Locals Express Frustration and Confront Councilmember as Hotel Becomes Homeless Shelter

Councilmember Helen Rosenthal talked to people about the hotel being turned into a homeless shelter.

By Jacob Rose

Shortly after groups of homeless men began to arrive by bus on Monday morning to their new living quarters at The Lucerne Hotel on 79th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, Councilmember Helen Rosenthal showed up in a car, and was soon surrounded by locals.

One man confronted her about when she had known that 283 men would be placed at the hotel, and Rosenthal said she had learned about it last Wednesday.

“Do you think anyone believes you?” the man asked.

“I know I’m telling the truth,” Rosenthal responded.

The conversation continued in a heated tone.

“You should know who you’re talking to,” Rosenthal said. “You’re talking to the councilmember who represents this district.”

“If you guys are going to be nasty, I’m not going to have this conversation,” she said.

Some Upper West Siders say they have felt blindsided by the decision to place men dealing with drug addiction in the hotel.

Rosenthal told residents of the impending move in a constituent email on Thursday, but many in the community have complained that they had no say in the matter. The city says it is using the hotel as a shelter to allow for better social distancing measures.

The men were residents of two East Village shelters run by a nonprofit called Project Renewal that helps people recovering from drug abuse. Some of the men had already been moved to a hotel on West 51st Street — but conflict between shelter residents and their neighbors caused them to be moved again, one shelter resident who calls himself Da Homeless Hero told West Side Rag.

The first yellow school bus carrying men from the shelters arrived at the hotel just before 10 a.m. on Monday, and buses continued to trickle in roughly every half-hour over the course of the morning and afternoon. Each bus let off about a dozen men, most of whom walked into the hotel carrying a couple bags of belongings. Project Renewal’s Director of Security said that the bus arrival times were being staggered and buses not completely filled for social distancing purposes.

The Rag asked to speak with some of the homeless men entering the hotel, but a Project Renewal representative said that the organization needed to focus on transferring the men today. Da Homeless Hero, in an email to the Rag, said he was grateful to be in such a nice spot.

“I ended up in a single room that is extremely beautiful. I hope that everyone takes pride in this situation to allow them to make a better transition toward independent living,” he wrote. “I’ve spoken to some of my co-residents and they all seem to understand that. I hope that during this time we all can take advantage of this opportunity and at the same time respect the community.”

Local residents pressed Rosenthal on several other issues related to the transfer. On the issue of when The Lucerne’s contract with Project Renewal will expire, Rosenthal said giving a firm end date was not yet possible. “It’s open ended because COVID is open ended,” she said.

Another resident asked Rosenthal about Sunday’s report in the Rag — a commenter on that report had claimed “that there are sex offenders living in these buildings.” Rosenthal responded that she had spoken to an unidentified city commissioner earlier that morning, who had assured her that there would be no sex offenders living at this site.

Rosenthal said her main concern is making sure that Project Renewal can give proper care to the homeless men moving into The Lucerne. “What I would ask the community to do is let Project Renewal do their job,” she said. “The most important thing is [that the men get] access to the care that they need.”

Community Board 7 Chair Mark Diller showed up to The Lucerne earlier in the morning to monitor the transfer. While Diller said that he was “grateful” that Project Renewal had briefed local officials about the transfer, he said he was disappointed by the DHS’s decision-making process.

If [the DHS] had reached out to us, we would have been able to share with them a number of issues that the community is concerned about, and rightfully so,” he said.

“Process really matters. Process is how we turn fear into collaboration. And that’s what we were denied here. And that’s what I’m most concerned about because one of the consequences of being denied a fair and appropriate process is that we end up with voices that don’t follow our history of welcoming and empathy.”

Other locals echoed Diller’s points, arguing that the fate of Project Renewal at The Lucerne will hinge on the details of the program. Ron, who lives on 79th Street, says he acts as the NYPD’s 20th precinct civilian coordinator. He said he was eager to hear more information about security details and the level of supervision the homeless men would have.

Project Renewal declined to share these details for the time being. It released a statement, saying, “Our 70 staff and security members will be here around the clock to ensure the well being of our clients and to work in partnership with the community.”

Several residents expressed concern for the prospects of Nice Matin, a restaurant on the northwest corner of 79th and Amsterdam inside the same building as The Lucerne. Nice Matin’s manager declined to discuss how he expects the move to affect his business, but did say he had a productive meeting with Project Renewal’s security team on Monday morning.

Keith Lewis, who owns 79th Street Pharmacy a half-block west of The Lucerne, said he would wait before giving an opinion on how this might affect his business. He could live with the decision, he said, “as long as it’s done properly.”

Residents of nearby apartment buildings watched the buses pull in, talking with each other about what this transfer might mean. Arthur, a resident of The Gloucester, across the street from The Lucerne, at 200 W 79th Street, said, “I think everybody needs a home. I’m just concerned what the negative aspect of the neighborhood may be. If you have one person of the 283 who’s a little off, it’s dangerous. A lot of the neighbors I talk to are upset.”

NEWS | 237 comments | permalink
    1. XStacy says:

      Not even 24 hours on the block and in a short walk to do some errands here’s what I’ve picked up:
      1. The news vendor on 78 & B’way has been hit with petty theft of his cash box by a man he’s unfamiliar with
      2. Iphone stolen on the block
      3. Woman stared at by folks from the building…noted her necklace and she ran home to take it off
      4. Noted they are harassing people at the restaurants on Amsterdam
      5. Neighbor noted they are in pairs and buying liquor and sitting outside – happy to get waisted in public
      6. Saw at least 2-3 people who looked like zombies (i.e. they were heavily intoxicated on SOMETHING)
      7. Trash in neighborhood is absolutely ridiculous – this is new and noteworthy
      8. It is barely 8pm and the streets have become deserted…

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        Provide some sort of documentation?

      • Concerned says:

        We need to keep a list of any indiscretions and report immediately to the precinct, 311. This is the only way for a continued NYPD presence. Clearly the security is not working if you have witnessed all of these incidents.

        • Zero confidence says:

          Rosenthal’s office says there will be (not sure when) a number to call “24/7” to report any incidents. If such a number materializes, who will be answering the call? What will they actually do?

      • W 79th-er says:

        Hi, xStacy. How do you know these things, please? If the community really does want to track possible incidences together as commenters on other articles about this matter have said, I think it’s important that we distinguish between things we know because they happened to us personally and rumor. I think we will all sleep better at night if we can stick to actual facts, like the news vendor possibly being robbed, which is a real crime that West Side Rag should be able to fact check by obtaining the police report, vs things that could just be simple misunderstandings, like the woman with the necklace. How does she know that is what he was looking at? That to me sounds more like it could have been her impression due to fear or due to assuming that these men are going to steal. I’m not saying it didn’t happen. It could have. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. Were you?

        Rumors do nothing but fearmonger. That said, I am all for us keeping each other engaged as a community regarding the FACTS.

      • woodcider says:

        “ Woman stared at by folks from the building…noted her necklace and she ran home to take it off”
        Please, stop. Your hyperbolic post is verging on unhinged.
        Unless you’re tracking individuals in and out of the building you have zero proof that any of this is related to the men who have barely moved in.

      • CM says:

        When did you have time to run your errands? Let’s have some empathy for people. Now that it is in your neighborhood it’s an issue? It’s been an issue for communities of color for a long time. Be a good human and try to help those who need it. You never know when you may need help.

        • OK let’s try empathy with YOUR logic.
          Here’s my question to YOU: now that each of them has their own room, then WHY are their personal belongings all displayed on the sidewalk?
          Please don’t lecture us, or position yourself as kinder than us. We couldn’t bear the pretentiousness of it.

    2. Steven says:

      I doubt we’ll see any problems the first few nights. They’re probably savoring their $400 a night hotel rooms with king size beds, flat screen tv’s, cable & of course, powerful air conditioning. Who wouldn’t want to live for free in a luxury hotel?! In a few days after they get bored is when they’ll decide to wander around their new neighborhood.

      • woodcider says:

        Would you like to live there? I bet you wouldn’t regardless of any kind of amenity you assumed.

        • Stu says:

          The Lucerne used to be the hotel of choice for our company’s business travelers. My in-laws used to stay there as well when in town. The rooms are very comfortable. Homeless residents would kill to be housed there – trust me.

      • Snarkastic says:

        Yes, how dare they have housing and nice amenities. Why can’t they just be back on the street or in a prison where they belong, right?

    3. What a joke. says:

      I imagine it was heated as she was fielding questions, but this response from Helen is a joke

      “You should know who you’re talking to,” Rosenthal said. “You’re talking to the councilmember who represents this district.”

      I wish I could have retorted something a long the lines of “and you should know you’re talking to someone who has a say in whether that will continue to be.”

      Mark sounds like he is actually concerned for the area’s wellbeing. I wish more of our leaders acted like that

      • liz says:

        “You should know who you’re talking to,” Rosenthal said. “You’re talking to the councilmember who represents this district.”

        Doesn’t this say it all–her sense of self-importance and righteousness. How about, as an elected representative, she’s supposed to be the voice of the people?

    4. Catie says:

      Does Helen Rosenthal realize she is a council member because this community put her there. If she wants respect, she needs to earn it. She should have told Project Renewal that she had to meet with her constituents and explain this before they moved in That would have been respectful of this community.

    5. HB says:

      Bottomline is that residents in the area were NOT NOTIFIED!!!! This has made me furious! Also making this family neighborhood unsafe.

      • SF says:

        Residents in the community (and apparently the councilmember in question) were likewise not notified of a moratorium on parking in front of certain buildings on West End Ave on weekdays. Some things go above the council’s heads. That’s a policy problem, not an oversight issue on Rosenthal’s part.
        If you’re concerned about raising your kids in NYC, teaching them to handle themselves near homeless shelters comes part and parcel with the territory.
        Bottom line, people need a place to stay, and it is being graciously offered to them. Think of the last selfless thing you did and extend that courtesy to someone you may encounter in your own neighborhood.

        • RWC10025 says:

          Thank you for saying this.
          Let’s keep on saying it so the folks all hear this message.

          We’re in the middle of the pandemic it’s so privileged an idea I should be notified about everything that happens to everyone in the community, just calm down everyone and maybe volunteer or bring clothes or other things needed to these folks.

          Peace on earth starts in your community and caring for others!

        • RWC10025 says:

          My husbands comment when I told him about the hotel now housing homeless people, and how we both noticed more homeless people in general on the street asking for change is that we really do need to start carrying change and single dollars to help.
          Because we are fortunate, privileged and count our blessing every single day.

          I was talking to one homeless fellow and told him how I only use debt card and how so many people no longer carry change. he agreed it’s hard. We talked about using the app $Cash.

          Folks you will not catch homelessness when you talk to a homeless person also wearing a mask, you can have a conversation, talk to people.
          It makes people feel less invisible.

    6. Kelly says:

      I live on the block and all of the restaurants up until now were crowded finally getting back some business these past few weeks. They were empty tonight. Thanks Lucerne for killing local businesses and not caring about your neighbors safety. Over 300 children live on this block and within a few hundred feet of 2 schools. Helen would only care if it affected her block. Same with Diller.

      • Empty restaurants says:

        I mean, in the middle of an insufferable heatwave we may be able to blame this on the temps and people not wanting to sweat more than they can chew

      • woodcider says:

        M sure it being 90° for two days straight had nothing to do with it.
        The hyperbole is ridiculous.

      • Robert O Johnson says:

        Ridiculous assumption. I was walking the street tonight at around 7:45pm. Nice Matin had only 2 tables not occupied. Bettola was slamming and families getting Gelato at Amorino. A security guard was on the corner and as I walked down 79th street I was not acosted by anyone asking for money. Then at 79th and Broadway there was Carl on his little island doing what Carl always does. This is New York City folks. We are not in Kansas. (Nothing against Kansas)

    7. bit225 says:

      This mayor is turning our nice neighborhood into a crack den!

    8. ST says:

      Has there ever been a council person who has done more to HURT her constituency and LESS to protect it? The UWS is officially over. Every single day I see moving vans of people leaving. And what kind of fascist city is this that a community has no say???

      • SF says:

        How neighborly of you to stop every person who you see loading up their moving van where they’re headed off to. I hope you’re similarly welcoming new neighbors to our beloved corner of the city!

    9. Concerned citizen says:

      This is shades of former City Councilmember Ruth Messinger, who thought it was a good idea to house homeless men in the Belleclaire and other UWS locations that tore up the neighborhood in the 70’s and 80s. The Lucerne is a really bad idea and an inapproriate location, which schools nearby. We learned this back in the bad old days.

    10. BeauUWS says:

      If Rosenthal didn’t even know about this until a ‘few days ago’ then she’s either incompetent or not doing her job.

      Votes count and she needs to go.

    11. Happy Ex-WSRer says:

      What happened to the traditional West Side ethos of social justice? For so long, many on this site have taken up cause with all sorts of progressive themes – but when it hits your wallet or neighborhood all bets are off.
      These people in the shelters are human beings at risk more than many of you – where is your compassion? Just another example of the standard NIMBY approach to dealing with society’s problems.
      As for Helen Rosenthal – well you get the government you deserve. She was useless her first term and more so now. Perhaps people will pay some attention nest election.

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        Thank you. Reading these comments made me feel ill. Shame on these people.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          Reply to Ish Kabibble:

          I have the same response. It literally turns my stomach.

          It might be true that 238 homeless is too many. but the crazed, irrational response is way over the top. The6 are dehumanizing people. There is a pandemic going on and this is to save lives.

          Go ahead, move out of the city!

      • Elizabeth says:

        Please just stop with the hyperbole.

        The men haven’t even been in the hotel a full day yet. Project Renewal is an excellent organization, and very well-run.

        There are going to be 70 people working with the men while they are temporarily living in the empty hotel during a pandemic.

        I keep hearing people utter concerns about people and businesses during the pandemic, but when a temporary solution develops, you balk at the chance to help out both local businesses and your fellow human beings.

        You all need to take a breath. This is New York City. The city is made for everyone, not just people who may pass your financial/social test.

        Many of these comments show quite an ugly side of humanity.

        And yes, I live in the neighborhood. I will not partake in NIMBYism.

        • wake up says:

          Elizabeth, there was one security guard posted for the entire day. I passed him 4 times and he was looking down at his phone each time. This is Day One, when they’d be trying their hardest to at least pretend to care about the safety of the neighborhood

          • Robert O Johnson says:

            Not true. They had over seven guards and the head of the security team out in front of the Lucerne all day. I spoke to them. Why are you not telling the truth? Shame on you for inciting all this venomous hyperbole.

      • Stephanie Jutt says:

        She is finished on the Upper West Side.

    12. Marc Goldberg says:

      I think it’s great they’re giving the underprivileged where to stay. I love our council member Rosenthal.
      Look, we are the privileged class and we need to help those who aren’t as fortunate. It’s my honor

      • Jessica says:

        The vicious responses above make me ashamed to be a lifelong Upper West Sider. Thank you, Marc, for being a voice of reason among all this hate.

      • Mark R says:

        Then why won’t you put the homeless in your home? That is your right and your privilege. Our right is to be safe in our own neighborhood. We pay dearly for it, and we deserve to enjoy it.

        • woodcider says:

          This is NYC. If you’re looking for a gated community, I suggest Florida…. oh wait.

        • Ish Kabibble says:

          Speaking as one of your neighbors, I would suggest that if you don’t feel safe, you should definitely move away.

          • Peter says:

            Speaking as another of your neighbors, I would suggest that if something is making us feel unsafe, we should ask the relevant questions and work toward addressing it. Not move away and leave the city to crime or filth or drug abuse or a myriad other issues.

            Where exactly are your priorities – and more importantly, why? Why would you conflate active civic discussion with lack of compassion? Why would you advise someone to give up on their rights, “move away”, and what – disappear? A bit…”bigoted”, don’t you think?

      • Amy Birnbaum says:

        We do need to figure out how to help these human beings – so for those who are distressed, l concerned, fearful – perhaps provide helpful, constructive proposals as to where these men can live and turn their lives around with the proper resources and community support. And please note I live across the street

      • Lesley says:

        Thank you, Marc, for interrupting this NIMBY festival with compassion. I’m sure these people will be supervised and to assume that every crime emanates from them is silly

      • Worried UWSider says:

        It’s nice to see you weigh in on the discussion councilwoman Rosenthall 😂😂

      • H says:

        What happened to the $850 million that was given to Mrs. Mayor because her project was to take over the homeless situation with that money. We’ve seen nothing and heard nothing. That’s what’s upsetting.
        As a native New Yorker is Mrs distressing to know that I booked prominent guest artists at this hotel and now what? I have seen most rooms and know the manager. It’s very sad and distressing for the people in the neighborhood who are already feeling the effects of the move in.

        • Jae says:


          As someone who works intimately with a nonprofit organization for the mentally disabled, and onsite at one of their transitional homes, I can tell you that Thrive NYC was a debacle — lacked accountability, wasted funds, incompetence… and those are the positives.

          An example where local government gets it badly wrong and makes the situation worse. Zero impact of Thrive NYC on many mental health organizations on the ground. So, what happened to its millions?

      • Mel says:

        Bet you don’t own property or have young kids. Easy to talk.

        • Ish Kabibble says:

          Mel, my kids were taught not to be bigoted, and to always try and help those less fortunate. When I become tainted like you, it’ll be my time to leave.

    13. Matthew says:

      i’m thankful for upper west siders like our councilwoman who prioritize the health of the unhoused community instead of espousing harmful stereotypes

    14. Ruth says:

      SUE Project Renewal. SUE the Lucerne. Litigation in this case is absolutely warranted.

    15. bob says:

      lol. yall act like you own this city. you’re in freaking nyc….homeless people need somewhere to stay and the hotel is empty. they’re not in your apt…so chill. let them have a bed to sleep in.

      • Farouk Mahoud says:

        We need more people who show care for other human beings. The people living at The Lucerne are human beings with hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Who knows: maybe the next iPhone or Amazon or Tesla will be developed by one of these people in a room at The Lucerne. Be optimistic and cultivate optimism in those around you—including those who many believe have no reason to be optimistic.

      • False Dichotomy says:

        a false dichotomy. unwisely blowing limited tax payer dollars to pay huge sums for luxury homeless housing — how can a luxury hotel be the only empty type of hotel? — is deeply unfair to the taxpayers who themselves struggle to make ends meet. Most folks I know work hard for every penny and it’s galling to see the taxes taken by the city wasted so brazenly.

    16. Do Your Research says:

      As much as our politicians are to blame for this situation. Let us not forget Shimmie Horn, Sam and Ronald Dom.

      Sam Dom, the owner of the Lucerne conveniently sold his 8,2000sf townhouse in the neighborhood last year as he and his family are now living in the Hamptons while we deal with his “business deal”.

      Shimmie Horn, owner of the Hotel Belleclaire and the Washington Jefferson on 51st Street has been making millions off New York City’s homeless problem since the 1980’s. Shimmie’s father Morris was known as the king of the homeless shelters.

      • Boris says:

        Useless gossip doesn’t add anything to the narrative. I’m neither shocked or surprised that people own property and do business.

    17. Terrence says:

      You think it’s bad now, just wait until the start robbing and assaulting people. I live on the west side of midtown Manhattan. There are 3 hotels that I know of converted to “Temporary homeless shelters” they are doing Drugs in the street during the day and robbing people (mostly elderly people) with no fear of arrest. I haven’t even seen a cop car on patrol in the last 3 days. I am done with NYC, I will commute to work from somewhere far away from here.

    18. The absolute lack of compassion for human life in these comments is selfish and shameful. These men are doing their best to turn their lives around. They need to be supported not treated with disdain.

      Thank you to those who have shown empathy, decency and solidarity for our fellow humans.

      • Curious George says:

        I am big fan of self help but I thought this was just luxury housing for the homeless. How is luxury housing self help?

      • GetReal says:

        They are doing their best to turn their life around? How do you know that? Accounts from someone on the inside tell a very different story. To those that truly are trying to change, your point stands, but I don’t think you can make a blanket statement like that.

    19. Miss Mary says:

      I believe Helen Rosenthal is term-limited. That may explain her indifference to what her constituents say.

    20. Lang Martinez says:

      My name is Lang Martinez and yes i am a homeless advocate, but when it comes to these indaviduals getting a free ride with no accountability and i consider thrm to be vagrants as i once was, then i am a Advocate of Accountability! In this case you’re hand up to them is a hand down and how do you see this being any benefit to them or the community? In regards to virus they are less likely to get it in a outdoor environment then a shelter in place! You have indaviduals that are drug induced and more than likely mental health. Monies should of been spent wiser
      You can find my articles and articles written about my involvement in Ventura County
      Go online to Citizens Journal.US

    21. Michelle says:

      Can someone please compile a list of email addresses for who we can voice our concerns to?

      -The contract needs to be publicized to the community.
      -The sex offenders need to be removed from proximity of schools.
      – Project Renewal defunded the police and infused the neighborhood with legitimate criminals.

    22. Will says:

      Beware the xenophobic hyperbole

      • Jae says:


        Tossing these terms out in the window mean nothing. I’m sure it feels self-satisfying, virtuous on your part: “I’m woke, I care more than others, I’m enlightened and compassionate.” So what have you done on the ground, practically, to combat xenophobia, increase compassion while promoting sensible and reasonable measures that has to take into account a number of complex stakeholders, contexts and environments? You’re a troll of the cowardly variety.

    23. Bonnie8744 says:

      Rosenthal doesn’t care because she can’t run again due
      to term limits. She is a very lame duck and was never effective anyway. Worst constituent office ever. It’s inconceivable that this could happen without community input. The city Is using the uws as a dumping ground for a problem they can’t solve with no thought to long term consequences. Perhaps a better spot would have been near the mayor’s home in Brooklyn?

    24. Robert Sheridan says:

      No doubt our politicians deBlasio & Rosenthal spending money they didn’t actually earn . . . have found the very best value for taxpayer dollars – keeping in mind that as such stewards they are fiduciaries.

      Apparently $400 (or whatever) in one of the nation’s most expensive zip codes is the best value in ALL of New York City they could find.


    25. Mimi says:

      I have spoken to a supervisor at The Belnord Hotel, which is as we know also housing a couple hundred homeless men.
      To my surprise, due to the Callahan law I think it is, none of the homeless people can be mandated to take medications for mental illness issues, and are allowed to drink alcohol in the buildings. Only taking illegal drugs is prohibited, and that’s difficult to monitor.
      Basically the police are called when violence breaks out.
      They also cannot be forced to social distance or wear masks.
      Fun times.

    26. Pedestrian says:

      I find it interesting that the neighbors of the 51st facility were able to get the entire population of the facility to the Lucern. It seems that one community can reject these problems but the UWS cannot.

      It’s disappointing that the council and the mayor work lots of hours to figure out how to give developers multimillion dollar tax breaks and other perks while they let the HOMELESSNESS problem fester. It’s shows where their loyalties Lie. Not with the homeless or the neighborhoods but with big money!

    27. GrumpyOldMan says:

      This is a story about the bankruptcy of social justice on the Upper West Side and within the very gut of city government. That these men have been moved about like chess pieces speaks to the abject failure of “Cant Get Rid Of Him Fast Enough DeBlasio” and his less than stellar effort to deal with one of the most pressing issues confronting NYC. And he makes it worse by shrugging off accountability for the clearing of the homeless camps on the LES by responding “its a police matter.” As for Rosenthal:she is term limited and is not running for another public office. The treasured and nurturing liberalism that once thrived here is dead. Social justice and property values do not compute.

      • Nevets K says:

        Though I feel all sorts of ways about the entrance of the new residents to the Lucerne – they are deserving human souls; yet some pose real and genuine threats – I think what really matters the most to Helen Rosenthal and many members of Community Board 7 is the condition of their second homes upstate; whether any shelters for the homeless will be permitted within a mile or two of these second homes; and if they can continue to be able to keep their “private cars” in their private garages at their second homes without being outed to stressed Upper West Siders street parkers as arrant hypocrites. And, oh yes, if they can remain free from having to look five ways before crossing the street in front of their second homes for bikes, e-bikes, and Revels, or asked for money on every other block. For, clearly, these “representatives” are no longer of this neighborhood.

    28. Ronit says:

      Has the Lucerne come up with a plan to give back to the community? Are they going to pay for the extra street cleaning services? Why are the tax paying base paying to preserve two PRIVATE owned businesses?

    29. Abe says:

      Almost funny to see so many who rally for justice and in support of the disenfranchised fall off their high horses as soon as the disenfranchised might show up at their doorstep.


    30. Native Upper West Sider says:

      I am deeply offended by the overt racism & classism present in these comments – AND in the article. I work in indigent defense. Poor people are systemically marginalized and their criminalization is due to the perpetuation of SYSTEMIC VIOLENCE & SOCIAL STRATIFICATION. Our new neighbors deserve to be valued and supported, not SURVEILlED & PUNISHED by those in power. They deserve community and social services-not this disgusting condescension & treatment as though they are criminals. It is NOT a crime to be poor. They have done nothing wrong. Public discourses around local tensions like this – make visible the true nature of our deeply wounded & SEGREGATED city. Homeless & poor New Yorkers deserve to be treated with respect, kindness and compassion, just like you. I want an Upper West Side that stands in Solidarity with marginalized peoples-not one that actively works to further oppress them.

      • HelenD says:

        If the city was bringing in poor families with children it would be different, but the fact that we’ve already been told these men are addicts and sex offenders is another. Or are you saying that they’re addicts and sex offenders because they are poor and we should somehow feel responsible because they are marginalized? I’ve already witnessed enough violence toward myself and others because of ‘marginalized’ people on the streets and don’t want to see it happen again.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          nobody has said that the men in the Lucerne are sex offenders. You’re getting them mixed up with the population in the Belle Claire. They are recovered or recovering substance abusers, which can include alcohol.

      • Leon says:

        First of all, this is not a racial issue so please stop saying that and diminishing the actual racial issues in our country. Those of us who are opposed don’t know or care what race these people are. Most of our “resident homeless” on the UWS are white.

        This is an issue of safety. I would be a lot less concerned if there were women and children mixed in. I live near the building at 83 and West End that provides services to women and children. It is very well run and safe and I have no problem with it even though it is out of character for the neighborhood. The men being placed in these hotels are largely very different. I fear for the safety of my children.

        You want those of us who don’t like it to leave? I wish I could. But I am stuck with a big mortgage. If I could get out, all that would be left are the super woke extremists, while the rest of us, who are more liberal and caring than 95% of America, will be gone. Good luck to you.

      • Focus says:

        OVERT racism? I haven’t seen a single comment pointing out the race of the Lucerne residents, either directly or implied.

        It is very easy to feel empathy and want to support people who are struggling, whether it’s poverty, drug addiction, mental illness, physical abuse, etc. That does NOT mean the concerns are just pulled out of thin air by shrill snowflakes.

    31. rj says:

      This is unreal . Time to unite to get Rosenthal out of office . We will vote her out. The Westside ( our home ) is a disaster. Rosenthal and Deblasio have killed our neighborhood . Thanks so much . Vote her out!!!!

    32. Drew says:

      Remember this is the west side aren’t we supposed to support this left wing government you voted for. This is the liberal west side you did this to yourself by not being moderates. You did this to yourselves think about it!
      You ain’t seen nothing yet our Marxist mayor will do whatever is politically correct to advance his wife’s agenda spending a billion dollars on something that didn’t work why are there so many homeless after a billion dollars? Wasted, makes me sick

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        You’ve hit all the extreme-right’s talking points. Who knew parrots could type?

    33. David Heater says:

      The lack of compassion for those less fortunate shown by the tone and amount of responses to this story (and to the original one) is simply sad.
      This is what lending a hand to those in need looks like. Nobody said it was easy. There’s a certain degree of openness, and therefore vulnerability, in showing compassion to others. I think that’s what has so many in the neighborhood expressing hostility to the move. We all want to help others but not when those we’re helping are too close to us for comfort.
      I think we should quiet a bit and give these people a chance at getting better while staying out of covid-19’s way. At the end we’re all going to be better served.

    34. David Hester says:

      The lack of compassion for those less fortunate shown by the tone and amount of responses to this story (and to the original one) is simply sad.
      This is what lending a hand to those in need looks like. Nobody said it was easy. There’s a certain degree of openness, and therefore vulnerability, in showing compassion to others. I think that’s what has so many in the neighborhood expressing hostility to the move. We all want to help others but not when those we’re helping are too close to us for comfort.
      I think we should quiet a bit and give these people a chance at getting better while staying out of covid-19’s way. At the end we’re all going to be better served.

    35. H says:

      What I want to know is what happened to the $850 million that Mrs. mayor was given as her project to help take care of the homeless situation in NYC many years ago. Does anybody know where the money is and why the situation is worse? And now we have this.

    36. Janis says:

      New Yorkers and UWSers please wake up before our city is totally destroyed.
      We pay ridiculous prices in rents and mortgages, unbelievably high taxes, and all we ask is to allow us to live in peace, make a living to support our families and know that we will be safe in our homes and neighborhoods.
      It’s not too much to ask.
      This is what happens when you continue to vote in progressive Democrats because you “could NEVER vote for a Republican.” Please think before you put a check mark down the D line in the upcoming elections for the next two and three years before it’s too late to turn this around.

      • nycityny says:

        Right, because the 20 years under Republican mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg were all just a figment of our imaginations. The two mayors prior to this one couldn’t possibly have been Republicans elected by the citizens of NYC. It was all just a dream.

        Do you even follow current events?

    37. Marsha says:

      The community must be told now what their schedules will be; do they have weekday groups, therapy, etc., support, or are they just allowed to roam the streets and do nothing, if they want, day or night? Are there curfews? How often will they be tested for Covid; if infected, what will be done? What about masks and social distancing? The community deserves answers now.

      • Happy Ex-WSRer says:

        The “Community”? Or just YOU? How about we get a your schedule of activities. When were you last tested for covid?
        These people are not convicts or parolees on work release – although given the misguided bail reform, some probably are. But why should they be treated any different?
        The people of the UWS have overwhelmingly supported progressive policies and politicians for decades. Now your chickens are coming home to roost. You get what you deserve.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Really? Why? The only people who need to know the intricacies of their lives are themselves, their counselors in their Project Renewal program and perhaps their AA or NA sponsors, if they have them.

        You have no business asking for that information. They don’t owe you the details of their lives.

        The comments in this feed are atrocious. So much for social justice…

    38. Save the UWS says:

      I really wish people would stop saying that we lack empathy for not wanting 283 homeless men with SUBSTANCE abuse issues moving into the neighborhood. I for one am very empathetic to their struggles; however, they need to be in a proper program and not just left to their own devices at an expensive hotel on the family-friendly upper west side. This is not fair to the residents who pay their fair share in rent and taxes to no longer feel safe in their own neighborhood.

      It’s bad enough that the Belleclaire has turned into housing for sex-offenders, now 283 men with issues are added?! Where is the logic? Why not house homeless families in these hotels?

      If anyone knows what we can do as a community to either have these men moved and/or prevent other buildings in the area from housing homeless men with substance abuse issues please let us all know.

      • Elizabeth says:

        They are in a proper program: Project Renewal. It is a well-run organization that knows what they are doing.


        • Where's the proof, Elizabeth? says:

          Elizabeth, can back up your assertion that PR is “well-run” and “knows what it’s doing?” Can you provide quantifiable examples of their success? Can you provide any records or data about the relapse rate or arrests of their members or former members?

          Sharing a link to their website is not “proof” of anything.

          • Elizabeth says:

            I gave you the link to their organization as a starting point for your research. I didn’t intend for you to just look at the website and say “I’m good”. You need to research it further yourself.

            Why should I do your work for you? I’ve already done mine. When I wanted to know more, I spent about three hours researching various aspects of the organization. They have a good track record. Their programs are highly regarded. Their structure is well-organized, which is key to helping people build a life after addiction. They have a large network of support.

            It’s not hard to find the information you need if you have a telephone, the internet and any general researching skills.

            You really should do your own research; especially since you’ve gotten yourself tied up in knots over an organization (and it’s participants) that you know nothing about.

            Please do the research before you freak out. That goes to about 70% of the commenters here who have forgotten that homeless people are human beings, and the men in this situation has already asked for help. They wouldn’t be in the program if the organization thought they didn’t have a good chance of succeeding.

            • Peter says:

              Elizabeth – It’s nice to know what they (Project Renewal) *have* or the tens of millions of dollars they control, but what do they actually *achieve*?

              For all their *haves*, what did your comprehensive research uncover on the relapse rate of the single homeless men battling substance abuse? How many are independent, drug-free, working, contributing members of society 5 years out? 3 years? 1 year at least? How many of these men are sustainably off the streets long-term? Why not highlight those successes?

              Even PR’s own 2018 annual report doesn’t go past 6 months in discussing shelter-related success rates. Even those are likely very skewed by other populations/clients they serve. As someone who works with data daily, I can make an educated guess what that means – this “success” drops precipitously after this period.

              And of course, their reporting will not even attempt to analyze what new shelters like Lucerne do the safety of the communities they move in. That’s probably not included in their (or your?) definition of social justice.

            • Save the UWS says:

              First, your snarky reply is not needed, I was the original poster that YOU replied to and then someone else commented on your response to me, so your assumptions miss the mark. I also researched Project Renewal; I am still not convinced they are able to handle this current situation. I hope nothing more than for everyone to live in harmony with one another, but past situations with the homeless (in particular the mentally unstable homeless population) on the UWS have proven otherwise.

              Secondly, I am extremely empathetic to the struggles that the homeless are facing, but I have EVERY RIGHT to be concerned for the safety of my neighborhood and the inhabitants, which are mainly older people and families with children.

    39. Joe Blank says:

      Is anyone addressing the filthy and drunk individuals who are lying in the streets these days? And it should be noted that none are wearing masks.

    40. CO says:

      Since so many UWS hotels are now serving as homeless shelters, would someone in Homeless services please at least work to get the people camped out on Broadway between 84th and 85th in to housing? If we are going to make the effort to get people off the street then we should make sure those in the neighborhood are housed. Our community can do better than allowing for piles of trash and people sleeping among those piles. Do our local officials not see this? Did they move out of town for the summer? How can they just walk by when they are the ones with the power to make a difference?

    41. HA says:

      Who here will match my $25.75 donation?


    42. Irate Partisan says:

      This never would have happened under Roberta Semer’s watch!

    43. Abdul Sayeed says:

      “If you guys are going to be nasty, I’m not going to have this conversation.” — Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal.
      “If you criticize our policing, we’re not going to police.” –Certain members and “leaders” of the NYC Police Department.

      Who the hell are these people?

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        reply to Abdul:

        you believe breaking off a conversation because someone is being nasty and aggressive is the equivalent of not performing required policing duties?

    44. Albert says:

      Most likely those of you/us who are are commenting on this post are doing so from the safe haven of an apartment. I wonder, have you or a friend ever experienced homelessness? In this current political climate, it could happen In a flash .
      Stop ranting about Rosenthal, Lucern management, etc, Just get a grip on the human dimension. Compassion for those among us who are not blessed with a roof over our heads.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Hear, hear. It is our responsibility to take care of those in need. This is the whole premise of social justice. Wouldn’t you want the support you need if you were homeless?

        The lack of humanity in these comments is staggering.

    45. ConcernedUWSer says:

      For all the new people posting tonight, it’s not the fact A shelter is coming into the neighborhood, though terrible near a school, it’s the fact that there are 25 shelters and low income housing in our 3 zip codes ALREADY. It is unmanageable which is why we saw garbage, panhandling, drinking, petty crimes, robbery, urinating in public, fighting and drug use on Broadway Even BEFORE the pandemic. The 70s are seeing what’s already been happening in the 90s. The whole UWS has already helped the unfortunate for years. It’s too many to manage now after years of accepting shelter after shelter.

      Also the NY Post posted the video of Helen Rosenthal being confronted and her pompous attitude is astounding.

    46. NYC Lifer says:

      Reason no. 45,346 why people, especially young couples, are leaving NYC. Like all hard-earned things, (e.g., wealth, respect, trust) what took decades to build in this city can be (and is being) eviscerated in only a few years. Stay safe out there.

    47. Charles says:

      This is going to end very, very badly.

    48. oldtimeUWSer says:

      Since the Children’s Museum is moving from 83rd st, why not build a permanent shelter there? I mean, aside from the fact that it’s across the street from the Bromley. Where the councilwoman lives (and apparently so does Michael Moore). I would hope they’d be as welcoming on their block as they expect the rest of us to be on ours.

      • Maria Agua says:

        Helen sold her condo in The Bromley.
        Heard she’s living in the Hamptons.
        But don’t know that for a fact.

    49. WelcomingNeighbor77 says:

      I live two blocks away from this hotel and I want to ask how it might be possible to volunteer? Help cook meals? Organize things? Distribute necessities? Is there anything the community can do to be supportive and show these men that the Upper West Side can actually be a wonderful place (despite what you might read in some of these comments)?

    50. Madeline R says:

      It is possible to hold two
      (or more) thoughts/ sentiments at the same time. These men, many of whom are sick in body and mind, are deserving of our compassion and concern. They are victims of a broken social justice system and a wholly In adequate healthcare system. Warehousing them without adequate supervision or social services is not doing them any favors, no matter how luxurious their digs. At the same time, as a lifelong New Yorker & West Sider or for more than 50 years, I have lived through the “good old days,” the dangerous old days, and the gentrified recent days. Whatever our feelings are about the homeless population, we should all be in favor of safety, good health and well-being for all, and that will only come about if the city and our elected officials are willing to shell out for proper housing, healthcare education and opportunity for all!

      • UWS Resident says:

        This is really well put, Madeline. I agree with you. I really hope Project Renewal can do their job well and support these individuals to get back on track with their lives as any human being deserves. However, today alone, I saw a man leave the Lucerne shelter and walk right into moving traffic which was alarming. I also noticed a pair of residents outside the Lucerne discussing how they are going to knock out a man. Others were walking around the streets aimlessly without masks. I do hope there are enough socio-emotional supports being provided daily and sessions to help integrate the residents into jobs and supporting themselves which is the ultimate long term goal, right?

    51. Cordcutter says:

      Glad this matter has been escalated to local news and media outlets! Important for our local constituency to be accountable for the residents in the neighborhood they are supposed to be representative of.

    52. Joy says:

      This is Dinkins redux. Since the time of Mayor Dinkins, the city and our so-called elected officials have been trying to move the homeless to buildings/hotels on the West Side. We managed to fend them off then, but under cover of Covid-19, they finally have succeeded.

    53. Sam says:

      I can understand the fear but the real issues are:

      Drug addiction.
      Mental illness.

      That’s what needs to be addressed and fixed.

    54. Joy says:

      This is exactly what not to do with the homeless. It’s not helpful to them or to the community. A group of us West Siders, including learned researchers, put together a thoughtful, detailed letter of proposals of how to help the homeless, particularly the seriously mentally ill. They were based on data and experience. We met with Council Member Rosenthal, but that was it. She did nothing to implement any of our suggestions. (At least the council member met with us; Corey Johnson refused.)

    55. David Hazzi says:

      When I hear and see all the residents complaining it’s laughable. You elected all these City officials to multiple terms. Residents of the upper West Side, look in the mirror, the buck stops with you..

    56. fjl says:

      The goal of sheltering the homeless should not be to give them a free ride in luxurious surroundings or place them in areas where their problems pose a threat to adults and children. It should be to have them in a permanent residence which contains programs and services to help them overcome their addictions and alleviate their mental problems. Except for the constraints of the this little pandemic that seems to be swirling around us, they should also have access to vocational training and education so that they may become self sustaining members of society. This s not going to happen to sheltering them in a facility picked simply because there is space. The city should have space in the outlying boroughs, preferably in areas not populated by children, in locations close to transportation and manufacturing and service facilities that can provide training for these men,

    57. Cathy Bernstein says:

      The Belleclaire hotel on West 77th street and Broadway has two addresses it goes by. It was supposedly housing homeless who have drug and alcohol addictions, but if you use this link below,you will see their housing 15 individuals that have a criminal record. I believe this is an issue as it is one block from a public elementary and middle school and another block from a private school K through 12. https://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor/
      Use zip code 10024 for the registry.

      Cathy Bernstein
      Lived in the district for 35 years and am running for Congress

    58. Reed says:

      well, well….the Upper West Side wouldn’t wouldn’t care less if this was placed north of West 96 Street. I’m amazing by the overt bigotry against men in a community. For Pete’s Sake…give men a chance and an opportunity. I wonder why there are so many more men roaming around aimlessly and living on cardboard and on steps.

      • ellie says:

        As an older person who lives on the UWS, I fear for my life when I see homeless men, sometimes mentally challenged scream in my face as I walk by. Will they yank my bag off my shoulder or punch me if i don’t give them money as I walk to the store to get some groceries? I walk zig zag to avoid any confrontation. If they have to move homeless into the hotels, I’d prefer families who are evicted, or women who seem less harmless (but not necessarily so). Out of the 283 men, there could be some sex offenders like there are in the Bellclaire hotel. I feel for the family and children who live in that particular neighborhood. They should open up Governors Island and put them their with all the services they need.

        • Jay says:

          Maybe it’s time for you to move to the country where you won’t have to witness the consequences of homelessness.

          Most homeless folks are just trying to find stability, which is really hard in current times.

          • Anna says:

            A lot of older people live on fixed incomes and don’t have the option of moving wherever they like, not to mention the problem of lack of public transportation outside of big cities. (Many native new yorkers do not own cars or even know how to drive.)

            Last year the Westside Rag and Gothamist posted numerous articles showing an increasing number of assaults on middle-aged and elderly people on the UWS. (Interestingly, there was no media investigation into this emerging pattern.)

            Older people have a right to be frightened for their safety when the government moves a large number of people with criminal histories to their neighborhood.

          • get a grip says:

            maybe she shouldn’t have to live in constant fear. Get a grip.

    59. Hell’s Kitchen says:

      Hell’s Kitchen has been experiencing this since June. Glad to see other neighbors taking on this. We had over 10 hotels.

    60. Spence Halperin says:

      I live on the block and am heartened by the kindness and understanding of so many of my neighbors toward the homeless. This is the real UWS.

    61. Every Nobody says:

      “Do you know who I AM?!”

      • Kami says:

        If you actually live in the neighborhood and want to further discuss this because you are concerned, there is a Facebook group called upper west siders for safer streets. However this is not for the marxists who are posting nasty privilege comments.

    62. EX-UWSider says:

      I sincerely hope that Project Renewal monitors and treats these men appropriately, and they are given a second chance, but I have experienced how DHS and their contractors operate on the UWS, and it was not positive. The shelter on 95th street caused our family to move near Columbia four years ago. We experienced drugs being taken and sold on the street across from a school, constant fights (a man pulled a knife on someone a few feet from my daughter as we walked home), TVs being thrown out windows, excessive amounts of trash, and neverending noise and loitering, even though all these things were supposedly prohibited. Security guards did nothing to control offenders. Rosenthal never did a thing with resident complaints…money in the pockets for hotel owners and DHS contractors are more important than public safety. I love the UWS, but why is it disportionately used by DHS for shelters? Rosenthal should answer that question from her constituents.

    63. Roberto says:

      To those being self righteous and claiming those opposed to homelessness , crime, pand handling on streets are not compassionate please note, We are all compassionate. This is not the point here. The point is we pay for a high quality of life on the UWS and only expect in return that we can live in harmony and feel safe. NO ONE FEELS SAFE NOW. You cant have it both ways, homeless living on the streets and hotels. Firecrackers all over the city, stores shuttered. But we only have ourselves to blame for voting in the current politicians who are running the city. However we can learn from our mistakes and start now by putting the right people in office, and protesting current conditions.

    64. VERONICA says:

      I’ll take Helen Rosenthal at her word that she did not know about this before last Wednesday. However, as a City Council member, it is her duty to know about this before the general public. I will also take this as an admission on her part that she is not up to the job. Its time that she find something that she is better suited for. This job is not for her. I will not vote for her.

    65. Susan says:

      I’ve been out of the City for 2 weeks, keeping up with home through the West Side Rag. Seem to remember a number of articles about shootings, killings, broken car windows long before these folks moved into the Lucerne. Where’s the usual UWS super liberalness???

    66. Steve says:

      “You should know who you’re talking to,” Rosenthal said. “You’re talking to the councilmember who represents this district.”
      Whether turning the Lucerne into a shelter is right or wrong, Ms. Rosenthal needs to be reminded that she was elected to serve and represent her constituents. She is not royalty. She is supposed to be a servant and we should remove her for her condescending attitude.

    67. ST says:

      At the supportive housing where my formerly homeless friend has been living for a number of years, all the social workers have been “working from home” since the beginning of Covid. They are not and site and have been no where to be seen. My friend has been on their own.

    68. Save the UWS says:

      Community opposition needs to be a unified effort. Random emails and phone calls to the officials responsible for this will likely go unanswered. There is strength in numbers. We are living in a time when protests are organized for every reason under the sun. This is our neighborhood. Our backyard, where we walk, jog, shop, dine and send our kids to school. This is a family community. Perhaps it is worth organizing a protest of our own. Neighbors standing united to voice our concern and opposition to this (following social distancing guidelines of course). Invite the media. Speak up with one voice. This is your home. Step up and protect it.

      • them says:

        This is a great suggestion. I agree.

        The other thing I would suggest (the WSRag hasn’t posted my comment suggesting this, though, inexplicably) is that we consider hiring private security patrols for the blocks. The city clearly is not going to help here – they are the problem. In the 1980s, a number of block associations on the UWS did exactly that, by hiring private security guards to walk the street to report suspicious activity and ensure no loitering/car break-ins/etc. Sadly, it seems we’re headed back to those days.

      • Ruth says:

        Run for mayor. At least try. The current bunch is literally ruining the city, on all fronts.
        If you run, there will be at least some challenge to them. Someone competent/decent has to start getting rid of them.

    69. Jay says:

      It’s not just the Lucerne,there is the Belleclaire and the Belnord.Rosenthal took a page out of Espers playbook.shes flooding the zone. 2 blocks from an elementary school. Yes McFly ,we’re back to the future “Are you talking to me?:”

      • ST says:

        Am not opposed to supportive housing. What I am opposed to is loading up one neighborhood with a disproportionate share of such housing. Before the Belnord, Lucerne etc. the UWS already had more than its fair share of supportive housing. I believe Bill Diblasio is just vindictive and crazy enough to deliberately set out to negatively affect a Manhattan neighborhood he doesn’t like. Remember when his administration deliberately didn’t plow the UES during a major snow storm? Remember how a new men’s shelter is going in on 105th? At the sacrifice of a number of affordable parking lots? That’s coming too. And there is never any pushback from Helen and CB7. Watch your property values fall.

    70. Steven Marc says:

      I agree with Ms. Bernstein, I am a West Sider and am sympathetic to the homeless and their challenges, however I take a morning walk everyday and I can tell you we need some police presense, these folks are challenged,I watched a situation this morning where two folks were not getting along and causes me deep concern for all of us. This is a safety issue.

    71. Lori Morman says:

      I think this is absolutely Beautiful,
      Alot of times what most need is Good food, showers , good sleep n love n care to pull up n out..I know..because I was homeless before n it was so so so hard to survive n get job etc when you just dont look n feel good n so tired
      Thanks for taking care of the beautiful homeless people 🌹❣🌹🙂

      • John says:

        Lori each one of these folks is costing the tax payers over 300 a day. They could build apartments in the Catskills and house these folks for 25-30% of the cost in the city and less access to drugs and alcohol.

    72. Cassandra says:

      In 2017 when Helen Rosenthal ran for her 2nd term, I actively volunteered and supported candidates running against her. Anyone paying attention to her first term knew she was incompetente and useless, even worse, harmful. There was pathetically low turnout at the polls and she was re-elected. Reading the multiple comments on this thread about how “she needs to be voted out” is evidence people still aren’t paying attention – she’s term limited and can’t run again! You missed your chance! Copy/paste same story with DeBlasio.

      • ConcernedUWSer says:

        So accurate. I think that for city elections, we really need to focus on who is going to take care of the city, listen to ALL of their constituents and do what’s right for EVERYONE. It’s obvious how much failure there has been the last several years looking at our neighborhood’s rapid deteriorating condition.

        We can still support the unfortunate with heart but it has to be balanced and fair. This November, we have a chance to get it right and make some improvements.

      • CaringUWSer says:

        She/Rosenthal can’t be re-elected in her current seat, but has stated that she’s planning to run to City Comptroller next year. I’m supportive of whoever chooses to run against her.
        Most of these city politicians have continued to stay in the system (in different roles), even when their current terms are up, which is unfortunate. The City definitely needs new leaders at this juncture.

    73. NikLe says:

      I’m scared. In recent years most of NYC has been getting bad. Yes they are being given a roof over their head but in general I don’t feel these ppl are getting help. I’m scared to walk around the neighborhood, especially at night. I hate being asked for money all the time. I’m terrified when I see them shooting up on the street, they follow me or the ones w mental illness start screaming stuff at me and or chasing me. Those of you that think I’m a bad person for feeling – why? I work very hard to afford to live here. Btwn taxes, common charges etc it’s so much money. I just want to feel safe.

      And to the person that said talking to a homeless man in a mask won’t make u homeless- lol that’s not what I’m afraid of- BUT I’ve NEVER seen a homeless man in a mask! So encourage them to get CashApp so u can give them money to buy booze 🙄

      • Elizabeth says:

        They are part of the Project Renewal program.

        • lynn says:

          So what does that mean, that they’re going to use the cash app to buy drugs as opposed to alcohol?

      • UWSHebrew says:

        It’s extremely difficult to rebuild and make things better, but it was done thanks to Rudy Guiliani and kept up by Bloomberg. Everyone noticed an uptick in crime after the first year of DeBlasio in office — remember all the crimes being committed in Central Park a few years ago, that seemingly came out of nowhere? It has been a slow burn, and this city was getting worse and worse (Penn Station has been like a zombie movie the last five years). Now, we are in overdrive. With a normal, decent mayor (regardless of political party), who actually CARED about this city, it would be challenging during these times, but at least people would be hopeful. But no, we have a mayor who is truly dangerous. DeBlasio has destroyed Manhattan.

    74. Susan Xenarios says:

      I am in total support of the Lucerne offering housing and accomadations to this population. Project Renewal is a reputable organization. I am disappointed that they and NYC Housing did not bring in the community board nor the neighborhood before to prepare people. But hey can initiate a collaborative group of community members, Lucerne worker, Renewal staff and 20th pct.NCO’s. to work together in the future.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your suggestion is exactly what needs to be done in the future and perhaps now after the fact. Dialogue between all parties can help to alliviate fears and combat potential issues. It should involve all parties concerned. Hopefully, this will happen in the near future.

    75. Eric says:

      Upper West Siders: “I only vote for the most socially progressive candidates”

      Also Upper West Siders: “Wait, what?”

    76. Glen says:

      This happened last Friday afternoon at a in the street restaurant table on Amsterdam Ave (albeit before the Lucerne move in which is happening as I type). I was having lunch with a friend and a homeless person came up and was persistent in his request for spare change to help with whatever. I ended up handing over $5 with the advance promise he would go away (which he did). I will not be dining on the avenue again. I do not fault the waitstaff they are running in and out with food and drink orders. It is just the slow but consistent return the ’70s on the UWS, and no one seems to care.

    77. Save the UWS says:

      There is a petition that’s been started. Share the link with those you think would be interested in signing. One step toward being heard. The more signatures the better.


    78. cita says:

      I was already concerned about the homeless people on Broadway between 79th and 86th, one of whom (median at 79th and Broadway) I’ve observed urinating into the bushes at midday. However, the current issues relative to the Lucerne, Belleclaire and Belnord, without any community input are alarming. No one in my own building, I’ve discovered, is aware that all this is going on. How can we enlighten the community at large, ie the people who don’t read, or don’t know about the West Side Rag?

    79. Enzo Schneider says:

      Are these people being supervised?
      Being treated for their addiction?
      Do they wear a mask when venturing outside?
      Are there security people stationed outside, making sure all goes well?

    80. CG says:

      I live very near the Lucerne. While I understand concerns about possible safety issues, I was appalled to see hateful flyers posted on light poles at the 79/ Amsterdam intersection.

      (Photo of the Lucerne with ‘FEEL UNSAFE?’ in large block letters)

      I was about to rip them down, but saw that someone had scrawled ‘don’t put your f’ed up NIMBY signs in my backyard’. I agree with that sentiment

      HATEFUL responses to this situation are despicable.

    81. Michelle says:

      Helen Rosenthal negotiated this 5 year contract with the Lucerne.
      For her to intimidate that she didn’t know about it is outrageous.
      All of you – Liberals and Conservatives – are being lied to by your constituents.

    82. GL says:

      I was initially not upset by this news as I was under the impression that these men were in recovery, and everyone deserves a home. However, less than 24 hours later and it is evident that these men are NOT in recovery and they are far from it. I was harassed this morning while walking to the 1 train at 9AM by 4 different men along 79th street. This was my first time walking by since they have moved in. There are also men sleeping on the street, which makes no sense considering they were given hotel rooms. I am typically not one to complain about these types of things, as NYC is not a sterile environment and we should never expect it to be. Be that as it may, I will admit that as a single woman in my 20s I do not feel safe with almost 300 drug addicted men living and lingering on my block. More security may be needed at the very least, especially after dark.

    83. Concerned Neighbor says:

      Now we have three homeless shelters within a short distance of each other. How many people live across all given that this one hotel now houses 283 people. I realize the city has done an awful job with affordable housing but if we have homeless shelters spread it out across neighborhoods. Not three so close together. Someone needs to do a much better plan of making it equitable.

    84. Newcavendish says:

      We need to do our bit, I guess, and not be NIMBY, but the city, the nonprofit manager and their guests need to do their bit too: aside from the drug issue, which needs to be policed, the other such shelters on the UWS are afflicted with aggressive residents congregating in the streets and egregious nose on surrounding sidewalks from large, loud radios they carry around. This must be prevented if we are expected to welcome them to the neighbourhood.

    85. Craig Heard says:

      City officials object to bill requiring notice to the community of of an intend to create homeless shelters.

      This is part of the the story that appeared in the July 23, 2020 edition of silive.com:


      As noted towards the end of the article the city claims that 100 days notice is already provided to residents in advance.

      In the the case of the Lucerne Hotel only four days notice was provided. This is apparently the new home of an all male homeless shelter for 283 men with addiction issues.

      At the Hotel Belleclaire no notice of any kind was given to the community or the few elderly tenants who lived there. Fifteen of these individuals appear as convicted felons in the NYS Sex Offender Registry.

      Even if there were public hearings under the proposed bill it obviously could not be retroactive to existing shelters.

      In the cases of the Lucerne & Belleclaire the horse has already left the barn.

      The city claims that the move to hotels such as these was out of concern with COVID.

      The COVID peak was in April.

      The levels of COVID in NYC are currently very low.

      It is more likely that at this late date that COVID is being used as smoke screen for the establishment of even more permanent homeless shelters throughout the city.

      As noted in this article, city officials oppose this bill and in so doing obviously want to keep the public in the dark as Helen Rosenthal did in the cases of both the Lucerne and Belleclaire.

      This is both undemocratic and borders on totalitarianism.

      At the very least this administration including Rosenthal seem to believe that they are the ruling class and their contitutents are little move than their personal troglytes.

    86. So it begins says:

      Day One
      (When you assume everyone would be on their best behavior):

      Strung-out woman slurringly begging on the corner of 79th / Amsterdam, thrusting her arm directly in passersby personal space. No mask.
      Three men walking abreast on 79th St., making people have to go around them. Doesn’t sound so bad, but it was clearly intentional since each glared at anyone passing them. No masks.
      One security guard, looking down at his phone all three times I passed the Lucerne.

      • anonymous says:

        Just to be clear there are no women in the men’s shelters. All who have come to the hotel in the last few days are men. Either way, that type of behavior in any neighborhood is not good.

    87. But wait, there's more ... says:

      Man on 78th and Amsterdam had bag stolen from car.
      Deli guys on 79th/Columbus reported two separate occasions of intoxicated men coming in, loitering inside/outside, having purchased nothing.

      Wobbling woman begging on Amsterdam.

      Have not see a mask on a single resident.

      And, uh … commenter asks for “documentation?” People are supposed to photograph every incident they see? And how do you think it will go over with the people being photographed.

    88. Rosenthal's comment: REALLY?? says:

      Rosenthal: “You should know who you’re talking to … You’re talking to the councilmember who represents this district.”

      WOW. That comment would be galling under any circumstance, but to say it while standing in front of the Lucerne is outrageous.

      YOU work for US, Helen. Your title, which you clearly expect us to defer to, was bestowed upon you by US.

      You have not earned any deference from this community.

    89. Rosenthal's extraordinary "concerns" says:

      I continue to marvel at Helen Rosenthal:
      Her “main concern” giving proper care to the homeless men moving into The Lucerne. [she conveniently left out “documented substance abusers]
      Quote: “The most important thing is [that the men get] access to the care that they need.”

      Those are her main concerns and the most important thing. Did she express *any* concern about the people she is supposed to serve?

    90. I'll be documenting ... says:

      Please take pics any time you see something. Because the commentators who argue that the shelter won’t cause any issues will continue to call you “hysterical” and “entitled” without documentation.

      The necklace anecdote is exactly what we don’t need — based on nothing more than a subjective impression. Literally “pearl clutching.”

    91. Curfew? And NO masks says:

      Does anyone know if there is a curfew?

      Of all the new residents I saw, NOT A SINGLE ONE WAS WEARING A MASK.

      To those who keep waving off the concerns: Do you think it’s acceptable?

      • anonymous says:

        Everyone is subjected to a 10 pm curfew in the shetler system and in the hotels. If a person violates that curfew they will lose their beds in the shelter and possibly be transferred from the hotel. As for masks, it is mandatory inside the hotel. No one can be without a mask in the hotel. Outside they are to maintain social distancing and wear masks according to CDC recommendations. They’re are masks available in the lobby of hotels. Also, everyone gets a temperature check upon entering the hotel.

    92. ProtonMan says:

      Do these men and other homeless people deserve care from the city? Yes. Does the city have to spend so much? No. Are all of these men dangerous? No. Is there a chance that some of them are dangerous? Yes. I am most afraid of a severe incident occurring – I for one don’t want it to happen, but I just can’t see it not happening. I feel bad for these men and I feel bad for the neighbors who are scared.

    93. CrankyPants says:

      Helen Rosenthal, do you know who you’re talking to? Your constituents! Yes, you work for US. Unfortunately, emailing her at helen@helenrosenthal.com will only get you an auto-reply…no genuine response or action. Vote her out. We had dinner out last night and were interrupted at our table 3 (!) times by panhandlers who just went from one table to the next. The streets are a disaster. Thanks for nothing Mayor D, Helen et al.

    94. Catie says:

      This morning my mom received a response from Helen Rosenthal. We spoke on the phone at length. She made it very clear that the Lucerne requested homeless people to shelter to make up for lost revenue during Covid and that is why it was chosen. She told us that if we had problems, then we should call Project Renewal, not her. She also told us that the residents can go and come as they please because they are humans. She had no answer when we asked her what happens to the community when they return to the community with Covid. She also had no answer for my daughter when asked what happens if this experiment does not work and a child or anyone gets hurt. Also, when asked what temporary meant, she said until there is a vaccine for Covid. When my mom asked for a Zoom meeting, she said no zoom meetings.

      • A Voice Of Reason says:

        I just want to respectfully say that people who are honeless are not necessary those who are prone to having Coronavirus. This is a virus that is affecting people all over the world, not just the homeless. The other thing is that being homeless does mean being a child molestor. That is something different. It’s wrong to crimialize a person simply because they do not have the means to provide adequate shelter for themselves. As we see the Coronavirus devaste the economics of familes across the world, we can expect that there will be even more homeless people out here. Yet, this does not in any way make them criminals, child molestors or bad people.

    95. Bob Lamm says:

      I lived during childhood and have since 1971 diagonally across from the Lucerne, 57 of my 73 years. I want to thank those of you in the previous 122 comments who wrote with compassion and caring about the men now living right across from me. I find many comments on the West Side Rag horrifying. For those of you who wrote with compassion and caring, I’m glad you are my neighbors. You exemplify the Upper West Side that I’ve loved since 1947 and throughout my adult life.

      • 123Train says:

        What’s horrifying is how people like you wax nostalgic for the bad old days. Most of the folks who were robbed, raped, or murdered back then would beg to differ with your callous admonishment of those who are trying to keep our neighborhood safe for people who live here today.

    96. Jake says:

      This is the type of progressive politics that you people consistently vote for. Think long and hard next time you vote blue.

    97. James Robinson says:

      My understanding is that the hotels chose to enroll in this program to benefit themselves financially without regard for their community. We should contact the owners of the Belleclaire, Belnord, and the Lucerne and express our dissatisfaction as well as post on Yelp and all other available sites how much these hoteliers care about the communities that they live in.

    98. David Hazzi says:

      UWSider’s, have you had enough yet? I’m running for mayor as a Republican. Are you voting for me?

      • DJT says:

        You got my vote.
        Just changed my registration to GOP.

      • Rob G. says:

        I’m a registered Dem but I don’t care who’s running as long as they promise to stop this craziness and clean up the damage that the current mayor has done. If you’re the guy, you have my vote. Assuming we haven’t headed out to the ‘burbs, that is.

    99. kathy says:

      Can we do a zoom meeting to discuss? not all of us are on facebook

    100. Steven says:

      I heard another bus pulled up early today to drop off more people who will be living there.

    101. Balebusta says:

      I feel so conflicted about this. I feel tremendous empathy for these individuals who are already stigmatized, and now being further shamed with video news crews as they disembark a school bus to move into a new living situation that they had zero say in. These are human beings, and my heart breaks for them, knowing they have no other place to go, that their only possessions in the whole world amount to two bags. Any decent person must feel compassion for them. Where I feel conflicted, is that the UWS has now become (once again, because it has happened before), a refuge for homeless individuals, mentally ill individuals, and sex offenders. Aside from the lack of notice given, once again, we are warehousing people without the proper infrastructure/support system in place!!!! To my mind this isn’t even a “NIMBY” issue…it’s a quality of life issue for everyone, including our new neighbors! People who are active substance users should be in appropriate treatment facilities, people who are in active recovery should be in appropriately supported environments. I worked with sex offenders during one of my clinical rotations at Ward’s Island/MPC — there are extreme limitations regarding what kind of rehabilitation is possible. I look at their photos and see the humanity, I also feel afraid as a single woman walking down the street now. I don’t know what the solution is, but it surely isn’t this. We need to find a way to preserve the dignity of these individuals, while protecting the community from potential threats. I think we all are aware that a major change in leadership is necessary — and I am not speaking just on a national level — our local leadership has failed this city and the UWS, over and over and over again.

      • UWS Resident says:

        Very well put, Balebusta. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Agreed wholeheartedly.

    102. Emily says:

      Does anyone know what is going on with the Park West Hotel on Central Park West between 107 and 106? They were closed for a long time, and now there seems to be activity. People coming and going, trash outside, etc. But when I went on their web site to check, all of the dates for check-in were blacked out.

      • uwsisopen says:

        could it be another shelter?

        • Justin says:

          Perhaps, but haven’t all of the other hotels-turned-shelters made announcements about it to the community? There hasn’t been anything like that.

    103. Maria Kiski says:

      This mayor is so incompetent he is exposing a whole neighborhood to 250 homeless men with substance abuse problems in the middle of a pandemic. Does Di Blasio think that these men will be careful wearing masks and keeping distance? Before these guys we were having problems with our usual homeless from Belleclaire and now they are throwing 250 men. The women and the elderly population won’t be ever safe again. Don’t tell us it’s temporary since Di Blasio worked so secretively we can’t trust this mayor anymore. He should move his family to the upper west side if he thinks it’s a good idea.

    104. PR's "24/7" # from Helen ... says:

      The “24/7” communications helpline that Helen “pass the buck” Rosenthal posted on her website for Project Renewal does not answer or return calls. I’ve left very polite, brief messages, as have others.
      I think it’s very useful for people to leave (respectful, short) messages, with questions pertaining to shelter operations. PR should at least see that residents can, and will, hold them to their promise that they are available.
      Please call them at: 646-845-3339

    105. Kate says:

      I love this neighborhood, but reading this piece makes me want to move further uptown. That people who are comfortable and privileged can so proactively want to withhold a basic human right like shelter from a group of human beings is appalling. Housing the homeless in hotels has long been done all over the city, but this NIMBY stuff terrifies me. New Yorkers have proven during COVID that we might be one of the only true societies left in the U.S.; when crisis hit, we leaned into the very meaning of community. While I’m a young single woman always highly mindful of safety, the extent of any perceived risk is so much less than the extent of established need of those who have less than I do, and who did not have the advantages I had purely out of luck.

      • ZoomZ says:

        Hoping that nothing bad happens to you, personally, by any of the hundreds of new neighbors.
        But – in case something bad does happen to you, (and if not to you, for sure to others in the neighborhood it will) remember, God loves us all, the same, and you should take whatever happens to you in kind, as it is with love that we live, other wise, we perish.

      • peace says:

        Good luck with your move!

    106. Not a single mask seen says:

      I live on W. 79th St. and am outside many times a day. I have seen many Lucerne residents and NOT ONE was wearing a mask.

      I hope Project Renewal’s failure at “encouraging” mask wearing isn’t an indication of their general competence.

      To all of you who insisted the residents would do their best to be good neighbors … have YOU seen a single mask?

    107. Pls read this person's comment!! says:

      I’m copying here the most nuanced, thoughtful, and spot on comment on this thread. PLEASE READ:

      I feel so conflicted about this. I feel tremendous empathy for these individuals who are already stigmatized, and now being further shamed with video news crews as they disembark a school bus to move into a new living situation that they had zero say in. These are human beings, and my heart breaks for them, knowing they have no other place to go, that their only possessions in the whole world amount to two bags. Any decent person must feel compassion for them. Where I feel conflicted, is that the UWS has now become (once again, because it has happened before), a refuge for homeless individuals, mentally ill individuals, and sex offenders. Aside from the lack of notice given, once again, we are warehousing people without the proper infrastructure/support system in place!!!! To my mind this isn’t even a “NIMBY” issue…it’s a quality of life issue for everyone, including our new neighbors! People who are active substance users should be in appropriate treatment facilities, people who are in active recovery should be in appropriately supported environments. I worked with sex offenders during one of my clinical rotations at Ward’s Island/MPC — there are extreme limitations regarding what kind of rehabilitation is possible. I look at their photos and see the humanity, I also feel afraid as a single woman walking down the street now. I don’t know what the solution is, but it surely isn’t this. We need to find a way to preserve the dignity of these individuals, while protecting the community from potential threats. I think we all are aware that a major change in leadership is necessary — and I am not speaking just on a national level — our local leadership has failed this city and the UWS, over and over and over again.

      • Evan Bando says:

        You are, in fact, speaking of NIMBY. These individuals have to live somewhere. They are receiving humane services and treatment through Project Renewal. It’s not just the UWS; many neighborhoods around the city house the homeless. You seem comfortable with isolating them on Wards Island. Is that how you normalize people? Everyone is conflicted by the homeless problem. The urgency due to COVID did not allow for the usual “town hall” approach. If certain residents commit a crime, then, like you and me, they should be policed by the NYPD. Take it up with them.

        • Balebusta says:

          Evan, I am responding here to you, as someone else reposted my comment from above. Sadly your reading comprehension skills seem limited so to clarify, the Wards Island/MPC portion of my comment was referring to the sexual offenders and my time working at “MPC” — Manhattan Psychiatric Center and Kirby Forensic Unit located on Wards Island. I was speaking specifically about my work there with violent sexual offenders and making the established psychological point that rehabilitation for these types of offenders is extremely limited and has poor outcomes. There are homeless shelters on Wards Island, but I was not referring to that. We have an influx of people without adequate ways to support them. I am familiar with Project Renewal, and they are a good organization, however, what is their infrastructure at the Lucerne like? — are they keeping 24/7 staff on-site of the Lucerne to support the residents? The hotel is a hotel, it is not equipped as a rehab center. Where are these folks going for treatment and how are they getting there? It is not a NIMBY issue! It is about a city that has failed every single one of its residents over and over again — the UWS “middle class” as well as the disenfranchised.

          • Evan Bando says:

            It is a NIMBY issue. You just don’t think of yourself that way. Your excuse for your attitude is to doubt the staffing and their methodology at the Lucerne. But you don’t know. Find out before you declare a problem on 79th Street. As for Wards Island, it’s nice that you get many more words than the 100 word limit in both your posts to explain yourself. I did not. But I can’t say you are persuasive in either case. Let the men live. If they break the law, call the NYPD. Hopefully, they will come and make an arrest.

          • anonymous says:

            There is 24 hour staff at the hotel. All staff from Project Renewal’s shelters are working here, including all security staff. The Recovery Center, the outpatient program, remains open in the building because it services people from all over the city but they will be coming here and work with many of us here as well. I can tell you personally that most of the people who have come are impressed and seeing some light at the end of the tunnel although there may be some initial shock of being in this type of environment after spending considerable time in the shelters. We all will need more than a room to ensure that we are okay and so I’m trying to let that be known to the upper staff with the hopes that additional services are provided. Hopefully, my words do not fall of deaf ears, nor should yours.

    108. kdiaz says:

      I am concerned that this is going to hurt the restaurant in the building, Nice Matin. Maybe the residents can be given meal cards to Nice Matin to offset this.

    109. AR says:

      My only question is.. why at our luxury boutique hotels.. so if I quit my day job, start doing drugs, and get into “the system”, can I get housed on the expense of everyone? And further to the point, how would this luxury living help me deal with any addiction or problem I’m currently facing to getting me back on track to recovery? Are there programs in place aside from “additional security” to help these individuals? Not hearing about any plans except moving these pour souls from one housing arrangement to another one… who’s actually dealing with their needs?

    110. Anna says:

      In the midst of all these concerns and frustrations, I want to tell Da Homeless Hero, if you’re still reading the comments, that I hope you will be OK and that this move supports your recovery. Overcoming addiction is one of the bravest and most difficult things someone can do, especially in a situation of home insecurity. I hope the other men who are truly trying to recover do well in the new location.

      • Da Homeless Hero says:

        Thanks very much and I’m definitely reading the comments. I personally appreciate everyone’s views and think that dialogue is very important. That is what was missing from this move. The community should have had input. I have taken the iniative to say something in order to ensure that things are done right and that the people in charge pay attention to “everyone’s” concerns.

        The move has been good for me. I’m familar with the neighborhood and it’s one of the most beautiful neighborhood’s in NYC. I’ve always felt safe and welcomed in this area which is I want to ensure that things go right.

        I’ve spoken to the head of security and members of the The Recovery Center which is the outpatient program under Project Renewal and they are going to come here and work directly with us, and perhaps bring some good activities for us to make use of the parks in a healthy and positive way. The head of security has ensured that he will coordinate with the 20th precint to address any potential problems that could be attributed to the homeless people who came here. He also was clear with everyone that any violation that is identified will result in an immediate transfer from the hotel and back into a shelter.

        As for me, I will use this time to maintain sobriety, improve my health and wellness and continue being productive. I look forward to housing and hopefully, that process will take place soon. It’s alot of work this city has to do, and we do have to hold those in charge, from government on down, accountable to ensure all of us are dealt with in the right way. I appreciate your inquiry and will keep you all updated.

        Thanks again,

        Da Homeless Hero

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          thank you Da HH!!

          Your insights put some of the comments from your UWS neighbors to shame.

          Da HH points the way forward. It’s possible to both have the formerly homeless here, and facilitate their recovery, and also have safety for the community. And let’s recall that vast majority of the men in the Lucerne want safety as well.

          Some people have an agenda to stir up fear. Others have no agenda but are susceptible to fear mongering.

        • Da Homeless Hero says:

          One thing that does worry me is the behavior of those who are NOT in recovery. Some are people who will go to work every day and who may not be dealing with substance use disorder and they will be fine. However, I do hope that the bad apples, if any, will be rooted out quickly and not make a bad reflection on those of us who are doing our best to overcome being homeless and our issues regarding recovery. It was something I didn’t like in the shelter system and whether its a hotel or not, I still do not want to be in that environment, so I hope all goes well and people appreciate the community and shows the respect that the community deserve. Help is available, but people have to take the initiative to take advantage of it and our “caretakers” have to ensure that they clearly address any issues that may adversely effect the safety and well-being of this of us really recovery as well as the community we are now in.

          • Da Homeless Hero says:

            And thank you also Bruce E. Bernstein. I appreciate you comment and will keep you updated as well.

    111. Beth says:

      No one on the Upper West Side(especially those on 79th street) when a shelter was placed on 95th between West End and Riverside — across the street from the entrance and playground of PS 75.

      • Weaguy says:

        Yeah, and there are still multiple shelters within the 94th/95th stretch that you mention.

    112. Concerned Neighbor says:

      For those who are truly trying to turn their life around, we must have compassion and patience for their struggle. It is not an easy road. Unfortunately, the sad truth, the REAL truth, is that a large number of shelter residents are active users. Many are only involved with a recovery program to avoid jail time. As someone who has a close relative who is an addict, I’ve seen it first hand.
      Public defenders plea down a drug charge and settle on a “program” vs. jail sentence. These individuals have no interest in getting clean.

    113. Concerned Neighbor says:

      They will take what is handed to them for free and continue using while in the program. They will also steal anything that is not nailed down (often times from friends and family).
      Please so not fool yourself into thinking that every “homeless” person is victim that wants your help. I’ve been very close to this issue for many years, and it has taken it’s toll on my family. Addicts are opportunists, and they will lie, cheat and steal to support their habit.

    114. Concerned Neighbor says:

      If you truly care, donate to homeless charity. Volunteer and a soup kitchen. Provide homeless children with clothing and school supplies.
      Do not welcome actively using addicts into your backyard. Do not make them comfortable in your neighborhood. History shows us that problems arise when they establish roots in a community.

    115. Roni Gordon says:

      Helen Rosenthal is term limited. She also withdrew from the Comptroller race a week before her belated announcement of the Lucerne transformation into an homeless shelter for 283 men with drug addiction issues. It makes you wonder if she already saw the writing on the wall and lined up a profitable job with a a very profitable not for profit group.

      • peter says:

        i concur…rosenthal is a self serving ideologue that has failed us miserably and not fulfilled her pledge to represent her constituents…as with our mayor rosenthal has small view mentality..had a meeting with her…so disappointing how disconnected she was as she lectured me…heard nothing i said …the incredible big apple needs a unifying encompassing dynamic leader that represents all the people…

    116. Rosa says:

      Helen Rosenthal sounded like Trump, defensive and entitled. The gentlemen was trying to get his point across and of course he was angry. She was dismissive, defensive and had no interest in addressing the issue. We are all angry. Last night at around 8pm, we walked by, at least a 6 or 7 men out roaming the streets, one having a psychotic moment another smoking pot the next trying to buy drugs… I did not feel so safe. If they are going to allow this population in this hotel, at least place some restrictions on going out at night and disrupting the peace.

    117. A Joe says:

      Is it really the best use of our tax money? Can’t they start somewhere more affordable to live? Does Wall ST welcome them or ABC studios? And who would pay for additional security and city services needed after a safe and residential neighborhood is ruined? Why can’t this officials see further than their noses?

    118. Seth says:

      This is great news, enjoy the cesspool of a city you have created by electing liberal Democrats to office.

    119. Linda says:

      This article and coverage is biased and reeks of white privilege and stigma against the homeless. Obviously homeless shelters are necessary humane interventions. It seems some folks agree but “not in my neighborhood” suggesting certain neighborhoods are apparently a good fit for shelters and the upper west side at 79th is not. And the underlying assumption that upper west side non-homeless people cannot also be addicts, alcoholics, theives, mentally ill, and people who suck is misguided.

      • Henry Goldberg says:

        I’m on the side of supporting supervised housing – in an otherwise probably empty hotel – for people with problems that could easily have affected any one of us who lives here. They’re trying to follow the science of what helps. And perhaps there is a road for further integration into our society as a whole for some or all of these residents. Who wouldn’t support that?
        I’ve worked in health care for all of my adult life and I see people in this neighborhood every day who are not in the best of shape. And I myself might be losing my job as the pandemic goes on.

        The reality is that Rosenthal’s office provides essential services and help needed by residents right here. If you’re blind to your surroundings it’s time to wake up.
        We are not a gated community. Blind panic will not help. We all need mutual understanding.

    120. Concerned Parent says:

      A walk down to 80th and Amsterdam, and then at 79th and Broadway (in front of the church) around 8pm:

      1. Two different folks who were asking patrons at the corner of 80th for money

      2. Two men drinking in front of the newsstand at 80th and Bway (east side of the street)

      3. 4 different men hanging on the steps of the church at 79th st and Bway. Another who followed our family, and then finally stopped to relieve himself near a motorcycle parked on 79th st, between West End and Bway.

      None of these are offenses that can be called in. But as a parent of a very young child, do I not have the right to feel comfortable when I’m going out? Or is that a “privelage”?

      • anonymous says:

        I know this may not sound like something you should have to do but I strongly suggest you contact the following and strongly make them aware of their failure to follow what they said they were going to do to ensure the community maintains its decency.

        Upper West Siders who see or experience anything of concern should call (646) 845-3339. This number will go directly to Project Renewal staff at The Lucerne, who will be available 24/7.
        I also urge you to call 311 with any shelter-related issue. All 311 calls are tracked and the information is shared with the local police precinct and the City’s homeless outreach teams. They will adjust their patrols and outreach work accordingly.
        Constituents can also call our office at (212) 873-0282.
        In the event of an emergency, please call 911 as always.

    121. BH says:

      Everybody, relax.

    122. S. A. says:

      After reading this story tonight about what the homeless are doing in midtown the past few days in broad daylight, I worry that they’ll be filling up more hotels on the UWS. I think the city will feel it is the only way to get them off the streets & honestly, it probably is the only way. Sad what things have come to of late with our world.


    123. Banhel23 says:

      Whether it’s a sanitation processing plant on the UES, or too many bus depots in Harlem, the issue is not that these social services are not necessarily. It is that the community should have a say. We do not live in a totalitarian state and should be part of the process, and have a voice. So you are telling us, In ALL of the 5 Boros, in ALL of Manhattan, the only place to house these people is in a residential neighborhood? So all the thousands of hotel rooms in Times Square were full? What about the BRAND NEW Holiday Inn right under a highway exit ramp in the Bronx? There are no homes near this hotel, there are warehouses across the road, and the Yankee Stadium Target about half a mile away. These options may seem harsh to some. I just think, why UWS, when there are other viable options. Just like there are acres of warehouse and industrial districts in the city, yet they pluncked a sanitation depot right next to residents and a sports complex. Why? Almost seems vindictive. There are plenty of non-residential neighborhoods to place these social services (from homeless shelters, to bus depots, to methadone clinics), yet time and time again, faceless and nameless bureaucrats, bypass the communities rights, and POTENTIALLY place in harms way (by harm I mean physical, economic, and just quality of life harm) the community we (the residents, taxpayers, home owners, business owners, employees) have invested so much into. Communities try to be intentional to create safe places to live, work and go to school. Other neighborhoods across the city with similar homeless shelterers, half-way homes, and methadone clinics do have increase to crime and decrease in quality of life issues, so people’s concern is not unwarranted. Yes, It’s not likely that these things happened overnight, however neither did the soaring asthma rates in Harlem happen overnight. The fact is homeless population and substance abusers come with Issues, issues the community has a right to voice in a democratic process. If someone wants to open store, or remodel their home, all kinds of permission is required from our government, yet the government can alter our community without our permission, how is that okay?

    124. RAWilson says:

      So the owners of the Lucerne received $1 – $2 million in Federal bailout loans in April AND still decided to accept FEMA money in connection with Project Renewal for these drug addicted men? Can someone please investigate?


    125. anonymous says:

      So The Lucerne got 1-2 million dollars in PPP loans in April. Now that they are housing the homeless they are getting even more millions. 6 months guaranteed and could be more if there’s no cure for the virus. All of this money and they didn’t inform the community. There’s no benefit to the community. The homeless men are not even given proper treatment for their addiction or mental health. Thats 283 men with real issues. It makes no sense. It’s just a money grab. I say follow the money and we’ll see why this deal was really made.


    126. Cardi says:

      Do a shot for every time someone uses the word hyperbole. 😂😂😂🤦‍♀️

    127. Susan Barron says:

      why is a residential neighborhood with schools all around a good place for male drug addicts? wouldn’t it be better if they were in commercial neighborhoods where they can get jobs. Isn’t Project Renewal’s focus on jobs. Midtown in the garment district or Wall Street?

    128. Anne says:

      I suggest we leverage Hudson Yards to house those who have been relocated to The Lucerne, The Belleclaire,Belnord etc. there is plenty os unused space they couldn’t fill even BEFORE the pandemic and now even more space available. Neiman Marcus closing there. Most important, this property received tax breaks paid for by we, the tax payers!!!
      Anyone else on board?

    129. Jack says:

      These are human f#*&ing beings. How dare any of you dehumanize them and act as if they are some parasitic creatures! Get off your ivory-adorned high horses and develop a sense of empathy.