Homeless Shelter’s Expected Shift from Women to Men Alarms Some Residents; Meeting Tuesday

The city is planning to turn a women’s shelter at 237 West 107th Street into a men’s shelter, and that’s alarmed some residents, who plan to attend a Community Board 7 meeting Tuesday night.

The shelter at 207 West 107th Street has drawn controversy before, and the city had agreed in 2010 to close it. But in more recent years, the shelter had become more widely accepted in the neighborhood, one article noted.

The shelter’s outdoor backyard was fixed so women staying in the building could go smoke cigarettes or be outside without lingering on the stoop or sidewalk. “So, we don’t even know it’s a shelter there,” said Kathy Lanoix, the president of the West 107th Street Block Association. “They’re behaving themselves. Let them stay.”

The shift to housing men, however, is clearly creating some anxiety. “Great efforts have been made over the years to make the womens transitional shelter a part of OUR COMMUNITY and DHS wants to change that balance completely,” says a poster taped around the neighborhood.

The community board website notes that DHS wants to switch the popuation “due to the significant increase in the adult-single male population asking for shelter.”

The meeting is on Tuesday at 7 at Community Board offices, 250 West 87th Street.

Read more West Side Rag coverage of homeless shelters here.

NEWS | 23 comments | permalink
    1. 123train says:

      No surprises here. The Upper West Side is well established as a dumping ground for the other neighborhoods’ problems. This is just another in a series of abuses that the DHS knows they can inflict upon a weak community.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Not the “UWS”, but for those who live past 97th street. We are considered garbage losers because we don’t live in the affluent 60’s – 80’s streets.

        • 123Train says:

          Well let’s at least identify the problematic area as being north of West 86th Street. The lower West 90’s alone are a mess due to all the shelters on 94th & 95th Streets.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            it’s a myth that “the lower West 90s” are “a mess.” We’re doing very well, thank you. We now have one extremely well run veteran’s facility on (Harlem United/ Bailey House) W 95th between RSD and West End. it is part of our community; i’m proud it’s there.

            • Rob G. says:

              If you consider multiple homeless men and women begging change or sleeping on the sidewalk on almost every block between West 91st and West 98th Street “not a mess”, I suppose you have a different way of looking at things. Perhaps you’re new to the area and this seems normal to you. I’ve lived here for decades and I’ve seen things go drastically downhill since 2012, when Mayor Bloomberg dropped the Freedom House shelter on our heads. By the way, many of the panhandlers are residents of the Veteran’s housing that you are touting as “extremely well-run.”

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              Rob G. continues to grossly exaggerate. there are almost never “multiple homeless people” on every block of Broadway between 91st and 98th. That might be the way you see things, but i have counted on numerous occasions and it is simply wrong. The number of panhandlers on the east side of the street is usually zero or a very few. On the west side, there might be 1 or 2 per block between 95 and 97th; most other blocks, zero or one.

              In any case, there is nothing illegal about panhandling.

              I’ve lived on W. 95th since 1991.

              As for the Veterans Shelter, run by Harlem United and Bailey House: this is a superb facility. I am on the community advisory board, which meets quarterly; I am impressed every time i have a chance to go. Why aren’t you proud that we have such a well-run facility that helps people who have served in the military and otherwise most likely would be homeless?

              Are one or two of the regular panhandlers (not “many”) from the veteran’s facility? Sure. Actually, one extremely nice and polite man. Why does this bother you so much?

              I wish WSR would write an article about this facility.

    2. Duane says:

      Well it must be so nice to be white and view the problems of the minority community as something you can just blow by or shift to some other neighborhood. Well “neighbors” these men are from our community and it is only right and socially just that they be housed among us.

    3. MB/UWSer says:

      “… creating anxiety…: It’s no secret that drug dealers have a thriving business on W. 109th Street and Amsterdam – listed in tour books for where to buy – and are supported by an SRO on W. 109th Street and Riverside. W. 110th Street and Broadway is already established ground for the homeless.

      Does it make sense to move out a transitional shelter that helps prepare one to get back on their feet vs. contributing to an already very visible problem that impacts the quality of life in a neighborhood?

      Please rethink this solution.

      • Concerned UWS says:

        Agreed. I live in the area and they are on the block (and have been) every night this summer. Adding more fuel to the fire now. What can be done?

    4. Pedestrian says:

      Am I to understand that women no longer have any need of a homeless shelter? I doubt that so there must be some other reason for this shift.

    5. Dresden says:

      Our block was like Hell when the (mostly men) shelter was on it …drug dealers blocking our walk home every night, stabbings, murder, …the neighborhood tenants had to hire armed guards just to protect us at night. …city didn’t pay for that either.
      Are YOU living with a shelter on your block?

    6. Beeman says:

      Why are the women described as employable and the men are described as single in that sign? Are we not equal?

    7. Westsidegal says:

      And they say men have more “privilege” than women.

      Women = good.
      Men = bad.

    8. Ellen says:

      Obviously, if it’s still “transitional,” the women’s shelter is working the way it should, as temporary housing. Whose stupid idea is this?

    9. Arjan says:

      “Great efforts have been made over the years to make the womens transitional shelter a part of OUR COMMUNITY” – I’m honestly curious, which effort have been made and in what way are the women part of the community? Was it only by minding their own business and not causing any nuisance? I’d think men should be capable of doing that as well

    10. Bill says:

      If you all want to give up your nice soft comftable bed and lifestyle.
      Get an TPI I.D. and check in a shelter for 1 week u see what goes in it i bet no one will give up thier life style to live my.
      Its getting colder at night and yall want to bitch about not house no men were there room ? GOD MUST BE ALREALLY PROUD OF ALL YALL THATS SAIDING NO WAY. Before u jugde any1 u need to walk in thiers shoes first oh , by the way NO ONE CAN JUGDE JUST GOD ALMIGHT IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN!!

    11. Romulojjr Trevino says:

      The people that are concerned should understand that more shelter room is needed due to the increase of homeles men ‘ the women are not getting thrown into homelessness their simply just being relocated .

    12. Ethel says:

      This is a graphic example of sexism against men by denying them fair opportunity to have shelter. I thought all of the Upper West Side welcomed all people and that everybody should have a roof over their heads.

    13. linda vartoogian says:

      I have just heard from a neighbor who is out of town that a woman resident told her that they have been told that that have 48 hours to leave the shelter. She called our community board who said something vague about “getting a stay.” Is there anywhere we can get any real information about this before all real avenues of help shut down for the weekend? Thank you.