A group of people, including several children, came out on Sunday to write chalk messages in front of The Lucerne Hotel on 79th Street welcoming residents to the community. The hotel now houses 283 homeless men who were moved from other shelters downtown to give them their own rooms and make it easier to avoid Covid-19.
This morning Upper West Siders created a sidewalk welcome mat for new unhoused residents of the Lucerne Hotel, showing the neighborhood’s true progressive heart, in contrast to others’ fear-mongering and scapegoating. @saraklind @HelenRosenthal @westsiderag @GaleBrewerNYC pic.twitter.com/hcc5P2FrmH
— Ken Coughlin (@kencoughlin) August 10, 2020
The community has been split about the shelters, with thousands signing a petition asking the city to relocate the men. But others have rejected the backlash and said that the neighborhood should be more welcoming.
Some homeless residents say they appreciate it. “I was elated to walk out today and see the artwork in front of the hotel,” one of the residents who goes by Da Homeless Hero told us. “I was told that young people from the community came by and expressed themselves. That pleased me much.”
Another resident interviewed by NBC also talked about how he was touched by a message that said “everyone needs a home.”
Da Homeless Hero took the photos below.