After years of community complaints, a controversial homeless shelter at 316 West 95th Street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive is getting a new operator and moving one block away, according to Council Member Helen Rosenthal. The shelter serves about 200 homeless adults.
The shelter, now known as “Freedom House,” was installed as an “emergency” measure over community opposition in 2012. Nonprofit Aguila won a $47 million contract from the Bloomberg administration to run the facility — $3,600 per room per month — despite a history of violations at other shelters. In 2014, the shelter population was cut in half, but locals continued to voice opposition and complain about safety in the area. Last year, city officials said they would install a new operator.
The new shelter will be operated by a nonprofit called Praxis Housing Initiatives and will be located at 306 West 94th St. between West End and Riverside.
“Like so many residents, I have been extremely concerned about public safety issues at Freedom House for years,” said Rosenthal in a statement. “I am cautiously optimistic that this new facility on W. 94th — with a new provider, who has performed well in other parts of the city, and a more appropriate physical space — will be far better able to serve its residents.”