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).
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.
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?
There are methadone sites on the UWS.
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 .
There are methadone clinics on 125th St. that are a short subway ride away. Medicaid pays for the methadone patients’ carfare.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
I agree. Why not homeless women or victims of domestic violence who have been disproportionately affected by COVID.
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
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?
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 .
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.
The safety of my family always comes first.
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’
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.
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.
It sounds like the needs of his or her family weren’t taking into consideration at all.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.”
283 recovering alcoholics and substances abusers housed together in one building in a residential neighborhood. What could possibly go wrong?
Helen Rosenthal strikes again!!!!!
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.
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.
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. https://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/SomsSUBDirectory/search_index.jsp%20
The kiss of death for Nice Matin’s outdoor dining
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Exactly and well put. WE pay the taxes and their salaries and this is what we have gotten.
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
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?
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.
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
“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.“
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.
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…
“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.
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.
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!
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.
Where ever you go, they will be lucky to have you.
Wow, I can’t get out to the suburbs fast enough. I’m done with this.
Helen Rosenthal betrays the neighborhood
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?
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)
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.
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.
THAT IS HOW WE WILL BE HEARD. VOTE DIFFERENTLY.
Maybe we need to protest – this is totally out of hand. Our community is being overtaken by 600 new homeless.
The reaction to this event is heartbreaking.
Agreed. I am happy that they have a safe place to live.
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?”
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?
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!”
50 staff +18 security +2 supervisors. That’s 70 employees for 283 residents? Is this correct?
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.
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?
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.
That’s it folks. I’m outta here. Not worth the rent to live here anymore. All the best to those who think otherwise.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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?
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.
“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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
The De Blasios are without redeeming qualities. They pave the way for a Republican mayor for years to come.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
As a native Alabaman, I take umbrage at “They’ll be dug in deeper than an Alabama tick”…
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?
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.
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.
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: https://medium.com/@josefow/new-york-decided-to-end-street-homelessness-and-it-basically-succeeded-ab27f3ec5a65
Jeff, you think the city will keep its word that it’s “temporary?” That’s adorable.
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.
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..
We are sacrificing our safety and taxpayers’ money. Neither is acceptable.
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!
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.
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…
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.)
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.
There could be recovering addicts in your building.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Good lawyers in the neighborhood must take this up.
Marching for our rights as taxpayers and contacting news organizations should be done too.
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.
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
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.
Yes, call Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal’s office. Her staff is responsive, helpful with neighborhood and safety issues.
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?
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.
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.
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!!
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: https://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/SomsSUBDirectory/search_index.jsp
“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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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?
I didn’t think to check. That’s really great information. Thanks.
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.
Why does Upper West Side get 3 times more of such types of housing than UES?
Suddenly I’m a stranger in a strange land.
(Was it sudden? Was I always a stranger? Was the land always strange?)
The city is being over run by the ultra left and the majority of hardworking families are suffering.