Downtown Group Sues to Stop Homeless Shelter from Being Moved from Upper West Side


The Radisson where the men are expected to be moved.

A group of people living near the site of a Radisson hotel where the city plans to move 235 homeless men are suing to stop the move, potentially delaying their transfer from a hotel on the Upper West Side.

Downtown New Yorkers Inc. say in the suit that the city doesn’t have a contract to move the men and said it’s being done in “a fundamentally flawed process unrelated to the COVID-19 emergency.”

The men were moved into The Lucerne Hotel on West 79th Street in late July, and their arrival caused a political stir. More than 15,000 people joined a Facebook group that opposed the move and said the men were disrupting the neighborhood. But a counter-movement urged the city to keep the men there. Mayor de Blasio decided last month that they needed to go, but the move has been delayed since.

The Department of Homeless Services has insisted it will still go forward and issued the following statement in regards to the suit:

“The entire city has a moral and legal obligation to provide safe shelter to all who need it.  This shameful attempt to dodge that obligation through a technical procurement challenge will fail in court. Using this hotel to provide shelter during this unprecedented pandemic is not only a justified use of the Mayor’s emergency powers, it is absolutely the right thing to do.”

NEWS | 31 comments | permalink

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    1. Otis says:

      It’s pathetic that there’s a “Department of Homeless Services”.

      It likely employs a lot of bureaucrats and activists and utilizes a lot of lawyers.

      Homelessness is big business

    2. Sheet Harris says:

      The men leave the Lucerne without face coverings. They were moved from the shelters because of the spread of Covid 19. Now they congregate on 79 street in groups and do not wear masks. Now they are in a position to spread the virus in the UWS.
      I Walk past the Lucerne frequently and see few of the men with masks. I called Project Recovery and was told they do not have money to provide masks. So let 79 street become a hot spot.

      • Fed Up on the UWS says:

        Very true. The second they walk out the front door, the masks come off. Very disrespectful to the neighborhood. I sincerely hope they do actually move next week, but since we’ve heard that before & so many other move out dates were postponed, I’ll believe it when it actually happens.

    3. UpperWester says:

      After 911, the homeless were funneled to hotels allegedly to help hotels because of the lack of tourism. I’d wager that the same hotel owners who got rich off the 911 homeless-to-hotels action are getting rich again now. While homeless-to-hotels may sound noble, don’t lose track that homeless-to-hotels has happened before and is most likely again just a way of using bodies to funnel money to already rich people.

    4. Boring says:

      As I said before and I’ll say it again…. Who gives a damn!
      Enough with the homeless issue who cares! This is totally boring I no longer an issue with the city gets ready to throw them out can’t go on forever… I have better things to do with my time then think about them.

    5. babrarus says:

      Move de Blasio to a shelter and move 50 homeless to Gracie Mansion.

    6. Steph says:

      This is what happens when decisions are made through lawsuits rather than governance. Whoever has the biggest stick and the most money wins. No homeless shelters on the East side (well, maybe one).

    7. Angel King says:

      They deserve a place to live like anyone else What does God want done in this matter

      • sam says:

        No they do not. Why should hardworking taxpayers commute from the Bronx or Jersey or Pennsylvania to work on UWS while these addicts relax?

    8. Joe says:

      Good bye and good riddance! Give us our neighborhood peace back!

    9. Andrew says:

      The UWS has shown it’s true Limousine Liberal colors with this issue. Sad that the UWS lacks empathy and compassion for these less fortunate. Easier I suppose to simply say “Immigrants welcome here“ than to actually help homeless. This is racism and classism at their very worst.

      • TruthSayer says:

        Bish please. You are as narrowminded as those you seem to be calling out.

      • Leon says:

        Many of these people are white. And many of those complaining about it are minorities. So stop abusing the word “racism.” Unfortunately there is still way too much racism today, but don’t use the word when it doesn’t apply.

        Most complainers wouldn’t be complaining if Lucerne residents behaved like kind neighbors. Many do, but a significant percentage didn’t. Rather than solving this problem, those running the program initially just got defensive rather than responsive. Major progress has been made on this, partially in response to the complaints.

      • Stop complaining! says:

        Why don’t you move to the East Village?

    10. WestsideDeacon says:

      The overwhelming majority of Westsiders are compassionate people and are supportive of assisting the homeless by welcoming them into our community. I believe that after November 3, when their patron saint Trump is defeated, the vocal minority that rails against assistance for the less fortunate will subside, pipe down, fall in.

      • boris says:

        So welcome them into your own home, and pay for their stay at the Lucern from your own pocket. Stop picking my pockets! Why should my parents who worked for 40 years not be able to live on UWS while these individuals get free housing, food, etc?

      • nemo paradise says:

        Wonderful. I believe that Azeroth will materialize at 79th and Columbus on Election Day with a blazing trident and smite down all who do not “subside, pipe down and fall in.”

        An overwhelming majority of upper west siders agree with me.

    11. Dave Morgan says:

      I’m still stunned that everyone that cares about the homeless situation has no empathy for what is going on at the Lucerne. Once a week, an ambulance is there for OD and death reasons. You can easily check the stats with the city. It’s a hotel that is not equipped with medical, therapy or doctors to treat their drug/mental issues. Keep lying to yourself that your doing the right thing. You have blood on your hands. They need HELP. The need a proper facility to treat and rehabilate them. You are are the problem not these individuals.

    12. GG says:

      Is this still going on?? Kinda shows how when the media stops hyping things up they sort of drift away….

      Hey, what ever happened to those fireworks? I thought that was gonna be the end of the world, now this, I wonder what will be next?

    13. charles becker says:

      The homeless should be sheltered in bastions of liberalism like Park Slope and the UWS
      Any other policy is hypoctisy

    14. Lorene Farnsworth says:

      A predictable outcome, no neighborhood is an island in this town.

    15. GaryGlitter says:

      I’m confused. Why are they doing this if this hotel is in the FiDi? I mean, they’re not Upper West Siders. They’re not wealthy. They’re not liberal. They’re normal people who just hapoen to live in The Financial District.

    16. Newcavendish says:

      This of course could have been avoided with good planning and communications from the City. Given that the City seems to be incapable of managing the process, let alone controlling the antisocial tendencies of some of the people concerned, it’s better to have the shelter go downtown. But think of how much time and money has been lost on litigation and wheel-spinning, at a time when the City is on the verge of financial collapse (see the current New York Magazine).

    17. still-UWSer says:

      It costs a lot to live in safe neighborhood. I actually spent all my fortune for down payment. Now FiDi seems more attractive than UWS. When you estimate any damage on your future life potentially caused by neighboring mentally ill, drug addict, RealEstate price in FiDi will go up for sure.

    18. Sam Lopez says:

      We have so many homeless men scattered all over the place in the Upper West Side. It is disgraceful. The public should not be responsible for them period.

    19. Bonnie Rice says:

      I took a long walk around theUWS. The homeless are basically around Broadway between 75 to 85th St. If you think they belong in the neighborhood come and pick up a couple of them for the day and bring them to your Street. I won’t even go to the bank on 79th St. sit on a bench is impossible. Won’t go outside after dusk. Hat have you done to my neighborhood. You said, 3 months. Time to go!