Community Board to Hold Public Forum on Homeless Hotels

Homeless people moved into the Hotel Belleclaire in May.

On Monday, Community Board 7 plans to hold a public forum over Zoom to hear from various constituencies about the hotels in the neighborhood that have been converted to homeless shelters. The full email is below:

Dear Upper West Side Community:
Community Board 7 will hold an information session on the use of Upper West Side hotels to reduce the density of congregate shelters.
The information session is scheduled for Monday, August 24th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm via Zoom.
The format will include brief presentations by as many of those with first-hand information as are able to join the meeting, followed by brief comments from elected officials. We will then hear questions and comments from designated representatives of as many interested groups within the community as we can accommodate. The goal will be to hear from as broad a spectrum of viewpoints and positions as possible, and to seek answers and positive action steps.
Due to the anticipated large audience expected for this session, it will not be possible to hear questions and comments in a town hall-type setting directly from community speakers.
Rather, the community may submit questions or concerns in writing either:
  • In advance by email to cb7shelters@gmail.com ; or
  • During the session by using the “chat” function via zoom.
Submitting questions and comments in advance will increase the chance that an answer can be heard during the session.
Questions and comments on similar themes will be consolidated to maximize the number of topics covered by the panelists and others present.
The information session is the latest effort by Community Board 7 to address issues and concerns relating to the use of the hotels for these purposes. Since learning of the uses, CB7 has been in constant contact with our elected officials and their staffs, the service providers, residential neighbors, local restaurants and other businesses, block associations, the NYPD, faith leaders, school representatives and many others to identify and seek solutions for issues as they arise. The objective of these efforts has been to improve conditions for all concerned – long-term residents, commercial neighbors, and shelter clients alike.
The goal for the information session is to have a productive, solutions-oriented discussion and to share information learned from those who can answer questions and respond to concerns, as well as sharing the information gathered from previous meetings and discussions.
To pre-register for the information session, please follow this link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/9415977783150/WN_ls7XcxCLSp6L4-8JsB2YBQ
I look forward to seeing you via Zoom on Monday.
Sincerely yours –
Mark
Mark Diller
Chair, Community Board 7/Manhattan markdillercb7@gmail.com
NEWS | 26 comments | permalink
    1. TE says:

      What? A Community Board 7 meeting and no discussion about adding bike lanes? Monumental.

    2. Elder says:

      I received notice from the Community Board about this titled “Information Session on the USe of Hotels for the Protection of Shelter Clients from COVID19”.
      Current housing and many maskless clients seem ripe for infection. No one will answer if they are tested daily.City is playing “musical warehousing”.
      I don’t feel like I will be represented at this meeting. I am a long time UWSider who pays by bills and taxes and wants to be safe. I don’t believe my representatives have protected me or my family or have been responsive.My voice is not/has not been heard. This is too late. Enough talk.
      I want these people to be helped but this is not what is going to do it. This will only exacerbate their problems. Remember this solution in the 70s and early 80s? The “wild Wet?” “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

    3. CrankyPants says:

      How Trump-ian to have a “Town Hall” but no participation except for what is submitted in advance.
      Even so, we must attend and attempt to make our voices/presence known.

      • Steven Marc says:

        Trumpian?,the city is run by Democrats! Talk about hyporacy..get real. Blame the Democratic administration are you getting this or just avoid the obvious.

    4. Jan L says:

      Thank you for providing this information. I hope we can spend some time talking about real issues, rather than fixating on name-calling concerned neighbors. I’m particularly interested to know (1) what exact assistance is being given to the substance addicted and mentally unhealthy residents; and (2) whether more financially sound alternatives were or could be considered to allow for room in the budget for additional social services, e.g. food for all hungry New Yorkers. I’d also like to see clear instructions on how residents can appropriately report crime and other issues, including a guide on when to contact 911 vs 311 vs DHS.

      • Ana says:

        I would add to that: are the residents of the hotels being tested for Covid? How frequently? Also, how about drug tests? Can those with more severe mental illness and addiction issues be moved to facilities where they can receive the appropriate treatment and supervision? Perhaps these new shelters should focus on helping those homeless individuals who are most likely benefit from living in a family oriented community (those who have lost their homes due mainly to economic hardship, women and children escaping abuse, or those with mental and health and addiction problems that can and are being helped in their recovery).

        • Todd Kobell says:

          Why not put these people on a boat in the Hudson where they can be isolated and treated for their problems, and then they can be released into society. They were ready to put Covid patients on a boat to keep them isolated. The same needs to happen now. They are not contributing to the neighborhood.

          • Ana says:

            Todd Kobell, lets not get too drastic here. Some supervision and structure in a less densely populated neighborhood would suffice. This is of particular importance given the pandemic. If COVID cases were to spike again, who is responsible for ensuring that the most impulsive (mentally ill and/or addicted) residents of the hotels will be abiding to basic social distancing and mask wearing protocols? Elected officials have not disclosed any of this. Really, are common sense and empathy mutually exclusive?

    5. Sally Plass says:

      We have a right to housing and I am all for it. I have a shelter around the corner – single men – for 20 years living here. Never a problem. Whatever drug problems to my observation were not connected to this shelter.

    6. Ruth Bonnet says:

      Stop kvetching in the comments section and email the Board in advance as directed!

    7. Craig Heard says:

      I’ve used Zoom for both small and large meetings.

      With small meetings all participants can generally see and hear each other. The option is theirs.

      In large settings comments and questions are generally texted to the organizers.

      If there are a large volume of text messages this allows the speakers the option of responding to selected questions and comments with no real follow-up. 

      On the political side, this could allow selected invited guest speakers with the option of responding only those only to those texts that they deem most advantageous to their point of view.

      As with any politician or activist also be mindful of vague, misleading or half answered responses. 

      Zoom can be informative but also a powerful propaganda tool.

    8. LK says:

      Today at 6:15 AM by the DSW, 3 of our new neighbors were trying to light up crack – to their dismay it was raining and they had trouble. Right next to them, at the bus stop, a drug deal was taking place. New reality…

      • Tipping Point says:

        In the past few weeks, I’ve seen numerous incidents of drug use between 6 am and 6:45am. You should call 911. The police tell me that a lot of this is happening very early morning when streets are less crowded and users get a high for the day.
        Worthwhile raising this on Thursday evening (August 20) at live meeting with Sector C of 20th Precinct (Sector C includes the Lucerne) at 6:30pm at the Boat Basin. It’s a chance to meet with Neighborhood Coordination Officers/ Build the Block.

    9. Anthony says:

      now? a bit late isn’t it? I suspect it’ll just be used to woke-shame anyone who raises a peep against it.

    10. Treif says:

      Considering what it is costing taxpayers to house these single men couldn’t the money be better used shelters be retrofitted to be safer for the long term of the pandemic?

      • Nevets K says:

        Will the members of CB 7 be forced to reveal if they are Zooming in from their second homes upstate or in Connecticut – or can they cannot to make and approve of anti-community policies from their “undisclosed locations”?
        They are and continue to be our Absentee Landlords.

    11. cindy says:

      All people need something to “do” ie a job. Part of giving people a home is to organize a meaningful activity(ies) to prevent “hanging out” and “getting into trouble”. A volunteer could lead “cleaning up” home, building, street, park etc. Planting a garden, organizing activities to improve a neighborhood – this would make them welcome.

    12. Elinor says:

      Are they tested for covid? If positive, are they quarantined?
      Any security aroudf these hotels?

    13. naro says:

      What law states that homeless have the right to live in the most expensive city in the world. I recommend building a massive welfare city in the bucolic countryside of upstate ny where these unfortunates can be housed and treated for their problems. And the city taxpayer can enjoy a stress free clean environment where she can bring up children in safety…

      • Ellie says:

        Believe it or not, the people in ‘bucolic upstate New York” don’t like the “leafblower” strategy of sending all NYC problems to the rest of us. There is a reason we don’t live in NYC.

    14. Marc Mofsowitz says:

      How does the community spend so much wasted time and money contesting the height of a new building that adds value to the Upper Westside but neglects to challenge 500 homeless residents that include sex offenders and addicts into our neighborhood??

    15. Linda Munguia says:

      Thank you for doing this. Please list items that would be useful to donate.

    16. Matthew Graffeo says:

      Our neighborhood is now a Trump talking point.

    17. natalie z riccio says:

      is there a copy of the meeting