Lucerne Move Delayed At Least Another Two Weeks as Resident Describes ‘Psychological Trauma’

The Lucerne.

The city is delaying its plan to move men from The Lucerne Hotel to a Radission downtown to better prepare the downtown site, according to one of the men living at The Lucerne and a group fighting to keep them there.

The approximately 240 men who remain will now be moved to the Radisson near Wall Street on or after October 19. Initially, the move was expected to happen by October 5. The battle over the shelter — between some local residents who have pushed to have it removed and others who want it to stay — continues to rage on, but it’s not the main reason for the delay.

The problem, according to Da Homeless Hero, one of the men at The Lucerne, is that the new hotel wasn’t ready for them. The Radisson had previously been used as a quarantine site and still needs to be set up for the new residents, he said.

Beyond that, the constant upheaval — this will be the third time many of them have been forced to move since the pandemic began — has hurt the men at The Lucerne, he told us.

“The psychological trauma that the men of Lucerne have been experiencing since being used by pawns by the city will last for years to come. This part has not been properly addressed and I’m now working with Project Renewal’s Recovery Center, Open Hearts Initiative, and faith leaders from this community and throughout New York City to address these issues. It doesn’t matter where we go, what has been exposed in this recent weeks is the city’s total disregard for our health and wellness.

There is an effort to connect with community groups down there and find a way to secure local support for us. Leaving this area, we are also losing a tremendous amount of support that we’ve never had before. There was so much that the community provided that will be lost once we move and it will have a detrimental effect on us as we move. Many of us are working around the clock to prevent that with efforts to reach out to those who may oppose our being in the new neighborhood to develop positive dialogue. What happened here, and I don’t blame the community for this, was detrimental to the lives of a vulnerable population. This is the city’s fault and they should do the right thing to ensure that it never ever happens again. What has not come out is the fact that lives have been lost during this time.”

People living near the downtown Radisson have also begun to organize to prevent the men from living there.

The Department of Homeless Services did not respond to a request for comment.

NEWS | 27 comments | permalink
    1. No no shhh says:

      Sure wish the city and UWS Woke cared about it’s tax paying, law biding citizens as much as they do these homeless dudes.

      • Leon says:

        Agreed. Every human is important but the amount of resources being spent on this small portion of the population is unbelievable. I know many small business owners who wish they had this kind of money being spent to support their businesses and pay their rent.

        Also, it was made very clear why they were removed from Hell’s Kitchen. If the vast majority of the shelter residents who weren’t causing trouble didn’t want to keep getting relocated, perhaps they should have self-policed their neighbors who were causing the problems, or ask for more help.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          reply to Leon:

          Facts please.

          Leon said:

          “I know many small business owners who wish they had this kind of money being spent to support their businesses and pay their rent.”

          In fact, small businesses received much more help (monetarily) through the PPP program in the original stimulus CARES Act. The House passed a second round of even stronger small business support, the HEROEs ACt, but the Republican Senate has refused to take it up. Both of these sources help businesses with rent and payroll, very substantially.

          • Concerned Small Business Owner says:

            NO BRUCE, not all small business owners received money. We did not. Because we opened under a year ago, we did NOT get one cent of assistance, including NY Forward, the loan that was to help those that did not get PPP or EIDL. We are hurting and trying to survive with vagrants and the street homeless causing us problems; we can’t have another shelter that puts more stress on businesses than anyone can imagine. Think of all the businesses that are going out of business. If we had support like the Lucerne shelter, our UWS would be much different.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              I never said that ALL small businesses got money. But the Paycheck Protection Program was $669 billion, which vastly dwarfs funds committed to homelessness, nationally.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          reply to Leon:

          Fact please Part 2.

          Leon said:

          “If the vast majority of the shelter residents who weren’t causing trouble didn’t want to keep getting relocated, perhaps they should have self-policed their neighbors who were causing the problems, or ask for more help.”

          thank you for noting that the problem residents are a small minority of the Lucerne. Most of these have been removed. However, perhaps you haven’t noticed that the Lucerne residents have repeatedly “asked for more help”, including the many postings of DHH on WSR.

          Second, since when are the “people who aren’t causing trouble” responsible for “self-policing” (it’s not SELF policing, is it? you’re asking them to police OTHERS) of their building? Are you and I held responsible for the illegal acts of our neighbors? This is known as “collective punishment” and it’s a terrible, and immoral, practice. And a double standard.

      • ActNow says:

        I am traumatized. Our children are traumatized. Seniors are traumatized. Business owners are traumatized. People who have been attacked at subway stops, while eating outside, or simply walking are traumatized. Car owners are traumatized. People who have lost their jobs, who are homeschooling their children and are worrying about health insurance and paying the rent are traumatized. People who are afraid to go out are traumatized. I doubt that 50M a month would ever be available every month to us to solve our problems. Unless someone knows something that I don’t.

    2. ZoomZ says:

      Another two weeks in the Lucerne means another $588,000.
      Looks like this is not going to end very soon, if at all.
      Hooray to the ones in charge.
      Costing the tax payers millions, and
      costing the homeless population grief,
      on and on and on.

    3. Susan says:

      For the last time, IT’S NOT A SHELTER, IT’S A HOTEL.

      This is why no one sane wants “temporary” homeless shelters – it’s nearly impossible to get rid of them.

    4. Paul says:

      the race to $500,000,000.00.

    5. CrankyPants says:

      What about OUR “psychological trauma?!“ Our elected officials must be voted out.

    6. Steve says:

      Ughhhh, I knew this would happen. And in 2 weeks they’ll find yet another reason to delay the movie. How much you wanna bet this will still be going on by Christmas time.

    7. Jane Jacobs says:

      OMG –
      Where is Robert Moses when you need him‼️

    8. Sad UWS-er says:

      I’m was just in the Duane Read at 79th street directly across from the Lucern. As I’m at the register the cashier says over the speaker “security, come to the front immediately, he’s here again.” At first I thought she was talking about me. But I watched with her as a man took a large case of beer out of the frig & started to walk towards the exit. The cashier said to him “are you planning to pay for that” & he just laughed & said “NOPE” as he walked out the door. She said he comes in there almost every evening & does the same thing. They are not allowed to try to stop or detain him, they have to call the police. This is what is now our new UWS neighborhood.

    9. e says:

      Let me make this clear. The politicians and the people that they brought in from outside the area are the ones who want the men in the Lucerne to stay. They are not getting the help they need and deserve. Hotels are not equipped to handle this. This is a densely populated area near schools and parks. We have 4 hotels acting as ill equipped shelters in a 10 block area. This was supposed to be TEMPORARY. It’s time for them to move to a more suitable location where they can get the services they need.

    10. MP says:

      300k for 300 people for a few months! This is not about what is humane or not. It’s not a question of where these men should live, it’s about general mismanagement of the situation. There is also nothing that makes these men any more special than any other citizen. Why are we allowing them to receive 2500 a month for rent? You think there aren’t other people that lost their jobs that could use some of that money? Why stop at 10k? Why don’t we put them up in penthouses and spend 500k more?

    11. Jean Luke says:

      We’ve been noticing so many more vagrants and aggressive panhandlers on UWS near Lucerne. My wife and kids don’t feel safe anymore walking in the area that used to feel completely safe. The other day we saw a crazy man try to take food from a diner outside a restaurant and then proceeded to kick a Dog.

      Also not sure why its traumatic to be moved to another hotel. I used to travel all the time and frequently would stay in multiple hotels in the course of a week. Perhaps no one wants to move to move from the luxury Lucerne to 3 star Radisson as the Lucerne is a much nicer hotel.

    12. NYC Taxpayer says:

      How about the “psychological trauma” of the actual, non-homeless Lucerne residents who actually pay rent and live in fear, not to mention the trauma of the entire surrounding neighborhood?

    13. Christine E says:

      According to WSR’s prior budget article, the hotel contracts expire 10/12/2020. If the hotels still are providing shelter housing after that date, the rooms were either pre-paid, the city is refusing to honor the contractual termination dates, or there is yet another contract!

      https://www.westsiderag.com/2020/09/29/citys-unaudited-homeless-hotel-program-is-nearly-four-times-as-expensive-as-first-estimated

      • UpperWest says:

        Whether or not there have been any renewals beyond 10/12/20, and if so for how long, is the million, or maybe 300 million, dollar question. I’ve seen no reports on this either way.

    14. LK says:

      There was never any intention of moving out early. All smoke and mirrors while they are finishing out the contract. The big question is whether the next contract is already in place… UWS soap opera – ‘300 good guys in Lucerne and the the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad neighbors’ – written, directed, and starring Helen Rosenthal.

    15. Newcavendish says:

      Once again, utter incompetence of management plus allowing highly theoretical “trauma” to stand in the way of carrying out reasonable, announced action (assuming the destination hotel is in fact ready, which seems to be in dispute). This is no way to run a serious social service. This is no way to manage the impact thereof on legitimate neighborhood concerns. This will certainly not help stop NIMBY reactions in the future.

    16. Concerneduwser says:

      Is there any regard to the “psychological trauma” caused to this community, overburdened with more shelters (between permanent and temporary) than almost 90% of other city districts? Why can’t so-called compassionate Corinne Low continue to help these men regardless of their location, doesn’t her compassion travel? Happy to provide her with a metrocard. It’s about fairness and equity. Homeless people need and should be provided with help, but the city must do it in an equitable manner across districts.

    17. Fred says:

      My wife and I pay a lot of taxes to NYC and New York State. We’ve lived on the UWS for 19 years and Manhattan for 27 years. We’ve had enough. We’re moving out by the end of this year.

    18. Richard says:

      I was attacked by a a crazed insane man on the corner of 80th and Broadway Friday Oct 2,2020 at 7:30 PM.
      He pounded on my chest powerfully and repeatedly for several minutes until I talked him down. He accused me of walking in front of him which wasn’t true and called me the N word, tho’ I am white and he black.
      Homeless people who work should be offered local housing but mentally ill homeless should not!!
      I am a 77yo physician and am enraged at our local councilperson and mayor. This perversion of liberalism is why people vote for the Right. Wake up!