City Will Move Homeless Out of The Lucerne Hotel Starting This Weekend

Starting this weekend, the city will begin moving men out of The Lucerne, the hotel on 79th Street that had been used as a homeless shelter since late July. The move comes after a backlash that had split the neighborhood in recent weeks.

The men will be moved out this weekend and next week, according to the Department of Homeless Services. They’ll be moved to other shelters that allow for social distancing instead of the kind of close-packed shelters they came from in the East Village.

“As we have said, our use of commercial hotels to combat COVID is temporary,” a DHS spokesperson wrote, and the city will “continually review and streamline the footprint of our shelter locations.” With that in mind, the city is “beginning to relocate individuals from several commercial hotel locations to alternative non-congregate shelter locations, where we can continue to implement social distancing and provide isolation.”

The spokesman did not immediately respond to a question about whether the move was driven by neighborhood complaints.

The Lucerne was used to house 283 men, many of whom were recovering from substance abuse problems. Some neighbors said the arrival of the men led to a deterioration in the quality of life in the immediate area.

A Facebook group that led a movement against the shelters attracted more than 10,000 members and led to the establishment of a nonprofit created to start a legal and public relations campaign pointing out the flaws in the city’s strategy.

Another group pushed back against the opponents, arguing that Upper West Siders should welcome the men rather than push them away. Some of the men in the hotel had said they were grateful to be there because they felt safer than in the prior shelter. The men had previously been moved from a midtown hotel after complaints there.

There are still three other hotels in the neighborhood being used as shelters. In the statement, the Department of Homeless Services said that at least one local hotel, the Belleclaire on Broadway and 77th, will be on a priority list to stop being a homeless shelter when it’s safe to remove the residents.

“We’re watching our health indicators closely and working with DOHMH to determine when and how clients can be safely relocated back to shelters from the temporary emergency hotel relocation sites, and we’ll inform communities when our City is ready to take that step, prioritizing locations like the Belleclaire and others around the city,” DHS said.

NEWS | 184 comments | permalink
    1. CB says:

      I am so relieved. And this is not because I don’t want the men to get the care and shelter and services they need.

      The hotel was not good for the neighborhood— the UWS really is a family and pedestrian neighborhood. And the shelters have damaged the quality of life and the safety of families with small children, of seniors, and of local businesses.

      May these men also get what they need during this difficult time. It is genuinely possible to serve them and to serve a neighborhood like the UWS at the same time. It’s just not a great idea to mix a shelter for drug addicts and a family neighborhood with myriad schools together in one small area.

      • JT says:

        What neighborhood isn’t a family and pedestrian neighborhood in NYC? A poorer or more ethnic neighborhood that won’t have as many people complain as the UWSers did? I personally think they housed too many men in the Lucerne and the other hotels in the area, but your sentiment that they don’t belong here in a “family and pedestrian neighborhood” is disengenuous and elitist.

        • ben says:

          What neighborhood isn’t a family and pedestrian neighborhood in NYC?
          How about midtown, where for months there was absolutely zero tourists and scores of mediocre chain hotels sitting empty.

        • Priya parasher says:

          They don’t belong in densely populated areas left to they lie own devices period. It is for the city to figure out a suitable option. At 5200 a month per resident surely they are better options. And I work in the south Bronx and there a no homeless shelters in the vicinity. Public housing but no shelters. And mind you the UWS has a myriad of public housing and SROs.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            that simply isn’t true that the South Bronx has “no homeless shelters.” In general, homeless shelters and beds have been concentrated in the poorest neighborhoods. The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) doesn’t make data that transparent, and the most recent i could find in a short search is Sept 2019, but each of the 4 S Bronx Community Districts (Bx 1, 2, 3, and 4) had at least 1,228 beds, with CB4 (Highbridge/Concourse) having 3,788 beds, the most in the city at that point. Man CB7 (UWS) at that point had 1,107 beds. Even with the recent influx, it is unlikely that the UWS has more beds than the S Bronx districts.

        • Patricia Santelli says:


      • New Yorker says:

        “May they?” What is this, thoughts and prayers? You think there is some magical place where they’ll ‘get what they need?!’ They needed a place to stay and start over. UWS residents should be ASHAMED. You are only concerned about YOUR quality of life. YOUR neighbourhood. YOUR life. Glad you’re happy in your privileged gated community – enjoy it. Just remember the next time you PRETEND to be something you’re not — you kicked out some of your city’s most vulnerable population so that you don’t have to be uncomfortably confronted by the fact we are living in a time of true suffering. Enjoy your “quality of life.”

        • Nina Felshin says:

          Thank you “New Yorker” and “Calm Down.” As a lifetime
          UWSider I am mortified and shocked by the racist elitism and utter arrogance with which some of its residents have expressed their outrage towards vulnerable others—most of whom are victims of a bipartisan system that thrives on inequity.

        • Elizabeth says:

          I am disgusted and disappointed by our community right now. A small portion of our community used their clout and money to push out the most vulnerable people in our population. Shame, shame, shame on us. You degrade the men. You treated them like they weren’t human and didn’t deserve to be treated as such. You photographed them and exploited them to further your own fear and hatred.

          You can dress it up any way you want to ease your conscious, but this entire situation was based on bigotry and racism, and the collective discomfort in seeing the problems right in front of you instead of hidden so you don’t have to actively participate in the solution.

          Perhaps those of you who are cheering about pushing the men out of a safe space during a pandemic should take a good look at yourselves and your lack of humanity in this situation. It’s truly appalling.

          To those who welcomed the men, who actively tried to make the situation work, who saw the men for who they are: human beings, thank you. I wish our voices mattered as much as those who expressed hatred and fear.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            Amen, Elizabeth. Unless there are multiple “Elizabeths”, you have been a voice of reason, sanity, and traditional West Side compassion through this whole sorry debacle. I’m sure many have noticed; I know i have.

          • Mike says:

            Or perhaps they just didn’t want their kids going to school within a block of violent sex offenders.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              the “violent sex offenders” in the Lucerne was a myth, as far as I know. The sex offenders were in a different hotel, and the violent ones were removed. One of the worst things that was done was the tarring the men in the Lucerne as “violent sex offenders.”

        • Ajz says:

          Only ashamed of you. You should give up space in your apartment (if you even live here) for some of them. Until you do, you are just a blowheart.

      • A Radical Idea says:

        Here’s a RADICAL THOUGHT for those who are outraged that many UWS residents have concerns about housing 283 men(virtually all with substance abuse or mental health disorders) at The Lucerne:

        It is possible, and common, to be compassionate, tolerant, and respectful, and supportive of all efforts to help these men recover, and ALSO have legitimate concerns about the safety and well-being of the neighborhood.

        It is alarming that so many people are incapable of seeing this for what it is — a complex, thorny issue with few clear-cut solutions.

        It isn’t entitled, heartless, spoiled hypocrites on one side and open-minded, virtuous do-gooders on the other. Let’s have a nuanced and balanced dialogue. Shrill name-calling and extremism don’t accomplish anything — for ANY ONE.

        • Annie says:

          Thank you Radical Idea! This has been my argument from the start. Let’s get together as a neighborhood and actually make a difference for those men/woman who we are to help the most.

    2. CrankyPants says:

      Best news today. Just another of the City’s farcical 2020 episodes. Good to know that the voices of the neighbors were heard and heeded.

    3. Jennifer Amos-Taylor says:

      Very disappointing, our primary collective goal should be to contain and minimize the virus. Certainly supporting homeless people who are more susceptible due to their life situation. It’s terrible that they are being moved again!

    4. jill says:


    5. Rj says:

      Move them out of w87 th too . It is better from them and the neighborhood

    6. Gregory Goldstein says:

      We should be embarrassed! We can no longer claim to be an inclusive community. Rather than take the occasion to bring our city together and help the less fortunate, we showed we were more interested in protecting our privileged selves.

      • R Berman says:

        I’m sure we’ll get over it.

      • Cindi says:

        Mr Goldstein, Being inclusive does not mean we should accept criminals, drug addicts and sex offenders who are a health hazard and danger to our hard working law abiding neighbors.

      • Calm down says:

        Ranking 9 out of 59 city districts for shelter beds, you can rest assured the UWS still can take pride in providing assistance and inclusion to those in need. It’s amazing how a decades old reputation can be damaged by narrow sighted people who ignore the deep transformation the presence of unassisted mentally ill and addicted men caused to our blocks

      • New Yorker says:

        THANK YOU.

      • Anita says:

        When will we realize that those of us who are a little more privileged have everything in common with those less fortunate. We need to work together.

        • Peter says:

          “Work together” is what DeBlasio said, right after they converted the Lucerne without any community notice or discussion. So much for that rhetoric.

      • Buddy Revell says:

        Since when do choices not matter? Every one of the homeless people made a wrong choice at some point in their life. They still are provided with a choice to get clean with assistance but are choosing not to engage. Yes, many are mentally ill but that does not absolve them of their actions. Choices have consequences.

        Does someones “privilege” make their life’s work of doing the right thing meaningless and void? I don’t want drugged up zombies sleeping on my doorstep, harassing my wife or urinating in public. Is that such a terrible standard to have?

        • Mel says:

          This is the most important and truest post I have ever read here. More focus on CHOICE and less focus on virtue signaling.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            “Virtue signaling” is such a bunch of right wing BS language. It basically means “taking a moral position’ and treats that as a bad thing.

            • Annie says:

              Left wing, right wing…there has definitely been a lot of finger pointing. Morality and rationality are not mutually exclusive, are they? From a solely utilitarian perspective, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to house severely mentally ill and addicted individuals in a high density family neighborhood without the necessary services and supervision. While those individuals deserve our compassion, this was also far from an ideal arrangement for them. At the same time, I know many of your neighbors who would have been more than happy to help those homeless individuals with the capacity and will to improve their condition (homeless men women and children struggling with financial strife or those with mental illness receiving the necessary services, for instance). The opportunity was missed due to the name calling and the divisiveness or the rhetoric.

        • Jennifer says:

          This myth that people suffering from the disease of addiction or mental illness have a “choice” really needs to be addressed in elementary school health classes. Talk to a board-certified addiction psychiatrist about genetics, brain damage, dopamine, abuse, trauma, etc. and LEARN. Think through this… Addiction effects the decision making part of the brain (similar to how diabetes effects the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin). How is someone responsible for choices when the part of the brain that makes choices is diseased or damaged? In the meantime, please stop judging and pointing the finger. It is not only ignorant, it is downright cruel. Every man you see was once a warm and perfect little baby who was handed to a hopeful mother. Someone’s child, brother, father, uncle, etc. Something went wrong. Let’s be compassionate and figure out what we can do to make things better for them.

          • Annie says:

            Jennifer, I believe if you ask most philosophers they will tell you free will is an illusion, but this is not so much a philosophical discussion as an issue of practicality. There is a correlation between antisocial behavior and compliance with mask wearing and social distancing. If COVID numbers were to spike again, more homeless individuals would benefit if the subset that is struggling with severe mentally illness/addiction and engaging in antisocial behavior is housed separately (unless the necessary supervision is available, which doesn’t seem to be the case).

    7. CGK says:

      What a shameful episode for the UWS. I live very near the Lucerne – had no problems whatsoever. Absolutely disgusted with the hateful attitude of what is apparently a large number of neighbors.

      • Lady says:

        No problems?????? You clearly never went outside or you are delusional.

      • Robert O Johnson says:

        Well said!

      • Amy says:

        I agree. I dread to think what these proponents of hate will do next. After 50 years, on and off, of living on the UWS, it makes me rethink staying in this neighborhood, which I once thought humane and generous, and among people as self-interested as my neighbors have shown themselves to be.

        • JIM says:

          you’ll get over it

        • Peter says:

          Let me see…”maybe you’ll be better off in a gated community in the suburbs”?

          Isn’t that how our esteemed “leaders” responded to our legitimate complaints about rising crime and filth in the streets? So, take a hint, too.

        • Ajz says:

          No one is stopping you from leaving. And your use of the word “hate” is very overblown. Nice try.

      • Mike says:

        Literally watched an innocent pedestrian get attacked by a homeless person around 75th and Broadway this past weekend.

        And would you be OK with violent sex offenders (just look at what these guys were convicted of) being allowed to roam free within a block of where your children attend school?

    8. Tricia says:

      The west side feels like it did in the 1970’s-80’s….no rich people and no tourists. Not a bad thing. I see lots of young people out and about. That’s a good thing. Regarding homeless…I had 2 uncles in shelters in thr 1970’s. The city had them bused to Chester, NY. every day. I never understood that logic but it’s what we did. My heart goes out to those in need.

    9. UWSHebrew says:

      This is happening only because Mastro was hired. Like so much in other areas of life, most people in a position of power who refuse to budge will only do so when met with force of some kind. Good work SaveTheUpperWestSide facebook/twitter group!

    10. Carol Louise says:

      Why don’t they turn the Javier Center into a safe and spacious shelter home for these men. It was reworked to be a hospital – why can’t it serve this purpose?

    11. Tipping Point says:

      Most of my neighbors in the UWS agree that the city’s most vulnerable—those suffering from homelessness, drug addiction and mental illness—deserve our support and treatment. I would encourage students of public policy to study the DHS’s decision on the UWS this summer: it would make a great case study on how to polarize a neighborhood instead of building consensus to deal with a very real problem. Steven Banks and Erin Drinkwater’s attempts to brush off residents’ concerns over public safety as nothing more than racist NIMBYism raise serious questions about their fitness for office. And speaking of office: any candidate running for City Council next year to fill Helen Rosenthal’s seat can be expected to answer where were when this all happened and what role did they play. The one silver living in all of this: residents in the UWS are likely to be much more vigilant in who they chose to represent this neighborhood.

      • HM says:

        You nailed it right on the head. I listened to the youtube CB7 meeting and quickly figured out DHS representatives arrogance exceeded their capabilities.

      • Balance & Facts says:

        You’re of course right. Unfortunately, you’re presenting logic, facts, and balance. You’re not personally attacking people you’ve never met or using incendiary language. You recognize that it is a complex, historically thorny situation, without simple solutions. You note that it is disingenuous and unethical for Erin Drinkwater, DHS, et al, to call for “working together” now, when they made no attempt to do so prior to the city’s decision.

        Most of all, you understand (not that it should be hard to) that people can be compassionate and supportive of those in need while still having legitimate concerns and asking for transparency from the officials we’ve elected.

    12. Erica says:

      I can’t wait to see what all of those hateful people do when they realize the problems existed long before unhomed people were moved into empty hotels in order to keep them safe from a pandemic and get them the help they really need.

      • Peter says:

        You still think that this is about the pandemic? July-September is likely to prove the least dangerous period of 2020. Also, based on the behaviors of some of the Lucerne residents around the neighborhood, the pandemic is the least of their concerns.

        This is about money, and incompetence clad in power.

      • Ajz says:

        You do realize these men weren’t actually getting any help for their problems? They were just given very expensive hotel rooms then let out onto the streets during the day.

      • Facts over feelings says:

        Erica …
        Keep them safe?
        You mean like having the men clustered around park benches all day long, without masks?
        Are you concerned about your own safety, or that of local residents, when these same men walk up & down the streets without masks, past elderly and other at-risk local residents?

        Help they need?
        Can you share how this is being accomplished? Do you have any information about the specific programs, classes, or required attendance at recovery meetings for residents?

        Did you know the infection rate in NYS has been under 1% for well over a month?

    13. RWc says:

      What can we say, seems like the newly formed hate group won to get rid of people experiencing homelessness .
      I wonder what’s going to come next from this newly formed group in their white segregated part of the UWS.
      There are no black people 72 to 86 street !

      • blacklikeu says:

        Yes there are black people between 72nd to 86th street on the UWS.
        I see them all the time, and I personally know some of them.
        Some live there. Some are visiting or working there.
        Your statement RWc is ignorant and hateful.

      • Race has nothing to do with this says:

        We’ll live happily ever after.

      • Ajz says:

        You are racist with that comment.

      • jg says:

        JC enough of the LATTE POLITICS!! What are you going to say next: every uws’er is an a**hole with a home in Palm Beach?? This is not the uES! I’m black and have plenty of other black neighbors who live and OWN in the UWS! I’m sorry we may be invisible to you RWc–look around you–we’re not just nannies to your kids!!!

        And btw–the two homeless men who threated to stab me on Amsterdam and W73 (by the Apple bank) were WHITE–what say you to that??

        STOP making this a RACIAL issue! These people need HELP and holing them up in a 5 STAR hotel is NOT the answer.

    14. Concerned Small Business Owner says:

      When the Upper West Side can manage the quantity of homeless individuals that has already been accepted, then we can help again but before COVID-19 it’s been unmanageable. Ask any small business still in the neighborhood. If there is no enforcing of policies and counseling, how are homeless and substance abusers supposed to get better? Being allowed to be out and about all day from 6am to 10pm and not have to attend counseling didn’t help anyone – it only enabled it to get worse for everyone here.

      • Abdul Sayeed says:

        Has anyone determined how much of a federal tax increase it would take to actually construct the housing and to provide the necessary social services, including intensive counseling, drug and alcohol management, and work programs, to actually solve this heart-rending problem? (I’m assuming the military budget remains the same.)
        Would a tax increase of three percent for ten years do it?
        And, of course, would the nation – if we are a nation – be willing? Or would we rather live with this tragedy for the next seven generations, all the while praying that it won’t happen to us or our descendants?

        • do the math says:

          It wouldn’t take any increase. Do the math. The hotel was paid $175/night, per person. Over a year, that’s $63,875. In 95% of the USA, that’s a down payment on a two bedroom house. If the government took the money it spends to shelter people, or pay for programs, to buy housing for them to own, you would all but eradicate homelessness and low income housing in 5-10 years and would go a long way towards racial equality. But those in power have no interest in this as they draw their power from the current state of inequality and suppression.

    15. EGK says:

      I am so disappointed in our neighborhood. I reject the argument that ‘these men should find safe shelter, just not here.’ I appreciate that many people choose the UWS because they feel safe raising children there, but these human beings will exist no matter where they are, and we are telling them we only accept their existence when it isn’t coexistence. We have failed here.

    16. TravelgalNYC says:

      Does anyone know where the men are being moved to? If it’s just further north to the shelters in the 90’s, I’m not sure that helps the neighborhood situation.

      • Robert O Johnson says:

        So you are saying you want to make sure they are not anywhere on the Upper West Side. Complete bigotry!

        • TravelgalNYC says:

          The west 90’s have the most shelters, half-way houses and public housing than any other part of uptown (between 59th – 100th Streets). When you disproportionately group these together, issues such as the ones happening now with these 3 adjacent hotels, will occur. I live in the West 90’s and don’t have an issue with the current level of shelters. But moving additional numbers of people to the neighborhood could cause a similar backlash. I also own a place in the West Village, which has no public housing, shelters or halfway houses. I would welcome opening a shelter in that neighborhood. There needs to be more spreading out of shelters in different parts of the city. That was my original point.

    17. Ken says:

      A neighborhood of more than 200,000 can’t tolerate the temporary residence of a few hundred homeless without an uproar? Some 60 hotels throughout the city are being similarly used, but ours was the only neighborhood to organize against this measure aimed at blunting the pandemic’s spread, which benefits all of us. Shameful and embarrassing.

      • Ajz says:

        Wrong. Read the article. The very same men were kicked out a midtown area for all the havoc they caused. Try reading! We aren’t the first and won’t be the last. Plenty of airport hotels not in use seem like a good solution.

      • Kim says:

        Actually you are wrong. The men at the Lucerne came from a hotel on W 51st Street where they were causing the same kind of issues they caused up on the UWS. They were moved because that neighborhood also complained. They did not come from a congregate shelter.

    18. James Hope says:

      The neighborhood over-reacted. But the UWS is always like that. The slightest thing will get blown up into a crisis. This whole affair has been silly. People should be ashamed of themselves.

    19. Ian Alterman says:

      It will be interesting to see how all of the people who are “relieved” by this will react when they find out that it was never the “hotel homeless” at all, when the problems continue after they are all gone. It was always the street homeless.

      Will there be any apologies? Will there even be any realization? Nope. Because some people simply WANT or even NEED a scapegoat, and all of you who are “relieved” have successfully scapegoated a group of people less fortunate than you for things they were never responsible for.

      I would rather have all of them than all of you. You are despicable, inhumane people.

    20. Francine says:

      Why aren’t they being moved out of the Belleclair also? On a priority list????? Nonsense. They will never move them out unless we continue the pressure.

    21. KM99 says:

      Why didn’t you link to the Facebook group that pushed back?

    22. Diana says:

      What a shameful episode for the upper West side, as some of the most privileged people in the world raised $100,000 to evict people who literally have nothing, in the middle of a pandemic and devastating economic recession. And to do so they spread lies, created hysteria, and essentially made the world think there’s a massive crime problem on the upper West side. They have done more to damage this neighborhood than any homeless people ever could.
      But I live on the UWS too and there are many of us who are appalled. We will stand up against them and their hatred, and for the men and women who deserve better.

      • Robert O Johnson says:

        Imagine what that $100,000 could have done to help the homeless instead of scapegoating them and treating them with no respect at all.

    23. Robert O Johnson says:

      Amazing! Rich, wealthy, upper westsiders won their battle to keep people of color and ethnic backgrounds out of their block. What a shameful discouraging display of WHITE PRIVILEGE. That is the real story here. I just saw the guardian angels which totaled 7 and they are all white. The UWS is no longer the neighborhood I thought is was.

      • DMartinez says:

        White privilege?? Enough of the latte politics! I’m a MINORITY Co-op owner licing 15 yrs here in the UWS and have seen more crime/action with these hotels these past few months than I saw growing up in Brooklyn!! SMH When will liberals stop making safety a racial issue?? These people need help—not a 5 star hotel suite. Ridiculous.

      • Blumpkin says:

        Stop making this a racial issue! My God, do you have to play the race card every time??? It’s getting old.
        When I see a pile of human feces on the street or a used syringe in the gutter, I have no idea what color skin the individual who left it has.
        This is a safety issue for the people in this neighborhood. So many liberal and caring people chiming in. I wonder how many have actually invited a homeless person into their home for a hot meal, a shower and a place to sleep.
        Anyone? Didn’t think so.

        • Jason UWS says:

          Blumpkin have you? Did you even go to the Lucerne and speak to anyone there? Any of the Project Renewal team? Any of the homeless men like a gentlemen named Pedro whom I spoke with to see what his story was about? We all know the answer to this question…..

      • Leon says:

        Like the vast majority of people here, I fell somewhere in the middle (yet get lumped into the “get them out of here” group). I was fine with the law-abiding citizens being housed in the hotels. But there was a material number of them who were not. And there did not initially seem to be enough safeguards around those who were being disruptive. Based on my unscientific personal survey, it seems like the Lucerne has done a better job of monitoring its guests in the last few weeks, plus the most egregious offenders were weeded out, so the situation has improved.

        All that being said, my issue was not racial. I had a problem with those who disobeyed the law, regardless of race – many of the worst offenders were white. It is really insulting and embarrassing to turn things into racial issues that aren’t. Once you accuse people of being racist when they clearly are not, they tune out the rest of what might be a meaningful message.

        • Jason UWS says:

          You cannot say that this is not about race when the majority of residents at the lucerne and other hotels are people of color or ethnic backgrounds. And why does this community love Carl (I love Carl too) but I see him urinating on the street everyday and for the past 7 years. I see young people urinating, fighting, breaking windows of businesses when the bars where open. It is about race.

          • Ajz says:

            Only you make it about race as a an attempt to shame someone to think like you. That’s the liberal/democrat mantra.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:


          While it was a little difficult to follow everything, my feeling is that, after an early unfortunate comment, you made an honest and consistent attempt to deal with the issue rationally and fairly. I give you props for that.

          But let’s agree there was a heavy racial component in the comments overall, as there almost always is on WSR. I’m not saying from everyone, but from way too many to ignore. It didn’t take much reading between the lines to see that.

          At the very least, there was a class component, and in NYC class and race are almost inextricably entwined.

    24. Alex Panowko says:

      the uws shouldnt be a dumping ground for homeless addicts and sex offenders our clueless so called leaders will only start realizing that when there is significant pushback

    25. Rob G. says:

      A rare victory for the UWS! Congratulations to all who fought so hard against this asinine scheme. Now let’s turn our attention to the Belnord, Belleclaire, and numerous other shelters that have wrecked the northern end of the neighborhood. Maybe there’s hope for us after all.

      • Jason UWS says:

        Rob G you are by no means in the “northern end of Manhattan”. That would be all the way up past Harlem / Washington Heights. 2 communities I am pretty sure you have never gone up to.

        • Rob G. says:

          Put on your reading spectacles, Jason – I said the northern end of the NEIGHBORHOOD. And I spend plenty of time in the other areas you mentioned, thank you. Big fan of Washington Heights and Inwood. Vibrant neighborhoods, excellent Latin food, and great produce markets.

    26. Roberto Báez says:

      Thank God The homeless are out. This craziness happens because the city is led by socialists.

      • Neighbor says:

        It’s a good decision, but no way NYC is led by socialists. De Blasio and his crew are hand in glove with real estate “developers” and other big donors. NOT socialist! De Blasio is opposed to the concept that the workers, who produce value, direct its use.

    27. Albert says:

      This is not a NIMBY issue or a “privileged white folks” issue.
      But the UWS had definitely taken a turn for the worst in the last few months.
      It is a failure of federal and local government issue: a failure to deal with problems of homelessness and mental health in that population.
      I am sickened when I see (apparently) homeless men and women urinating in public; when folks are sleeping covered by cardboard boxes on the steps of churches; when people are shooting up on the median strips on B’way.
      As an individual, I can’t do much about those situations . But I can vote, and we must hold our elected officials responsible.

    28. Anita says:

      The hate group won. For the moment. I have been so inspired by all the good people who spoke up, who rallied, wrote messages of welcome on the sidewalks and even slept out as allies of the unhoused. There many of us on the Upper West who stand and act for justice. Let’s keep fighting, adding to our numbers and take our struggle to another level!

    29. Alfonse says:

      The article mentions “3 other hotels.” The Belleclaire, the Belnord and what other one?

    30. Da Homeless Hero says:

      This is bittersweet news for me. The fact that this experience has highlighted the failures of our city agencies and officials is a good thing but this move puts many of us who are homeless in a very dangerous position. The response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been horrendous. All of this moving around came too late. I almost died as a result of them getting it wrong. Now, after suffering from lingering symptoms I’m moved around from place to place and it’s because they are not doing what needs to be done to get things right in the first place. This is scary to say the least. Can you imagine the negative effect this has on a very vulnerable person. What’s worse is that I have to learn about this online instead of someone giving us a heads up. I can almost guarantee wherever we go it’s going to be the same thing or worse. The system has to be reformed. It is grossly failing us. I hope I don’t end up back on the streets. Trust me when I tell you the streets are safer than these congregate shelters especially during this pandemic.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:


        I was thinking of you when i read the news of yet another move.

        The city mishandled this, DHS mishandled it, and the “opponents” treated you and your compadres horribly.I am thankful that some moral and friendly groups showed up.

        You don’t deserve this. You and all the other men deserve a safe and clean space to hang your hat at night, and services that will help recovery. It is my impression that the vast majority of Lucerne residents were not causing any problem, and yet were demonized as if they were.

        I am truly sorry i never met you; I am sorry you did not get to spend more time in our community; and i feel embarrassed that many UWSers acted as they did.

        If it is any solace, please know that your contributions on this blog reached people and educated at least a few. i know I learned things by reading what you wrote.

    31. PK says:

      This is absolutely disgusting but not very surprising. The Upper West Side has always been a hub for the wealthy who want to live lavishly while still being able to claim their “liberal” identity. These are people who have no where else to go and the only way this neighborhood can respond is to boot them out so the elite can continue to focus on preserving their precious street dining. Incredibly shameful.

      • Ajz says:

        If you actually read the article, you’d know they were kicked out of a midtown neighborhood for causing th same quality of life problems (open drug users, harassment, streets as toilets). This is their fault again. They need to be forced into programs not just let out into the public each then come back to an expensive hotel each night with no accountability.

    32. UWS mom says:

      I find this terribly sad. These poor men, being shuttled from one location to another, knowing that a neighborhood does not want them. They are human beings. I am truly aghast at how horribly they have been treated and talked about by my community.

    33. RB says:

      These articles get as many comments as the closing of Fairway. Pretty much tells you what people really care about in this “neighborhood”

    34. KD says:

      I am disgusted by the hypocrisy of those in this liberal enclave whose money financed pressure on the government to move the homeless out of our neighborhood. I am disgusted that there was little to no treatment available to these men, no programs, no counseling. I live across the street. Where will they go, and will they be forced from there? Planning for this was poor, non existent it seems. I thought New Yorkers were better than this.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        You should redirect your anger to the mayor’s wife, who “mismanaged” 800 million of my and your tax dollars towards helping the homeless.

        • Robert O Johnson says:

          You really seem to hate the Mayors African American wife. You take digs at her in almost every post that you make. Your true colors are showing.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            A truly awful accusation that you’ve heaped upon me. I don’t care what race or gender a person identifies with who is given 800 million of New York City taxpayer money to help homeless people and CANNOT ACCOUNT FOR HOW IT WAS SPENT. It seems to have simply vanished.

          • Boris says:

            You’re really irritating with comments like this.

          • Leon says:

            For the love of God. Just because someone disparages an African-American person doesn’t mean they are racist. There is way too much racism in America today. By turning everything into a racial issue you are trivializing the times when it truly is a problem.

      • Dave K. says:

        Lovely group, hateful, privileged? I volunteered in a soup kitchen for years, I get it. These people have no support system, no support groups, some had the virus, there was no social distancing, lack of masks etc. If anyone was abused it was these people who were dumped on us and then forgotten, so get your sh-t together people, you all who are objecting should try to make a difference by VOLUNTEERING to try to get the city to actually help these people and stop attacking UWS folks who have been under siege. Have any of you experienced the challenge a former heroin/ methadone user has? Obviously not. Cut the crap and get real. The families on the UWS are just pawns and so are these people and you who are so critical will do nothing to help them except throw around words that
        mean nothing…go help them and leave us alone.

      • Steven says:

        Please do not blame this on attitudes of the residents of the UWS. We are compassionate people and yes New Yorkers certainly are “better than this”, but sadly the NYC government is not. The schools fiasco is a similarly inept response from the useless de Blasio team.

        • Jason UWS says:

          Steven this came to this conclusion because of a very vocal minority of people with money on the UWS. I am placing blame to whom it belong and rightfully so. Hate to be on their train when Karma rolls in……..what goes around comes around as they say.

          • Blumpkin says:

            The organization that accomplished this is over 14,000 strong. A group that quickly formed to protect this safety of this neighborhood. I wouldn’t exactly call them a “minority”

            • Robert O Johnson says:

              As of 2018 the population of the Upper West Side considered as a whole was 214,744. That does make the 14,000 whom you say are in the “organization” that made this possible a minority. That leaves the rest of 200,00 in the majority.

            • Alfonse says:

              Robert, how many of the 214k rallied to keep them in the neighborhood?

              It doesn’t take 50% of people acting to demonstrate a conviction.

              By your logic I could say how many of the city’s 8m people *didn’t* march for BLM? Are you saying the marchers should be dismissed using your logic?

    35. AR says:

      Let’s look at the facts… these men were moved here from Hells Kitchen, when security in that area started being questioned. Having three hotels in one community to house homeless already signaled warning signs.. there’s plenty of space on the East side, that wasn’t considered.. yet many residents vacated that area to their secondary homes.

      It’s about lack of planning to deal with the. crisis.. you can’t simply sent a large mass into one community and not think there would be repercussions.

    36. David H says:

      Y’all pretend like if they move out of the Lucerne that these people will have somewhere to go and you’ll never have to see poor people again.
      Covid is real and so is the economic crisis. Poor people will be on your block whether or not the Lucerne houses these people. Why don’t you all take that nonprofit money you raised and subsidize their rent somewhere instead of wasting it on a hate filled campaign? But you just want them out of sight out of mind. Short sighted.

      • Jason UWS says:

        I will never step foot in one of my favorite hangouts Blondies again. The owner very much participated in causing some of the hate and anger on this issue.

    37. Thetruthbearer says:

      Nobody denies these men deserve the same care and treatment than anyone else in this society, but if to do that you disrupt the lives of thousands of residents (as in men urinating on the streets, doing drugs, dealing drugs near children’s playgrounds, loitering etc…all of which have been documented over the past few months) then the cost to many becomes too high to bear just for the benefit of a few. It is not about being an elitist, or a snob or rich or poor. It is simply cost-benefit as a whole. This city has been run down to the ground by leftists but i am glad they have reversed this very poor decision they had made.

      • Jason UWS says:

        When people think it is alright to refer to homelessness int the terms of “cost-benefit” you know we live in a society that has been turned upside down.

    38. UWSider says:

      Hooray! So relieved. A great win for community pressure and grass roots efforts. We need to continue to take back our community and our streets and show DeBlasio we won’t stand for his destructive decisions!

    39. Herbert Moore says:

      When they be moving out of the Belnord on west 87th Street?

    40. Tax Payer says:

      For all of you who are “disgusted” with the UWS for getting the homeless, addicts, criminals and sex-offenders out of the Lucerne…put your money where your mouth is and call Rosenthal’s office and offer to take someone in to stay with you. I am all for that.

      Shame on all of you who are trying to make this about race. Such a weak argument.

      • Jason UWS says:

        Your post is a prime example of lies. No sex offenders at the Lucerne. Filled with hate bigotry and ignorance. Sad to say but it is about race.

        • Tax Payer says:

          So now safe streets are racist? I tend to judge any criminal for the act committed not the color of the skin, maybe you are the racist?

    41. James Brummel says:

      please stress there are 2 other hotels within a 4 block area that are being used to house homeless, and no one is complaining about that. Issue here is the high concentration in a small area, and that this group was evicted from another hotel for their behavior.

    42. LongtimeNYer says:

      Waiting for specific news about the Belleclaire…

    43. Allison says:

      These UWSers are gross. I’m technically in Morningside Heights but just barely. I might move more north after this. These rich entitled white NIMBYs need to go to hell.

    44. Fran says:

      Neighborhood concerns were only about anti social & illegal behavior which negatively impacted public safety.
      Expressed by Remainers. UWSers who stayed, didn’t have homes in Hamptons or means to buy out of state.

      100s housed in hotels within 9 blocks severely mentally ill and active drug addicts/alcoholics. Moved in July when infection rate 1%.

      Journalists would do a public service to press city officials about *real solutions* for this population – like psychiatric treatment and substance rehab with supervision for many who are in need.

    45. Francis says:

      It is inappropriate to house several hundred homeless people in a hotel in a family oriented community. However many of the homeless people wreaking havoc on the streets of the UWS have nothing to do with the hotel populations. Where these people come from and who they are is a mystery. Why is the dancing man still on 79th Street? Why is the woman who sleeps spread out on the sidewalk (now in front of The North Face) still there.? The UWS continues to deteriorate. Where are the outreach programs?

      • Lisa says:

        Francis, please note that outreach programs can only offer help, not force the homeless to take it. I’d be willing to bet that the dancing man at 79th Street is well known to Goddard Riverside. However, until our laws change, he is free to make a spectacle of himself all day at that median. Also note that many homeless live in city apartments AND continue to panhandle aggressively. I once gave $40 to a woman who claimed she needed a room because it was getting cold. I found out later she lives by herself in a larger (and nicer) apartment than I do, funded by the nonprofit Breaking Ground. So never assume a panhandler (1) is homeless or (2) needs the money.

    46. MG says:

      Just a question: where are all the homeless, poverty stricken women and children being helped? Or women with addiction problems? It seems to be all about the men living painful lives, many riddled with addiction problems. I don’t understand. And– this is only based on personal experience–I do feel less threatened and frightened by the female counterparts in this tragic situation. In my experience–only mine–I don’t see or experience the aggressive panhandling and harassment so often mentioned in this situation, coming from women. Can anyone explain the disparity between how homeless (many drug addicted) men are the sole focus in this discussion? It doesn’t feel right, or fait.

      • MG says:

        ps there was a typo in my last comment, it should say “Fair (last sentence). If you print my comment, can you fix it? I’m sorry!

      • js says:

        There are at least 3 shelters (operated by non-profits which contract with the City) for homeless families on the West Side between 83rd Street and 116th Street.

        The City also has placed families in a bunch of midtown/Times Square hotels.

      • Lisa says:

        Statistically, men commit the overwhelming majority of violent crimes and comprise the bulk of the prison population. Men are also twice as likely to be drug addicts than women and more likely to drop out of school. Therefore it’s not surprising that the majority of homeless are men, and when you are accosted for money, it is almost always a man doing the asking.

    47. Anthony says:

      This was supposed to ne a temporary thing. Did people imagine the city, which is facing its worst fiscal crisis ever, would pay $100+ per day per person to house homeless people at a luxury hotel??

      How is housing homeless people at luxury hotels, paid for by taxpayers, anything other than a very short term measure?

      • Robert O Johnson says:

        Your right this was always a temporary thing. According to Project Renewal this was supposed to end in October. Around the first week I beleive. So this “organization” – as one user on this board called them – raised over $100,000 and threatened a lawsuit to make this happen 3 to 3/12 weeks earlier. Now that’s money well spent!

        • Buddy Revell says:

          They raised the money bc “temporary” would probably lead to permanent. Not like the city would ever try to pull a fast one on the community…..

      • UWSHebrew says:

        I think it’s $225 per day per person.

    48. Barbara Hariton says:

      Why aren’t these people moved to a large hotel in the country where they have meeting areas, kitchen activities, outdoor activities and sports with social workers and educators to encourage a new life? I think the city can do much more with their money than renting a small but expensive room in a prime location to which the residents are confined and have nothing better to do with themselves than roam the streets.

    49. saradesel says:

      This is awful news, and a horrific example of the NIMBY racism we’ve seen laid bare on the Upper West Side.

      It is a pandemic out there. A hotel was giving safe shelter to people who did not have that elsewhere, and you know what else? A small business that we value in our neighborhood was making money for the first time in months to sustain it over this fallow period and survive. The next time you’re upset because friends/family can’t find anywhere to stay in the neighborhood, remember that by pushing these people out of what I used to think of as the best neighborhood in NYC probably also means that the Lucerne and other hotels won’t get revenue for many more months.

      I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 15 years and I am ashamed of my neighbors for the hatred with which they have been conducting themselves. Living in a city means accepting all of it — the good and bad — and by pushing these men out of the neighborhood, you are simply pushing the unhoused into a corner of the city you’ll never see and never have to think about again.

      As another commenter said, good luck to you when you realize that the actual “homeless problem” on the streets is caused by those who refuse to accept shelter…and won’t be moved to another neighborhood by this action.

      • Peter says:

        In what world is “living in a city” defined as accepting the bad in it? Drug dealing, prostitution, street trash, loitering, harassment, and a variety of other questionable behaviors (to put it mildly) all increased in the area following the conversion. You can claim it was all a giant coincidence, but we know better.

        Why would anyone lower the bar so much as to just “accept” all this – especially for a program that’s clearly failing the men of the Lucerne?

      • UWSHebrew says:

        “A small business that we value in our neighborhood was making money for the first time in months” — small business? The guy owns hotels. He’s worth 100 million. I couldn’t care less if his “small business” shuttered it’s doors forever.

        • Hotel Owner is well-known $$ vulture says:

          He also sold his brownstone on W. 77th St. and left the neighborhood right before making a very lucrative deal with the city. Coincidence?

          This hotel owner is a vulture.

    50. Mel says:

      This is a good development but I think people need to realize that the crime that is taking place is not related to the homeless.

    51. JRo says:

      I would like to point out one detail I haven’t yet seen mentioned: The owners of the hotels WANT full occupancy of their hotels. This is a boon for them. Of the approximate 70,000 hotel rooms in NYC, the current occupancy rate is 18%, 1/3 of which is from relocated homeless people. This is in all boroughs, btw. Hotel owners are suffering financially just as so many other business owners are. When the hotels are shuttered because their owners can no longer afford the hefty costs of paying staff, electric, etc, please do not waste space posting about how awful all of the empty store fronts on the UWS are.

      • Borisb says:

        It hasn’t been mentioned because it’s not news-breaking that hotel owners prefer higher occupancy rates. In other news, the sky is blue.

    52. UWSider with kids says:

      I’m not sure if someone has pointed this out, but any densely populated neighborhood is not ideal for a homeless shelter, bc either the residents are inside all day (not good) or they are out in the streets. And let’s be honest, homeless people, esp. when mentally ill, can be scary. I’ve had them yell at me, threaten me, etc. It would be better to find a shelter in a less densely urban environment. Ideally–I don’t know if that’s feasible. Also, I object to people saying the residents of the UWS are heartless and unkind. What, honestly, can any of us do to help? We cannot offer counseling; we cannot provide treatment of any kind. Yes, we could not object to a shelter in our neighborhood, and perhaps that would be kinder. But there is no denying that adding some 300 men, some with serious issues, makes the streets a scarier place, esp. for children.

    53. Brenda says:

      It’s not a good look for us to turn away those most in need of our generosity. The only thing that differentiates these drug users from those on Park Avenue is their financial ability to maintain their habit in private.
      Houselessness is a matter of not having a home. Sometimes that’s due to mental health issues and sometimes it is due to an appalling lack of affordable housing. We need to see shades of grey and remember that if wealth can be inherited, so can poverty.

    54. Steven says:

      Characterizing this shelter issue as a socioeconomic divide is inaccurate, unfair to UWS residents and frankly, lazy.

      This comment and others like it is patently false: “this came to this conclusion because of a very vocal minority of people with money on the UWS”. In fact, we have several homeless shelters on the UWS which have been operating with community support for years.

      The difference this time is the disrespect with which many of the men treated the neighborhood – those of you blaming “the rich UWS” are ignoring what was happening – not all the men, but many of them were breaking the law and making the neighborhood unsafe. If any of the “rich UWS” residents behaved this way, I would expect them to be arrested also.

      • Dave K. says:

        It was also driven by the fact that they covered up the death of a resident…so while everyone points fingers at each other, was the city really protecting these people? or us?
        The answer is no. They were abused I am hopeful they get better treatment elsewhere.

        • Jason UWS says:

          THIS IS SO UNTRUE. No one covered up anything. The West Side Rag should take down this post by David K. UNTRUE!!!

      • Jason UWS says:

        This comment is just so blatantly false.

    55. Donna says:

      The homeless situation has been around in NYC for decades. The problem has persisted during both Republican and Democratic administrations. Why have we never seen a viable solution?
      I am not trying to take a stand here. I am truly curious as to why we can’t somehow makes progress on this matter.

    56. C says:

      Will the hotels that served as shelters purchase new furniture and beds after they no longer are used as shelters? It seems that they should be required to do so. It isn’t fair or appopriate to leave the beds and chairs and have future guests and families use the same bedding. Past articles mentioned inappropriate conduct and that drugs were being used in the rooms. Wouldn’t the bedding be contaminated and possibly affect future guests? Families staying there in the future would not want to stay in the same beds. I love NYC and plan to visit again but I will likely stay in NJ and take train to the city.

    57. Upper West Sider says:

      Read “The Children in the Shadows” in the New York Times. Put families in this hotel.

    58. Lincoln Square Resident says:

      Does anyone know, beside offering shelters, does their hotels (temporary homeless shelters) offer food too? I have seen lately an influx of “proactive” panhandlers in the neighborhood. In the past, most of the panhandlers would sit on street corners or in front of a store to ask for change. The more intimidated ones hold your door. Now, I have people coming up to me at McDonalds, Starbucks, Little Italy Pizza, MyPie, Dunkins Donut while I am queuing up to order. They are getting more aggressive and bold. Instead of asking for small changes, they are asking people (one by one) to buy them a cheese burger, a slice of pizza, a drink, a meal, etc. Some of these men are young, some old, some white, and some black. Some are well dressed and some aren’t.

      Have anyone else noticed that trend? I wonder are these folks from the nearby luxury-turn-homeless hotels.

      • Robert O Johnson says:

        This has been going on way before these men moved into any of these hotels. You all have to stop blaming everything on the homeless men who live in these hotels. Many of them are working and have jobs but cant pay for rent. That is what part of the issue really is. The real estate developers getting richer and richer while the working class struggle and struggle. Which I might add one of the organizers of the Facebook group opposed to this is a big real estate person herself.

    59. Lauren OConnell says:

      It’ll be interesting to see who/what you blame for the poor quality of life in the neighborhood going forward. Best of luck UWSiders.

    60. DenaliBoy says:

      Wonderful news re Lucerne. Hopefully Belleclaire will return to normal ASAP.One can argue all you want about political correctness, but the behavior of these individuals was a kick in the teeth to the neighborhood. I’m glad they are leaving.

    61. Harold Kooden, Ph.D. says:

      I am ashamed of our community for this behavior. It only goes to show how hollow are some people’s progressive thinking when it impacts their personal space. This is just another example of white privilege and classism that further illustrates the divisiveness that pervades our culture.

    62. JUANITA says:

      Just last night around 11:30 pm a homeless man was sleeping under a scaffold in front of FHITTING ROOM gym on Columbus & 88th Street. I have not seen this since the 70’s .
      We should not have to walk in our neighborhood walking over a man sleeping in the street.
      Some of you posting that you are disappointed in a small portion of the UWSer’s. We are here to live not have homeless men thrown in our neighborhood. THANK YOU FOR THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR US.

      • Robert O Johnson says:

        Juanita you’re ridiculous! He has been there for months. I walk by him all the time and he does not live apparently at any of these hotels. Stop already!

      • geoff says:

        another desire might be that our society should not have people forced to sleep on the street.

    63. 79 Lifer says:

      Wondering if some of this move was brought on by the fact that the Lucerne recently took down a majority of the scaffolding on the building and may be nearing the end of their renovations? Not sure but seems plausible.

    64. zig says:

      death at lucerne wed 7am
      unconscious male
      died at scene
      officials indicated not covid related

    65. Swar says:

      Thank god, finally

    66. Black1a says:

      Dancing man is still dancing on the median. What changed.

      The bench dwellers on 82nd still defacate between cars when they are not on the bench. What changed

    67. Twenty Years on the UWS says:

      If I weaponize my white privilege against the vulnerable, then it doesn’t really matter if I consider myself “not racist,” because I’m not being being ANTI-racist. I don’t just get to say “this isn’t because they’re black” and let myself off the hook. If I as a white person want to truly be ANTI-racist, then I will have to do things that will erode my privilege. That means sending white kids to schools where they aren’t the majority race. That means building affordable housing instead of more investment properties for oligarchs. And yes, that means accepting homeless shelters and methadone clinics in “nice” neighborhoods.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        “If I weaponize my white privilege against the vulnerable, then it doesn’t really matter if I consider myself “not racist,” because I’m not being being ANTI-racist” — Marxist babble right out of Orwell.

      • UWSsara says:

        Why are you assuming the men in the homeless shelter are black? I swear some of you calling everyone a racist need to look in the mirror…good lord.

    68. UWShopeful says:

      This is very good news. Hopefully the residents of the hotel now get the services they need. It is good that DeBlasio visited the neighborhood and saw the effects that the temporary shelters are having and came to this conclusion. Grass roots are taking hold in the UWS and a wind of change in local politics is rising. In 2013 Helen Rosenthal won the district 6 democratic primary by 1276 votes with 7716 votes compared to the next closest candidate at 6440. All of this is to say that small numbers of voters can not only influence local elections but can actually determine them. Time for folks to get out and vote and start getting the local representation that we deserve.

      • UWSsara says:

        If you want people to vote we need candidates worth voting for…so sick of people touting free this and that and catering to those who spend our tax dollars. Living in nyc is a blessing but it is hard and it is expensive, and every day our leaders spit in the face of the middle class taxpayers. If someone runs who actually understands that, I’ll vote for them. I moved to nyc a liberal and get more conservative every day, and I’m only 30. Nothing like living through a crash course in failed policies in the years your finally earn enough to pay rent and eat in the same week… i love nyc, but some of you guys seem determined to destroy it …while at the same time complaining about how empty the local store fronts are…truly consider educating yourself on economics and history…