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.