Rosenthal Explains Her Homeless Shelter Position, Changing Some Stances

Councilmember Helen Rosenthal.

Councilmember Helen Rosenthal sent out an email on Sunday shifting her stance on certain issues surrounding the new homeless shelters that have been placed in hotels on the Upper West Side in the past couple of months.  She said she’s gotten hundreds of emails, tweets and calls about the shelters in the last two weeks.

For months, city officials have not even confirmed that there are hotels being used as shelters on the Upper West Side — West Side Rag broke the news that the Belleclaire and Belnord were being used as shelters after speaking to homeless residents and anonymous city officials and reviewing permits. The Department of Homeless Services would not even confirm the existence of the shelters.

But since The Lucerne on 79th Street was turned into a shelter late last month, the issue has become a political hot-button. Rosenthal ended up in a confrontation with residents about The Lucerne last month.

Rosenthal said she was unhappy with how the city has been communicating about this issue. But she said she is not opposed to further shelters being placed in the neighborhood, after saying earlier that “I have told City Hall that under no condition will we accept any more temporary shelters.”

And after saying she was “demanding that all remaining [sex] offenders be moved out,” Rosenthal amended that position as well.

Her full statement is below.

Over the past two weeks, my office has received hundreds of emails, phone calls, and tweets about people in our community who are homeless. Many residents are upset, angry, and fearful for themselves and their children. Some think that the UWS is deteriorating along with their property values. Some of you have reached out with deep compassion, unity, and a neighborly desire to do our part as the city faces the twin crises of the pandemic and homelessness. I am personally responding to as many of these communications as possible, and in particular, trying to address frightening rumors and other inaccurate information.

Many of the concerns we are hearing stem from the little notice given and few concrete answers regarding the placement of temporary shelters in Upper West Side hotels. The emergency shelter system is opaque and the City has made clear mistakes in its communication with neighborhoods and local officials. In response to our questions, the City sent this letter yesterday.

We are also hearing from many of you about serious street safety issues, such as drug overdoses. I discuss these issues regularly with the commanding officer of the 20th Precinct, Captain Zuber, and he is in ongoing communication with all of the shelter providers and street homeless outreach teams. Borough President Brewer, other local electeds, Community Board 7, and I are all working together to make sure the conditions we are seeing are addressed, and the City has just committed to meet with UWS community leaders on a regular basis.

I encourage you to engage with the 20th Precinct’s neighborhood policing program. Click here to learn about public meetings throughout the precinct this month. (A reminder from Captain Zuber: NYPD officers can only make arrests for illegal activity, such as the purchase or sale of drugs, if they see it themselves. The NYPD cannot use photos supplied by residents. Please call 911 to report a crime or emergency.)

I will continue to hold the City’s feet to the fire, to make sure they are doing everything possible to keep you safe and ensure that people who are homeless can stabilize their lives. My role is to push the City for answers and bring you transparency. By getting accurate answers to your questions, all of us can be guided by facts, rather than misconceptions and rumors.

It’s unfortunate that the Administration did not choose to include the UWS in its emergency shelter decisions and provide a reasonable amount of advance notice. The UWS is among the most compassionate neighborhoods in the city, and we could have played a more active and constructive role in determining how to provide for some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

To be clear, some of the questions my office is receiving are not related to the shelters, but to the ongoing and unresolved homeless encampments in our district: along Broadway near 72nd, 79th, and 95th streets. With my full support, Goddard Riverside Homeless Outreach workers interact with these people regularly, trying to build their trust and bring them into shelter. Once in shelter, they can finally get help in addressing the issues that have kept them on the street: mental illness, addiction, and poverty.

We are in a difficult situation — as a city, and as a district. With evictions and unemployment at historic levels, an unprecedented number of our fellow New Yorkers will experience homelessness and entry into the shelter system– many for the first time. According to a recent analysis, landlords have obtained 14,000 eviction warrants, and when the courts fully open, an estimated 50,000 renters could face eviction in New York City alone.

I want to make my position very clear: housing is a human right, and access to social and human services is essential. While I understand the anger and fear of many constituents (exacerbated by the lack of information from the City) and was initially moved to respond in very stark terms, I regret stating that the Upper West Side would not accept any more people who are homeless. The Upper West Side is known as a place that welcomes those in need and I remain steadfast in that tradition. We are in the middle of a public health and economic crisis — this is our reality — and we will rise to the challenges it brings.

That being said, as a mother, a staunch feminist, and advocate for survivors– I will be hawkeyed about ensuring that laws regarding sex offenders’ residency, and proximity to schools and playgrounds, are being closely followed.

Please see our latest updates below about the three emergency shelters in District 6 hotels. (A fourth hotel, the Park West, is not in my Council District but in Community Board 7, and is also being used as a temporary shelter.) As you recall, these emergency placements are required by the Dept of Health to contain the spread of Covid. When the Department determines that it is safe for clients to return to their congregate shelters, they will do so. Each of the shelters has a different base of clients:

  • The Belleclaire, with 288 clients, includes 100 women living there and about one-third of the clients go to work every day. Their focus is on job placement assistance.
  • The Belnord, with about 100 male clients, specializes in mental health and crisis intervention programs.
  • The Lucerne, with about 283 male clients, serves those with drug addictions and other mental health issues. The City has confirmed that there are no registered sex offenders at the Lucerne.
Regarding registered sex offenders living at the Belleclaire:
  • Those with residency restrictions (restricted by state law from living within a thousand feet of a school) have been moved out. The City made a mistake in placing any individuals with these restrictions at the Belleclaire. The Dept of Homeless Services (DHS) tells us that it was one individual.
  • There are no residency restrictions on the remaining clients. We follow up with the DHS directly with our questions, as it is unclear how regularly the NYS sex offender registry is updated.
  • Simply as a point of reference: There are over 1,600 NYS registered sex offenders in Manhattan (living in private residences, homeless shelters, etc.). Mental health professionals advise that sex offenders are less likely to repeat offend when they are in a stable living environment with access to services, rather than in a distressed condition, such as homelessness.

I know that each one of you wants clear answers and concrete next steps, and my office (and other elected officials) are doing everything we can to supply them. At the same time, we are continuing all our other work — assisting NYCHA residents with badly needed repairs; getting air conditioners to low income seniors; ensuring the delivery of meals to those in need; and addressing the increasing number of calls about evictions.

We are also closely following the City’s school opening plans. I am pushing very hard for the City to place a nurse in every school, as well as social workers to help children process the incredibly difficult situation we are all going through.

More likely than not, we will face additional revenue shortfalls in the coming months as well, and I will fight — as I always have — to make sure that the most vulnerable are protected.

Note: Because of the enormous number and length of comments received, we will be shutting down the comments section of this article at 5:30PM, to allow us to catch up. We approved many lengthy comments, because to exclude them seemed wrong. As much nastiness as possible was excluded, though some slipped through. There will be more opportunities to comment on this topic. Please be concise and civil.

NEWS | 182 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      What an awful representative we have in her. Nauseating.

      • AngryMom says:

        I don’t think she understands that the issue is not homelessness. I think this neighborhood is more than willing to take in homeless people who are trying to stay safe, keep the community safe, follow the law and try and get off drugs.

        The problem is – putting ~300 drug addicts together in a place where drugs are readily available does not accomplishes this.

        Letting this happen in a family neighborhood which was already struggling to recover from Covid is wrong

        Watching folks leave the Lucerne and gather in groups outside without masks on is a public health issue.

        And using tax dollars to pay for folks to social distance while watching them gather without face masks on is insulting.

        All this while our schools face 20% budget cuts and no additional available space.

        • arlene says:

          you are 100% correct – She’s so missing the point. I wonder everyday if all the staff that has been hired @ these “temporary” hotels for the homeless (BTW at enormous cost) is doing what they’ve been tasked or is this just another NYC boondogle. At the very least, DeBlasio must be forced to recognize how he’s altered this city for the worst and exhibits ZERO respect to the people who pay the taxes and with pride help create safe and wonderful neighborhoods. !!!

      • Concerned says:

        Two crises?? She is equating the pandemic with homelessness?? That’s like equating a tidal wave to my kitchen faucet dripping.

      • UWS lover says:

        Evictions at historic levels?? None of these men were evicted due to the pandemic. The city has put a moratorium on evictions

      • Neighbor says:

        Capt Zuber?!? Has anyone seen a policeman besides 82nd street where they spend their days holding up th barricades?
        How about old fashioned patrolling? Oh. I forgot they got their feelings hurt with all the “defund the police”. Boo hoo. I’m going to take my ball and go home. Cops think they are teaching us a lesson by not doing their job. Typical of someone who chooses that profession. It used to be a noble one.

        • Juan says:

          Exactly. There are some very concentrated areas where most of the problems are. Have police officers stationed in these areas and empower them to arrest those who break the law. Problem solved.

          I think there is a small army of police outside Trump Tower – how about relocating them? Times Square usually has a very dense police presence but since no one is there right now, how about relocating some of those officers?

        • JD says:

          awwww poor you. This has been going on in poor neighborhoods for years. I guess the entitlement that comes with living in the Upper West Side is getting to you.

      • Concerned UWSider says:

        This is a public safety issue. Quit calling this a homeless issue. It’s a public safety issue when people are harrassed, drugs are consumed in view of our children, and general crime goes up. A man overdosed in the Duane Reade on 79th and Amsterdam. It’s a public safety issue and the City (and Rosenthal) have decided to make our neighborhood less safe

      • Concerned UWSider says:

        Concerned residents can start to leave reviews for the Hotels on TripAdvisor, Kayak, etc.

    2. Albit225 says:

      Get them out of here! This is bs!

    3. Leslie Rupert says:

      Someone should ask how many homeless shelters were created in Carnegie Hill.

      • Sandy says:

        Just fed up. Hassled by some drunk guy on West 79th Street, got in my face bc I didn’t have a dollar. Ridiculous. Helen Rosenthal should be ashamed of herself. ITS 2020 HELEN. WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE HARRASSED.

    4. Rudy101 says:

      There is not ONE offense anywhere where it was estsblished proximity to a so-called park or school was a factor in offending. The only thing residency restrictions do is make life more unstable and reoffense rates HIGHER than they otherwise would be.

      The question becomes, can society create a fictional public safety policy or law whose outcome is a loss of safety for the offender (loss of housing) and results in lower public safety (higher rates of reoffending)?

      The answer is, NO.

      I tefuse to follow laws applied ex-post facto and has no basis in public safety. In fact, the registry is so dangerous to public safety and only has punitive outcomes, it has become an inherent RIGHT to flee the registry and do whatever I can to avoid registry laws.

      You all have thrown people on a registry, labeled them dangerous and then used social pressure and politics to automatically isolate people from society until they are desperate outcasts, alone and hopelesss.

      My punishment is OVER. You all don’t get to create comprehensive police states around groups that a legislature is the sole branch who defines who is dangerous and who populates a “dangerous list”.

      Public safety is all about integration for ex-cons. On a registry there is no safety. By not being on a tegistry I am integrated and a productive member of society. On a registry I am an outcast and desperate, unable to care for myself.

      The law allows no recources for those that does not pose any danger to society. The law allows for no challenges or appeals. A presumption of dangerousness applied by a legislature is inherently illegal.

      Your registry is not a civil law, but a cruel punishment that I will never follow again.

      Taking people’s housing under a public policy of shifting danger to another jurisdiction is illegal

      • Jonathan says:

        What a bunch of word salad.
        Here is three words for you – 14 Sex offenders. Helen’s office told no one that sex offenders were moved in!

    5. UWS says:

      Is there a complete list of UWS “hotels” under contract with NYC:both the “new” and the existing, e.g. The Excelsior?

    6. Diane says:

      They are on the Broadway median At 77 in front of Belleclaire all day every day, n masks, no distancing, passing joints around. How is this helping stop the spread? All it does is make the real area residents unsafe as we can’t even cross the street. Virtually all roaming around are not wearing masks correctly if at all.

      We worked long and hard to build our neighborhood and now have to live in fear while our tax dollars are paying for social distancing that’s incomplete at best.

    7. Jerry says:

      Imagine that–facts, rather than misconceptions and rumors, let alone hysteria, histrionics or falsehoods.

      • Edith says:

        This indeed. Where is the UWS’s humanity? I imagine those screaming bloody murder about the shelters don’t have anyone in their lives who has struggled with homelessness.

        • Dan says:

          Where is the humanity? The compassion?
          I lost it when one of your nice men grabbed my daughter’s arm. How dare you lecture us when our children are getting harassed.

    8. New Yorker JFK Dem says:

      Vote Rosenthal out of office.

      • Zane73 says:

        She’s not running again. Even she knows the job is too much for her.

        • World Peacenik says:

          I believe that Council Member Rosenthal is prevented from running due to Term Limits.

          But you can imagine what you want.

    9. Lenore Schlossberg says:

      Thank You for this part of your statement
      I fully support it.

      I want to make my position very clear: housing is a human right, and access to social and human services is essential. While I understand the anger and fear of many constituents (exacerbated by the lack of information from the City) and was initially moved to respond in very stark terms, I regret stating that the Upper West Side would not accept any more people who are homeless. The Upper West Side is known as a place that welcomes those in need and I remain steadfast in that tradition. We are in the middle of a public health and economic crisis — this is our reality — and we will rise to the challenges it brings.

      • Diane says:

        A man was urinating on the corner of 76&Broadway this afternoon into the street, meaning fully exposed in broad daylight, as 2 small children (And others) walked by.
        And…he wasn’t wearing a mask.
        We are compassionate, but where to draw the line? Apparently right into a puddle on Broadway.

      • Kory says:

        SAFETY IS A PUBLIC RIGHT. My daughter should not have a man masturbate in the grass besides the playground at West End Ave and 76th Street.

      • Dr. Stuart Baer says:

        While we vote Rosenthal out of office, let’s not forget to also get Nadler (What an embarrassment! He doesn’t know about the violence happening in his district), De Blasio and of course Cuomo out of office. Maybe one of our city or state programs can find more suitable work for them all.

        • CG says:

          As has been noted frequently in comments, she is term limited. So statements about ‘throwing her out of office’ don’t actually who much knowledge of the neighborhood

        • m.pipik says:

          What has Nadler to do with this? He’s our Representative in the US Congress. The job doesn’t deal with these sort of issues. Nor should it. Our Representatives and Senators have a full-time job as it is.

        • EdNY says:

          DeBlasio can’t run again. I imagine if Cuomo runs for a fourth term he’ll win by a landslide.

      • JLC says:

        I support Rosenthal in her regret to not accept more shelters. She’s absolutely right about extending a hand to those less fortunate in theses times. Those of you forcefully protesting these moves and thinking that this is not about racism; those of you brandishing crosses on your forehead on Ash Wednesday; those who attend synagogue every Saturday, I invite you to think a little deeper about your feelings regarding this issue and reconsider, for just a moment,the dissonance between what you claim to believe in and how you’re reacting to this situation.
        This is what helping others looks like sometimes and just because those in need don’t look like us doesn’t mean we should consider them inferior humans.
        This is a challenge that arose during the most inopportune times and we should stop bickering among ourselves and take pride on the hand we are extending to those in need. After all, this too shall pass.

        • SJ says:

          I do NOT support additional shelters.

          I also want to see the distribution of shelters pre and post COVID.

        • Ari says:

          And I invite you to think about those of us who have been assaulted by men multiple times in our lives. How can we override our nervous system and help but be fearful walking alone, being leered at, being approached, being threatened by men. This is not just about homelessness. This is about the demographics of who is being sheltered. Think.

        • Burtnor says:

          THANK YOU!!

        • Burtnor says:

          Meant thank you to JLC, not these appalling, entitled, Scrooge-like UWSiders: “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”

          I don’t recognize my community anymore with so many expressing these attitudes in this time of universal crisis.

        • Diane says:

          It’s not about racism. Nobody cares whether he’s white, black, or green, lewd behavior is lewd behavior. When they publically urinate, it’s all yellow.
          BTW, one of the more publicly circulated photos of a guy masterbating on the steps of the Historical Society is a white guy. The one of a guy bending over his drug paraphernalia to shoot up is white. Let’s focus on the issue.

        • Elizabeth says:

          JLC, Exactly. Thank you for your compassion, something that seems particularly rare on the UWS lately. I live in the neighborhood and absolutely agree with you.

          Other fellow commenters, you should be ashamed of your racism and prejudice.

        • Edith says:

          Thank you. Fully agree with this. Homeless people don’t just disappear when we send them away. They have to live somewhere. What about the UWS is so special that we can’t have them in our midst?

      • Fed up says:

        Is safety a right? My daughter always walked around by herself, and now after being Aggressively panhandled for money, she wants me or her brother to be with her.
        She’s 15 years old, but very short for her age. Under 5 feet and looks younger than she is. I guess she’s an easy mark. I am so fed up with these comments, all of these people don’t even live here.

    10. james says:

      She should be voted out along with DeBlasio!
      They have ruined this great city!

      • Glen says:

        Rosenthal and DeBlasio are term limited. Obviously DeBlasio has no future in public office, but Rosenthal certainly has her sights set higher. Her involvement in this debacle must remain a millstone tightly wrapped around her neck.

    11. Albit225 says:

      What’s next? The city paying for homeless criminals to live in the four seasons?

    12. Enough already says:

      No more shelters. Please! The city has to be transparent about how these hotels are being picked. 4 hotels in a 15 block radius of a residential neighborhood has to hit some sort of saturation point. What a depressing state of leadership. At every single level.

    13. Babs says:

      I don’t understand why a police officer needs to observe the crime taking place in order to make an arrest. If I see someone shoot someone else and take a photo of the crime, is Capt Zuber saying that the police can’t make an arrest unless a police officer witnessed the shooting? Homelessness and criminal activity are not synonymous. Let’s be compassionate for our fellow citizens and have the police deal with criminal behavior.

      • nhu says:

        A police officer is no longer willing to risk his career over an arrest, even a justifiable one, in a ‘woke’ neighborhood like the UWS. Cops with seniority are transferring out of Manhattan to precincts in Queens and Staten Island as fast as they can.

    14. Lee says:

      You make me tired. I’m so weary of your ongoing re-explanations of your positions going back to the school boards redistricting of our neighborhood (I live in Lincoln Towers). Try researching all points of view before speaking. Our current situation is so very complicated. We need thoughtful, well informed leadership.

    15. Stef Lev says:

      As residents of Lincoln Square have long known, Helen Rosenthal does not represent all of her district. Now she has abandoned the UWS too. She must be thinking about her next job.

    16. Raven says:

      West Side Rag is doing a good job in covering this story. My kid got wacked in the head for not giving any $ after leaving the convenience store on 79th. The neighborhood was never like this before.

    17. Jon says:

      She flip flops more than the pancakes at ihop. She threw her constituents under the bus and lied.
      She suggested that parents now have the opportunity to patrol with a whistle —her words— to protect our kids.
      Enough!!!!! I’m not worried about whistles I’m worried about sex offenders and needles on the streets.

    18. meagan says:

      Pretty confused. They left jail bc of Covid, but refuse to wear a mask. I asked the people on the bench to put on a mask and was spit on? This is the thanks for taxpayer paying for their hotel rooms.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Meagan, they weren’t in jail, they were in shelters. It says a lot about you that your mind automatically went to the word jail. It is not criminal to be homeless.

        PS – I always wear a mask, but you know as much as I do that many of our neighbors don’t wear masks. It sucks. Why aren’t you on here complaining about the rest of our neighbors? What makes you think that you and all these other commenters get authority over the homeless?

        Racism and prejudice are running rampant up here on the UWS. It’s shameful.

        • Rob G. says:

          Oh please spare us with your race-baiting. If you cared about the safety of your neighbors you wouldn’t be so quick to accuse everyone of being a racist. We are talking about an over-saturation of drug addicts, pedophiles, and mentally unbalanced people that have made the neighborhood dangerous. Who gives a damn what color they are?

        • Bruce says:

          Hi Elizabeth,

          Thank you for your relentless clearheadedness. You have been a a brave voice, and an excellent one… going against the tide of myths and prejudice.

    19. Andrew says:

      Helen is like Jerry, a lot of words and no action. Shame on them. Vote them out with that fool mayor.

    20. Amy Goissens says:

      Thus is unacceptable to me. I don’t care where these ppl go but I am extremely sick of seeing them & putting up with them in my neighborhood. Get rid of them. My compassion evaporated with their disgusting, aggressive, & lewd behavior. The neighborhood is becoming very seedy.

      • CG says:

        Wow. Hundreds of people, each one an individual human being, many trying their best to turn their lives around – and you lump everyone in together with the ones whom you find offensive?


    21. Amber says:

      Friday night on 79th and Broadway, we had a guy with a large knife flashing it around. Took 15 minutes for the cops to come and at that point the guy took off. This is the Upper West Side? Thanks Helen

    22. Albert M says:

      The Trump Hotels would be an excellent choice for housing more homeless. No self-respecting Manhattanite would ever consider staying there, and there are no tourists coming. The location in Midtown is not a residential area, so that would make it a better choice than UWS locations

    23. Crood says:

      I propose that anyone that supports homeless shelters on the Upper West Side. To come to live in one of these shelters for one month. Lets see if they still approve the shelters that are located in a community that is for hard working families.

      • World Peacenik says:

        “shelters that are located in a community that is for hard working families.”

        There seems to be a common misconception that only families deserve to live here.

        This great city is made of many different people, with different lives. That’s what a city is.

    24. Past supporter or H.R. says:

      When can we get rid of her?

    25. Da Homeless Hero says:

      Wow… I appreciate the attention to our situation but… I have yet to see those services provided to us. This is the big issue. We need help for our substance use disorder, mental health issues and so much else. I am not seeing that here as of yet. Not for everyone. Not onsite. Please push for this. It will change things for sure. 283 people who have issues can benefit.

      • Da Homeless Hero says:

        Also, we’re still trying to get a decent meal served. One that is healthy and nutritous. This is an issue that has not been remedied. What is being done about something as simple as providing us with healthy and nutritous meals? It’s a reason why many are choosing to revert to drug use while here. Being treated like we’re less than humans is not conducive to our growth and development

        • Danielle Remp says:

          Do persons in The Lucerne get SNAP cards? Are they considered disabled? If so, do they receive SSD payments?

          I’m asking because it’s not easy for many of those who have lost their jobs to get a decent meal. Some have to wait in long lines at food banks. Among those who still have jobs are some who are scared to go out to shop or to eat outdoors at a restaurants. And, if they choose to order grocery, often they find that the produce in their orders are those that they would have rejected.

          It’s not pleasing for most of us these days.

    26. peter says:

      rosenthal is delusional..arrogant and has failed us her constituents…she shirks her responsibility and is driven by a personal agenda…at this most difficult time our 6th district needs thoughtful leadership not her inept drivel

    27. Brian says:

      Helen, check out the registry. There were child rapists 1000 feet from 2 playgrounds.That is against State Law. Do you care about the children here at all?

      • Whitney says:

        I believe the children are the future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside.

    28. Lynne says:

      I’m truly my frightened to live in my home on W 77th St.
      I came home to find three men doing drugs on my stoop last night. I can’t and won’t live like this.

    29. Wags says:

      Do us all a favor and resign Helen Rosenthal, let’s vote someone in who will act is in the UWS’s best interests.

    30. Dennis says:

      The cops need to dismantle the street encampments, now. Sending social workers to politely ask the street people to accept shelter is hopelessly naive. The streets have devolved into squalor and chaos and Helen is basically absolving herself and the city of any responsibility for it. Her constituents should not be expected to put up with the degradation of our public spaces because of Helen’s misguided compassion for these drifters who aren’t even from NYC.

    31. Dory says:

      I called Helen Rosenthal’s office twice before they moved the homeless into the hotel at Lucerne. It was about my 82 mother. She walks with a walker and is slow. She got stuck at West 79th in the mediam on Broadway. A guy named Carl ( NO MASK) got right in her face and asked for money. He was drunk already carrying a beer bottle. She didn’t have any money, and yet he wouldn’t move away. WHY DOES MY MOTHER HAVE TO GET SICK BECAUSE OF THIS GUY. Well, no one ever called me back from her office. I called the 20th Precint, they told me to call 311, 311 put me through to 911 who told me they could only react to situation happening. One big circle of NOT MY PROBLEM. Awful.

    32. Buddy Revell says:

      Don’t forget these statements and policies on election day people. Unfortunately, I think it is too late. The elected officials of the UWS don’t care about the personal sacrifice, hard work, and investments people and families have made here. People are leaving at an alarming rate and progressives are screaming good riddance. Who will be left to foot the enormous tax liabilities for your left wing social policies? The disdain for some “conservatives” here is mind blowing.

    33. Ben David says:

      Yes, homeless people deserve…housing. Alcoholics and drug addicts deserve…TREATMENT and COUNSELING in a controlled professional health facility, not housing in upscale hotels with full rights to walk the streets and accost local residents, and NO supervision in their rooms. Reports of drug use inside the hotels have been confirmed by residents: crack and heroin, at least.
      Not surprisingly, many UWS residents are welcoming addicts and pedophiles into our neighborhood, instead of demanding that they get the help they need!
      The problem here is that a large number of the people transferred to the UWS are not just homeless, they are struggling with mental health issues, addiction issues – and are, not surprisingly, destroying the quality of life for small business and residents.

    34. Linc Square says:

      Where’s the Boro President on this issue. She’s been conspicuously quiet.

    35. Adrian says:

      Wish someone would address the shirtless man on West 79th. Screams all night and runs out into traffic. Called Rosenthal’s office and they said to call 311. Did that twice, nothing changed. I’m guessing Helen doesn’t own her apartment and rents and can pick up and leave anytime she wishes after she destroys the neighborhood. I still have to sell my apartment.

      • CG says:

        He has been there for years,

        What do you want to happen? Police can’t arrest him for standing there shouting. He can’t be *forced into treatment.

    36. Maayan dreyfus says:

      Why among all the pretty stark insanities of the left is there furious rejection of protective police in schools long subject to fights, secreted firearms, rape and abuse of all other sorts? Why do leftist crazies want to subject teens to the vagaries of adolescent crime, disorders and chaotic misadjudgment or hinky parenting? It makes zero sense even as rioters’ violence make no sense.

    37. ZoomZ says:

      Liar liar – pants on fire.

      If Rosenthal has any sense of decency left
      she must resign – now!

      If she could (she can’t due to term limits)
      run again – she’d lose in a landslide.

      There must be thousands of empty hotel rooms by Kennedy airport.
      Put the homeless there.

    38. Jeff says:

      In response to a solicitation from Helen’s office, I volunteered to be a building captain early in the pandemic to connect people (mainly seniors) with assistance, and Helen surprisingly hand-delivered the assistance materials to my apartment so that I could distribute them to my neighbors. That earned her quite a bit of respect in my book, and so does this, because regardless of whether you agree with her position, she’s both admitting a mistake and taking a stand that’s going to bring her a ton of heat.

      Also, while I understand the concerns people have about this not-ideal situation, I have to say that the immediate vitriol from a lot of people seems self-defeating — cops are probably already shrugging off complaints because so many people have been flipping out at the mere sight of shelter residents sitting outside talking.

    39. No more trust says:

      Couldn’t keep her word for 2 weeks. And that is why there is no more trust in our elected officials.

    40. Dan Rothman says:

      I sympathize with the position of compassion for the homeless and the mentally ill. But Ms. Rosenthal’s job is to represent the people of her district. And she is not doing this.

      Like the county clerk whose religion would not allow her to do her job which included issuing licenses for same-sex marriages, Rosenthal’s ideology is not allowing her to do her job. If Rosenthal wants to become an advocate for the homeless and drug-addicted, she should do this. But she should immediately resign her current position.

    41. jill says:

      Why won’t the police accept a picture or video that a citizen takes to report a situation? they have to see it themselves? Videos and pictures are helping them do their jobs.keep us safe, engage the community – the 20th percent is living in the dark ages on this issue.

    42. John says:

      People keep saying the bad old days are coming.
      But sorry to say 1978 is here and will be a decade before it gets better.
      People are still moving out of city My building has lost 48 apartments worth of family’s in Two months. Looks like this will double over the next two months

    43. Steven says:

      Last night on 79th street & Amsterdam (on th eother side of the street as the Lucern) there was a homeless woman who made a makeshift bed behind the bus stop using her belongings. She did not look drunk or strung out but someone who was sincerely down on their luck. I talked to her & she told me she heard of the Lucern & thought it was a shelter for all to come to who needed some help. She got there & was wrong. She said she was traveling the US, had some bad luck, ran out of money & is now not sure where to go or what to do. I felt bad for her. This is a person who could use help from a shelter & become productive once again from it instead of all the others who are taking complete advantage of this entire situation. I went to my apartment, made her a sandwich, got some cold water, cookies, an Ensure shake & brought it all down to her. She deserved a meal to eat. Not like these others who are destroying our neighborhood.

      • Glen says:

        “She said she was traveling the US, had some bad luck, ran out of money & is now not sure where to go or what to do.”

        So why is *going home* not an option?

    44. Alan Gould says:

      I am a retired man trying to sell my apartment across from the Lucerne. The value had dropped considerably and I am afraid to leave my house. What is being done to protect those of us who have paid taxes all these years ?

      • World Peacenik says:

        I sympathize with your wanting to feel safe, but not with you expecting top dollar for your apartment. Paying taxes was not price insurance.

        • Leon says:

          Let me guess – World Peacenik has a rent-stabilized apartment and is currently hiding out at his/her sprawling country estate upstate which has doubled in value due to the pandemic.

    45. Barbara Litt says:

      Sam Domb, Empire Hotel Group… Seems this gentleman is making money during the Pandemic even though no tourists are in the city. He’s the owner of the hotels housing the homeless. How much is he getting paid for this and who approached whom? I KNOW something has to shift with homelessness in this city. The question is how to solve this major problem. Who are the homeless and what do they need? Can NYC provide it? One homeless person at a time…Last note: Fear doesn’t help. Humanity does.Do we have compassion?

      • Native NYer says:

        Domb is a big DeBlasio donor.
        Following the money confirms the corruption of the DeBlasio administration.

        This isn’t about the homeless. This is about contracts to donors.

        The area needs stepped up policing. Accountability by Project Renewal. What resources are they providing these residents?
        Curfew enforcement.

        How do you import hundreds of methadone patients into an area without a clinic? Unless that’s the next new neighbor Helen Rosenthal will grace us with?

        Also, hotels are a terrible solution to our homeless crisis.

      • Stu says:

        ALOT! I know all about the homeless hotel business. It is a goldmine for the owners who are able to take advantage of the contracts with the city.

    46. Mimi says:

      Where is Shirlayne DeBlsio in all this?
      800 million for ThriveNYC to ha ha help mentally ill.
      Come on down First Lady, get a good look at the population and tell us where you sent almost a billion bucks of our taxes?!

    47. UWS Craig says:

      There is definitely a whiff of privilege in the comment section where there is an assumption that drug use and criminality should not be a regular part of life, when such conditions have been entrenched in many communities in this city.
      New York City is no longer a tourist destination and therefore hotel owners are seeking alternate forms of revenue. This is a business decision, and I encourage discouraged residents to not patronize these hotels, particularly when criminals and vagrants are in tenancy.
      I am taking a neutral wait-and-see position on this issue for now and will be monitoring it closely from our family’s Rhinebeck country house where we can socially distance and do zoom schooling and remain virtual members of the Upper West Side without the safety risks. Kudos to Helen for keeping us informed at our new forwarding address.

      • TruthSayer says:


        “There is definitely a whiff of privilege in the comment section”

        Also this
        “I am taking a neutral wait-and-see position on this issue for now and will be monitoring it closely from our family’s Rhinebeck country house where we can socially distance and do zoom schooling and remain virtual members of the Upper West Side without the safety risks.”

        How can you say both of those things with a straight face. Downright hilarious.

    48. M. Gewirtz says:

      Strange how there are no shelters on Madison Avenue, or indeed much of the UES

      • Truthteller says:

        The reason is very simple. The East side is not a socialist supporter of insane liberal policies. I moved my family from the west side to the east side because of all the deterioration. I went to grade school on the west side in the early 80’s this is worse. You need to consider your political beliefs and if you are not willing to live with the impacts next to your house then you need to consider less radical positions. These are not just “homeless
        people” they are not criminals who have been reformed and served their time. These are addicts and ill. They need to be held in a facility until they are not a danger to themself or others. If you are really saying to yourself that this is the right policy but should be done in other neighborhoods then accept it in your back yard.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          it’s impossible to answer every point in Truthteller’s rant in 100 words, but the fact is that the majority of the current residents of the Lucerne are not “a danger to themselves or others.” Many or most are in late middle age or seniors and are infirm. GO take a look!

          Are there mentally ill people on the streets who are dangerous “to themselves and others”? yes, far too many, and they should be taken off the streets. But a policy of locking up EVERYONE in the lucerne, which is what Truthteller is advocating, is fascistic.

    49. jordan teramo says:

      Please explain how you could decide to potentially allow more homeless shelters in our neighborhood? given the damage already done to our community? Will there be any benefit at some point to allowing the city to dump all over us?

    50. Pedestrian says:

      HELEN Rosenthal is the SUSAN COLLINS of the Council.. Unreliable, developer friendly and clueless, according to her own excuses. She loves photo ops and maneuvering for praise but working for her constituents has never really been her strong suit.

      • david says:

        That’s an amazing way of putting it.

      • Les says:

        You nailed it.

      • UWS_millennial says:

        very insulting to Susan Collins who actually explains her votes with fact and reason and constitutionality. “Unreliable” in Collins’ case means she doesn’t vote along party lines bc she actually puts integrity above party, which is now apparently a “bad” thing? Give me a break… I swear half the ppl who comment here just repeat things they hear on the news and have never actually bothered to educate themselves on the topics and people they discuss here. mob (lack of critical) thinking is sadly the new definition of “liberal” — bring back the classical libs please…

      • Julie says:

        Every time I contacted her office I was either ignored, or made feel like whatever I complained about was my own fault. We live here and are witnessing the deterioration of our neighborhood. It is not mere rumor. We chose to stay and our voices, and concerns, are being ignored.

    51. Scott says:

      Who’s going to pay for the hotel rooms when everyone who can moves away? Asking for a friend.

    52. Steven says:

      Instead of protecting our neighborhood, looks like Rosenthal is more interested in protecting her own political backside.

      Pathetic, thanks for nothing Ms. Rosenthal.

    53. Admhsj says:

      She probably doesn’t even live around here !!

    54. Brenda says:

      That email changed my mind.

      I was supportive of all of the UWS hotel sheltering efforts. But after reading the utterly clueless rhetoric, I’ve changed my mind.

      Community policing? The police who are barricaded in their precinct? The police whose idea of community patrol, sitting in their cars playing on their phones?


    55. CrankyPants says:

      She is a smug, two faced disaster and this neighborhood/city needs some grown ups in charge to get things back on track. Im delighted this is getting the mainstream attention it deserves. Vote out this shameful disaster of an administration and save/restore our beautiful City.

    56. jordan says:

      Helen- can you please answer the following questions?

      1- What is the breakdown of other neighborhoods in the 5 boroughs and their fair sharing of these clients? my guess there is a much larger density of these clients on the UWS than in many other districts. If thats not the case can you please provide the factual data proving it?

      2-What is the cost associated with each hotel stay on a per night basis? taxpayers deserve to know

    57. Rob G. says:

      This is such BS. Obviously there are more shelters on the way, which is why she’s “changing her stance.” Even compassion has its breaking point, and we reached ours a long time ago. These “temporary” shelters are here to stay.

    58. PJ says:

      A terrible response. Blaming the the city. She is our representative – represent. I emailed her yesterday asking her to walk the streets in the evening – bet she didn’t.

    59. UpperWest says:

      As usual we’re told not a thing. Nothing. Some basic things:

      1) What is the process by which they select these facilities for “temporary” use? We don’t know. This is apparently a state secret of the highest order. Are the Dombs and Shimmie Horn “friends” to the administration? Is there an objective set of criteria applied? Dunno. I do know that if Hi-Life has people sitting under the eaves that is a violation and they lose their license; for all other things in this neighborhood the rules and process are presented in excruciating detail, but not here.

      2) These West 70s/80s are now at 600, of which a meaningful portion are serious addicts or sex offenders (candidly, it is the drug group and sex offenders that are the issue here, not others; yay to those that need help but are going to work, looking for jobs, what have you.) The East 70s/80s, a larger geographic area given the width of the UES, is at maybe 75. So, why is there 8x difference? Not 10% more, 50% more, but 8 times more. The area of *West 77-West 79, between Amsterdam and Broadway”, a tiny patch, has over 460, or itself 6 times as many as the entire UES in the 70s/80s. Why? Why aren’t basic numbers published?

      3) If people in these facilities behave terribly (shooting up on the street, drunken arguments on the street, menacing, public masturbation), why are they seemingly given a free pass? Why do they keep all their privileges? Have any been kicked out of their expensive hotel rooms for anti-social behavior, or are there no such standards applied? Are we told?

      4) Why can’t police respond to photographs or videos of drug sales, etc? Isn’t video evidence used in all manner of investigations?

      Some conjecture:
      1) There is no real set of selection criteria. The owners of these places have some dealings with the city and are milking it, for who knows what in exchange (an explosive story if uncovered). I hope not, but we’re not told a thing.

      2) It is (or at least was) assumed that the UWS will just accept this, unlike other neighborhoods and respond with a cupcake or two, and, in fact, taking this on will bolster the careers of the local politicians involved, either current or aspiring. I hope not, but we’re not told a thing.

      3) It is hoped that they can retain at least some of these facilities post-COVID not as homeless shelters as such but as SROs. It is (now) part of a longer-term plan given the massive problems on the horizon, exacerbated by the some of the revenue-killing policies (such as this one) now in place. Much easier to make the transition if the facility is not an active hotel at point of transition; the hope is people will respond with “better than a hard core clinic for addicts.”

      3) Is all this even a plus for public health? Large congregations of maskless people in public spots like the medians, where you have to go to cross the street, may not actually be the best path to limiting disease spread. Can mask use, at least, be enforced, or is that too much of a burden to ask of others? If this isn’t going to help public health, why is FEMA shelling out cash for this?

      4) Who do local politicians represent? When they say “our most vulnerable”, do they mean your kids, the seniors in the neighborhood? Do they represent you? Or are you just a means to some other end they have? Where does their “compassion” run out? It seems endless for some, but starkly limited for people trying to live here and raise families here.

      I have no idea who is really pulling the strings here, but perhaps the local politicians themselves are now “our most vulnerable”; UWS, it is up to you.

    60. Barbara says:

      Are you waiting for someone to be hurt, raped or killed to fix this problem? This was a great neighborhood that is getting destroyed. People do not feel safe walking in the streets, you not only allowed all the homeless in the shelters, you also do nothing about the homeless encampments in the street. 72ns street is kidnapped by them. They scream and harass you if you walk by them. Mrs. Rosenthal with all my respect: shame on you. We need effective leaders in the UWS

    61. MWUWS says:

      Her surprisingly direct rejection of a limit to the number of homeless people in the neighborhood says
      a lot. If I were more cynical, I’d say she has an eye open for working in the homeless industrial complex after she faces term limits in about a year.

    62. Ken says:

      Manhattan becomes the playground of the rich, rents and property values have skyrocketed, and then you complain that you have to deal with those our ruthless economic system leaves behind. Helen has taken a brave and principled stance, and I applaud her.

      • Lady Di says:

        truth! this enormous problem of what to do and where to house those suffering from homelessness in particular, not to mention drug addiction/mental illness cannot be managed by one representative, one mayor, one governor. The programs currently in place are insufficient at best, the laws allowing the homeless to remain on the streets are not realistic and the sad part is, there will be so many more homeless as the long term effects of the virus on our economy linger. We need major systemic changes that cannot be put in place by one representative….

      • Burtnor says:

        Agree completely. Thank you for posting your comment.

      • Burtnor says:

        Yes, Ken. Agree completely. Thank you for your voice of reason.

      • JulieUWS says:

        The challenges these individuals face are not due to high property values or NYC being a “playground for the rich”. Many of the shelter residents that are causing problems (and there a good portion of shelter residents that are NOT) have severe mental illness, are chronic substance users, and/or have antisocial personality traits. Much of this is biologic/genetic combined with exposure to early childhood risk factors. NYC provides great services for those who engage in care, but many do not and they cannot be forced unless they present a danger to self or others. If these shelters are meant to house this population, then the city should also be providing other support measures present in such shelters, such as dedicated staff and social workers (are they?). You can’t just plop them in a hotel and think that “stable housing” will solve their problems. And residents of the UWS should not be shamed for expressing their discomfort with being exposed to risk factors beyond their control.

      • Diane says:

        Rich? Eyes wide open….Been on the upper Westside for decades. My building is full of hardworking middle and upper middle class people.

      • James Goodman says:

        Bravo Ken. I am embarrassed to read the vast majority of these comments. Horrified and embarrassed.

        • Peter says:

          James – How do you feel about children finding needles on the playgrounds? Open-view prostitution and sexual acts on 78th St? People defecating on the street? Overdosing? Zombie walking? Multiple reports of harassment? Immediate increase in drug dealing in the neighborhood? Zero additional security resources allocated? Zero communication from City and borough leadership, all hiding behind some emergency law and fingerpointing? Sexual offenders housed near schools for months, allegedly “an honest mistake”?

      • Dom says:

        Nothing brave about allowing the decline of public safety and overall quality of life in a once safe neighborhood. That shows a lack of administrative competency and even greater lack of concern for the residents who are being accosted daily by drunk, violent and mentally unstable homeless who aren’t getting the help they need. Get a clue Ken.

      • Really Ken? Either you don’t really live on the UWS or you literally don’t leave your home. Helen has actually taken no stand. She knows that it is a disgrace that hard working decent, law abiding, middle class people –of whom there are many on the UWS in rent stabilized apartments, have to be subjected to mentally ill people acting out and terrorizing them. And speaking of the rich, it is they who pay top dollar in property taxes so that you and yours can enjoy the beautiful improvements to the city. We need a new mayor and a leader who will tackle this problem head on and not make excuses and tell me that I have to be okay with people urinating, defecating, fornicating and shooting up on 79th and Broadway. No way no sir, not NEVER.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Ken, thank you. I agree.

    63. Suzyq says:

      For everyone who wanted term limits, do you now see the downside? No accountability. No consequences.

      • LK says:

        If she does not care now – she didn’t care then. Clearly she is confused whom she’s representing. There was a post earlier stating that if her ideology prevents her from serving her constituents – she must resign. The good part of the term limits is that we should start now looking at people who can represent US, the people of the neighborhood.

    64. VEROICA says:

      Come next election, ANYONE BUT HELEN ROSENTHAL. Anyone that is this unaware should hold this type of office. Time for her to get a job that is more suited to her talents. I can’t imagine what that might be.

    65. EBarbara Hariton says:

      My guess is that the reason these hotels are being filled is to line the pockets of the hotel owners who are crying to fill the rooms.. This city is RUN by the real estate moguls.
      Why not rent out a large hotel in the mountains where people can enjoy nature and there are recreation rooms for leisure. Social workers can operate rehab procedures and educational activities there.Residents can use kitchen facilities to occupy themselves cooking.

    66. Charlrs says:

      Can someone get this front page NT Times, TV news?

    67. Mark r says:

      This is just nuts…what are we in the Dinkins era? This is making me want Giuliani back. A crappy mayor that only represents a select few New Yorkers and a weak Rosenthal that cannot protect her own community.

      The wife and kids don’t feel safe walking around, I get accosted from homeless people while eating at restaurants, drug addicts everywhere and no police patrols. This is not a community that people will spend millions of dollars to purchase apartments anymore.

      It will not be long before people don’t feel safe living in the city and will move out again…property prices go down, tax base falls and city has no money…and things get worse.

    68. CB says:

      I feel very let down by Helen Rosenthal.

      I think both she and the people on here who are just yelling at the folks who oppose the shelters should consider the following points:

      The reason people are especially upset about the shelters in the West 70s is because these men are not being good neighbors. They are not wearing masks, not social distancing, drinking in public, littering, and jeering at women — this is both illegal behavior and bad neighbor behavior.

      I wish that some of the people defending the shelters on here had more compassion and empathy for their neighbors who live right near the shelters. How do you think the doctors and nurses feel – the folks who risked their lives in a pandemic, and come home every night to see maskless and not social distancing men loitering in large groups? How do you think parents with small children feel when it’s not possible to cross 79th and Broadway without facing danger and fright on both medians? How do you think victims of sexual assault feel knowing that their tax dollars are going to put up sex offenders in a hotel?

      It feels really crummy to be told these men are here for public health reasons when the are not following the most fundamental of public health guidelines, and in the process endangering both themselves and the regular folk who are following the rules and trying to walk safely down the street.

      If you really are so empathetic and compassionate — how about some empathy and compassion for doctors, nurses, small children, parents trying to keep their kids safe, sexual assault victims, and the small business owners who are losing business because of all the people in this paragraph who are now avoiding the areas immediately around the shelters? Do you think you could give these innocent and hard-working folks some understanding, too?

    69. Burtnor says:

      My note to Councilmember Rosenthal:
      Just to thank you for all your hard work on behalf of your district. The work load at this time must be immense and is likely to become heavier. We are lucky to have you.
      And thank you for these clear, informative updates. It helps immensely to have reliable information.

      Regarding the homeless, whatever the UWS can do to help in these difficult times, I hope that we do with generosity, humility, and compassion. I would like to think liberal values work in practice as well as principle.

    70. Legal alien says:

      There are white older women on Broadway holding signs Black Lives Matter. The same women ignore black folks begging for money. There young white women protesting and yelling “Equal Rights Defund Police !
      These are the same women who pledge that they would leave the country if Trump wins. That was four years ago. I’m waiting…..

    71. Burtnor says:

      I am appalled at the comments of so many UWSiders here, who sound like a bunch of entitled, spoiled brats.

      Homeless people and those with substance abuse issues have always lived on the UWS, just like everywhere else in the city and in the country — even in tiny towns in NH, WV, OH, OK, etc. EVERYWHERE. And they have a right to live here and to be treated with compassion.

      Times are going to get tougher. Do you think you can ride them out continuing life just as it was for you while everyone else suffers? We will all be inconvenienced, perhaps made poorer, perhaps see our neighborhoods change.

      Adapt. Do your part to make the UWS a caring creative community and remain a beautiful place to live.

    72. Susan says:

      Most of these comments are appalling. If the UWS can’t support housing for homeless people, then we have no chance to be a decent city or neighborhood. We live here to be part of a diverse supportive community. Thanks to Helen Rosenthal for supporting housing for the homeless.

    73. VERONICA says:

      Mimi, don’t talk about Shirlayne DeBlsio that way. So what if THRIVE is unable to account for 750 million dollars. Think what she will do for Brooklyn and New York City when she runs for Brooklyn Borough President and New York City Mayor.

    74. Almost Former Upper West Sider says:

      Flip, flop and then flip again. This is the most pathetic display of leadership I have ever seen…well, it’s on par with the mayor’s. We need Cuomo to remove him.

    75. Senior Citizen says:

      671 residents? I do hope that they are screened daily for COVID19 especially since
      many are without masks.
      Eric Rosenbaum, the head of Project Renewal wrote an article: “Convert Hotel Rooms into Permanent Housing” on 6/14/20. THe LArchmont Hotel on West 11th Street was converted into permanent residence spearheaded by Project Renewal, Joclyn Carter and Charlaine McCray (VillageSun . This solution to the very challenging homeless situation didn’t work back in the 70s when I first moved to the UWS when it was “the wild, wild west”. It won’t work now.
      At that time, the city, the police, social agencies and the neighborhood worked very hard to remedy the problems caused by the homeless in hotels, etc.

    76. Ellen Jacobs says:

      With no tourists to pay for rooms, why not hit up the city with a new—and more lucrative—way to make up the loss: wreck a neighborhood by turning the unused hotels into homeless shelters for drug addicts. How about renting much less costly motels outside the city where there is green and peaceful environment to work on rehabilitation, instead keeping them in stone’s throw of the temptations of the city streets that lure them to break the law and endanger themselves and others.

    77. Marci says:

      She refuses to acknowledge what is right in her face and doesn’t care one iota about any of us.

      I walked Broadway from 89th to 74th and back yesterday. That’s all anyone needs to do. The main action seems to be from 89th to 76th. Large groups, lots of yelling and fighting and people obviously high as kites; aggressive asking for money. Do I really need to bring my husband with me everywhere just to feel safe walking down the streets in broad daylight? I never did before. Do the math, Helen Rosenthal.

    78. Francesca says:

      That elected officials could so recklessly and quickly damage a neighborhood for financial gain is amoral.
      Mixing mentally ill people, with drug addicted people, with down-on-their-luck people is toxic. More than $3 billion a year is spent on NYC homelessness. There is little evidence that it being well spent.
      A despondent resident.

    79. ZoomZ says:

      Am I the only one missing Bruce E. Berenstein’s comments here?
      Never thought I’d say so, but I do.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        lol it’s Bernstein, not Berenstein, Zoomz. that’s the Berenstein Bears you’re thinking of. i don’t mind being associated with them, they are very peaceful.

        I put up one comment on this thread and it wasn’t posted for some reason.

    80. ABS says:

      As a long term resident of the UWS I am appalled and enraged at the current homeless situation! I have never felt so threatened in the neighborhood in my lifetime. I have been accosted, verballed berated, pandered for money, approached to buy drugs. And as a male, I can only imagine what women are experiencing. Yes, everyone needs a home but they also have to follow the laws, and behave. This situation is unacceptable and I’m sorry to say these unfortunate people need to go!

    81. steve says:

      She simply realized that she completely dropped the ball while asleep on the job and didn’t anticipate the backlash.

      So now she made the calculated decision to make people think she actually agrees with all of this.

      It’s simply the political equivalent of “oh I meant to do that”

    82. ron horowitz says:

      Hard to believe this is happening – If not resolved, there will be changes in our representation with more responsible public officials who better understand the needs of our neighborhood – Shame on our incompetent mayor as well as our local elected officials who allow our neighborhood to deteriorate

    83. Bethany L says:

      I for one support the homeless population being helped out by the city, it’s the only humane thing to do. If we dont help the poor we are no better than Donald Trump and his supporters

    84. Carla Bauer says:

      When so many have fled the city, it is unacceptable that for those of us who have stayed to be a part of NYC’s healing process are now being forced to watch more flee because of this situation. Where is the leadership?

    85. nemo paradise says:

      “I will continue to hold the City’s feet to the fire…”

      …while the city burns?

    86. UWS4ALL says:

      Having lived with this incredibly difficult problem for years, it is hard for me to listen to this entitled freak-out that emergency homeless shelters are wrecking “my” neighborhood, which as one of these presumptive condo-owners stated, “we have worked so hard to build.” (Code for property values).
      I certainly don’t envy Council Member Rosenthal right now. She is in a no-win situation, attempting to do right by all her constituents, rich and poor alike, by trying to open constructive channels of communication between the community, city officials and homeless advocacy groups. Whatever happened to “It takes a village”?
      As for the City not informing the neighborhood of their plans, this is nothing new. Mayor Bloomberg made a midnight deal with sleazy landlords on several blocks in the Upper 90s, to open SROs right before he left office. It doesn’t make what happened in the 70s neighborhood right, but hardly makes it unique.
      Guess my real angst comes from the old “bleeding heart liberal as long as it doesn’t affect me personally” BS. The BIG question is where are all these homeless people, including some ex-cons, some mentally ill, and yes, some sex offenders and drug addicts, supposed to go? Poor, overburdened neighborhoods where there isn’t the money or political clout to fight City Hall?
      Maybe it’s time for all of us Upper West Siders to come together with the powers that be, to create more equitable and sustainable housing, along with meaningful social services, to help our more unfortunate neighbors find their footing, or at least have a more stable life within our own integrated community.

    87. Dennis Regan says:

      I have always voted for the Rosenthal’s but you have lost my vote! Nothing you do can make up for turning our neighborhood back to the days of “Needle Park!”
      Shame on you!

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        response to Dennis Regan:

        Dennis said “I have always voted for the Rosenthal’s but you have lost my vote!”

        Helen Rosenthal (City Council) is of no relationship to Linda Rosenthal (State Assembly). Helen Rosenthal is term limited so you won’t get a chance to vote for her again, at least for City Council. While i disagree with you regarding your anger at Helen, there is no reason to take it out on Linda as well.

    88. Melissa says:

      Unfortunately, she was just re-elected. Never again! She is finished! She needs to take responsibility for her lack of communication!

    89. Mitchell says:

      her response is on the same level as Trumps is to covid -19…..horrible

    90. Sara Petitt says:

      What can an 86 year old retired art teacher do to help. Can I give art classes? Cook meals, etc.?

    91. Patricia uribe says:

      Hello my name is Patricia uribe me and my husband are homeless and we have nowhere to go i been asking for help for a while would love for someone to help us

    92. Archibald West End says:

      Seems to me the vulnerability lies with the tax base. If the city is a dump, the businesses and the people who fund these programs will just leave. People will vote with their feet first, if they haven’t already.

    93. UWSider says:

      Simple, humane and already-paid-for solution:

      Move them all into Javitz and use the ThriveNYC dollars to pay for treatment.

    94. San says:

      You keep using the term homeless and leaving out violent sex offenders and men with severe mental illness and drug abuse that have been in and out of every shelter! There are a actually very deserving men and woman on the streets that would be grateful for shelter and 3 meals. The violent crime in this neighborhood is outrageous! I have been here over 40 years so I know what I’m seeing! Where are the support services for the mentally ill! Not happening! Dump and Run!

    95. EdNY says:

      This too shall pass.

    96. 1. The registry needs to be abolished. Too many Registered Persons are homeless because of the law.

      2. This lady needs to educate herself.

      3. No fenminist can ever work for ALL her constituents because it is obvious her misandry interferes with her good jusdgement.

    97. ImpeachRosenthal says:


      Do you honestly believe the nonsense you set forth in your email? Perhaps if you were not so ineffective at the job that we elected you to do, City hall would not have viewed the UWS as an easy target to pile these “temporary” shelters into. And please don’t lecture us on compassion. People can show compassion and help to take care of others without needing to choose between doing so and the safety of their loved ones. These shelters and the rapid descent of the UWS, and along with it real estate values and the primary form of savings for most people, will be your legacy.

    98. Nycuws says:

      To Ms. Rosenthal:

      How often are these residents being tested for COVID-19? If they are being housed in our community and engaging in risky behavior, we need to know. Are they at least being tested every 2 weeks? The initial premise was that no one who is COVID-19 positive would be housed here.

    99. Longtime10023er says:

      Steven Banks, head of the Dept of Homeless Services for the last six years, is a crusader, and not in a good way. An abject failure of a public servant, he’s gotten his wish, which is the degradation of our city via the anointment of homeless criminals. His latest incursion in our neighborhood reeks of deception and opportunism. Steven Banks remains ensconced in his Brooklyn home, living far away from any hotel-converted dumping ground and the Upper West Side’s fast declining quality of life.

    100. UWSGrumpster says:

      I am so tired of these sanctimonious and condescending politicians and activists trying to shame me into accepting truly unacceptable behavior in the name of compassion. Why on earth should we have to accept public drunkenness, lewdness, and harassment in our streets? I’m sick of it. We work hard, follow the law, pay our taxes…. only to be told we’re heartless creeps if we don’t like stepping over needles and watching men masturbate on the street?! This is insanity. Just because you’re homeless, down on your luck, or struggling with addiction shouldn’t mean you get to act with impunity and to the detriment of the tax payers paying for all this. This is ridiculous.

    101. AnOutsider says:

      Seems like everyone I talked to in NYC hate our Mayor, so how come he got the chance of running second term? Unbelievable!

    102. Dr. Eve Epstein says:

      Rather than preaching faux compassion, citizens should insist that our limousine liberal Mayor move his family into Hotel Lucerne– without his security detail.
      At 9 years old, I was molested on two separate occasions walking to school when the city moved pedophiles, drunks, and drug addicts into a hotel on the UWS next to my apartment building (just like what is happening now). My immigrant parents, who survived slavery, torture and starvation during the Holocaust, worked 7 days a week to move to Queens. Only after Giuliani cleaned up the city, was I able to safely move back to the west side as did my son and his family. My dream was to retire near Lincoln Center where I could easily enjoy concerts, opera, theatre, and dance during my golden years. After working and saving all my life I purchased an apartment and I will have to sell at a major loss thanks to Rosenthal. Safety is a human right!
      Instead, I now fear for the safety of my one year old grandchild, just as my parents feared for my safety when I was a child.
      So much for progress, Ms. Rosenthal! Your policies are an abomination and you are a hypocrite of the the first order.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Dr. Epstein: you have written the most heartfelt and moving post I have ever read on WSR. I wish you all the best.

    103. SeniorCitizen says:

      The CEO of Project Renewal’s mission is to convert hotels into permanent residences for the homeless?

      With the support of city officials:

      Eric Rosenbaum, Joslyn Carter and Chirlane McCray were all pushing to convert the Larchmont Hotel (99 female residents) into a permanent residence and have succeeded.

      This solution to homelessness, drug addiction and mental illness didn’t work in the 60s-70s and took years to undue the problems we are all familiar with.

      Is this where this is
      going? Is this policy?

      Are the 671 residents who were moved because of covid getting tested? Seems paramount.