UWS Group Fighting Homeless Hotels Forms Nonprofit, Hires High-Powered Attorney, and Raises $50k Fast

By Carol Tannenhauser

Out of the Facebook group “Upper West Siders for Safer Streets,” formed in late July to protest the transfer of more than 600 homeless people to hotels in the neighborhood, has come a not-for-profit group called West Side Community Organization (WSCO).

WSCO is a 501(c) 4, which means it is not for religious, charitable or educational purposes, but rather for social action, such as lobbying or political advocacy. Donations are not tax deductible.

That didn’t stop nearly 250 people from giving to the GoFundMe drive launched by WSCO on Tuesday. By Thursday afternoon, it had raised more than $50,000 — half its goal — and was rapidly ascending. The Facebook group said “100% of all donations will go toward the retaining of professionals in the fields of communications, government relations and law.”

The Facebook group has quickly energized thousands of people, who have posted photographs of men around The Lucerne Hotel on 79th Street, which became a homeless shelter in late July, and strategized over issues like media coverage and political organizing.

One mission of the new nonprofit is “to advance safer and more compassionate policies regarding New Yorkers who are struggling with homelessness, mental illness, and drug addiction,” according to the group’s website. Some critics of the Facebook group, however, have said that people in the group have posted alarmist commentary and images of people experiencing homelessness, without showing compassion for their situation. Upper West Side resident Cecily Keating says the group’s rhetoric demonizes the homeless rather than helps them. “I live near The Lucerne and have had zero problems,” she said.

It appears that the group has already found their lawyer, according to the New York Post.

A newly formed Upper West Side residents’ group is bringing in the big guns — hiring a high-profile lawyer to get City Hall to do something about the troubling influx of homeless in their neighborhood.

The West Side Community Organization says it has put in hundreds of 311 calls to the city but has gotten no action, as vagrants placed in local hotels and shelters roam the streets, relieving themselves in public, picking through trash cans, and ignoring coronavirus safety measures.

So they sought help from attorney Randy Mastro, listed this year as one of the top 100 most politically powerful lawyers by City & State magazine.

“What the (Mayor Bill) de Blasio administration has done here shocks the conscience and has to be stopped,” Mastro, a former federal prosecutor and onetime Big Apple deputy mayor, told The Post Wednesday.

Mastro is the same lawyer hired by the “58th Street Coalition” to fight the city’s plan to turn the old Park Savoy Hotel between 6th and 7th Avenues into a men’s homeless shelter. The Post wrote in a different story, “A group of wealthy residents has hired former Giuliani deputy mayor Randy Mastro to lead its battle against Mayor de Blasio’s plan to plop a homeless shelter on ritzy “Billionaires Row.”

“We are committed to preserving the qualities that make the Upper West Side a great place to live, work, raise a family and enjoy retirement,” wrote WSCO, in its GoFundMe plea. “We refuse to accept that nothing can be done to solve these issues…We must protect our children, while at the same time demand that the city provide real services to these struggling individuals. The current situation is not only unacceptable, it is inhumane.”

NEWS | 164 comments | permalink
    1. Sarah says:

      “What did you do during the Great Pandemic, Grandma?”

      “Put my own money into trying to make sure that homeless people didn’t have safe housing because I felt weird having to walk by them on the street.”

      You all must be SO proud.

      • Peter says:

        Or “Put my money toward ensuring that no Level 3 sex offenders snatch you from your playground, after the City illegally housed them 600 ft from a school and tried to gaslight an entire neighborhood that it was a “mistake.”

        Or “Put my money toward ensuring that your home doesn’t become ground zero for a drug dealer street war, after seeing an immediate and rapid growth of drug dealing on our corner, with the police unable to do anything.”

        Or “Put my money toward making sure that people with mental issues don’t turn our streets into toilets, because the geniuses of the City decided to dump them in a building without actually providing the basic care and services these people need.”

        Is this all too nuanced for you, or you prefer to delusionally “woke”?

        • Mark says:

          Well said, Peter. Thank you.

        • Poppa says:

          agree with peter…i choose not to accept how this has affected my community. i choose to act to protect my way of life…and no that doesnt mean that i have no sympathy for homeless or those less fortunate..it means there should be investigation into other alternatives. you dont just dump people in an empty hotel without thought of its consequences…

        • Daniel says:

          The people who support this new group and those like them will say that this is about ‘the children’ and how they just want the right help for these men.

          It’s nothing but rank NIMBYism, as always. Sometimes they even come out and say it straight up: one guy started yelling at a homeless man, complaining about how his presence was decreasing his property value.

          Most of these men are doing nothing wrong, and I bet if you asked most UWSers, they’ve hardly noticed or don’t mind the new hotel residents. There is no crime wave.

          These policies are literally saving lives. Don’t try to dress up your desire to not have to look at or walk by poor people for a social problem. This is a temporary situation, anyway. Within a year, these hotels will be back to serving tourists and these people can go back to their ordinary lives of pretending homeless people don’t exist.

        • Virgil Starkwell says:

          Have any kids been snatched off the street, other than in a custody dispute, in a 20 block radius around the Lucerne? You’re fearmongering. Have there been shootings in the same 10 block radius? No, shootings are not in your neighborhood, Peter. And toilets are a city policy that can be fixed if there is political will. Which there isn’t, any more than there is political will to fix the housing crisis that plagues the City. What would you do with the homeless, Peter? Wave a magic wand and make them disappear?

          • ASRR says:

            No child snatchings. But I have seen 4 men poop and two masterbating in an 8 block radius. For some reason that bothers me

        • Karen L. Bruno says:

          AMEN!

        • Robert O Johnson says:

          Peter you are so out of touch with reality that it amazes me. Your vitriol and rhetoric are just over the top. You are part of the problem not these men whom you are so disdainful of. Your rhetoric has emboldened people to actually call these men “garbage” and that “animal control” is needed.There has not been and will not be any “drug war”. There has not been a major uptick in crime. I have never seen such a lack of empathy from people. It is shameful.

          • Gustavo says:

            And you Mister are so naive or don’t care. I’m sorry but the reality on our streets is and should be a huge concern even if you don’t have small kids or elder people in your family to be afraid for.

          • Lesley says:

            I agree with you and all the others who recognize NIMBY attitudes. I’ve had dinner at the corner restaurant, many times, and have not seen a problem. They ARE receiving care, I know one of the medical directors of Project Renewal and they are doing the best they can. These people have been my patients and judging them based upon assumptions is disgusting. And, sex offenders are not necessarily pedophiles, that is a separate category. The sentence for pedophiles is 25 years. Calling these people out as though they are trash is shameful, and I’ve lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years.

      • GS says:

        You can virtue signal all you want, but some of us have children here.

        • chuck d. says:

          “some of us have children here…”

          Our parents used to say that about Redlining. Some things never change. There’s always an excuse to turn the world into Us vs Them.

        • Raymond says:

          I have a child here, GS. PS9, assuming they reopen as planned.

          Sarah, Daniel, and Chuck D are right in their comments here. This is fear and anger based NIMBYism. An astounding lack of empathy and lack of understanding of public health policy outside of one’s own immediate and visceral experience.

          • ASRR says:

            No issue with the homeless.
            I do have an issue with people who rape children and who rape anyone.
            I will not apologize for not wanting sex offenders near my family.
            My cousin was raped and murdered in her home by her neighbor. When families have those experiences families realize how fragile life is and how important safety is.

          • Lesley says:

            I agree Raymond

        • AS says:

          Gosh, when I was a child here, we carried mugger money and SROs abounded. I’m sorry that you thought the Upper West Side wasn’t the real world.

          • Maxine DeSeta says:

            In the 70’s my children and I lived in a drug infested neighborhood-W 107th between Brdwy and Amersterdam. The city looked willfully the other way when SRO’s were turned into expensive hotels.
            There has never been any long term planning to house everyone. Luxury housing should not be allowed to be built until our people have affordable, decent housing. This crisis is is the result of a lack of vision and greed.

        • Jorge says:

          There are 1.1M children in NYC. All across the city. Your well meaning instinctual logic makes it impossible to address the issue with temporary housing.

      • Anita says:

        Thank you for standing up for what’s right!! There are lots of us who agree with you.

      • Burtnor says:

        Thank you, Sarah, Will, Lady Di, Jenna, and others with some sense of decency and compassion still intact. I guess 3+ years of Trump have taken their toll in many previously invisible ways, eroding the moral fiber of people who moved to a diverse, welcoming community and now wish to install gates.

        Or perhaps the luxury high rises attracted people without moral principles. Perhaps they should consider selling, thereby allowing the neighborhood to restore its friendly, liberal character.

        • sg says:

          So now NYC local issues are President Trumps’s fault…we’ll at least Burtnor’s comment wasn’t the first one. This issue is on NYC & NYS…you get what you vote for!

          • Burtnor says:

            @sg — Actually yes, Trump has a lot to do with it.
            1) he models exclusion and divisiveness and spreads cruelty and lack of empathy like a virus;
            2) if he had made and implemented a plan to combat Covid, as Obama did against Ebola, we would not have nearly as many failing businesses, evictions, homeless people, and a crashing economy;
            3) he was/is part of the luxury high rise scourge that transformed friendly inviting neighborhoods into unaffordable oases for the wealthy well before Covid.

            • adam says:

              Keep blaming trump instead of your continued failed liberal policies. Grow up and take some accountability

        • NotToday222 says:

          Let’s group together to get active and properly represent UWSers. A new GoFundMe using proceeds to rent (hopefully eventually buy) some apartments in local buildings so the homeless folks in these temporary hotel accommodations can have a secure and consistent place to go. I see lots of vacancies in the neighborhood. 36% of households in 10024 earn over ~$200K per year. Charity begins at home. We can do this!

          Those who need medical/mental/addiction help, perhaps some of the many UWSer doctors want to volunteer? If DHS isn’t providing the proper housing/services, let’s do it ourselves.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          Trump strikes Upper West Siders again! Trump possesses psychic powers and can influence Upper West Siders! Trump sounds like comic book villain! LOL!

        • Elizabeth says:

          I agree Burtnor.

      • kaylord says:

        My first thoughts, too.

      • Shona Keir says:

        I’m with you Sarah.

      • chuck D says:

        I agree with Sarah. Thanks Sarah.

      • CGK says:

        Amen, Sarah.

        Shameful behavior

    2. Will says:

      You could have taken that money and put it towards supporting people in recovery and people without homes but instead put it towards litigation to preserve your xenophobic sundown neighborhood. These George Wallace-esque euphemisms peppered throughout the gofundme comments exposes what this community really stands for.

      • LK says:

        Wonderful. You can do exactly that with YOUR money. And we’ll figure out what to do with ours. Cheers!

      • GM says:

        If you haven’t figured out, the funds raised go towards the advocating for shelter residents social services. There is a call to action for the city to answer to the misappropriation of TAXPAYER funds. Yes, we are looking our own money again to litigate against the elected officials who already took all of our taxpayer money and gave it to friends, favored vendors vs the need shelter residents Who are getting ZERO support that many need. Compassion for the homeless is helping them get back on their feet and be supported, not warehousing in need people without any support.

        • thrivenyc@theworstmayor.org says:

          Please visit my instagram site where I bake cookies and show how amazing my program ThriveNYC can be. In fact, I’ve spent billions of your tax payer money to make my husband and myself look like we are the woke amazing people we are.

        • Diane r says:

          GM none of that is true. The men are getting services, not only shelter and food, but counseling for those who need it. Additionally the facebook group themselves said “100% of all donations will go toward the retaining of professionals in the fields of communications, government relations and law.”

      • Anita says:

        Hey, Will. Not all of us. Don’t give up.

      • RationalWestSider says:

        The city could have housed these people in less expensive neighborhoods and used the rest of the money to fund services to help them. Instead the geniuses in City Hall pay $175 per person per night—more than most UWS residents pay in rent on a per person basis—and are unable to help or supervise these sick and addicted people and out the entire program for the homeless at financial risk.

        • stu says:

          The landlords get the same amount regardless of where they are housed. Indeed, because of that fact, the landlords in the homeless hotel business (its limited to a few families) generally use properties in “undesirable” neighborhoods, and make a ton of $$$ from the government deals.

        • Jorge says:

          Manhattan is home to 83% of NYC hotels.
          People are houses in areas all over NYC including “less expensive”Jamaica, Brooklyn and SI. But those hotels options are likely fully utilized. There are 13k homeless people in the temporary program – filling 20% of the hotel market.

          There’s limited choice in locations at this point.

      • Woke is a joke says:

        “You could have taken that money and put it towards supporting people in recovery and people without homes”. That’s where our tax paying money on income and real estate taxes should be going to, and that’s what we are demanding the city to do. What are you doing to help these unassisted individuals other than post empty statements online?

        • Will says:

          For starters, talked to and gotten to know a lot of the folks on Broadway. When was the last time you shared a sandwich or cracked open a beer and talked to folks on the street? It’s called being a New Yorker.

    3. Ponald J. Plump says:

      90% of donations anonymous and website features the Roosevelt statute. Is this steve bannon crowdfunding for bail?

      • Lady Di says:

        KUDOS ! shaking my head at this action taken…whatever happened to “there but for the grace of god go I” – doesn’t take much to end up on the street, especially with the economic disaster caused by the pandemic.

    4. Jenna says:

      In such a time of anxiety and sadness for everyone, the idea that this many Upper West Siders want to intentionally harm so many people is horrifying to me. Homeless people are human beings and have the same rights as anyone else. Anyone who says that the homeless population is ruining the neighborhood does not care about the humanity of individuals in need. The city does not do enough to support homeless people by far. But if the residents of UWS hotels are forced out of the neighborhood, then they will just be housed somewhere else. This does not solve the problem of homelessness. If just means that Upper West Siders wont have to look at homeless people. Which is really what this is about. If this initiative succeeds, then the Upper West Side will be culpable for the continued distress and displacement hundreds of New Yorkers.

      • Astrid says:

        You’re right, I don’t care about the “humanity” of men who rape children. Or who attack women. Or who shoot up heroin and pass out on the sidewalks.

        So sue me.

        • FOMO says:

          @Astrid.

          Good grief. Get a grip on your alarmist, delusional fear-mongering … of the “drug dealers, criminals, rapists…” variety.

          I get it – the pandemic is affecting your mental health, as it is many folks. Get Netflix and chill. This too will pass.

        • chris says:

          Ditto. What Astrid said. My son has seen men j-rking off in the open on 79th street so no, not so welcoming here. That is not community… that is abusing hospitality. And if you look at the money trail, you will see this is the reward the hotel owner Sam Domb is getting as a thank you for his DeBlasio donations.

        • Elizabeth says:

          Astrid, your comment is full of incendiary statements that have no basis in reality. Stop with the hyperbole. Your hysteria is not helping anyone.

        • Jorge says:

          For all these unarguable cases of quality of life or safety concerns there are 10 fold more of cases within the normal parameters of behavior. An estimated third of homeless pop does suffer from some substance abuse issue – it is a major challenge. So are many other populations – I believe we haven’t ended opioid crisis.
          An estimated 15% of homeless is formerly incarcerated – with all the concern with criminality I would have thought that would have been a higher percentage.

      • Juan says:

        Actually, I think many want to help these people. Admittedly, not all of their intentions are pure, but a lot of people in this group believe that moving people with mental illness to a new neighborhood and providing them with few if any resources to help them is not really very humanitarian. They should not be left to wander the streets and have access to drugs and alcohol.

        Meanwhile, we don’t want our money wasted just warehousing them in an expensive hotel without support services and to feel threatened when they are high on drugs due to mental challenges that they can’t control. So it is a lose/lose situation.

      • Lady Di says:

        THANK YOU! I wonder how many of these folks think they’re enlightened and progressive – except when it comes to NIMBY

      • Anita says:

        Thank you, Jenna. So. Well said.

      • Rational West Sider says:

        If these people are housed in cheaper neighborhoods what it actually means is that there will be mire money left to provide them real services.

        • Elizabeth says:

          “These people” is one of those phrases that allows you to dehumanize people without feeling guilty about it. Nothing good ever started with “These people”.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I’m with Jenna. The people involved in this group are heartless. I am ashamed of our community right now.

    5. Usedtolikelivinghere says:

      This nauseates me. The only “safer and compassionate policies” they want to promote is moving homeless people out of “their” neighborhood.

      I joined the FB group a few days ago and was disgusted by the vitriol and entitlement there. I was promptly kicked out for challenging someone who said that all the homeless in the Lucerne are “criminals” and don’t belong here. Same person stated they are threatening our “safety and health” and the City should pay for counseling for her children who are being traumatized.

      I can’t believe a neighborhood that has a history of tolerance and acceptance now has 10k members and growing on the FB site trying to be so exclusionary.

      I would bet not one person who is feigning concern and donating $ to the go fund me page has previously spent a dime on helping the homeless.

      • Lady Di says:

        A voice of sanity and reason…thank you

      • Erica says:

        Agreed, this is so sickening. I’m ashamed of my neighbors.

        • Rick says:

          Erica: This group is advocating to help the homeless that have been forcefully relocated to the UWS without any support/treatment for their main underlying issues, ie, mental illness and substance abuse. So why are you ashamed?

          • Elizabeth says:

            Because help is not really what the group is advocating for. Read the comments on all the articles. Look at the facebook page. The comments are full of fear, dehumanization and hate.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I’m with you Usedtolikelivinghere. I am ashamed of our community right now. I thought we were collectively better than this. It turns out I was wrong.

      • CGK says:

        Absolutely true. The ‘we to help the homeless’ line is just an act. Brandingl

        They incite fear and hatred.

    6. Leon says:

      I think there is a lot of misunderstanding going on. I have skimmed their posts before and it seems like the bulk of people don’t necessarily want the homeless people to be gone, but they want to make sure that laws (around dealing drugs, exposing oneself, harassment, etc.) are enforced. The group’s web site does not suggest getting rid of them all (though I could see who this would be inferred).

      There is a big difference between enforcing laws and just wanting to get rid of them all. Nuance is key. Perhaps the two extreme positions could stop screaming at each other and understand this. One hundred percent of the new residents are not angels. But nor are 100% of them evil sinners.

      • UWSDesi says:

        I agree. Nuance is key. I am a member of the group and a donor. DHS has a budget of 3bn, but they need to provide services to the homeless, and enforce the laws vs. encourage them to run around maskless, do drugs and defecate on streets. Most people want just that. I for sure just want that vs. trying to move them out.

        • Connie G says:

          “… vs. encourage them to run around maskless, do drugs and defecate on streets “

          You’re saying they’re being encouraged to “run around maskless, do drugs and defecate on streets.”

          Ya OK. SMH

      • Debra Alvo says:

        Beautifully stated. Couldn’t agree more. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to shuffle these men, back to shelters, to face continued homelessness, with no resources for positive change.
        Thanks for your post.

      • UWSMillenial says:

        Give me a break. Everyone knows that “safer and more compassionate policies” means “anywhere but here.”

        It’s so disappointing to see the gross amount of wealth in this neighborhood being thrown towards such a callous cause. I would say it reveals the true colors of many who live here, except that the majority of the donations are anonymous…..

        • GM says:

          Since UWSMillenial knows “what everyone knows”, can you share your stance on how to help the shelter residents most in need, the active drug users and mentally ill? What actions have you taken to advocate for these people prior to them living here? What are you currently doing? Have you researched the DHS platform, reviewed fund allocation? Or is it a lip service “wishing you well, see my chalk message and here’s a muffin” call to action or what have YOU actually done to mobilize on their behalf?

      • Anthony says:

        I agree. I don’t mind homeless being housed in empty hotels. it’s a really good idea. it’s a way to keep hotels from shuttering.

        I think a solution is quite simple, but politically impossible apparently: strictly enforce the laws. don’t allow people to use drugs in public, aggressively panhandle, urinate in public, and scream aggressively at passerby– it’s disturbing the peace and if I did it I’d be arrested immediately. they shoulld jus have more cops on the streets and have them DO what they are supposed to instead of ignoring it. I mean, I am seeing illegal activity openly every day. Cops must see it to.

        Enforce the laws, keep the bad conduct off the street and I am sure no one would have an issue with housing them there.

    7. stop says:

      stop with all the fake outrage here – if the city actually gave 2 cents about these people, they would put them in real recovery centers. but our politicians dont actually care about any of these people or they wouldnt dump them in a hotel & ignore them. ummm.. i was going somewhere with this, but lost my train of thought – chirlane mccrays cooking show just came on & it made me think of cookies

    8. Paul says:

      Well, if anyone is going to be able to talk the de Blasio administration into something it’s a Giuliani era deputy mayor, right?

      Oh, wait…

      • Linda says:

        The decline of the safety on the UWS is horrific as is across the city. The residents and non residents alike are looking to find solutions to a problem that has risen out of control. its not the homeless shelter its actually the inappropriate placement of men in this shelters without appropriately vetting them. Its a reward to be moved to a hotel and although everyone is worthy of the placement this should be something granted once someone is welcome to be rehabilitated. Accepting of the social services available. The goal is safe streets for our children and families and rehabilitation and social services for all the actually work.

    9. UWS_lifer says:

      I just want to say that I live on 87th Street and the gentlemen staying at The Belnord Hotel have not caused any trouble around here, as far as I know.

      Let’s complain about the bad actors but let’s also give credit where credit is due.

      The reality is that out of the 500 or so in the 3 hotels only a handful are causing the trouble. They should be identified (e.g. the shirtless guy on the median on 79th & Bway) and removed from the neighborhood for our and their safety. I wouldn’t put those guys in ANY homeless shelter anywhere. Some of these guys need to be involuntarily committed to mental institutions and others to drug rehabilitation facilities. NOT the streets of NYC.

      • Sharon says:

        Thank you UWS lifer. Most want a solution, but not in their neighborhood. Also, most homeless don’t want to be homeless and most of them can be and are good neighbors. The city needs to identify those who aren’t and provide them better services. But, it is cruel to deny housing to anyone. People with jobs who are trying to make ends meet can and do find themselves homeless. And, during this trying time with so many unemployed, we need to show compassion. It can happen to almost anyone and being homeless does not mean you are a bad person. It just means you do not have a home.

      • Anita says:

        You’re upset that Karl doesn’t wear a shirt. Maybe you could offer him a couple. And while you’re at it, chat with him. He’s been on the median for years and lots of know him and care for him. He hasnt harmed anyone.

        • Pepper says:

          Carl is a chronic scofflaw that harassed, threatened & intimidated people for years. I have heard countless stories about him…none of them good. The 20th precinct needs to do something about him. Apparently his rights are more important than tax paying citizens. Now we have dozens just like him & we are suppose to look the other way. It’s time to stop enabling people like him.

          • Jorge says:

            People like this are frustrating to the everyday resident and are continued challenges to the community but how does their presence support the idea that their rights are more important? They have rights and dignity as every one else, no more no less. Tax liabilities aren’t the measure of Americans rights.

      • Cassie says:

        If we’re both referring to the same shirtless man who stays on the meridian on Bway & 79th, he has been there for many months.

      • Anthony says:

        Shirtless guy at 79 and broadway isn’t at Lucerne. He’s a UWS regular. I think his name is Craig?

        He’s actually harmless, despite ranting aggressively at no one in particular all day. He scares the hell out of people, understandably. One night walking on Amsterdam a woman asked me to walk with her for a few blocks because she was acared of him, said he had ranted at her, said something threatening.

        I saw him one day stopped at a crosswalk, stamping and ranting, with beer cans in his pockets, and a non-homeless guy came up to him that he apparently knew and he basically turned from a ranting lunatic into a normal guy, smiling and saying how are you, really happy to see the guy, exchanging pleasantries. It was downright weird. Made me think he was just acting like a nut for kicks.

    10. West Be Gone You! says:

      “We are committed to preserving things the way they have always been on the UWS and reserve the right to hate you because you’re different from us. We can do that. We have power and influence. We raised money and hired a lawyer to make us look good and you look bad.” OK. We get it. You’re white, liberal and wealthy. They’re poor and drug addicts. They’re homeless. And, you have a weekend home somewhere else. They’re Black and Latino. You’re affluent and live in a rent stabilized apartment. And, they’re throw away folks. I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m glad that I’m not you. Haters.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Yes, I’m sad as well. And absolutely ashamed and heartbroken at the behavior of our neighborhood. I thought we were kinder than this.

    11. West 70s says:

      Holy smokes! Some people have donated hundreds and even thousands of dollars! I am frankly aghast. I have never wanted to leave this neighborhood more— and it’s not because of the homeless dudes!

    12. PK says:

      So, I tried to research the group, and it is hard to find out from their website who is behind it. It seems innocuous enough. On their website they say they want to simply help. They also don’t want you to join unless you agree with them.

      That’s all fine, create an echo chamber if you want to. But they also say they are not political, in fact the exact words used are:

      “No Political Shaming
      We are all members of different parties with the same goal in mind. Please do not demean each other – we need to collaborate and work towards the same goal together!”

      So the group is apolitical. Has no leadership that is visible. So they take a single action which is hiring:

      Randy Mastro. Ok so this guy was Rudy Giuliani’s chief of staff. Not Politcal?

      Couple of other fun things from his bio:

      He defended James Dolan, the hated owner of the Knicks, against Charles Oakley.

      He Defended Empire Blue Cross against unions and employees.

      Defended Gristedes against charges they were stiffing their delivery people

      And took political action against the working families party in Staten Island.

      So it seems like a pretty political group to me.

      • Lady Di says:

        thanks for breaking it down this way ! truth and facts cannot be disputed, only ignored. I have taken the time to meet and talk with some of the homeless regulars in my neighbor and they are all decent folks who fell through the cracks for some reason or other. Not one of them has been disrespectful or threatening. I fear that the FB group will only expand as more and more victims of the economic disaster multiply; it is a very easy next step to get rid of anyone who is “other”…

    13. Pearlman Katie says:

      I keep reading about this and keep thinking this does not look good on you Upper Westside Liberals. Can you not figure out how to make this work instead of being oppositional? When my family moved to 78th St in 1966, the area was pretty dismal. We were a young family trying to get a leg up. How can you turn your backs on homeless people during a pandemic? Please reconsider

      • Anthony says:

        We don’t care how it looks. Everyone sees to think that we should shut up about it or else we’ll be kicked out of the progressive club. we don’t care. we’re right, and if that means I am no longer a progressive, I couldn’t care less.

        and it’s not about homeless people. it’s about conduct. when the bar next to our building used to leave a side door open, drunks would go out into a shared alley and urinate because the bar was too full. We complained about that, and these were young guys paying $18 for cocktails, not homeless people. When they fight out front, we call the cops.

        all they need to do is control the bad conduct, and there’s no problem at all with housing homeless people on the UWS.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I agree.

        • Elizabeth says:

          My “I agree” comment was meant for Pearlman Katie. The hatred towards homeless people is absolutely sickening.

    14. DeeDee says:

      NIMBY masquerading as “safety” in one of the most liberal neighborhoods in the country. I am an UWS resident and am appalled and embarrassed. Would love to know exactly how many members of this group are not white. I don’t even have to guess. During a pandemic when people are losing their livelihoods and residences this groups decides to go after homeless people. For shame.

    15. Diane says:

      So many of these comments are just not true. I certainly was not happy with so many homeless coming into the neighborhood. But have since learned a lot more. I highly suggest you attend the CB7 Meeting August 24th – this coming Monday and get accurate information on this situation and then decide for yourself.

      Manhattan CB7 Information Session on the
      Use of Hotels for Protection of
      Shelter Clients from Covid-19

      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

    16. UWSbacksliding says:

      The silent majority rises! With their $$$.

    17. Rick says:

      Thank goodness for this grass roots organization – I was proud to donate. As a physician, I believe the community should do all it can to help the less fortunate and the homeless. However, I am against masturbation in the streets, defecation in public, and harassment and violence by those with untreated mental illness. This is the focus of this new group

      • Diane r says:

        That is not the focus of this new group. NYPD and the security hired by the DHS have already increased their presence, and for better or worse more of the men now seem to be staying inside the hotels, not feeling welcome to go outside. If you wanted the man to get better treatment Donate to organizations helping them, if you want the streets to be cleaner, clean them yourself. We are sliding into the next great depression, if all of us don’t come together to make things better, instead of attacking the weakest among us, the city will truly become unlivable.

    18. elaine says:

      Shame on you

      • Cecile caer says:

        I have no problem with the shelters. I have a problem with a few men who think it is ok to stay up at night blasting their music and talking loud till 2am on West 77th sitting on the steps of the church.
        Some of us have to work the next day.

    19. Robert DeAngelis says:

      The influx others homeless was overwhelming. Some groups Hose to get people engaged by showing sensational pictures and videos, arousing fear and revulsion. Radical action may have been needed but now it is to me for a rational approach and I am hoping this group can balance homeless people’s needs and the need of my neighbors ito feel safe and unthreatened.

    20. John's uws says:

      I live in Lincoln square. Heard about the homeless hotels and problems further uptown. Took a walk today to see for myself. Nope. No masturbating crazzies, nothing unusual about a few guys sitting in The medians. No more street sleepers than elsewhere in manhattan. No one offering me drugs or shooting up. Whatever others are seeing can be ameliorated with better supervision and policing and more effective local leadership.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I live around the block from The Lucerne. I pass by it several times a day or at night on my regular walks. I have yet to see anything alarming.

        The streets are messy, but that has been the case for months – since the beginning of the pandemic. It has nothing to do with the homeless men who moved in.

        There are a ton of restaurants, including one with a live outside band at the corner of 79th and Amsterdam (right next to the hotel) and between 79th and 81st on Amsterdam All of those restaurants are busy at night. People are out and about enjoying themselves. They don’t seem concerned at all.

        Security officers are on the corners and doing rounds to make sure things are ok.

        It is clear to me that the fear and hatred towards homeless people is irrational and frankly disappointing.

        • Jorge says:

          Thanks for sharing that Elizabeth.
          In regards to the messiness- if we could expand the use of the Doe Fund’s Ready Willing Able program we could help address cleanliness while employing the homeless (reducing need for panhandling) and establishing a presence in community that can help self police.

    21. Elizabeth says:

      I am legitimately puzzled by all of the “won’t someone please think of the children” arguments. Are people genuinely worried that the homeless men are going to hurt their children? That fear honestly doesn’t feel grounded in reality to me, even though I know it’s the stuff nightmares are made of. 95% of children who are abused are victimized by a trusted adult, so the real threats are, horrifyingly, already in your inner circle and always have been. But I really don’t think a man residing in the Lucerne is going to attack your child as you wait for the bus.

      Or is the anxiety more about kids being exposed to individuals that may be volatile, a little scary, deranged, or even just “gross”? Is there a concern that these exposures are going to be damaging? In what way? Personally, seeing stuff like that as a kid made me both more empathetic and more street smart, I don’t think it had a negative effect. I guess if you grew up in a more suburban/rural area it might feel weird though!

      I want to understand, but the “protect the children” argument just hasn’t been articulated clearly to me.

      • Act now says:

        My daughter was asked by a homeless man at a halfway home on 83rd st to go inside with him that he will show her what she could do with her legs. She was traumatized by the encounter and is afraid to walk in that street. This happened on her way to school after we as family had decided it was safe for her to walk to school by herself . Please wake up. I’ll do anything I need to do and will join every group I need to join to make sure my children are safe.

    22. DrM says:

      I couldn’t even get past the first few elitist remarks. You people are disgusting. “MY way of life”?! Willing to fork it over to a powerful, wealthy lawyer to get the ‘unwanteds’ out of your fragile eyesight but not to actually helpful agencies. Bravo! You have kids? Great! Isn’t this a great, real life teaching moment about how not everybody is fortunate enough to live how you do? You could give them a participation trophy if it makes YOU feel better. I’ve become embarrassed to tell people I live here. And it’s not because of a few folks peeing on the street.

      • LK says:

        “And it’s not because of a few folks peeing on the street.”
        Is it because of the people smoking crack on the street? Or drug deals going on the bus stop at 79-th street and Broadway? Or sex offenders placed in the two hotels in such a way that kids can’t possibly go on their own to school? Maybe you are uncomfortable with a kid on a scooter in the Central Park because he is breaking a law but drinking alcohol in public with a group of buddies not wearing masks makes you feel warm and fuzzy? What exactly are you uncomfortable with?

    23. Upper West Love says:

      Many comments about the situation are interesting. First off, it’s pretty difficult to say that the UWS livability situation has not declined significantly. By livability, say a combination of physical safety, including coronavirus related health issues, as well as verbal harassment. Certainly there is significant harrasment and aggressive panhandling that has occured. It’s likely that there are possible security issues that could reasonably be expected to develop as a result of the situation.

      Second, I fail to see why people can’t explicitly say that they don’t want homeless people dumped into their neighborhood en mass because they have paid to live in a nice area. This isn’t privilege or something people should be shamed for or be ashamed of. While a very tiny number of humans take a vow of poverty and work for the greater good through other methods, the vast majority of people work to make the world better by making their own lives better and paying taxes, and they want to benefit from the work they’ve done to build a better life for themselves, including living in a nice house/apartment in a nice area, while the state uses the taxes to maintain a lawful, safe, and productive environment. One person who said that her family moved into the area in 1966 when there was significant blight says that now that the area has gained in wealth we “shouldn’t turn our backs on the poor”. But, would such people who have built up wealth choose to move to areas that are now poor? I highly, highly doubt it. Maybe those who are standing next in line to those who have taken a vow of poverty.

      Do the people criticising those wanting to enjoy a prosperous area think that the billionaires are going to invite homeless en masse into their skyscraper luxury buildings? After all, those buildings are largely empty to this day! Some people, no doubt, would enthusiastically say “hell yes!!!” to such a proposal. To which I ask the following question: “And when those building are all filled — an eventually they will be — will you now open the doors to your building, or even your home, or your apartment, to people who aggressively ask you questions while you’re walking down the hallway of your house at 3am?”. Maybe there are a few more people, standing next to those taking the vow of poverty and those others that built up wealth over decades and generations but moved into more dangerous areas, who say yes to that, but we are still talking about a very very small number of humans who would agree to any of those three conditions.

      So, it’s generally accepted as reasonable that people want to enjoy the wealth they have built up in their property and their communities.

      It doesn’t make any sense to reward people who have built up their lives by making their living conditions worse. Sorry, but that’s reality. Rich minorities are not welcoming these people into their neighborhood and homes, in a significant way, any more than rich whites are. It has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with wealth. I understand if some people resent that, but it’s basic human nature everywhere in the world, including here on the Upoer West Side.

      The consequence of this reality is that there is an additional burden placed on poor people trying to move up, as their communities shoulder some of the physical cost of such transitional living areas and shelters. And with planning and community outreach such places can be placed in a variety of locations.

      But,then the thing that should be asked is, what are we doing to actually help people move up in life, and what are we doing to help homeless, drug addicted people to recover?? THAT is the argument/question. And, despite what Fox news says, it’s not hypocritical in one iota of the sense of the word to want to MASSIVELY help people move up, via great government policies and reasonable tax rates, but not want those people occupying the bedroom next door. Not only is it the humane thing to do, but it’s good for the overall economy as well, when done effectively.

      Dumping people into high end hotels in a rich area is a total failure of government policy, and smacks of a political favor payoff. So is having a lack of upward mobility, and drug addiction, mental health, and homelessness being so pervasive. And that’s why people criticize politicians like de Blasio, because they have totally failed, on the back of identity politics, over and over and over again.

      • Abdul Sayeed says:

        Brilliant!
        Bravissimo!
        I salute you!
        Clearly, with your insight, your understanding of human nature, and your ability to express yourself in a sane and balanced way, you will soon be banned from the Rag!

      • UWSHebrew says:

        769 words, 669 of which are over the 100 word limit. I am hiring Sandy Mastro to take legal action against WSR for damages, and if I win, all the proceeds will go towards buying pizza pies from Mama’s Too and I will share them with whoever wishes on the median bench on Broadway.

      • Brooks says:

        “Second, I fail to see why people can’t explicitly say that they don’t want homeless people dumped into their neighborhood en mass because they have paid to live in a nice area. This isn’t privilege or something people should be shamed for or be ashamed of.” Ask yourself this question privately, to the mirror: Would you say something like this about any other group of people? Gay people? Black people? You need to think about what is implied by the notion that there is AN ENTIRE GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS that simply should not be in a “nice” area.

        • Boris says:

          Since when are homeless people a protected class? That’s what your reference to gay and black people implies.

          • Brooks says:

            My comment, which was quite clear, refers to exclusionary intentions regarding entire groups of individuals. There are many such groups against whom various prejudices could be enacted who are not mentioned by name in a legal code. Is that a proper defense for seeking to exclude them from a “nice” area?

    24. Lynda Myles says:

      This is awfully familiar, the same old NIMBY excuses, The hypocrisy of raising money and hiring a big shot lawyer while mouthing pieties about NYC’s “inhumane” treatment of these poor men— and demanding “that the city provide real services to these struggling individuals.” I wonder what the nurses, and social workers who are on staff at these facilities think about that.

    25. Iris says:

      Sandy Mastro is probably probably one of the best, extremely well known, politically connected, intelligent lawyers in NYC. He knows the ‘ city process’ You could not have found a better lawyer

    26. Burtnor says:

      This whole NIMBY business and the group hiring the lawyer make me ashamed of my fellow UWSiders. It is truly appalling.

      1) Services ARE provided at the shelters by Project Renewal, which is being overwhelmed as Covid makes more people homeless.
      2) There is no crime wave.
      3) I’ve lived here for 45 years and homeless people with substance and mental health problems have always lived here, as they live everywhere in every city and town.
      4) Get a grip, all you new arrivals concerned about your property values, you don’t have any inalienable right to freedom from poor people.

      If you’re that concerned, now might be a good time to sell before evictions start in earnest, creating more homeless people with no place to go.

    27. Jay Rivers says:

      What a farce. This is nothing more than organized hate.

    28. Ruby in Manhattan says:

      Yes,”ritzy” areas feel threatened, but families in low income neighborhoods equally deserve safety & a clean environment. So where do we put people? Homelessness is a mammoth,national problem that so far has eluded solution. Last minute fixes instead of smarter prevention and reduction. Read up on “the tent cities of the USA”.

    29. RWC says:

      This is what trickle down lack of empathy looks like in a gentrified community.

      It is Embarrassing to have such an intolerant organization on the upper West side .have you no empathy and decency towards others in a temporary situation being housed in the community .

    30. Grayson says:

      As always, the illegal behavior of individuals who are harassing people, urinating publicly, etc. should be addressed via legal action. It is also true that all members of any group should not be affected by the undesirable action of some. I don’t doubt that some of these undesirable behaviors have taken place, although I live within a very few blocks of these hotels and have never once seen a single example (although I have been seeing the guy in the 79th Street median for years). What I have seen is poor people in my neighborhood. This situation has commonalities with the “poor door” incident that happened at a Riverside Boulevard building a few years ago — a developer attempted to put up a building with a separate entrance (literally around back) for the low-income units in the building. We need to understand what we are saying and accomplishing when we accept as a given that we don’t want to see poor people — we need to take a pause and interrogate that. Problematic behaviors? By all means, let’s put a stop to them. At the same time, it is simply and undeniably inaccurate to say that all these temporary residents are rapists, mentally ill, and/or drug users.

    31. Sandy says:

      Where can a check be seny

    32. UWSider says:

      Happy to contribute to the cause. These people need real help. They are not receiving the rehabilitation and counseling to help them improve their lives. They are simply being “stored” at these hotels. There are better ways to address this issue. Dumping them in a family neighborhood is not the answer.

      • Brooks says:

        Check yourself: They were not dumped. They had nowhere to quarantine. This is a short-term solution. They will be gone as soon as hotels can reopen.

        • Maryann says:

          The only reason that groups like this organize is because of the ineptitude of elected officials.
          Homelessness has not been Properly addressed by leaders of this city and we now find ourselves at each other’s throats because of this ineptitude.
          There should have been plans in place for the present circumstance so that neighborhoods could be informed in advance and prepared. Safety for all is not too much to ask!!!

        • TrueTrue says:

          This would’ve been believable during the peak, but not so much in July with testing levels at or sub 1%.

      • Diane R says:

        And you know this for a fact? I literally watched an interview with one of the men who commutes to Queens for counseling on a regular basis. Project renewal actually does provide treatment as do the other organizations that placed them in these hotels, not dumped them. The people who are truly concerned for the men’s welfare donate their money to help them, not evict them.

      • Jorge says:

        The intent wasn’t to dump a struggling population but to respond to the unknown dangers of Coronavirus in the homeless population. And with 13k people in the temporary program I challenge you to find a place to house all these people that isn’t a family neighborhood in NYC.

    33. Diane R says:

      What a horrible use of money, and a waste too. Because now the NYPD has upped their presence, as has the security hired by DHS, and residents are admitting that things have calmed down. Most of the issues people complained about were quality of life issues anyway.

      And to top it off when the leases at the hotels expire in October some like the Lucerne, or maybe all, will not renew.

      So these no-compassion, selfish, NIMBY alarmists are freaking out about a few months of having to look at and live near homeless people, literally the most desperate people among us. What shame they have brought to on our upper West side.

      It brings me some comfort that there are many of us who are speaking out in support of these men and women, and keeping them safe during this pandemic and economic depression.

      And don’t listen to the lies about there being sex offenders w residency restrictions allowed to live here. There are not. (Btw there are 1600 registered sex offenders already living throughout Manhattan.)

    34. Allison says:

      So disappointed in my ‘hood. I walked by the Lucern and around the block and I saw all of 4 homeless people around. There was a security guard standing at the front of the Lucerne too.

      NIMBYs are gonna NIMBY.

    35. JamesUWS says:

      The group has raised over $60,000 in just 3 days. I am so proud of this community! This is an example of a true community banding together to keep the neighborhood safe.

    36. CrankyPants says:

      Heroes!

    37. Mark Horn says:

      I moved to the Upper West Side in 1974. Back when a 4 bedroom apartment could be had for $500. I moved here because the neighborhood was diverse—it was one of the few neighborhoods where I felt safe being an out gay man. That doesn’t mean the streets were safe. I was mugged twice. Once at gun point. While still in college, I worked a retail job on Broadway and the store was held up at gun point three times.
      Homeless people? The psychiatric hospitals had been emptied out after the scandalous treatment of the patients, so that the neighborhood streets were filled with people who were dangerously unstable—to themselves and others. Once, while standing on line to buy bagels at H&H one morning I was sucker punched by one of these people. So I know how bad it was and how bad it can be.

      The neighborhood was also filled with Single Room Occupancy hotels that were filled with people living on government assistance. The people who are complaining now have no idea. I remember the Lucerne before it was tidied up. I remember the Endicott when it was filled with people on assistance—in fact, I date the shift in the neighborhood to when the Endicott was emptied and renovated as co-ops. It was one of the first, and it heralded a change in the neighborhood.

      At the time the neighborhood was also filled with elderly refugees and Holocaust survivors. Some of these folks also lived on the street during the day—with shopping wagons filled with stuff (and sometimes great wads of cash) because they expected they’d have to flee somewhere else again.

      As these folks died, and as the poor were pushed out by gentrification some things changed for the better. And some things definitely became worse.

      Many of the people who moved here came with a sense of entitlement that comes with money. Rather than becoming part of a vibrant community they have helped make the neighborhood just one more Manhattan mall filled with chain stores instead of the local businesses that have been here for years.

      Because I work from home, I’ve walked around the neighborhood—specifically around the Lucerne, the Belleclaire and other hotels mentioned here—to see if the reports are as bad as what I’ve read. They are not.

      I have seen men who are clearly troubled, dealing with either substance abuse issues or other problems on Riverside Drive. I also see more homeless encampments in the 90s around the 96th street station on Broadway. And trust me, with unemployment continuing to rise and evictions coming, there will be more people on the streets.

      I am not worried about “property values” though in the years since my arrival here in 1974 I’ve become an owner. I am worried about people without compassion or empathy moving here. I am concerned about racism and classism. This doesn’t mean I am not concerned about safety.

      I live across the street from a NYCHA building. In fact, there are more than 50 NYCHA buildings on the Upper West Side. All the people who live there are just as deserving of a safe and secure neighborhood.

      All of the people moved from shelters are deserving of a place to live where they won’t live in fear of disease.

      Did the city move too quickly or without enough consideration regarding some of the people they shifted to the UWS? Probably. Is that being rectified? Seems like it since in my daily walks through the area I am not seeing what people are complaining about.

      One reason I chose to live here was that Bella Abzug was the congressperson. Because the neighborhood was a bastion of left-leaning politics. I have always been concerned that the gentrification and homogenization of the neighborhood would threaten this. And it clearly has. From a map of donors I am shocked to see how many Trump supporters live here.

      Okay, I have probably gone over the limit. I’ll stop here. Y’all should learn better manners.

    38. Paul Fischer says:

      we have compassion for homeless people ,we must also have compassion for neighbors and business owners affected by this situation . Fear is not just based on statistics but on perception as well .Long time residents remember “the bad old days ” Compassion yes ,but let the police go back to enforcing quality of life laws

    39. Stu says:

      I see so much hyperbole on both sides. The ones complaining and labeled “NIMBYs” are exaggerating on the situation. Ive lived on the UWS for decades. There have always been homeless and mentally sick people roaming the streets; sometimes screaming incoherently scaring passer-bys, sometimes urinating, sometimes strung out on the median, sometimes sitting with their shopping cart and encampment. Its just now we see a bit more. In the late 1980s, when I first hit the UWS, it was way way worse. And I hear even worse in the 1970s.

      The ones labeled as “clueless liberals” are also exaggerating, as they, too, are NIMBYs. They would no sooner want these folks housed in their own buildings as their actual neighbors, and would scream, equally loud if they were.

      So everyone should just calm down. The situation will pass. Or leave. There are plenty of folks I know that would love to take over your apartments.

      • Enough is enough says:

        Despite common misconception, most people are not just “lucky” to live in these apartments, they have worked hard and paid a lot to live where they chose to live. So please get off your high horse. The folks that you “know” are more than welcome to live in these apartments, it’s a buyers market after all.

    40. ConcernedUWSider says:

      Bottomline – 2 issues.

      There is no enforcement of making those being housed get support and counseling. They do not have to go to any counseling and all they have to do is be back by 10pm at night. How is that helping?

      2. The UWS from the 70th to 100th has more homeless shelters and low income housing than the rest of Manhattan and it is not manageable. Local businesses were struggling before the pandemic. Customers tell me they are afraid to walk parts of Broadway because they are constantly hassled so they avoid areas where there is congregating. It is hurting your local businesses along with the safety issues.

      When there are policies and laws in place to ensure it is working, we can talk about how many shelters is feasible and fair for a neighborhood to have. Right now, it’s too many.

    41. AS says:

      The money this group is raising would do more good for the community if it were donated to the West Side Coalition Against Hunger.

    42. Newcavendish says:

      It’s a shame we can’t seek common ground here. I think the UWS should share the burden of these homeless persons (in addition to the tax burden, that is), but a lot of the problem of the understandable negative reaction would go away if the shelters, the non-profits, the city and the police would do a better job of managing the residents of the shelters: they often form aggressive groups, panhandle, cause noise with loud boom boxes, and otherwise behave in ways incompatible with the life and ethos of the UWS.

    43. Bye bye says:

      Some of us don’t join groups or donate money. We just move away forever. Hope you guys enjoy your neighborhood after we’re all gone and all the restaurants and mom and pops go out of business without our patronage.

      • UWSider says:

        The worst thing we can do is run from the neighborhood. Stand your ground! The GoFundMe page is skyrocketing over the past few days. There are many here who love the UWS and will not be driven out of our neighborhood. Plant your feet on the ground and fight for the neighborhood that you love. Homelessness is a very real problem. One can be homeless and not be a drug addict or criminal. Safety is the main concern here. Our elected officials failed to consult with us before moving our “new neighbors” into the community. We didn’t have the opportunity to speak up then, so we must do it now.

      • NY Native says:

        LOL I always get a kick out of the people who complain about the city and then threaten the rest of us with their departure 🙂 So go already!

    44. Tom Keough says:

      If you look at the link to the NY Post report , the worst thing that they can show some people who MIGHT be homeless are doing is that they are sleeping. Not having a drug war or problems with mental illness.

      In civilized countries people with illnesses get medical help. I wish people like Peter knew about things like that.

      Sleeping by the way is still not a crime.

    45. Tam says:

      Attention Trolls and Social Just Warriors:

      You CAN have empathy for the plight of these homeles,s and in many cases, mentally ill people.

      HOWEVER, you can also feel unsafe with the presence of some of them. There are many very large size hotels near convention centers and further out of the city that would be a better option for this situation.

      The city should have turned Governor’s Island into a homeless facility before the buildings became dilapidated. We have many parks in the city. One with housing from the coast guard should have become a facility for, say, homeless women and children.

      Left and Right – quit suppressing each other. This is not a black and white issue. There is a lot of grey here.

    46. Woglinde says:

      Yes, Burtnor, the moral conscience apparently only looks one way……… I’ve never been harrassed by the homeless since they moved in down the street. The alt right and the “alt left” have much in common….fear mongering. I guess the lure of money outweighs any form of conscience. Let it be in your soul, it’s not in mine.

    47. Barbara Harris says:

      It is the responsibility of the city to provide real services to these struggling individuals. The current situation is not only unacceptable, it is inhumane. We are all in this together with compassion for the needs of the tenants. The current situation is not only unacceptable, it is inhumane.

    48. Elder says:

      Not only “wealthy New Yorkers” have contributed. The majority are middle class people, business owners, parents of school age children, seniors as well as a diverse population .
      It is not a matter of rich vs poor; black vs white, etc.
      This is a matter of a safe community and more adequate treatment facilities for the homeless.

    49. Ronald Cohen says:

      I lived on the upper west side for twenty
      years. I loved living there. Three years ago I moved to Palm Beach Florida to avoid the winters and change my life style. I feel bad for all my friends and former neighbors that
      Helen Rosenthall could not prevent the anguish this is causing them. It’s a shame that when we try to help some we injure most.

    50. Betty Williams says:

      How can I join WSCO? I am frightened and disgusted with NYC homeless