CITY BEGINS MOVING HOMELESS FAMILIES INTO UWS SHELTERS; PROTEST RALLY PLANNED

The city has begun moving families into homeless shelters at 316 and 330 West 95th Street despite protests by local leaders and neighbors. The shelters, say local politicians, don’t have basic safety features like security cameras or counseling staff, and they’re costing the city an extraordinary amount of money — more than $3,300 a month per small two-person bathroom-less room. They were approved under “emergency” status, meaning they don’t have to be vetted through a public process.

We broke the story about the shelters about a week and a half ago, after which community leaders sent a letter to the Department of Homeless Services demanding it cease referring homeless families to the shelters. But the letter and a meeting with DHS last week apparently haven’t kept the city from installing the shelters.

A press release from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said that the city has already begun moving the families into the shelter. Aaron Biller, of the nonprofit group Neighborhood in the Nineties, said guards have been stationed outside the shelters today. Stringer and other leaders are holding a rally at 95th Street and West End Avenue on Tuesday at 11 a.m., “calling on the city’s Department of Homeless Services to immediately suspend all efforts to refer clients to the buildings at 316 and 330 West 95th Street in Manhattan, saying the City moved in with virtually no community consultation and no transparency.” The DHS hasn’t gotten back to us to answer questions about the shelters; the operators, Housing Solutions USA, referred questions to the DHS.

The mid-90’s already has numerous shelters and treatment facilities that serve hundreds of people, more than other parts of the city. Two recent homicides in a shelter and an SRO in the mid-90’s have also raised alarms.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 12 comments | permalink
    1. Morningside says:

      Sorry NIMBYs

      • angry says:

        I’ve got news for you, Morningside — the West 90s have WAY more than our share in our backyard already. And the owners of these buildings have shown themselves to be irresponsible louts. Go stuff your smugness up your own backyard.

    2. BILL says:

      nypd & nyfd should get a major workout

      • shirel says:

        You upper west side liberals are fools.

        this is what you get, destroying your own neighborhood.

        Brewer and Rosenthal have blood on their hands.

        I am leaving for Montclair.. Who needs this crapola.

        ONLY in NEW york!!

        fools

        • NikFromNYC says:

          Twisted knots fossil hippies be, voting themselves into their own literal mad house, now complete with hundreds of new welfare votes each election.

    3. westSider says:

      Just so everyone knows the truth – Brewer and Rosenthal where told by the owners that if they passed this law outlawing legal normal regular hotel guests from the SRO HOTELS, they would have no choice but to take homeless.

      They were so smug and self rightous in their own agenda which has no understanding of basic economics (they are communists), that they refused to negotiate. This is all their fault, no matter what they say publicly and what letters they write.

      Vote them out of office – recall them now. Call them at home at voice your opinion. Gale , just because I work does not mean my opinion does not count!!!!

    4. jerry says:

      I’m hearing discontent all over the UWS – just this morning, a family was moving out from their WEA 89/90th building…and, according to their doorman, they’re moving upstate…to Scarsdale!
      It’s reasonable to assume the UWS bubble (give it 3/9 months) is about to burst.

    5. LS says:

      There is a difference between being a NIMBY and crying UNCLE. The UWS 90’s is one of the most over-saturated neighborhoods for homeless services, in particular housing and special needs services, in New York City. One could argue that the past willingness NOT to have a NIMBY attitude may have led to companies such as “the Lantern Group” and “Housing Solutions USA Inc” taking advantage of this particular neighborhood. Be that as it may, it is the unfairness of the over-saturation that is a concern to fair-minded UWS residents. Every neighborhood in the city should extend help and housing to our homeless. Every neighborhood, not just a few. And, I’m sure residents of the UWS 90’s would appreciate being consulted and offered a plan for services and security measures to be offered with the placement of 400 new residents in the neighborhood all at once. That’s all. Not really a lot to ask.

      • jamal P. says:

        That is very nice LS and true, we have been very nice about not being NIMBYS.

        Enough is enough. Clearly we shoulder more then our fair share.

        These SROs need to be returned to their former glory, as either hotels or Class A apartments. Protect the existing tenants? okay, fine. let them stay or find them new places. But let the buildings be renovated into what the neighbhorhood is NOW. These politicians just want to bring back the bad old 1970s which they look back on with rose colored glasses because they were young then. There decisions are destroying our neighbhorhood.

      • angry says:

        Well said, LS.

    6. John de Clef Pineiro says:

      Here’s what DHS responded today. Basically, it is “staying the course” and proceeding as planned.

      Dear Mr. Pineiro,

      Thank you for your letter to Commissioner Seth Diamond in which you shared your concerns regarding a shelter for homeless adult families at 316 and 330 West 95th Street, Manhattan, being operated by Aguila, a non-profit provider.

      On August 3 and August 6, 2012, Commissioner Diamond met with Borough President Scott Stringer, Councilwoman Gale Brewer, Assembly member Linda Rosenthal, Mark Diller, Chair, Community Board 7 and a representative for Senator Adriano Espaillat. DHS takes your concerns and that of the elected representatives very seriously. While the Agency plans to use the new facility as needed, DHS is confident that Aguila will provide social, employment and re-housing services to our clients while being mindful of community concerns.

      The provider will be holding the first Community Advisory Board meeting in the next ten days and will continue a dialogue with all stake holders to ensure that we are serving our clients with the dignity and respect they deserve, while addressing any and all issues regarding this facility.

      If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the External Affairs office at 212-361-7900 or email externalaffairs@dhs.nyc.gov.

      Communications and External Affairs Unit
      Department of Homeless Services