundreds of homeless men are living at various located in central Bed-Stuy.
"If the city finds they're not going to get any flack from our elected officials, then the city is going to go ahead and do it."
The target of Blackshear's anger most recently has been the Sumner Armory, called Pamoja by its operators, a stately 110-year-old structure on Marcus Garvey Boulevard (formerly called Sumner Avenue) between Jefferson and Putnam Avenues.
Blackshear, president of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Association, and other Bed Stuy residents say the city's Department of Homeless Services is busing homeless, jobless men into the facility at night. The city maintains only about 200 men are in the former armory. Blackshear and many of her followers say they believe the number is possibly much higher.
Beyond that, says Blackshear, there are several other locations in the immediate area also used as homeless shelters.
On its website, the Black Veterans for Social Justice says it operates the armory as a shelter, calling it Pamoja, a Swahili word meaning "togetherness."
Blackshear, a retired police sergeant, said she's on a campaign to pressure elected officials into checking the infusion of homeless into the community.
She said the city's plans to ship homeless men to the old Bedord armory in nearby Crown Heights has received much more attention in the press, but residents near the Sumner armory in Bed-Stuy are equally offended and threatened.
Blackshear said a root of the problem is that the city is emptying out the old Manhattan shelter at Bellevue hospital, on East 30th Street and First Avenue, because it is becoming a hotel and conference center.
Among the local elected officials who have been attentive to her group's concerns, Blackshear said, have been Borough President Marty Markowitz and State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery.
[Beautiful images of the former armory, such as the photo here on upper right, can be found on the Bed-Stuy Banana blog.]