Lucerne Hotel to House 283 Homeless Men Recovering from Substance Abuse

The Lucerne Hotel at 201 West 79th Street will be used to house 283 homeless people who have been staying at shelters downtown, as a way to reduce the population at those shelters so there is less of a Covid-19 risk, according to Councilmember Helen Rosenthal. The residents will be moving in on Monday, according to Rosenthal and the shelter operator, Project Renewal.

The residents are coming from two shelters in the East Village. One, the Kenton Hall Men’s Shelter, is for homeless men taking methadone, a medication meant to help people dealing with opioid abuse. The other, the Third Street Men’s Shelter, also helps residents achieve sobriety, as well as find jobs.

The city has been using hotels — which have mostly been closed or at reduced capacity during the crisis — as temporary homeless shelters for the last few months, because many city shelters are too crowded to allow people to safely socially distance. Among the local hotels that have been used as shelters are the Belnord Hotel and the Hotel Belleclaire.

Rosenthal and Project Renewal say that The Lucerne will have 50 staff members and there will be 18 security guards and two supervisors on duty at each shift, “pending final budget approval.” They plan to conduct block patrols every 30 minutes. People who don’t adhere to “Good Neighbor” rules may be transferred to other shelters. Residents will be tested for Covid before arriving, and no one who tests positive will be placed at The Lucerne, Rosenthal wrote.

The Lucerne was built in 1904. The restaurant Nice Matin is on the ground-floor level.

It’s not clear how long The Lucerne will be used as a shelter. On one online travel site, the first available dates when rooms show up for tourists are in December (though that may simply be the online travel software and not an indication of the expected length of stay).

NEWS | 280 comments | permalink
    1. Jagel says:

      Shouldn’t there be some zoning requirement to effectively create a homeless shelter and which would require community feedback on this? As a parent with a young child who owns an apartment close to the Lucerne, I am literally terrified of what this could mean to the safety of our neighborhood and my family.

      • Will says:


        • Joey says:

          283 recovering alcoholics and substances abusers housed together in one building in a residential neighborhood. What could possibly go wrong?

      • Lynn says:

        What a place of privilege you come from — why do the needs of your family outweigh the needs of homeless men recovering from drug dependency?

        • erika mansourian says:

          How about the “need” to at a bare minimum allow residents to discuss and weigh in, even if it is (as Helen has done repeatedly) ultimately ignored? Whether you’re happy or unhappy about the Lucerne is unrelated to the fact that there was 3 days notice given about a hugely consequential development, with a ridiculous claim that her office learned of it “this week.”

        • jeff says:

          I came to this country penniless and worked 80 hour workweeks. I worked 40 hours a week while going to college full time. Don’t talk to me about privilege. Everything that I have I have earned. I am happy to help drug addicts recover, but that should not be done in one of the most expensive residential neighborhoods in Manhattan, one of the most expensive cities in the world. Set up a rehabilitation facility in the middle of nowhere. Then, costs to taxpayers are going to be vastly lower, and these addicts will not be a threat to anyone. In any case, I have had enough of NYC and its left-wing politicians. I am going to leave, take my consulting business. NYC is going to lose six jobs and a six figure income tax paid by the business, me and my employees.

          • Mah says:

            Why should the fact that the neighborhood is expensive mean that homeless people shouldnt live there? If it was a poor neighborhood it would be ok?

            • Mike says:

              Homeless people should be placed in less expensive neighborhoods because we the taxpayers are footing the bill. Lucerne is more expensive than Motel 6. Also it makes more sense for the homeless drug addicts, since they are unlikely to afford the $18 dollar Nice burger in their lobby.

              The homeless, like the poor have always been with us. European cities like Paris (hardly conservative) are much better in dealing with this by having them in multiple large shelters in the periphery where they also get food, medicine, and most importantly mental health care and social support.

              DeBlasio’s Renewal Project is a well known 1 billion dollar scam. It has been well documented in the NY Post and Daily News. It pretends to offer services but is not really even staffed. On the rare occasion a person can be reached, they make a referral to another city agency that is already existing.

          • Anonymous says:

            I am of those being forced to move into your neighborhood. I was placed in a different hotel and after two months we’ve been kicked out. Now we’re going to your neighborhood with the entire shelters under Project Renewal. You are not receiving 283 people in recovery. That’s a lie. Most of the people are active drug users receiving no treatment at all. Some are formerly incarcerated men paroled to the shelter, and you can only imagine some of the others. This is a foolish move that will wreak havoc on your community. In less than 30 days your community will not be the same.

          • notsofast says:

            No matter how hard you have worked or what difficulties you have overcome, if you are white in this country, you benefit from white privilege. I wish I knew some way to explain this to white people so they could understand: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU INDIVIDUALLY.

            Given your attitudes, you would probably feel more at home somewhere else less cosmopolitan — maybe Idaho or Utah, provided that you lived in a community that excluded poor people. Do you need help packing your bags?

            • Andrés Rodriguez says:

              So what you’re saying is that if you’re white you’re privileged, so do you think that the white homeless people are privileged too just because of the color of their skin?

          • Kayson212 says:

            Two big flaws to the notion that these folks should be “put” in poorer neighborhoods or remote locations. First, poor neighborhoods have gotten a disproportionate share of at-risk residents for years. That’s how Coney Island went from working-class to a forest of low-income housing projects. Second, when the goal is get people off drugs and integrated into society and jobs, how the hell does it work for them to be in some Motel 6 where they can’t even take a subway?

            • Susan says:

              The UWS has had a greate share of SROs and recovery facilitlies than any other part of the city. Is there a single SRO or recovery site on the UES? GET RID OF HELEN ROSENTHAL.

          • Susan Baker says:

            You’re so right, Jeff. Helen Rosenthal’s arrogance and moral superiority are a knife in the backs of decent, hard-working residents who are proud of their neighborhoods and don’t deserve to have verbally abusive, often-drunk unemployed men gathering in front of the Lucerne. It creates an avoidance of the area and the businesses nearby.

        • Wendy says:

          Give me a break. What place of privilege? Um… a place of privilege in which I chose a neighborhood for my family and pay high taxes. I give to charity and spend time feeding families in homeless shelters (do you???). It is wrong to move a men’s shelter (not families but men) — filled with men who are trying to kick abuse problems — in the middle of a family neighborhood. Crime is up. Things are shut. The City is on its knees. Don’t add this to the mix and tell me to check my privilege.

        • Mark Moore says:

          It sounds like the needs of his or her family weren’t taking into consideration at all.

        • UWSer says:

          Umm. It’s not privilege. I worked hard and earned my way. I bought an apartment here. I don’t know why someone gets to devalue my earnings because of their own personal problems. If you support this I can have my apartment appraised before and after and you can give me the difference in value since you support this.

        • Marianne says:

          Erika Monsourian, do you know the person with children who’s concerned for their family’s safety? Why use a word with prejudice like “privilege” when someone is afraid for their children? The world has gone upside down I guess where someone gets shamed for being rightly concerned for their CHILDREN!!!! 300 homeless men with alcohol and drug dependency concentrated on one corner- think about it! There’s a playground a couple blocks away.

        • Msgrandoni says:

          Why do you have to be so nasty about what she said? You could say the same thing in a kinder, more compassionate way, instead of using terms such as coming from a ‘place of privilege’

        • Rob says:

          The safety of my family always comes first.

        • NYC 123 says:

          I must comment today….do you really want 283 recovering homeless drug addicts to move in w you? Poor or rich don’t kid yourself.If they were families down on their luck and drug free or recovering Vets back from war that would make sense.This has nothing to do with privilege.

        • Marco Pavone says:

          Helping people doesn’t mean put at risk or bother other people, it looks nowadays everybody is ready to talk about some imaginary privilege instead seeing things as they are.Having this people in the neighborhood is dangerous and degrading, we already pay taxes for them to be taken care. We don’t have also to carry the burden of living close to them and wait something bad happens is not fair .

      • Bobby Laurant says:

        I work every day helping the homeless. And I have to say, 90% of them display more respect and kindness than half the “normal” people who live on the UWS do.

        These are human being who’s circumstances are different. Do you know that many of the newly homeless right now are people who can’t afford where they are living and lost their jobs to COVID.

        Please educate yourself a bit before you make such a broad statement. Trust me, from what I’ve seen living in this neighborhood for so long, your children are in greater danger by people who live in the lofty buildings, who don’t pay attention when they pull in or out of their garages because they think they are too entitled to look both ways, or the ones who don’t put masks on themselves or their children and present a great risk to all of us.

        • Thank You, Bobby says:

          Thanks for all the help you do. If even on person gets back on their feet it must be a great feeling.
          If you don’t mind me asking, or without giving too much personal information, what work do you do with them

        • Elizabeth says:

          Please take a look at the website for Project Renewal before you get all worked up about who might be living temporarily at the hotel. This is a well-run organization does great work.

          • Anonymous says:

            You think you know Project Renewal from the website? Ha. Take a cab or Uber or subway to Kenton Hall. My treat. I work across the street, where 100 of these men currently live. I witness them dealing drugs and getting high each and every day. I have been offered crack when exiting the subway at Broadway/Lafayette.

            This activity has been invited to our neighborhood. All of those who complain about the others’ privilege. You have no idea. Why not move homeless children and families here to de-densify. Why more single men and level 2 and 3 sex offenders. I’m listening. Just tell me why.

            This is a public safety issue.

            • Maria says:

              I agree. Why not homeless women or victims of domestic violence who have been disproportionately affected by COVID.

          • Anonymous says:

            Respectfully, Project Renewal is indeed a good organization and those of us who are homeless are not all criminals and addicts. However, I must admit, that both shelters, 3rd St. and Kenton Hall are drug dens. Most of the residents are not getting any treatment for substance use. I’ve seen countless OD”s, fights and drug use in their shelter. Moving us to your community is not a good thing for those of us who are homeless and definitely not for your community. I attend their treatment program, which is great. I am being moved so far away under traumatic circumstances that I fear I myself may not maintain sobriety. I just don’t want to be surrounded by so many people who are not looking for recovery services. And that is what is moving to your community.

        • UWSer says:

          Educate myself?? Exactly zero of the current homeless are because they lost their jobs to covid. No one. No matter how little they earn, becomes homeless because they lost their job three months ago. We have enacted rules against eviction during covid. We have increased unemployment insurance. It would take minimum six months and no family or friends to become homeless simply because you lost your job. And maybe you should have savings. So you don’t become go less of you miss a months pay. There are mentally ill peole with addiction problems. Not covid victims.

        • Bill says:

          No you are wrong. These aren’t just people who lost their jobs because of Covid or rising costs of rent. They are recovering drug addicts. I don’t want them here and no one should have to apologize or feel bad for that. This is one of the areas with the highest density of children. They couldn’t find a place less residential? They had to hire 17 people to patrol the blocks because of this. What a disaster

      • PedestrianJustice says:

        What I don’t understand is, where will these men be getting their methadone from now? There are clinics downtown, but I’ve not heard of a methadone site on the UWS. Won’t not having methadone nearby increase the chances of addicts reaching for something else that’s closer at hand?

        • Abigail says:

          There are methadone clinics on 125th St. that are a short subway ride away. Medicaid pays for the methadone patients’ carfare.

        • RWC10025 says:

          I think they should open an UWS methadone clinic so they don’t have to travel far. And we need rehabilitation centers here to serve and help.
          Not too long ago we had places I remember was Phoenix house and Daytop were well run in the west 70s helping people with drug addiction.

          Before UWS gentrification we used to have all types of well run facilities to help people .

        • W147 says:

          There are methadone sites on the UWS.

    2. James says:

      Helen Rosenthal strikes again!!!!!

      • Jeff says:

        Rosenthal seems powerless. She has never done anything about the scaffolding that has been up for almost 20 years around the church at 86th and Amsterdam! A hazard and an eyesore.

    3. UpperWest says:

      Surely great news for all the Amsterdam Avenue businesses fighting to survive on the stretch to the north with outdoor dining, etc.

      I guess small businesses hoping to survive and employ residents is not a priority, unlike in most places.

    4. Lucille says:

      Rosenthal where are you? Belleclaire, Belnord, now the Lucerne. Why not homeless families? Do they not need alternate shelter? Why more single homeless men? Will we get assurances that the law will be followed and not allow level 2 and level 3 sex offenders to live at the Lucerne as it’s less than 1,000 feet from PS 87? Because I see many registered as living at the Belleclaire. Which is less than 1,000 feet from PS 87.

    5. Mary Jones says:

      The kiss of death for Nice Matin’s outdoor dining

    6. ST says:

      The UWS already had a disproportionate share of Supportive Housing. Loading up the West Side with homeless has made it uninhabitable. Thanks Helen Rosenthal and CB7 for, as usual, doing nothing for us.

      • Mark Diller says:

        Please note that the Department of Homeless Services did not contact CB7 – we learned about this from the service provider Project Renewal. There is apparently no requirement that DHS notify us or the Community – let alone partner with us or the Community.

        We took the chance to speak to urge a much more robust security presence to protect neighboring residents, the restaurants and businesses on the Avenues, and the Community in general.

        So we are doing our best to protect our community even though the process excludes us.

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s horrible what is being done to your community. I am of those moving and even I oppose this move. It’s going to be traumatic for so many of us. I once lived in your community and its going to pain me to see your community become a haven for drugs. You are not receiving recovering addicts. That is a lie. The vast majority are active drug and alcohol userr that are not in recovery. You are going to get an influx of not just drug addicts but drug dealers as well. I can guarantee you this. I’m contemplating returing to the streets rather than be placed in another drug den.

        • William says:

          Mr. Diller what are you doing to get Helen Rosenthal to respond to the concerns of her community? She never responds when it is a tough question or if one is critical of her. She is either asleep at the wheel or is supportive of more shelters, she cant have her cake and eat it too.

    7. Jeffrey Greenberg says:

      It’s a total shame that our local politicians ruin a beautiful neighborhood they’re worried about people they have tons of hotels sitting by Kennedy airport where they normally put the Homeless people or people that have had problems in there houses do to fire etc. it’s time to vote the Democrats out of office there just ruining our beautiful city they don’t care about you me we taxpayers of New York City

      • ConcernedUWSider says:

        Exactly and well put. WE pay the taxes and their salaries and this is what we have gotten.

      • Mike says:

        This is what you get when you have a mayor who works for the Sandinistas, honeymoons in Havanna and regularly quotes Che Guevara and this week quoted Karl Marx.

    8. UWSer says:

      This would only happen under a fascist like diblasio. No vote. No community board hearing. We have hearings in this neighborhood if a restaurant wants to add an outdoor table, but not for moving 300 drug and alcohol addicted mentally ill people into the neighborhood?? They are increasing the population on 79th street by 8% and on that stretch between Amsterdam and Broadway by 30%. Would anyone like it if we increased the population by 30% on your block with drug addicts? If I wanted to live in a place like the east village I would have moved there. Poor Nice Matin. No one will eat there now. You have to dine outdoors and that’s likely to be surrounded by drug addicts harassing people. The city can’t simply destroy other people’s livelihoods and investments for the sake of a few other people’s well being. They can’t play Robin Hood

    9. Peter says:

      So, the Project Renewal document says DHS will provide the clients covid testing ON the move-in date. Rosenthal claims noone positive will be allowed to move in.

      What is the turnaround time of the tests they’ll be provided? When will be the results be known? Will the “clients” be quarantined in thé meanwhile? Is there a plan for dealing with false positives or negatives?

      Why would the “clients” be merely “encouraged” – and not required to wear their face masks in and around the building? Why isn’t this part of their being Good Neighbors? Isn’t the purpose of this move to prevent disease spread?

      When will the final security budget be confirmed?

    10. Craig Heard says:

      More than disturbing that it was not until yesterday that Rosenthal first gave notice to the community of this massive conversion of The Lucerne into a men’s homeless shelter . There was no forum provided to the community for discussion or feedback. I think this was done for obvious reasons since the move-in date is this upcoming Monday. This is not how a democracy should function. Helen Rosenthal is a disgrace to her community and her former supporters.

    11. Lucille says:

      Rosenthal supposedly sent an e-mail about the situation to constituents yesterday – does anyone have it? Can you post in comments or send to WSR for them to post? Rosenthal’s office opens at 10am. START CALLING AND WRITING. (212) 873-0282

      • Anonymous says:

        “Homeless Shelter Residents’ Temporary Placement in UWS Hotels
        As I noted last week, we are seeing a temporary increase in homeless residents who are being housed in our area. These New Yorkers have been living in congregate shelters as they await permanent housing, but as a safety precaution during the pandemic, they are being placed in hotels across the city.

        This week my office was notified that the Lucerne Hotel on Amsterdam Avenue will be utilized as one such temporary “de-densification” site by the City. 283 clients, who currently live in two East Village shelters for persons with substance abuse issues, will be staying at the Lucerne.

        Move-in is anticipated for July 27th. The City’s Dept of Homeless Services has not yet told us how long their stay will be necessary. Read an overview provided by non-profit provider Project Renewal, who will manage the shelter site.

        My overwhelming concern is for the safety of our community. Project Renewal says that all clients will be tested for the coronavirus ahead of the move, and no one who tests positive will be housed at the Lucerne. Anyone who tests positive would be moved to an isolation hotel (not in our district).

        Over 50 staff members will manage operations, the provision of meals, and a wide range of social services at the Lucerne. Project Renewal will also maintain 18 security guards with 2 supervisors on each shift, including an outdoor security post and block patrols every 30 minutes. Shelter residents who cannot adhere to Project Renewal’s “Good Neighbor” policy can potentially be transferred to other shelter sites.“

        • JerryV says:

          “Shelter residents who cannot adhere to Project Renewal’s “Good Neighbor” policy can potentially be transferred to other shelter sites.“ What does, “can potentially be transferred” mean? That is about as vague as one can get.

        • Marianne says:

          Question to “Anonymous”: “ Shelter residents who cannot adhere to Project Renewal’s “Good Neighbor” policy can potentially be transferred…” what type of behavior would be considered not being a “Good Neighbor”? We already have cursing, loitering, dirtying threatening people by the Bellclaire residents and the homeless on the 79th and broadway Median…

        • Anon says:

          Rosenthal didn’t just find out about the Lucerne deal “this week.” Her Chief of Staff, Marisa Mack, was part of the negotiation. Community residents should have been given a chance to weigh in.

    12. Leon says:

      I feel like our residential neighborhood is taking a disproportionate share of homeless people. What about all of the big hotels in midtown that are likely sitting empty. Or as someone else mentioned, hotels near the airports?

      Now that Helen is no longer running for Comptroller she has even less need to make us happy. Why doesn’t she give up her home to homeless people and move into the Lucerne? The new residents have rights and should be treated with respect but this is really ridiculous.

    13. TCL says:

      You should be ashamed of yourself for not protesting against this..Guess what? Our lives and safety matter too. We already have two hotels in the area. That have been converted. These people loiter all day long on the Broadway median benches leaving residents no where to sit comfortably.. they also roam the streets
      talking or yelling at people…. while not wearing masks !!
      Even adults don’t feel comfortable walking in our neighborhood..
      It’s just not right to have 3 hotels like this within a ten block radius. We have been played ! And you Helen Rosenthal should have fought for your constituents.. but you caved!

      • UWSJoe says:

        A lot of us have been fighting this. But we kept getting shouted down by the oh so very woke upper west siders.

        UWSHebrew was always disparaged on here when he pointed out this neighborhood and the city have been in a massive decline.

        And now you have it. Here it is.

        And you can have it. The only answer is to leave which is what my wife, my young son and I are doing.

        It’s too bad. It could’ve been stopped. But it’s too late. The free fall began a long time ago.

    14. Ted says:

      Wow, I can’t get out to the suburbs fast enough. I’m done with this.

    15. mark says:

      Helen Rosenthal betrays the neighborhood

    16. Irene says:

      Heard DeBlasio say just yesterday that we are not returning to the 1970s. So why are we recreating SROs? Didn’t we find that they created more problems than they solved? What is the long term plan for these 283(!) people when the COVID crisis resolved?

    17. Garry A says:

      When will Upper West Siders wake up and take the community back? Every politician should be voted out including the community board. 9 out of 10 constituents do not agree with what is going on and should not be embarrassed to be vocal about it. Pandering to so called progressives will only continue to deteriorate our community further. ( and this has been happening pre- covid.. nothing new)

      • Almost Former Upper West Sider says:

        Maybe we need to protest – this is totally out of hand. Our community is being overtaken by 600 new homeless.

      • ConcernedUWSider says:

        Completely agree and everyone I speak to does also. Now we have to vote this year AND next for those that will fight for our neighborhood.


      • Les says:

        Is there an attorney out there – maybe someone on furlough or a parent taking time off from work – who can look into the “temporary” nature of the contracts for these shelters? The owner of the Belleclaire was previously known as the “homeless King.” It will really be a shame if the UWS slides back to the 1970s.

    18. Y'all Are Disgusting Selfish People says:

      The reaction to this event is heartbreaking.

      • Not Disgusting, Pragmatic says:

        It’s easy to assume that people are reacting negatively to this because they don’t see homeless people or drug addicts as people. And if that is at the root of someone’s reaction, then yeah, they probably are selfish and disgusting.

        But here’s the thing: We are talking about 283 people known to be recovering from opioid issues. According to the National Library of Medicine, 91% of opioid addicts relapse. Understanding that each and everyone of these expected residence is a person and not just a number, that is still 257 of these anticipated residents who very well may relapse. That is an OVERWHELMINGLY large number of people for a single block. It isn’t selfish and disgusting. It’s a safety issue, not only for those of us who live here, but also for those men.

        If the concern is truly covid, why now, when the numbers are at their lowest and the risk of infection in the city is practically gone? If the concern is truly covid, why group 283 people together? Wouldn’t you want to space people out? Something else is going on here and I for one would like to know the truth. It isn’t covid and it isn’t even about the recovery of these men. Addicts have a much more difficult path to recovery when they are surrounded by other addicts. How are any of these men supposed to improve their lives if we pile them together like cattle while those who have relapsed sneak drugs in and do them around them? This has nothing to do with covid or those men. So here’s my question, Rosenthal: why is this really being done?

        • Fact-based concerns says:

          Agree completely with this reply. It’s not surprising that the few comments criticizing the “disgusting and selfish” are one or two sentences — there is no well-reasoned, fact-based defense of the Lucerne occupation. Just drive-by, knee-jerk personal attacks, then they’re gone.

          I’d also like to know if “Y’all are disgusting … ” and others think it’s OK that not one elected official or city agency invited even minimal discussion? Do they think it’s acceptable to announce it with three days notice? Residents must give more lead time, and get more approvals, to have a block party.

          This is 283 people with documented drug addiction and mental illness living within one block of two public schools.

          It’s alarming when well-founded concerns, and understandable anger at having zero voice or knowledge, is seen only through a single-issue, unexamined lens: “heartless!” “entitled!” “so sad!” “just leave!”

      • Ron says:

        Agreed. I am happy that they have a safe place to live.

        • Wishful thinking says:

          283 men, struggling with addiction and mental illness, thrown together in a single building, where face covering is “encouraged” but not required … . This is a “safe place for them to live?”

    19. Danielle Remp says:

      50 staff +18 security +2 supervisors. That’s 70 employees for 283 residents? Is this correct?

    20. Westsider says:

      We are already dealing with an increase in homeless folks. Just this morning, there was a naked man, using only a thin sheet, running around Zabars.

      I have a very young daughter, and the thought of hundreds of single men suddenly in the neighborhood, who are dealing with substance abuse, is terrifying.

      Why can’t other business districts take these homeless folks? I am now fearful of patronizing restaurants/businesses on Amsterdam and Broadway now. What if they start coming around the playgrounds in Riverside park?

      Please do something and move these folks elsewhere. Please.

      • Natali says:

        If you’re concerned about your daughter being around men with substance abuse issues make sure to never let her around any investment bankers, lawyers, journalists, etc. Anyone can have substance abuse issues and just because someone has money and is dressed nice doesn’t mean they’re any less dangerous.

        Supervise your daughter around these men like you would any man, teach her street smarts, and then teach yourself how to be compassionate so that you may teach her how to be. And if you can’t do those things then you should be the one to move elsewhere. May I suggest Peoria?

        • Rob G. says:

          If they placed 283 investment bankers, most of them saddled with addiction, mental, and behavioral issues, in one building in the middle of a family neighborhood, then you would actually have a point.

    21. Tom says:

      That’s it folks. I’m outta here. Not worth the rent to live here anymore. All the best to those who think otherwise.

      • GimmeABreak says:

        Wait for the reply – “Good Riddance, you will not be missed. This is the only place I know. You won’t catch me going anywhere!” – LIFELONG NEW YORKER!!!

      • Juan says:

        Wish I could join you. Those of us with mortgages are stuck – who wants to buy into NYC and particularly the UWS? COVID is just exacerbating the downward trend that deBlasio was starting over the last few years.

    22. UWSider says:

      I’m not sure if one security staff for every 15 residents is supposed to make me feel safe or is a sign of how dangerous the population is.

    23. MIchael says:

      People are forgetting this is also a way to help empty hotels, during the COVID-19 Pandemic by having the City rent the empty hotel rooms.

    24. Adrian says:

      Hold Helen Rosenthal accountable!!!! She has failed & we deserve answers and actions to immediately change course on what appears to be a direct targeting of our neighborhood. What about the UES? What about midtown? Why is it that we are suddenly receiving an influx of temporary shelters?

    25. cita says:

      The UWS is going downhill with the shelter issue, all the homeless people camping under scaffolding, empty storefronts, etc. After 36 years on the UWS, I don’t feel safe anymore.

      • Ted T. says:

        “the homeless people camping under scaffolding, empty storefronts, etc. After 36 years on the UWS, I don’t feel safe anymore.”
        As someone, who coincidentally has lived on the UWS since 1984, I am, well, puzzled.
        1) When I moved here Verdi Square was “needle park” for real. There were fire truck sirens going up Amsterdam constantly due to building owners setting their buildings on fire to collect the insurance.
        2) Homeless regularly residing under scaffolding is not a new phenomenon that would suddenly make you feel unsafe.And the nothing like the aggressive pan-handling of the ’80s has emerged
        3) Walking in Central Park after dark continues to be absolutely safe — you really must have *really* forgotten the past if you think it is unsafe now.

    26. Kathy Vaillancourt says:

      No notice. No community board meeting. Just – it’s coming Monday. This is a cohesive community of predominantly older adults, young families and struggling shopkeepers. It is the fact that we have no chance to give input that I find insulting.

    27. Steven says:

      There is a man who stands in the medium of Broadway at 79th street with NO mask, screaming & yelling at people as they walk by him. He even gets right into people’s faces at times. This guy has been there & doing this for well over 6 months now. He is homeless & obviously mentally disturbed. WHY is is not being taken care of? He even once ran into the Duane Reade barefoot & screaming till they kicked him out. It is very scary in this time (or any time) to have a person with no mask on scream right at you anytime you & others walk by in this busy intersection right out of the subway. Will he be be given a room at the Lucerne as well?

      • Mark Moore says:

        I know that spot on the median. About three weeks ago there were four young men there, two were passed out and the other two were cradling them like little babies. People are the sidewalk were looking at them and discussing whether to call 911 because the two passed out guys looked pretty bad.

      • Pepper says:

        Haven’t been by there lately, but I bet it is the same guy that has been there for YEARS. There have been stories written about him here. The police do nothing about him or others like him. Apparently he has more rights than the citizens who pay to live in the neighborhood.

    28. Harriet Lipsitz says:

      That’s horrible for the neighborhood. They should send them to Gracie mansion. Let the mayor’s wife build space for them with the $850 mil she swindled

      • soldier says:

        The De Blasios are without redeeming qualities. They pave the way for a Republican mayor for years to come.

    29. Elizabeth says:

      Where is the compassion for our fellow human beings? The shelters are crowded and people are living in them are put at a great risk of getting COVID-19.

      Something is very wrong with us as a society when we don’t think homeless people deserve to be treated like human beings.

      The hotels are empty, but most of these commentators would rather keep homeless people stuck in a crowded shelter during a dangerous pandemic than share “our neighborhood” for a short period of time.

      Apparently it’s all talk when we say will sacrifice for the greater good. This whole thing stings of NIMBYism, and before anyone tries to say: “you probably don’t even live in the neighborhood”, I live around the corner from The Lucerne. It’s my neighborhood as well.

      We need to take care of people. All people.

      • Ron says:

        I agree. It is shameful to see the reaction of people not even being asked to sacrifice anything. Do they prefer to see people sleeping on the sidewalk?

        • Boris says:

          We are sacrificing our safety and taxpayers’ money. Neither is acceptable.

        • Jeff says:

          Thanks, Elizabeth and Ron, for these comments.

          We’re dealing with a pandemic and economic devastation — it’s pretty unsurprising that this is requiring special, temporary actions on short notice to accommodate individuals experiencing homelessness.

          And while having a shelter next door isn’t ideal, it’s rarely a nightmarish danger, and it’s far preferable to having many thousands more people living on the streets.

          NYC actually does a very good job in this regard:

          • Michael UWS says:

            Well, will tell you ‘rarely nightmarish ‘danger”; until the latter materializes and victimizes us all while our civic authorities scramble to CYAs. Concern is 100% warranted and collectivised taxpaying citizen action needed asap to incentivize our sinecured representatives to consult with residents and their direct input, BEFORE they decide such big changes. The city is chiefly demoralized as a result of 3+ years of the unambiguous local misgovernance and the distracted DC representatives chasing Russia hoax windmills, etc. However, now 3 LARGE residences mean we must demand containment of the present saturation; ie no further half way houses in the UWS! No one is hating these that are disadvantaged; but we must direct our demands for accountability and not be put off.
            Altho DeBlasio is a ideological lost cause he must be made to understand the political cost of his top down mismanagement.
            PS: And westsider comment moderators: kindly stop the provincial curating my comments out of the discussion feed. I live in the area, shop, pay rent, taxes and rightfully seek my opportunity to share my views w the other (mostly) intelligent commentary. True sometimes I inveigh against some politicians I think reveal as sham wow sinecure careerists but as a writer myself believe we need to speak up to power. Thank you in advance..

          • UWSer says:

            283 people does not equal thusands more on the streets. And none of the men were on the streets. They were in anotjer shelter in a neighborhood that knew full well there was a shelter when they moved in or bought an apartment. This is not what I paid for. And homeowners here deserve to be consulted.

          • PKM says:

            Jeff, you think the city will keep its word that it’s “temporary?” That’s adorable.

        • ConcernedUWSider says:

          Haven’t you walked the streets this week? They do sleep on the sidewalk all day even though they have beds in shelters. They hang out all day with changed clothes each day, calling out to people for money, sitting in front of stores. If they were trying to find jobs or work with a counselor it would be different but there is no accountability. The NYC Homeless Services have no idea how to run things or we wouldn’t have all these homeless people sitting on our sidewalks on the UWS every day.

          • Like You Could Do Better says:

            Maybe they have no idea how to run things or maybe you have no idea just how difficult the job is and how much worse things could be if they weren’t doing their job the way that they are. I don’t know either, but I know not to judge.

      • Buddy Revell says:

        please define “short period of time”. They’ll be dug in deeper than an Alabama tick once things return to normal. Good luck relocating them.

        I’d sell my apartment right now if I could. This city is falling apart. Progressives are going to get their little utopia with a side of crime, homelessness, empty storefronts, and failing schools.

        • Ethan says:

          As a native Alabaman, I take umbrage at “They’ll be dug in deeper than an Alabama tick”…

          just kidding.

        • Anonymous says:

          These hotels are being paid to house us for 6-9 months with no cap. FEMA is paying 75% of the bill which is why DHS can do whatever they want. I surmise that de Blasio is using this as a political ploy to do several things. One, get homeless people off the streets and off the trains, to seem as though he’s solving the homeless crisis and to milk the money via DHS on FEMA’s dime.

      • Anonymous says:

        The point here is that two other hotels in the same neighborhood, 10 blocks apart, are already hosting hundreds of other homeless individuals. They deserve care but their distribution across the city seems very concentrated in this street that most here call home. If you walk at night along broadway you certainly feel the 70-80s winds blowing there…

      • James Brummel says:

        how many homeless is the Roosevelt hotel housing? The Mariott? Hilton? If the reasoning is the hotels are empty then why are they not there also?

        Maybe the answer is the Lucerne. Are they being forced, or is this a business decision on their part?

        18 security guards / 3 8 hour shifts = 6 at a time. that is not much for 250 people.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am of those being transferred to your community. Unfortunately, while there is a degree of help in preventing the spread of the Covid 19, at the same time, its not as safe as I would like. I’m being transferred from a single room to a shared room. Many of us who are homeless may not practive the best safety protocals. Some of very active drug users and even if they get tested now, the chances of them getting the virus later is still high and then spreading it to their roommate. Putting us in a hotel with two to a room is a ploy to save money and milk the system. FEMA is paying most of this money and so DHS and its service providers have found creative ways to milk the system under the auspies of protecting people from Covid. This move will do more harm than good.

        • Lisa says:

          Thank you for sharing this information. I have no doubt someone is profiting handsomely from this, and it’s not the people that they’re pretending to help. I wish you all the best, both safety and health.

    30. Irina Baron says:

      As a grandmother who’s granddaughter attends school across from Lucerne hotel, I only have one question to ask: will the person or persons who came up with that idea agree to put dangerous people like that across the street from schools their children or grandchildren attending? I do think we all know the answer to that.
      Do you really care so little about the children? If so, it’s
      Just plain shameful!

      • Natali says:

        Dangerous people could already be across the street. Do you have any idea what kind of people a lot of investment bankers are?! The “white” in “white collar” doesn’t represent purity.

    31. nycityny says:

      Folks, stop the paranoia. It’s not just the UWS hotels that are being used as homeless shelters. According to a NY1 story at the end of June (link below), 20% of hotels in the city are housing homeless people. This article says that the city won’t reveal a list of such places but the reporter found several in midtown and other locales. I remember the welfare hotels in the 1980s so hope this is a temporary solution. But desperate times call for desperate measures…

    32. RCP says:

      How wonderful. Our tax dollars being used to depreciate the value of our neighborhood. What exciting new developments can we expect next from the Good Ship DeBlasio?

    33. Kathy Vaillancourt says:

      As a Concerned neighbor of the Lucerne Hotel I just called Project Renewal at the two numbers listed on their site with “24/7 availability”. One number was a non-working number and the other rang and rang before being answered by a surprised and somewhat confused Lucerne staff member. The hotel has no idea that Project Renewal is posting their number on its website. So much for communicating with Project Renewal. Sadly.

    34. Carol says:

      Guess I will not be eating at Nice Matin anytime soon!!! So sad that New York has come to this state of so many homeless who need real help – not “temporary” help.

    35. Jerry says:

      283 homeless men are to be added to a largely wonderful neighborhood with a population of ∼215,000 and most of the first 20 comments are overwrought, replete with hand-wringing and hysteria. Those reactions sadden me. I love the UWS, have lived here for 40 years, would not live anywhere else. But this isn’t Disneyland! It’s a real city, a densely-populated urban environment with all kinds of people, ethnicities, socioeconomic levels, life circumstances, mental health and substance abuse issues. As a New Yorker/UWS resident you really ought to be able to deal! Otherwise, perhaps you are better-suited for a gated community in the suburbs.

      • Math teacher says:

        Hey Jerry. Not sure where you live, but there are only 63,000 people in zip code 10024. Not 215.000. And this doesn’t impact the folks up on 86th street. There are only 1,000 people that live on 79th street. Assume you’re lot one of them. #learnmath

        • Jerry says:

          Parse the numbers any way that you like, “Math teacher.” There are ∼215,000 people living on the UWS (zip codes 10023, 10024, 10025, 10069). Zeroing in on one zip code or one block doesn’t change the point. Do you honestly think this is a math problem? To become overwrought with fear over the addition of 283 men is misguided and disproportionate, at best. Other interpretations for these reactions would be far less charitable–pun intended.

          Oh, and I live nearby and walk near The Lucerne often.

    36. erika mansourian says:

      No matter your opinion on the situation, we can probably all agree that it’s completely unacceptable — and highly suspicious — that Councilwoman Rosenthal announced this only three days before 283 substance abusers will move in, and is saying that her office learned of it “this week.” This operation took considerable planning and preparation. It’s insulting that she thinks her constituents would buy such a sketchy and implausible timeline.
      Ms. Rosenthal has a pattern of keeping residents in the dark when it suits her agenda. (Giving $16 million in discretionary funds to AMNH for Gilder Center without a word to the people paying for it.)

    37. Concerned parent says:

      Aside from the fact that this puts recovering addicts within 50 yards of two pharmacies and liquor stores, and just steps from a number of bars currently service curbside, this is also one block from an elementary school (PS87) on 78th and Amsterdam.

    38. Mitch says:

      I live right next to the Belleclaire and for every Good Samaritan on this page talking about men that are being “treated” or “helped” I assure you they are not. I walk past the church across the street from the hotel nightly and see many from the shelter shooting up who knows what. There is no supervision, there is no help. I’ve also seen homeless men in playgrounds more frequently and watched a father get into a confrontation with one of them because he was touching himself in the playground while watching kids. So to all the Lynn’s and Jerry’s out there that believe being unsafe in your community is just a part of everyday life in New York, I wish you luck. Such a shitty thing to say that a parent wanting to keep their child safe from drug addicts is a “place of privilege”. Not sure if you all know what the recovery percentage is from a drug like OxyContin or heroine but it is extremely low!! The Upper West side is on a decent to a dark place I assure you.

      • Judy says:

        Couldn’t agree more and I know most people feel the same but for some reason feel suppressed to voice their opinion. We need to stop taking a passive approach to these matters which are destroying the streets we live in and take our community back before its too late. We just need local leaders who will speak the truth and not worry about some non existent fringe group who thrives and desires chaos and I guaranty the masses will follow behind them.

        • ruth says:

          Good lawyers in the neighborhood must take this up.
          Marching for our rights as taxpayers and contacting news organizations should be done too.

      • Lynn says:

        I have lived on the UWS since 1982 and have paid plenty in taxes in my day. So what? Does that make me better than a homeless person? Is a well-to-do person’s child more important than a homeless person? Do you want to go back to the days of Giuliani and Bloomberg, when homeless people and those with dependency issues were hidden away? There but for the grace of God …. Parents here raising Covington kids, by the sound of it.

        • David says:


          I do want to return to the days of the Guiliani and Bloomberg administration. The city was cleaner, safer and well managed. And the concerns of the taxpayers were given an priority.
          Frankly, I don’t understand why dirty streets, filled with people who suffer from mental illness and drug abuse is a better state of affairs in your opinion. And massing the mentally ill and drug addicted in a hotel that is run by an unaccountable organization does not help them.
          Regardless, the City government has no right to disregard the concerns of citizens. The housing of vulnerable populations is a concern of a neighboorhood and should require its approval.

        • Mike says:

          Yes, I definitely want to go back to the days of Giuliani and Bloomberg. Streets cleaner, lower murder rates, less mayhem. Democrats are their own worse enemies. They make false choices. Believe it or not, you could have a livable city and care properly care for the homeless (like Paris, London). The choice is not mutually exclusive.

          The real shame is that nothing will change, there is way too much money to be made on drug addicted homeless. Money for hotels without room service. Skimming off the top of the employees is also lucrative, kind of like running a private prison.

          DeBlasio’s renewal program cost 1 billion dollars with no services rendered. You want receipts? You must be a heartless racist.

      • Robert O Johnson says:

        First of all there is no church across the street form the Belleclaire Hotel and no one shooting up. Second, why are you lying? The mass hysteria by some of the people on this page really is amazing. Several people have talked about people with mental illness although mental illness is not mentioned in this article and the “Lucerne Occupation”. I mean really? Seeing the comments on here make me ashamed to be a New Yorker because the privilege being shown here is exactly whats wrong with our country and now sadly New York and the Upper West Side.

        • UWSMom says:

          Do you know the neighborhood? It’s obvious she was talking about West End Collegiate Church. How do you know she is lying about what she saw?

          Demanding safety for your family should not equal to privilege.

        • Leon says:

          West End Collegiate is essentially across the street from the Belleclaire. If you want to be super literal, no it is not, but close enough. I cannot attest to whether there really are people doing drugs there but I don’t think you are there 24/7 to disprove this poster.

          Did you see the stats on sex offenders in the Belleclaire? You are cool with that much of a concentration in one place in your neighborhood? And recovering drug addicts and alcoholics nearby? As has been said elsewhere, if these were homeless families, we wouldn’t be as offended. But this is the worst of the worst.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with you. Take it from me, a resident of those shelters who is being transferred to your community. You are not receiving 283 Recovering Addicts. That is a lie. Most of the people are active drug users not receiving any treatment, paroled ex-cons, and who knows what else. I live among them. While I am in recovery, the vast majority of my co-residents are not. The shelters, 3rd St. and Kenton Hall are both drug dens and the area surrounding those shelters are drug havens. This is what is to be expected. I give your community less than 30 days before it is completely destroyed. There is no upside to this move, and although I am of those being transferred I think it is not a good thing to do.

    39. Craig Heard says:

      This was done on extremely short notice with a move in date on Monday.

      Rosenthal obviously would must have known about this well in advance and intentionally chose not to allow community feedback knowing there would be opposition. If anything could have been done there is no time really to act before Monday.

      I would also note that temporary shelters have a way of becoming permanent especially in light of the ever increasing homeless population.

      The city also pays premium rents for these properties. There would be little incentive for the building owners to convert back to hotel status.

      I think the main reason they selected this area is because of its reputation as being the most liberal in NYC and therefor would be met with the least opposition.

      Beyond that I think there is an ideological and political bent to this program.

      Again there are numerous other hotels and buildings throughout the city that would welcome the significant cash flow of municipal funds for this purpose.

      They are being placed on the UWS and UES to make a thinly veiled social and political statement to perceived wealthier segments of the population.

      I note that there is also a homeless shelter near Park Avenue as well as in an entire building on Billionaires Row near Carnegie Hall.

      In addition to the other UWS hotels mentioned in the forwarded article two full floors of the Excelsior Hotel on West 81st Street overlooking the museum have been put to use for this purpose.

    40. Concerned UWS says:

      Please call the office of city council member Helen Rosenthal and let them know how you feel about the third homeless hotel imposed on the UWS in a ten block radius. Call now (212) 873-0282

        • Fed up says:

          Sadly, I think she is a proponent based upon her reaction to concerns expressed in the past. I don’t think you can look to her for opposition. Sad times.

        • Westsider says:

          Just sent messages to Rosenthal’s office. Is there really nothing that can be done to atleast delay the process till there is a community hearing? Can the wise folks on this board chime in?

      • Almost Former UWS Resident says:

        Her office does nothing. They told me that the homeless have rights to our city streets just like the taxpayers…totally useless. Linda Rosenthals office, on the other hand, can be helpful – your concerns will at least be heard there. Call Linda Rosenthal’s office if you want to get anywhere.

        • Upper West Sider says:

          Yes, call Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal’s office. Her staff is responsive, helpful with neighborhood and safety issues.

    41. Anonymous says:

      Of the 19 registered sex offenders listing an address in zip code 10024, 15 live at the Hotel Belleclaire.

      Which is to say the city/Dept of Homeless Services literally moved 15 level 2/3 sex offenders, many of whom committed violent crimes against very young victims – to a neighborhood that is know for families with young children.

      We’ve got to do something. There is no way the incoming population to the Hotel Lucerne will be very different.

      • Robert O Johnson says:

        This is NOT TRUE. Westide Rag should remove this post for trying to agitate the community by lying about something like sexual abusers living at the Bellclarie!!

        • Anonymous says:

          This IS TRUE. It is public record. See for yourself. The only correction to make is that 14 (not 15) of 19 level 3 and level 2 offenders live at the Hotel Belleclaire.

          Link to fact check – you’ll see the proof:

          • UWS Mom says:

            Thanks for bringing this to our attention! Absolutely terrifying for those of us with children living in this neighborhood. Why could they not have moved in homeless families into these hotels instead?

          • AR says:

            “Anonymous” is right about the sex offenders now living at Hotel Bellclaire… click on the link he posts and enter 10024 zip code.. as you click on the names of the offenders, it lists where they reside (many at this hotel) and includes their pictures…

            This is shocking.

    42. Almost Former UWS Resident says:

      Has Helen Rosenthal not seen that Broadway has already become a slum with the 300 homeless we already got from the Bronx?! She just put a nail in the coffin of the upper west side. This will be the final straw that pushes remaining taxpaying residents out.

      • Anonymous says:

        My understanding is that Helen Rosenthal conveniently sold her home in the 10024 zip code to live down to the low 60s “just before” all this started happening in our neighborhood. If there is an attorney who would take this on I believe there are many who would support fighting the obvious change in the neighborhood. Our kids are frightened to be out alone, especially after 7 pm. Safety is a necessity not a luxury.

    43. Fed Up says:

      I’m getting really tired of people suggesting that it’s “privilege” to want to live in a place, that I came by honestly and pay for, that is clean, safe, and offers a level of quality of life. What about my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness? When is it enough? It feels like there hasn’t been enough bad things happening in our neighborhood so the officials assume we continue to have capacity. It’s crazy.

    44. Jerome36 says:

      You UWS people vote for politicians like Helen Rosenthal. Reap what you sow. She was incompetent in handling a small thing like fireworks. How would she ever address a real problem such as this! The only time I have agreed with her is when she is bashing trump(which is quite often). But you also need to be competent at your job!

    45. Retired NYPD Detective says:

      I can’t believe what these local politicians (Mayor de Blasio and the City Council) are trying to do to our Upper Westside community by placing all these homeless, former drug users
      and mentally ill men in several hotels on the UWS.
      They are bringing back the 1970’s when the UWS became the “Wild West.” Have you seen what West 79th and Broadway looks like these days? Our Seniors and Children are being put in “Harms Way.” Thanks again Mayor de Blasio for turning the UWS into a cesspool!

    46. Enough already says:

      These hotels are empty. These people are your fellow New Yorkers in need of shelter and aid.

      You all ought to be ashamed of yourselves for reacting in this fashion. I grew up next to an SRO. It wasn’t great, but the building wasn’t any more responsible for crime in the area than other folks in the neighborhood back then.

      If you don’t like it, by all means hop on the Henry Hudson up to Scarsdale.

      • RegK says:

        Do you think any of the concerns are valid?

        Do you feel that they are all based on unspoken prejudice or selfishness?

        Can you understand why having no knowledge or input on something of this scale would cause a reaction?

        (These are sincere, not confrontational questions.)

    47. Steven Barall says:

      The Upper West Side isn’t being unfairly targeted. My friend lives in am expensive condo that is next door to a hotel that now houses inmates from Rikers Island and I just read that a hotel in Fresh Meadows Queens which is a residential area is also housing inmates including sex offenders.

      We live with homeless people all around us every day and yet we still buy our condos and co-ops. This hasn’t turned into Three Penny Opera or Oliver Twist over night. It’s not a planned assault on the UWS.

      Now that said there are obviously legitimate and vital concerns surrounding mental illness, drug dealing and drug use and if those concerns aren’t met on day one the entire thing should be shut down immediately. The neighborhood should not have to listen to government officials telling them to be patient. This is not an experiment that takes time to get right. They have to get it right NOW.

      We’re talking about public safety. There is no compromise.

      • Beau says:

        Well said.

      • Les says:

        If you go to the New York State Sex Offender Registry and put in zip code 10024, you’ll find that 15 of the 19 sexually violent offenders registered in 10024 are housed in the Belleclaire Hotel. In other words, they’ve been placed in this neighborhood since this previous boutique hotel became a shelter in March? April? How many will be housed at the Lucerne? Is this a good idea in a neighborhood with so many children? Go to the registry yourself and take a look at the crimes. Why not move criminals into the many empty hotels out near the airports? Who had to sign off on these arrangements?

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          I looked. Les is correct.

          it is indeed stunning.

          this is not good public policy. there should not be so many sex offenders concentrated in one place.

        • Steven Barall says:

          I didn’t think to check. That’s really great information. Thanks.

    48. Aaron B says:

      Why does Upper West Side get 3 times more of such types of housing than UES?

    49. MB/UWSer says:

      Suddenly I’m a stranger in a strange land.

      (Was it sudden? Was I always a stranger? Was the land always strange?)

    50. Beau says:

      The city is being over run by the ultra left and the majority of hardworking families are suffering.

    51. buddu says:

      i stayed there for a semester as it was a student dorm prior to its conversion to a hotel. a prewar that was not remodeled/fixed, and it sure felt like it. my friend said the ceiling partly fell on him when he was showering.
      good memories though..i didnt have a fridge so i would leave a jug of water on the window ledge and when i came back it would be half frozen..perfect

    52. Concerned says:

      Eight homeless people drinking and partying on the median on Broadway and 79th earlier today, as well as one passed out with a bottle in his hand by the Chase bank.

    53. Sue says:

      It’s nearly 5 o’clock on a summer Friday afternoon. Has the final budget for security at the hotel been approved? If not, what security will be in place Monday morning? Will the move be postponed until the budget for security is approved? What if a lesser security force is approved and not the recommended security force? Will the community be advised? Who decided what would be adequate security? If there are 15 clients per security guard, how is it possible for the the security guard to oversee his/her assigned clients when they head in 15 different directions after breakfast each day?

    54. Leon says:

      To all the self-righteous who don’t think this is an issue: I think what bugs many of us is the extreme nature of the situation. First, this is the third hotel in a small area turned into a homeless shelter. Secondly, it is the worst of the worst – it is recovering addict men. If they were truly helping down on their luck families and the like, I don’t think the protests would be as loud.

      Also, the police have been making it clear that they aren’t involving themselves with people like the guy at 79 and Broadway who might not theoretically be committing crimes but are threatening – this does not make us confident that a recovering addict who has a relapse will be prevented from doing harm.

      • Anonymous says:

        I want you all to be clear. Of the 283 Men that are coming to your area, the vast majority are not recovering addicts. It’s horrendous how someone would like to you all about this fact. I live among them. I am in recovery but most of my co-residents are NOT in recovery or receiving treatment for their substance use “disorder”. Your neighborhood is about to be infested with drug addicts and drug dealers. This was not a good way to prevent the spread of Covid. This is a way to milk the FEMA money and prevent the potential lawsuits that could come from not being able to protect those of us in the shelters. Also, they are trying to get homeless people off of the streets and trains so deBlasio can look as if he’s handling the homeless crisis. This will backfire.

    55. Almost Former upper West Sider says:

      I now have a call with Helen Rosenthal directly on Monday. I’m demanding a virtual community meeting ASAP. I will post any details on this thread. PLEASE call her office – 212.873.0282 and press 203 to connect with her scheduler, Joanne. Ask to schedule a meeting directly with Helen. Joanne listened to me outraged on the phone for 20 minutes and she got me on Helen’s calendar. What concerns me most is that we don’t have a plan for when these new residents (some of the struggling heroine addicts) won’t leave the community after federal funding to hotels ends and then they are fully living on our streets. The taxpayers and residents of UWS have to come together to have our concerns heard. We need a plan!

      • bravo says:

        The plan is to have good lawyers and sue.

      • ConcernedUWSer says:

        @Almost Former Upper West Sider, I commend you and support you. I write Helen Rosenthal every time this happens and have already had a meeting with her 6 months ago before the Pandemic as this was happening before then.

        We need more people to insist on change and officials that fight for us. The UWS has already done our share with more shelters than any other neighborhood. No Manhattan neighborhood has as many. It’s time to insist on fighting and I truly hope you will post a virtual COMMUNITY MEETING. It would be well attended and it’s time our UWS representatives face their decisions and lack of resident support. Why can’t WE insist on change?

        Please keep us posted here on this thread. Thank you!!

      • Robert O Johnson says:

        Really? “some of the struggling heroine addicts”? And just how do you know this? Stop the lying and paranoia.

      • Read says:

        In the name of levity and fact: a heroine addict and a heroin addict are about as divergent as one can get. Look it up.

    56. UWSdad says:

      I think UWS residents are well reasoned to object to this without more communication from elected leaders. First and foremost to demand that the safety of the community be upheld. 2175 Broadway (Belleclaire) houses almost all registered sec offenders in the 10024 and 10023 zip codes. It also happens to have two public schools within two blocks. No elected leaders should be comfortable with a high concentration of convicted sex offenders being deposited into their constituents neighborhoods without some public discussion. How many of these 283 individuals have violent criminal pasts?

    57. ruth says:

      The Euclid Hall: now that there is a (permanent) scaffold, there is a 24/7 party of its residents. No masks. Spitting/coughing/smoking, alcohol, music and making lewd remarks – fun.
      The entities that manage it and others like this one make 10s of millions dollars a year – of our tax money.
      One day the owners of the buildings convert them to condos.

    58. Nora says:

      I am greatly disheartened to see this happening with no community input whatsoever. No thought to what it will do to this amazing piece of architecture and the great restaurant below. I am very disappointed that Rosenthal thinks this is a reasonable idea.

    59. Tipster says:

      I suggest in addition to writing/calling Helen Rosenthal ( you also reach out to local news to get the word out on how the De Blasio administration is unfairly overloading the UWS:

    60. Marsha says:

      I understand Helen Rosenthal was told about it and not able to stop it. It’s deBlasio. Wonder how many *management* people are at DHS, doing *nothing*. As with so many City agencies, they are top-loaded with so many do-nothing “supervisors” and “managers” it’s sickening. I think we feel if there weren’t so many homeless sleeping on the streets, acting out, threatening people there would be no problem in the community. We just feel scared these men might not adhere to our community goals, whether able or unable. Look around our deteriorating neighborhood. If they do, welcome.

      • Craig Heard says:

        I don’t believe there should be any doubt that Helen Rosenthal new about this plan to destroy this neighborhood well in advance. She chose not to inform her neighbors that this was in the works so that there could be no community input or discussions of any kind. If she had no knowledge that would be even worse making her the greatest out of touch representative al all time. In other words a miserable incompetent. As was the case with Watergate the question is what did she know and when did she know it.

    61. Elyse says:

      Same happened to us on UES in the 60s. Nightmare. Crime up dramatically. Transferred residents housed walking around without masks.

    62. LisaB says:

      There aren’t any empty hotels near the shelters downtown? Why do they take a beautiful hotel?

      • Les says:

        The hotel’s owner sought a lucrative government contract to create a homeless shelter. Some UWS lawyers should look into the matter. Doesn’t it seem like the community should have been informed before it was a done deed? It seems unlikely that Helen Rosenthal just found out this week.

    63. Mike says:

      As a former UWSer & now Central Harlem resident…we have 3 methadone clinics on one block, directly across from 2 schools. Local politicians got into bed with Mount Sinai, and in spite of community resistance, we could not block the building of an upcomig 4th clinic on the same block. I have compassion for the homeless but NOT for NJ residents working in NYS and paying LOWER taxes. NJ has lots of land and can start paying NYC back by creating affordable housing and shelters for the homeless.

    64. Meebs says:

      I understand how this issue is concerning for many of our neighbors, especially those with children. I’m not a social worker but I do wonder what our community could do to welcome these people and perhaps show them that this neighborhood is a place where they can feel safe and supported in their rehabilitation. I can’t imagine how crappy it must feel to think you are so unwanted in a neighborhood…I know treating addiction is a complex issue but still believe that we may have an opportunity to present ourselves as a community that will not judge or ostracize them. I think that if these men feel welcomed by us, they may be more motivated to be “good neighbors” in return. Let’s keep everyone safe by getting to know each other and showing how we take care of of all fellow NYers.

      • lynn says:

        I’m sorry, but do we really want to show everyone how we take care of our fellow New Yorkers? What about the mentally ill homeless men (and women) who have been living on B’way from 86th to 68th streets for the past 10+ years? We have a huge problem that so many people are refusing to accept. Why isn’t the city and the community going to greater lengths to help them? And please don’t tell me they WANT to live this way. It’s depressing and infuriating to read some of the comments posted here.

        • Almost Former Upper West Sider says:

          What’s depressing and infuriating is that my tax dollars go to ineffective mental health initiatives. The truth is you can’t legally force a mentally ill individual living on the streets to get help. Every single person I’ve directed homeless outreach to via 311 has refused help… including the man in the median on 79th and Broadway who harasses you when you cross. I have a schizophrenic aunt who my mother and family advocate hard for…but when she is off meds and delusional, there is no helping her. So if no one is advocating for these people not in medication, there will be no helping them – they will refuse services over and over again and continue occupying our sidewalks as their home. So what’s the solution you’re proposing?

      • Anonymous says:

        This is a good thought but the problem with this is that DHS, Project Renewal, we who are homeless and you have not come together to figure this out together and come up with a plan that would help all parties. They (DHS and its service providers and the hotel) have pulled the wool over your eyes and led you to believe that you are receiving 283 men in recovery. That is a lie. Most of those are coming are active drug users who would rather stay where they at doing what they know than to go to a new area where they have to find out where to get their drugs, and where they can use without being bothered by law enforcement. The shelters we’re coming from are drug dens and the surrounding area is a haven for drugs. It won’t take long before they adapt to your community and find a way to make that a comfortable place to do what they’ve been doing. Substance use disorder is a complex issue and without proper treatment you can’t expect a change of venue to be the cure all.

      • Bob says:

        Sorry. They aren’t welcome. I chose to live here. As did many others. For a variety of reasons and have invested my hard earned income and savings. This idea that some of the most expensive real estate in the world needs to be affordable for everyone and that everyone is entitled to live here is absurd. Maybe we should give all of the men in the Lucerne a Ferrari. I mean why are fancy sports cars only for the rich?

    65. Susanne says:

      Elections have consequences.

      • Mel says:

        There is really not a more powerful statement than yours that one could make. This says it all. The chickens coming home to roost. It was all fun wasn’t it. Not much fun anymore, is it.

    66. Laura says:

      I used to work in addiction recovery and I think this is wonderful. Addiction recovery is hard enough, but when you don’t have a safe place to live or don’t know where you’ll sleep tonight, it’s hard to pay attention to anything else. Security is there for to ensure recovery rules are followed and to ease the minds of neighborhood residents. Well done.

      • Anonymous says:

        Awesome Laura- I’m glad you think this is wonderful. I’ll call you to counsel my toddler when she asks me why the men look like they’re sleeping standing up. FaceTime is ok?

      • Sean says:

        The beginning of the end for the UWS. I live close to another hotel that became a homeless shelter a few months ago metal detector and all. I am married with 2 young girls – 13 and 15 (I see many of these men coming to the Lucerne are sex offenders). A lot of nice homeless people live in the hotel, but there are still many who drink all day smoke weed all day and by 9pm it’s quite scary. My girls can no longer walk the dog after 8:30. I know there are bigger stresses in life, but really? For all those thinking it’s a good thing that we have sheltered the homeless, walk down 77th between Broadway and West End after 930 pm and see the drug deals that were non-existent a couple months ago and then please still tell me it’s a good thing, and that I am being “privileged” that I have told my kids that I have raised in NYC since they were born that they can no longer go outside at night. With this zero of a Mayor the city is going to crumble way before there is a vaccine. We need to come together and be realistic that this is clearly not good for the neighborhood. Just walk around. How can anyone that really knows this neighborhood argue that things aren’t cratering fast. Only we can take a stand otherwise it’s game over and the UWS in months will be like it was years ago. Total shitshow. Argue all you want, but until you are out there every single day like I have been since COVID hit in March your words mean nothing. Hide in your home and write all you want. NYC is fucked unless we take a stand.

        • Idea for You says:

          Your kids are off to college in a few years. Rather than shelter them, teach them some street smarts.

          • Sean says:

            You are completely missing the point. My kids have street smarts, always have, and they want to go out at night, but as a parent and seeing what is happening I would never let me daughters walk the dog late night. You can have all the street smarts in the world how does that help with all these acts of random violence. And now 283 recovering drug addicts some being sex offenders. Sounds like you clearly don’t have kids or simply don’t care about them. Unless there is a vaccine over the coming months we know how this is going to end. So funny to hear about people going to welcome them. If this is a good thing why when the homeless were relocated to the Hotel Bellclaire it was done in the middle of the night under darkness so residents wouldn’t see. If these hotels are willing to do this they see how bad things are going to get and are simply trying to get the last dollars they can. You think any of the hotel owners have walk these streets at night? It is quite sad for Nice Matin. I will say I just walked by there the other night and it was nice to see the place was busy, social distanced, and had a nice vibe. That’s over.

      • Good luck says:

        Totally agree. Can we house them in your building?

      • Peter says:

        Do you want to buy my apartment? Across the street; prime view of all the “wonderful” things to see starting Monday.

        In your experience, what is someone in my position supposed to do when I start (inevitably) witnessing people shooting up, fighting, menacing behaviour, let alone sexual assault, etc. How many incidents is it appropriate for me to endure – and explain to my 5 year old – before I get the “right” to complain?

    67. Gabriella says:

      Given the poor leadership and managerial skills of our city government starting with DeBlasio I am skeptical and concerned. I yesterday had to stop homeless man from pushing my 97 year old mother to the ground. A fall for her would be fatal. Homelessness should have been addressed years ago before COVID and before the mayor abantrdoned this city to run for office. Plans such as this one require strategies, staff training, metrics, follow through.

    68. Mike says:

      What a joke.

      Who will want to move into an apartment across the street from this?

      Homeless and once drug dependent people do not have a right to be dropped in the middle of a family neighborhood.

      Clean and safe housing is where the obligations end and this can be accomplished in dorm like settings within industrial buildings.

    69. Upper West Sider says:

      If you have concerns about this use of community hotels as shelters or safety issues, you can also reach out to Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal’s office. Her staff is very helpful about neighborhood concerns.

      • lynn says:

        There has been a homeless enclave on Linda Rosenthal’s block on 72nd street since March, with an encampment directly in front of her office for the past month. They’ve just recently moved down to a space located closer to WEA and situated between two outdoor dining spaces. Yesterday there was a group of people taking photos/videos of one of the men urinating in the street in clear view of the diners. Once again, they have been in this neighborhood for 10+ years, they are higher than kites, the climb on the scaffolding, they’ve allegedly set fires, they scream incoherently, fight with each other, and they are clearly in need of assistance. They’re not invisible and obviously there has been no response to this.

    70. Maria G says:

      How about offering those rooms to essential workers instead? To the doormen, porters, waiters, teachers, healthcare workers, sanitation workers and the people who are dying of COVID because they live in cramped quarters and risk their lives traveling in and out on public transport to work? Use the hotels outside by the airports to house these 283 homeless men where you can set up a more controlled environment?

      • JerryV says:

        Great Point! Why should these people get priority over the hard working people who are essential in running our City?

    71. Craig S says:

      I hope the owners give Nice Matin a hefty buyout, perhaps several millions dollars, cause they killed his very successful restaurant. Simon Oren has done a great job operating the restaurant and deserves applause. Really not fair to him.

    72. LivableCity says:

      Thank you Laura. I also am glad people suffering, trying for recovery, and stuck in the shelter system can have some respite.

      I remember the city in the 70s when I was a skinny white school girl. I saw desperate people but also learned some compassion and humanity I hope.Take a breath people.

      Really, you screamers should be ashamed at the hysterical and inhumane example you are setting for your precious children. (Yup, I raised a precious little girl here, too. She has better perspective than you do and I don’t worry about her on the streets.) These are not rabid dogs out to attack your children. Teach your kids compassion, and street smarts. Or please, move to that gated community. This city may be in all kinds of crisis for a while, but we still have many options about how to handle ourselves.

      I wish Project Renewal and all these guys the best. I bet PR will be giving these guys a lot more support than desperate people on the streets had 40 years ago.

      If we need a neighborhood patrol, or better intervention for public bad behavior, or can beg the hospitals to open more supported housing for the mentally ill, then we have that responsibility as a community.

      • Anna says:

        Hmmm. Yeah. I was a skinny white girl who grew up on the UWS too. I couldn’t go into Central Park alone because there were so many muggings. By the time I was a teenager I couldn’t go outside without being harassed. I remember having the clear thought when I was a teenager that I must ALWAYS be a moving target when I left the apartment. I literally couldn’t sit down on a bench for more than a few minutes without being bothered by some sleezy guy rubbing himself or muttering disgusting things or grabbing at me. Since my family life was bad, I basically never felt safe anywhere except the museums.

        It seemed like a miracle to me when I moved back home to NYC after a long time away and could go in the park at dusk and not be afraid. Giuliani and Bloomberg made the city SO much safer and cleaner and nicer to live in.

        Today I saw a couple get harassed by a homeless man while they were eating dinner at a sidewalk table on Columbus Avenue. If the drug addicted, mentally ill, homeless population keeps increasing in this neighborhood, restaurants will have an even harder time staying in business.

        Guilt tripping people just for wanting to be safe and keep their families safe is pointless virtue signaling. Politicians like de Blasio love that stuff because when we’re arguing with each other, we don’t join together to confront THEM about WHY THEY DIDN’T FIND A BETTER SOLUTION.

    73. JerryV says:

      Perhaps we should feel comforted in being told that face covering is “encouraged” but not required for these people. If any of the people who live and work in the neighborhood were to walk around without a mask we could be fined or arrested.

    74. Mel says:

      Listen, not a few weeks ago, wasn’t a 2 year old kid in a stroller slashed in the 50’s? THIS IS REAL FOLKS. These decisions have REAL implications for some people. Will it be YOUR child, probably not, and that’s what allows people to put up with this kind of thing. Drug addicts should not be placed in neighborhoods that have many families. Some of the homeless are dangerous! Are we sacrificial ducks? What is going on here??

      • Pepper says:

        No…it was at 110 & Morningside & it was done by a guy staying at a homeless shelter on 107th St.

    75. Chris B says:


    76. Linda Chiaverini says:

      How would you like to live at the Hotel Lucerne. We do along with a dozen other tenants.

    77. Vince says:

      These hotels agree to “temporarily” house these “recovering” addicts because it’s extremely profitable. (This is the end of The Lucerne Hotel). They are not doing it out of the goodness of their heart. If the state has so much money to give to these hotels, why not build more efficient recovery housing away from families with children. Is this why we pay such high property taxes and high rents? Who’s next, The Arthouse on 77th? Ya gotta love your current leaders. Bring Guiliani back!

    78. Life-long UWSider says:

      And who is going to reimburse the Lucerne, Belleclaire, Belnord, etc to renovate IF the homeless ever depart? My taxes are already outrageous. It just might be time to go. So sad!

    79. Marianne says:

      The luxury hotel will be used for “temporary shelter” ? Really? Where are those homeless supposed to go after? Once they’re there they will stay. And the patrol- obviously necessary will take place depending on budget – so it’s not even sure? Why couldn’t they make it at least a shelter for domestic violence victims and their children, a crime that is escalating during this pandemic. Everywhere these new housings for homeless men. Not fair. Women are the more vulnerable. Good luck to us where there are homeless shelters now on almost every other block and with all the prisoners released from Rikers – the other day a guy who had just been released aggressively demanded money from me-it’s going to be the new Hell’s Kitchen.

    80. Marianne says:

      Sorry my response was not to Erika Monsourian but to “Lynn” . Sorry about that.

    81. tee splaine says:

      what they should do is turn all of the empty luxury stores on madison and hudson yards into homeless centers.

      no one is going there anymore to shop. and why not let the ultra rich see where their tax dollars are going while they hide in the hamptons

    82. Blake says:

      “Project Renewal will also maintain 18 security guards with 2 supervisors on each shift, including an outdoor security post and block patrols every 30 minutes.”

      Is this to placate an “entitled” or “overreacting” community? Or because PR has enough experience to know it’s necessary?

      I went through hell to get sober. So I know well that people struggling with addiction and mental illness need compassion, respect, and support. That doesn’t invalidate very valid concerns. 283 of these men — not 50 or 100 or 150 or 200 — in one building, in the center of a dense residential area of schools, the elderly, children, and small businesses already on the brink of failure.

      • anonymous says:

        283 men who, for the most part, are NOT in recovery. Those who are attend The Recovery Center and it’s less than 20 people. Others attend other outpatient places but there is a huge majority that are receiving no treatment at all for their addiction. The other thing is to remember many suffer from some mental illness of some kind and definitely are not receiving treatment for that. This is not a stereotype. This is the population. Thats the main issue. To have all of these people in one building with staff that are not trained to deal with those who have substance use disorder or mental illness is a recipe for disaster. I didn’t mention those who’ve been released from prison due to Covid and placed in the shelter. They are not going to mention that. They, ironically, along with those going to and from work may be the better ones in the community. However, without the proper care being given this is not going to end up good.

    83. Wendy says:

      The comments sure sound a like like NIMBY. I’m not sure Helen Rosenthal had any input into this at all; why blame her? And why would these new arrivals be sleeping under the scaffolding, if they have their own rooms? I understand the concern, but don’t lump together all “homeless” people and please stop with the hysteria.

    84. Nycuws says:

      Is there no legal recourse to this? At least hit a pause on the relocation? And if ithe hotel has to be used to de-density shelters, why can’t families stay here instead?

      • Boris says:

        It’s absurd that the Lynns & Jerrys on the UWS care more about the largesse of new construction ruining the quality of life on the UWS but think no harm comes from these new housing arrangements. It also bothers them that only the wealthy benefit from such construction but are not concerned how much it costs to house these people in the hotel…with our taxpayer money. Apparently, it’s not relevant that the government plays the role of the wealthy renter/owner.

    85. Anonymous says:

      The notion that all of the people moving are in recovery is a total falsehood. Both shelters, Kenton Hall and 3rd Street, are what I call drug dens. Not just the outside area, but inside. Both shelters are haven’s for drug addicts and drug dealers. Project Renewal has an outpatient program called The Recovery Center and there are less than ten of us from the actual shelters who attend. Some of in their Crisis Center and Detox. Unfortunately, the vast majority are not involved in any treatment program and spend most of their day in the communinity using drugs and committing crimes to support their habits. I believe that this effort to contain the virus will only backfire and wreak havoc on the new community. Although I am of those who will be moving, I totally oppose this move. I will give it a try but if it turns out to be the same open air drug market that 3rd St. And Kenton Hall has been, I will go back into the streets and try my luck there.

    86. Anonymous says:

      The notion that all of the people moving are in recovery is a total falsehood. Both shelters, Kenton Hall and 3rd Street, are what I call drug dens. Project Renewal has an outpatient program called The Recovery Center and there are less than 20 of us from the actual shelters who attend. The vast majority of residents are not involved in any treatment program and spend most of their day using drugs. I believe this effort to contain the virus will only backfire and wreak havoc on your community. I guarantee you, your community will not be the same.

    87. Eric says:

      My email letter to our Representative…cc’d to other community leaders such as Gale Brewer, Linda Rosenthal, Scott Stringer…

      Dear Helen,

      It is with increasing concern that I view the Department of Homeless Services’ aggressive use of the UWS as a solution to New York City’s challenging homeless problem. Most if not all of the UWS understands that homelessness and its myriad causes (i.e. mental illness, drug addiction, economic distress) is perhaps the single most difficult public policy issue to solve. As a more progressive and liberal community, our neighborhood has typically been more tolerant than most in accepting the day to day difficulties of dealing with so many homeless on our streets and subways.

      As our city council representative, you are well aware the UWS has accepted numerous shelters and supportive housing above 96th Street as well as Euclid Hall on Broadway and more recently the conversation of the former Volunteers of America building on West 85th Street. Unfortunately the existence of these buildings has led to increased drug transactions and degradation of quality of life across the neighborhood.

      It appears the Department of Homeless Services has become even more aggressive of late by taking over additional UWS hotels (the former hotels in the upper 80s including the Belnord and Bellclaire and the latest announcement being the Lucerne on the corner of 79th & Amsterdam) and using them as “temporary” housing for our fellow New Yorkers that suffer from homelessness and addiction issues. The policy begs numerous questions: How long is temporary? Does the UWS already have more of these shelters than other neighborhoods? Has your office had input on the policy?

      As a 30+ year resident of the UWS, I’m both frustrated and concerned that no input has been allowed by the community and your office seems content with letting this policy move forward unabated. To be sure there is a cost to this policy including a reduction in quality of life for existing residents, garbage on the streets, the potential for increased violence and drug usage as well as economic hits to real estate values. I would appreciate your thoughts on the Department of Homeless Services’ policies, its impact on our neighborhood and why current residents should accept the new status quo. I look forward to your response.


      • ConcernedUWSider says:

        I also sent a letter to “all” and I have before. No one ever responds. I believe they ignore us because we ask the hard questions, that they never attempt to answer. We need a community meeting so we can show up in person (outdoors, of course) to show the strength in numbers opposing using the UWS over and over again for shelters for men and not families, although we are maxed out for every type of shelter. I just don’t know how we make a community meeting happen. Open to all suggestions.

        • Eric says:

          Mark Diller from CB7 did reply so at least that is something. It is obvious that DHS has executed this strategy at a time when most of the UWS residents have left NYC. It will be challenging to get the neighborhood together at this time. We may stuck with the DHS policy until there is a political change and where the UWS elects an official that is willing to stand up for the neighborhood.

        • Almost Former Upper West Sider says:

          Call Helen Rosenthal’s office – hit prompt 203 and then call her schedulers’s cell phone (number is on the outgoing message). Demand a phone call with Helen this week and then tell Helen to schedule a virtual community meeting – I will make first request of her on a call with her tomorrow at 1pm. I called Friday and got appt for Monday with Helen. The more calls she gets, the more she will have to deal with and may get one scheduled. The more calls her scheduler, Joanne, gets, the better. We have to keep the pressure on.

      • JMo says:

        Those of us concerned about yet another shelter on the UWS, how do we organize? How can we use our collective energy to change this? Calling Helen Rosenthal. Okay. But there must be more we can do. Any lawyers out there? Given the number of schools in close proximity to these shelters, the city is putting our children at risk. Can we start a petition?

    88. RWC10025 says:

      The Upper Westside is going back to the one I knew and loved when I moved to the neighborhood from Brooklyn in 1983!! UWS was rough place to live, welcoming to all and filled with characters.
      NYC has always been a place for strivers and the less fortunate that need community help.

      Safety tips: Pay attention to your surrounding
      ( starring at your phone while you walk is bad) ,
      carry some spare change.

    89. Jessica says:

      I don’t know about all of you,but I will be there Monday at 9am to welcome our new neighbors to the neighborhood.

    90. Lee says:

      Hello – fellow middle class white person here. I too enjoy being a jerk on the internet now and then – for example…

      Homelessness does NOT discriminate. Neither does addiction. If we do a better job of taking care of our neighbors(as one of the richest cities in the world), your children might be spared the ‘unappetizing’ sight of people who have likely experienced trauma and may not have as many resources as you. This is a community issue, a national tragedy, and not about curb appeal.

      A little compassion wouldn’t hurt. These guys are soooo not interested in your children. Enjoy your summer house. BAI.

      • Perry Vega says:

        Do you think it’s possible to have compassion for these men (and respect and a wish to see them succeed) while also having undeniably legitimate concerns?

        Why are compassion and concerns mutually exclusive?

      • Peter says:

        33, 16, 16, 12, 12, 10, 10, 6, 6, 4, 4.

        The known ages of the victims of level 2/3 sex offenders who were relocated to the Belleclaire a while back.

        Please tell me again that the new guys would be SOOOO not interested in our children. Please. Or do you have any other jokes?

    91. UWS Resident says:

      Bill De Blasio is the worst mayor in NYC history. Coming from a socialist country, I can GUARANTEE you that people like De Blasio will completely RUIN this city and country. He should house these folks in the Gracie Mansion.

    92. Joe says:

      We need to vote out the politicians who make decisions about the environment in our neighborhood without our input.

      Goodby Nice Matin.

      How many of our tax paying neighbors will say goodby.

    93. Nycuws says:

      Is this what we have to look forward to? If they aren’t following the curfews, and are not allowed back in, will we see encampments mushroom here?

    94. Frank Smith says:

      On the one hand, it is great that potentially making individuals with issues productive members of society, on the other hand what about vulnerable women and children. Even for the most liberal having an increased population of men who fell out from the bottom of society for reasons that are not purely socio-economic is not a good thing. While is is great that rehabilitation programs are in place, a city is not the place to do it. As not everyone, but some will look for drugs, and drive up crime. Anyone who has a relative, or close friend who is an addict will agree with me, as once drugs and alcohol have grasped a person with its clutches very few will ever achieve more than mere survival. Crime is already up, and businesses who are having to operate outdoors are being badly affected.

    95. Marci says:

      Slightly veering off topic: What about the growing groups living on the benches in the middle of Broadway? The guy who was by himself on 79th for ages now has 5 more people living with him there. And there’s a huge group on 78th that I see all the time now. Yesterday, I noticed a huge encampment on the south side of 72nd near West End, under the scaffolding. I’ll be honest in saying that I fluctuate between worrying about all of these people and worrying about myself living here as the problem grows.

      • HelenD says:

        Thank you for posting this! The group of men near WEA was in front of City Vet for weeks and they had to move down there because CV made an outside waiting area for their clients. But a new group has replaced them nearer to Fischer Bros & the Baptist church so we now have two encampments on the block. I don’t feel privileged at all, and I want to get them help as well as make this a safer neighborhood for everyone. It was very upsetting to see a group of young children run up to their pile of belongings because they thought it was part a street fair. 🙁

    96. Eve says:

      SO FRUSTRATING! I just moved down from the mid-90s, with 3 shelters on my block and now I’m going to be only a few blocks away from this giant shelter again. Even when one shelter closed by me homeless still gathered by there for drug deals and it was right across a school, disgusting. The UWS is very family-oriented and should have more family-shelters or women’s shelters, as such. While there are other hotels across the city housing homeless individuals, we already had undue burden in UWS with permanent & “temporary” shelters. There’s a line between being socially liberal and letting the UWS be a free for all – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

    97. anonuws says:

      Is Covid still rampant in NYC? According the NY Covid site ( ), We have on average 1% positive and less than 100 daily positive for Covid in NY county since June 1. Are they underreporting and hence we need to move people to hotels at this time? Why not in May?

    98. Jan says:

      We desperately need a “Tiny House” village
      (1 tiny house is approx 3K) complete with social services
      It can be done. I suggested a team of fundraisers
      to obtain money from Foundations to help solve
      the homeless problem and problems like addiction and more. I can not think of one Foundation that would refuse
      a plan to end this homeless situation
      We need a plan architects land and a coordinated all out effort. It CAN be done! Our City our real estate our way of life is at risk. Further if it works well would provide a model for other cities. Our Feds could kick in on this since this is a nationwide problem. You got a better idea?

    99. Almost Former Upper West Sider says:

      Is there an UWS parents Facebook group? If so, someone should post this link there to inform members of our community. If you don’t read UWS Rag or arent on Helen Rosenthal’s email distribution, you may not be aware of these issues. Pls continue to keep spreading the word and encouraging people to voice their concerns.

    100. Richard says:

      These city officials are such cowards! Sneaking this news into the low traffic weekend cycle, skirting applicable laws relating to comment and notice by calling this “temporary”, is reprehensible and irresponsible behavior. Regardless of the merits, the process used has been autocratic and cowardly. Shame on all of you. DeBlasio deserves to be relegated to the top of the “Worst Mayors of NYC” and Helen Rosenthal to the top of the “Least effective” local elected list. We need, deserve and demand real leadership.

    101. Marianne says:

      Sorry my former comment was meant as a response to to Lynn, who labeled the family concerned for their kids “ Privileged “ -not Erika,

    102. Anne Davis says:

      I wonder how the upscale restaurant, Nice Matin, next door feels about this.

    103. what’s happening to all those half empty hotels on the east side?east side, west side, all around the town? i don’t think so. this is a family friendly neighborhood that will blossom again when a vaccine comes out. don’t ruin it while the population waits. remember the upper west side went down the drain before. it’s back and will fight to stay that way if the city doesn’t make it impossible. to those in charge, do watch what you’re doing and think long and hard about the future. owners of small stores have big hearts.let’s help them be healthy.

    104. SophiaG says:

      Why are my heartfelt and loving comments being censored?

    105. GL says:

      How does this decision conform with zoning rules? I understand you can allow a hotel, but i am sure there is a rule which stipulates how hotel is being used. Using hotel for housing homeless drug addicts has to violate some rule. I am sure there are lawyers on UWS who can challenge this decision.

    106. Steven Jacobs says:

      Please reach out to Marisa
      Maack, she was part of the negotiations. Feel free to call her at 332 215 6132 to discuss.

      Marisa Maack
      Chief of Staff
      City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, 6th District
      563 Columbus Ave, NYC 10024

      • Anon says:

        Don’t be surprised if you find her more interested in advocating for the hotel owners and their new tenants than for the safety of UWS residents.

      • Almost Former Upper West Sider says:

        She is utterly useless. Advocates only for the homeless and not the taxpaying constituents.

    107. js says:

      It is ironic that single men are being placed in the residential West Side…..for several years now the City has been using several hotels in midtown for homeless families (with babies, toddlers and school-age children).
      Midtown was/is a bad place for families – no green space, no food markets, no schools etc nearby.

      So homeless families are being housed in midtown which is unsuitable and unhealthy for children – and single men (some with substance abuse issues, sex offender status) are being housed in a residential neighborhood…..

    108. UWS Mom says:

      “People who don’t adhere to “Good Neighbor” rules may be transferred to other shelters”

      What exactly does this mean? Where can I find a specific and detailed list of the “Good Neighbor” rules these men are supposed to follow? Are they routinely tested for drug use? Is there a curfew? Helen Rosenthal’s announcement has no information at all.

    109. chrigid says:

      Does anyone know how much the Lucerne is making on this deal?

    110. EconUWS says:

      Let’s be practical and disciplined and channel the passions here into constructive action. First thoughts:

      (1) Contact Helen Rosenthal’s office at (212) 873-0282
      (2) Contact Mark DIller from CB7 who is trying to advocate for the safety of our community and request an emergency committee meeting on this topic.
      (3) Contact West 79th Street Block Association and ask for an emergency meeting.
      (4) Reach out to 20th Precinct Community Affairs (212) 580-6428 and find out about role for the Community Council.

      I’d love to hear other constructive suggestions on who to contact—groups I am missing?

      • Anonymous says:

        I’d suggest adding Linda Rosenthal’s Office and the 24th Precinct since the Belnord Hotel falls into that jurisdiction.

      • Upper West Sider says:

        Contact Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal’s office. Her office is very helpful with safety and neighborhood issues.

    111. Let's act NOW says:

      Can our lawyer neighbors organize a petition/lawsuit challenging the city’s autocratic decision to impose this on us with no debate and in spite of the close proximity to public playgrounds and schools?
      I work in finance, would be happy to help if I could, but it seems like lawyers are what we need now.
      The city acts like this to cover itself against lawsuits from homeless advocates. Let’s show them this is a double edged sword

    112. Michelle says:

      I was born and raised on the Upper West Side. At the beginning of Covid when people started to flee, I said “I will never leave this neighborhood, it will recover”.
      Now that there are 3 homeless shelters on the route of walking my kids from home to school, I’m out. These tenants have taken over the medians and have a frightening history. It is terrifying for kids be barked or leered at. I can’t risk traumatizing my children because I have an illogical loyalty to my neighborhood.
      This news about the Lucerne is the nail in the coffin for our family. I’m devastated and my husbands thrilled to be paying our income taxes elsewhere.
      We are out of here.

    113. concerned says:

      what about the people who live on that block or near it. What if they are concerned about covid-19 and don’t want this many people around that could spread it. I am happy for those who have a place but also would like them to all be tested beforehand.

    114. Uwser says:

      Interesting article of what is happening in LiC due to hotel turned shelters.

    115. B.B. says:

      Not to sound like a broken record; but am here to state it again, the UWS has tons of former residential or transient hotels that were built late 1800’s through years just before WWI or so.

      The Lucerne is one of them:

      Over the years many of these places were torn down, some upgraded to hotels with modern accommodations. Others became low budget tourist or maybe fleabag hotels, and still more became SROs.

      Over years most of these places on UES and elsewhere vanished. But Lower East Side, and from Chelsea to Harlem on West Side still has a fair amount. Hence that is why you keep seeing déjà vu all over again.

    116. B.B. says:

      NYC has been using hotels to warehouse or just house homeless since 1970’s and 1980’s. Remember the infamous Hotel Martinique?

      It took media attention and action from Congress (who provide good part of funds for these schemes) to get city moving on finding people permanent housing.

      City will act on that score when and or if (as with fallout from Hotel Martinique) when something or someone lights a fire and forces them to act. Otherwise it’s just the same old thing.

      There are always hotels on West Side willing to do these deals with city because it pays more than rack rate for rooms.

      • Robert O Johnson says:

        You must be dreaming. Again, someone spreading false information. Does anyone on here actually think New York City would pay rack rates for any hotel room in New York City. Stop with the hyperbole.

    117. Lisa says:

      Last I checked, and this was about a month ago, positive covid test rates were less than 1%, meaning less than 1% of all people tested were actually positive. The city has opened up to Phase 4. So why is there still an emergency? And if positive test rates of less than 1% still constitutes an emergency, at what point will it be deemed no longer an emergency? Is anyone asking these questions? My guess is there are no defined parameters at which point this will be deemed a non-emergency, Project Renewal (call me a cynic to think they’re profiting handsomely from all of this) will continue to collect taxpayer dollars, and this “temporary emergency” will be much more permanent than any official will currently admit. Vote more carefully next time. DeBlasio has never hidden what he is, and we are seeing the results of it.

      • anonymous says:

        You may be right about that. I think its a money grab. FEMA is paying 75% of whatever this bill is, and the City or State is paying the remaining the 25% balance. Nothing is coming from the shelters budget. The hotels are making a windfall. Just think, in an instant, the Hotel Association got $78 million just find hotels, sort of a consulting fee. That’s a lot of money to make a few phone calls. And if New York operates like it’s always did, then you know that there are kick backs here and there for the contracts being signed. I say follow the money and we’ll see why this really came about.

    118. Brenda says:

      I welcome this humane initiative into my neighborhood.

      • Concerned on the UWS says:

        I don’t agree with this. As taxpayers we should have been given the opportunity to raise our opinions in advance of this decision. Not after the fact on WSR

    119. Nycuws says:

      The officials in our district must push to define the parameters which make this “temporary”. The entire COVID reopening has been defined by numbers. We need something like for this for the Lucerne and other new shelters as well. When does it end? We need a clear commitment from the DOH. Can our officials atleast get this in writing??

    120. tnic says:

      I remember being surprised when a waiter at Nice Matin told me about the large volume of business they had coming in from the Lucerne: out-of-towners, tourists all contributing to the local UWS economy.

      But then again why let another empty store front at 79th and Amsterdam stand in the way of BdB burnishing his progressive creds for his next run at national office.

      • Danielle Remp says:

        I hope that Nice Matin protects New Yorkers from these out-of-towners/tourists. It is worrisome.

        In my walks each day, south of 72nd Street, I see cars parked with license plates from numerous high-infection states — many from Florida, some from as far away as California.

        We don’t deserve another tsunami.

    121. Robert O Johnson says:

      A poster Mike who posted this “Homeless people should be placed in less expensive neighborhoods” is unfortunately what is wrong with our society. What your all really saying is – i support it as long as it is in someone-else’s backyard and not mine.

    122. James Johnson says:

      First thing: get Helen Rosenthal out of office. She’s doing the neighbor no good springing this on her constituents.

    123. ConcernedUWSider says:

      Mr. Mark Diller, you can see how much your community needs to have a dialogue with Helen Rosenthal. She needs to respond to us this time. I have written several times and never got an answer. This time it’s critical and we deserve the respect of a response. Can you set something up for our community?

    124. Arce says:

      They will never leave- this is the beginning of the end for the uws.. restaurants will close down and will not be paying their taxes etc etc even before this many restaurants and stores in the area have already closed
      There should be a due process for the community to discuss this subject

      • B.B. says:

        There is nothing to discuss; these are private transactions between hotel owners and city (and or those contracted out to help homeless).

        Only way to make changes is via elected officials including mayor; good luck with that.

        Don’t know what people are getting so hot about; BdeB was elected into office twice on promises (threats?) to go after areas and or people of wealth in name of inclusion and equality.

        UWS of 2020 is hardly same place as 1970; indeed perhaps far as BdeB and his homeless services commissioner are concerned they are spreading things around by sending people to UWS.

        City didn’t take those rooms at Lucerne by eminent domain, but owners offered and agreed.

    125. W147 says:

      I lived on the UWS before moving to Harlem. The number of homeless/drug treatment clients in Harlem, per capita, is many multiples higher than the UWS. This has been well documented on the drug treatment side by GHC. It’s impossible to document on the shelter side because the city hides shelter numbers, but a walk around both neighborhoods will confirm it. Every neighborhood should have to shoulder an allocated “per capita” percentage of these services. The service requirements and allocation process should be transparent. This will never happen because the rich and politically connected want them swept out of their neighborhoods.

    126. Concerned says:

      Information in case it’s helpful: Ronald Domb is listed as president of The Lucerne AND The Belnord. The Domb Family (father is Sam) owns The Empire Hotel Group, with various local contact #s.

    127. Lil vic says:

      Hopefully none of you complaining here are Democrats. How hypocritical to go against everything the new radical left are fighting for. Phonies!!!

    128. Homer says:

      Considering there was zero notice provided:

      Contact Community Board #7.
      Call 212 362 4008 or email

      Email Helen Rosenthal our NY Council member at

      Email Gale Brewer our Borough President at

      Who else can we reach out to?

    129. gideon cohen says:

      I have a reservation at the hotel on August 24th.
      I pre-paid in February.Will my money be refunded?

    130. David Hazzi says:

      UWS, you elected these politicians to multiple terms. Now your complaining, laughable.

    131. Sherryl says:

      Thoroughly depressed and upset about what is happening to my neighborhood. I am not against finding homes for the homeless but more thought should have been given as to the population makeup of these people. In a neighborhood known for families with children why didn’t they choose homeless families or women who have been abused? Shame on Rosenthal and DiBlasio. Hope you don’t have plans for running for public office again!!! Helen Rosenthal, you have surely failed the community that voted for you in the past. Can’t believe you just found out about this! There should have been input from the neighborhood.

    132. CAT says:


    133. Joan levine says:

      This will lower the value of the surrounding area plus create problems for cutizens in the area which is an upper class neighborhood. Discusting abd very dangerouqs