By Carol Tannenhauser
City Council member Gale Brewer is calling for a significant reduction in the number of people the city plans to shelter in a new “safe haven” transitional housing facility for homeless men and women that is scheduled for opening next month on W. 83rd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.
In a statement she plans to release on social media obtained by West Side Rag, Brewer suggests that each room in the shelter should have just one or two beds, rather than the four-bed rooms that are part of current plans. Her suggestion would reduce the planned capacity of 80-108 people by half or more.
This, in fact, aligns with Community Board 7’s FY 2023 Prioritized Budget Requests, which said the ideal number for safe havens is “50-60 people.” They also noted that “providers who do street outreach report that most people reject offers of shelter if they are not proximate to the neighborhood to which they’ve become accustomed.”
Discussion of the safe haven facility has stirred controversy on the Upper West Side since a Community Board 7 committee meeting last week voted its approval of the facility. The full board is scheduled to discuss the facility at its meeting Tuesday night. But CB7 discussion and any possible vote are pro forma actions. The safe haven is a “done deal, as far as I know,” said a Brewer spokesperson. The statement from Brewer’s office said: “This came [about] when Mayor Adams announced he would increase funds for low-barrier shelters by more than $170 million in 2023—the largest ever investment in safe havens by any administration.”
Opponents of the safe haven contend it could pose a security threat for nearby schools, though the building at that address, 106-108 W. 83rd Street, has been a Department of Homeless Services facility for decades, according to Brewer. Most recently, Brewer said in the statement “it was the 130-bed Skyway Men’s Shelter operated by Acacia Network Housing from 2012 to 2021.” Since then, the city’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) contracted with the nonprofit Breaking Ground “to open a safe haven to replace the Acacia shelter when the building was renovated in 2022,” Brewer said.
Many of the complaints about the planned safe haven have noted that there was little advance notice to the public about it – or about the community board committee’s meeting to discuss it.
Here is Council Member Brewer’s complete statement:
The building at 106-108 West 83rd Street has been a Department of Homeless Services facility for decades. Most recently it was the 130 bed Skyway Men’s Shelter operated by Acacia Network Housing from 2012 to 2021. DHS contracted Breaking Ground to open a safe haven to replace the Acacia shelter when the building was renovated in 2022. This came when Mayor Adams announced he would increase funds for low-barrier shelters by more than $170 million in 2023—the largest ever investment in safe havens by any administration.
New York City needs to create more beds for the homeless. Breaking Ground operates successful safe havens in the East Village, Union Square, Boerum Hill, and Williamsburg. They house a relatively small number of people who receive individual attention. I am concerned about the number of beds in each room at this new safe haven. I urge Breaking Ground to limit it to one or two beds per room instead of four. The goal is to get people off the street, not to maximize the number of people in the building.
Safe havens are pipelines to permanent housing. I have visited many and supported their construction. The safe haven will only be successful if there is an active Community Advisory Board, which Breaking Ground has agreed to do. Breaking Ground could have done more to involve the community and officials earlier in the process. I didn’t hear about it until just before the community board meeting.
Thank you Carol and WSR for your willingness to tackle the tough stories and engage in open comments. Not an easy job. Very important, in a democracy, that people have access to free speech. Thank you.
The voice of reason
wow that is good to know i didnt know any of that thank you
IT WAS A SHELTER ALREADY???? NOBODY SAID THAT
I live around the corner and I’ve been confused by this since I thought it already was a shelter. I was starting to think I made it up! Glad for the sanity check
Yes someone was murdered there in 2019 so they closed it down
Yes a homeless person there with a severe psychiatric history killed his roommate with a kitchen knife in a moment of rage.
Was the murder victim from the school across the street?
The lack of transparency and secrecy surrounding this in addition to Sheldon Fine steamrolling any opposition to this project is far more heinous and a threat to the democratic process. Of course, having a safe haven full of unvetted homeless near schools is also worth discussion. No barrier is code for no background check on violence, sexual abuse, drug addiction.
Why do you assume these men will be “unvetted?” Nonprofits like Breaking Ground run shelters in very different way as compared with municipal shelters,
At the meeting, it was emphasized that the mandate was to bring them from the street in a physical description only.Together with their “stash”. Low barrier means no deep dive or even a shallow dive.
If you listen to the meeting, they state that background checks are not run for this type of facility. All that is required is a referral from an outreach specialist. That they are living on the street. I think the concern is the kind of shelter vs necessarily the provider. Questions were asked about housing sex offenders and they were not answered.
How could she not know abt the plan? Shelly Fine was so confident in his presentation stating many times that this was part of the community request. He never looped her into the details before the meeting? Does anyone really believe she had no idea? If that is true, what else happens where she has no idea? Shelly answers to her? Sounds very fishy actually.
Gale Brewer appointed Shelly Fine to CB 7.
He has been on CB7 since 1986.
His term expires in 2023.
(CB7 web page)
Helen Rosenthal appointed Sara Lind.
Her term expires in 2023.
48/50 CB7appointments are by Mark Levine, Helen Rosenthal, Gale Brewer or Shaun Abreu.
Need common sense CB7 members.
Not special interests, like Sara Lind and many others.
How about longtime, former Transportation Chair Howard Yaruss coming from Bike Lobby Transportation Alternatives so the UWS is now crisscrossed with bike lanes?? He’s now on the housing committee. The guy who represents interests and not ours.
Bike lanes save the lives of pedestrians. Are you against that?
I love the bike lanes. Dense cities should be less tolerant of cars, not more.
The city council does not oversee community boards. Shelly Fine does not answer to Gale Brewer any more than he answers to you.
What CB7 and DHS did here is the opposite of a transparent, responsive government and civic engagement.
Incredible that a 108 bed capacity shelter is being opened in a matter of weeks which no one – except CB7, DHS, & Breaking Ground knew about. If you believe her, even City Council Gale Brewer claims she wasn’t told until, “right before tbe meeting.”
Shelly Fine, as a member of the Community Board, did not provide opportunities for neighborhood residents to weigh-in BEFORE this Breaking Ground shelter was a done deal.
An intentional deception, under the radar of community and residents are rightfully outraged.
This should be investigated.
Time to get a lawyer that is on our side.
I think zero is the ideal number. But if it is a done deal, I am glad that they are at least reducing the number.
In many places, there are laws such that crimes (such as drug-related crimes) within a certain radius of a school draw stiffer penalties. Does this exist in NY?
That block is a complete outlier from the rest of the neighborhood. There is one luxury building that went up within the last ten years (buyers remorse anyone?) and the rest is dodgy. I am all for economic diversity in our neighborhood but that block is pretty extreme.
Thanks WSR. I hope you will update this soon with comment from Breaking Ground about his this will affect numbers of staff and security available in the facility. And I hope this will ease some community concerns related to bad experiences with shelter residents’ behavior on the streets.
Simple solution to this: Breaking Ground and Gale Brewer should have skin in the game for supporting the site.
Let them open the site, but make clear that it will be closed immediately if a resident commits a violent crime or harasses a resident nearby, especially a child at the nearby school.
They talk a big game about security, support staff, etc. So let’s make it results oriented.
Why wait until someone gets hurt to act. That just happened to a woman who got raped last night coming home – in her own building.
Result oriented, LOL, its Govermenent money, You expect results? That’s not how it works.
The concerning part in the meeting, questions about security were repeatedly met with what they are doing to protect their clients. Commenting how many of them fear for their safety. There was no acknowledgement for safety concerns that might impact the lives of permanent residents in the neighborhood or their kids. All that was said by Gale is that she has been in touch with the school and local businesses. Which also seems to contradict her statement that she only just found out about the shelter before the meeting.
This is exactly right. The presenters addressed questions about safety in the context of safety of the residents and completely ignored safety of the schoolchildren.
It is outrageous.
Gale brewer and CB7 do not represent the majority.
Aren’t decades enough? Can’t you find another neighborhood to ruin? You’ve already demolished the UWS. We no longer go out after dark and live in the hopes of moving to UES or downtown anywhere with a future that looks towards improving not degrading our quality of life. VERY SAD WHAT CB HAS ALLOWED TO OCCUR. Gale Brewer & friends WHAT EXACTLY IS IN IT FOR YOU?
I certainly hope that Gayle Brewer will be a person of integrity and advocate for less numbers of residents. While I know that the space was always an SRO dating back to the late ‘70’s, I don’t recall seeing 120 plus individuals coming and going from the locale.
That said, I have attempted to articulate in several previous posts that there are professionals who are responsible for the safety of youngsters, mandated by law, to report incidents of abuse/neglect to the appropriate NYS authorities for children, as well as the elderly.
Youngsters simply observing schizophrenogenic individuals standing/smoking and situated on the street, may border on emotional trauma. Previously working in a psychiatric setting? I encountered several screaming patients who spit, urinated and pushed staff members attempting to offer compassionate help, and it was indeed traumatic to observe, no matter one’s age. While good intentions are valuable, I certainly hope that the proposed occupants will be psychosocially vetted and will comply with psycho medications as needed and more importantly, appropriate protocols for evaluation over time are implemented.
I don’t have children in the school. However, it takes a village to protect our youngsters from the possibilities that MAY emerge. It sounds like it will not simply be a homeless population but rather individuals with more complicated psychiatric issues that require a multimodal approach to addiction and serious disorders as outlined in the DSM 5, 2022. Evaluation by HHS prior and post ANY admission is critical to insure the safety of: residents and community members at-large.
With thoughtful input as iterated by Maria Danzilo and sooooooo many others who have previously posted their sense and sensibilities regarding the overall safety, growth and development of children, we can collectively hold our elected officials accountable for their decision-making, that initially transcended
the voiceless in addition to the voices who elected them to their positions of power.
This is not this kind of shelter. It is low barrier drop on. . All a person needs is a referral from an outreach coordinator. We can only hope they will cross check a sex offender registry before referral but that is doubtful. Do they even have to give their real name ? Recall how Sheldon Fine referenced the man who goes by Chief as someone who’s face lit up at the sound of a low barrier shelter? Kids should be able to focus on learning math and reading. Teachers should not have to spend time explaining to them about mental Illness outbursts and overdoses because this is what they see while playing in their gated playground. It’s a sick plan and no wonder why so many public schools are failing our kids these days.
I believe Chief was the individual who preferred the arrangements at the Lucerne and who was not happy with housing arrangement he was provided further uptown. While refusing housing and while waiting for a better location closer to the Lucerne, a special operation took place to take pictures of him being at his new place in order to prove that he had indeed being assigned permanent housing. A place to live.
“Youngsters simply observing schizophrenogenic individuals standing/smoking and situated on the street, may border on emotional trauma” might be the dumbest thing I’ve read so far.
No Misty… The idea of housing drug addicts, chronic mental health patients and predators across from a school yard is the dumbest thing I ever read.
I’m confident the UWS will be spared the worst impacts from this shelter. As much as there may be valid concerns, those concerns would be more likely to be ignored or dismissed in the outer boroughs.
Well, we’ve been told that the men of the Lucerne couldn’t be moved to a hotel downtown that required them to walk through an empty bar since it was triggering to those who are trying to stay sober. And those were grown men who were living in a shelter across the street from 2 liquor stores and above Amsterdam avenue and Nice Matin. You can’t have rules for one vulnerable population and not the other.
Perhaps, I should have been more gritty.
How about schizophrenics urinating and exposing their genitalia? Does that work better for you? I was a young doctoral student and found such behavioral episodes stressful. Guess I am simply a Dumbo. You may want to consider that words do matter. Hope your words are more helpful at the next CB meeting.
“ I didn’t hear about it until just before the community board meeting.” Gale Brewer has served two terms as Council Member for this district and two terms as Manhattan BP. Now in a third term on the City Council. How could she and her staff not have known? District 6 has more than a handful of various shelters. Do they not have contacts in the various City agencies?
Actually, she served three terms in the council when Bloomberg suspended term limits for one term. This is her fourth in the council, plus two as MBP.
Gale Brewer does a good job at equivocating and listening to the community before taking a position. Gale probably did know, but given her aggressive public schedule and past rumors that she may have a body double because she does a lot of showing up at events, it’s plausible she may not have known about the particular details of the shelter.
The sad thing is that even if they fill every single bed, it’s not going to make a dent in the number of drug addicts, homeless, and mentally ill on the streets in the neighborhood. I’d be happy to have the shelter if I thought the people on the street wouldn’t be replenished in a few weeks.
This homelessness problem will continue as long as nonprofits continue to profit from this business. Billions of dollars should be used to build new (new!!!) modern facilities with mental health support, recreation, pastoral services, gardening and outdoor activities, space to lounge and heal and learn and socialize – this type of healing requires SPACE!!!! Not 4 to a room! Not on a crammed loud west 83rd with 2 other shelters, a drug site, and car rentals that constantly double park. Plus the sirens of the fire trucks 1 block away. This is bizarre. They need to be outside of Manhattan, preferably in a quieter location like Queens or south Brooklyn, or even outside the five boroughs! Once they’re better and ready to live more independently and have a job then permanent supportive housing proximate to their job or to a subway line can be considered. You don’t go from the street to a crammed bunkhouse and expect any change. Until the city/DHS accept that this system does not work, it doesn’t help ppl become healthier or better or happier or more independent or more comfortable. It cleans the streets but at what cost? Truly helping these ppl will require 6 months or more of intensive rehab and services in a healing setting. Not on west 83rd. You’ve got to be delusional in thinking that homeless people are looking to be near the American Museum of Natural History or Central Park or the historic Ansonia. They do not care about utilizing these offerings. They are largely unwell. House them in a place with large ample space – at a fraction of this cost.
You are so right. This same system hasn’t worked in decades. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The homeless population increases here, not decreases. I doubt anyone has ever done a study of the billions wasted and nothing accomplished. There should be NO homeless facilities in Manhattan at all (except for people temporarily displaced by fire, flooding, etc.). The rest is nonsense. ALL people who have these types of hard core issues need to be moved OUTSIDE the City, preferably to the country, and mostly to revitalizing the decaying towns that have been falling on hard times and depopulating for years. This state, and surrounding states like Pennsylvania, are filled with them. The cost factor would be BILLIONS less. And the success rate much better. This is all a total waste of time, space, money, and a horrible imposition on the people trying to keep NYC viable. Let Andy of Mayberry deal with this, not the NYPD. Let some abandoned building in Nowheresville be used, not prime real estate that needs to service the middle class and working class. I am so exhausted by the idiocy of all of this.
Humane, psychiatric facilities.
Kendra’s Law if necessary
Your proposed paradigm creates the possibility of rehabilitation and renewal.
The safe space “drop-in-by”
philosophy does not facilitate the consistency of: an array of therapeutic interventions needed to treat complicated mental health issues that requires a process over time and space. It’s simply a bandaid rather than holistic treatment. Just Sad. For everyone. Especially when endorsed by NYC/HHS.
Right, because people are lining up for all available homeless spots in our neighborhood. So as soon as we get one person off the street, the next in line can finally give up their unwanted home and take that much coveted spot on the street!
Well no…. I predict that less than 5 upper west side street homeless people end up taking a bed. Not Victoria’s Secret guy, not the old white lady at the diner, not Feckles, not the 79th guy, not the group of Latinx alcoholics near the 80s. DREAM ON- this haven is NOT FOR THEM! It will be filled with new neighbors. A mass importation.
Josh, many people who you see on the street in our neighborhood panhandling live in Washington Heights or the Bronx. They come to our neighborhood because people give them money here. I am friendly with street vendors who sell books and other items around 72nd and Broadway. The motto of the UWS should be “Give them money and they will multiply” because that’s what we’re doing, and that’s what’s happening. I personally gave almost $100 to one homeless woman over the course of 2 years, until I found out she lived full-time in a studio apartment in the Bronx that is funded by Breaking Ground. Never assume that someone asking for money (a) needs it or (b) doesn’t have a place to live.
Building more housing on the UWS may not necessarily make a dent as much as some political folks think it will. The minute you build more housing on the UWS and prices drop, the minute you’d have gentrifiers who gentrify other areas of NYC flood the UWS. It happened in 2020 and early 2021. It was the biggest unreported real estate story in NYC. News reporters should’ve spent a day walking around with a UWS rental agent to see with their own eyes.
Children are our city’s MOST vulnerable…..every parent knows this!
Children should never be exposed to such emotional risk as they walk home or play at school; school must be THEIR Safe Haven. This is not fear mongering, but rather the population housed at this facility will engender fear in children especially when they will nervously be warned by their parents to be extra careful, and as they witness crazy/lude threatening behavior which will obviously happen. This will only foster hypervigilance and anxiety in the very young.
We have all witnessed our fellow New Yorkers harassed, hurt or killed by schizophrenic, drug addicted individuals and harmed by predators. Yes, we should support Safe Haven but not at a location directly across from a school, This is child endangerment. Period. No one can Guarantee your child’s safety, and this will sadly not end well. CB 7, In your heart of hearts you know this is not hyperbolic and yet this is a risk you are willing to take. Even with supportive services this population is extremely challenging and unpredictable at best.
I am astonished at those who discuss this as a learning tool for “street smarts” or as a way to ” help kids deal with reality in NYC.” As a mental health provider for some forty plus years, there is a time and place for the teachable moment. I believe this is NOT THE TIME OR THE PLACE for such a moment. Our children missed so much as a result of COVID.. please…now this?.
Let’s all be reasonable and find a suitable location.
NBMCS……not by my child’s schoolyard
In faith, Gale does the right thing!
There have been murders, theft, stolen cars and bicycles, home invasions, rape, attacks of innocent bystanders in the park and the streets surrounding 106-108 at 83rd and Columbus. About 5 years ago, the largest bust of heroin and fentanyl – in the last twenty years in nyc – took place at 106-108 and it targeted five residents there .
I sat on a Columbus Avenue bus this week as a seriously mentally ill woman talked non-stop to herself in a very aggressive manner and every other word out of her mouth was a curse word. A woman got on the bus with two young children. They sat across from this woman. I was uncomfortable that the children were subjected to this but the Mother seemed to ignore it. I think everyone was afraid to try and stop this woman from her tirade not knowing that they wouldn’t escalate the situation.
As a resident of the UWS for my entire adult life I am really disturbed by the sheer volume of seriously mentally ill people wandering the UWS. I hope this new housing situation will not exacerbate the problem which extends way beyond proximity to our schools.
How do we shield our children from these unintended emotional stresses in what should be at least for a short while an age of innocence.
I’ve been taking the bus, crosstown at 72nd and 86th, as well as Broadway, Amsterdam and Columbus, every day for over 10 years. There have always been mentally ill people on the buses and congregating at the bus stops. Children take these buses to and from school EVERY day. Why is this only being addressed now that a shelter has been proposed?! Judging by the comments here, all of the children who’ve been taking public transportation for the past 10+ years must be emotionally stressed and traumatized teens/adults by now. Why can’t we focus on helping the homeless and mentally ill NOW in a way that will benefit EVERYONE?
Thank you for saying what is on so many minds. School should be a safe place where kids are excited to go and spend time and focus on learning skills that will help them get jobs and build their confidence. Allow parents vs Breaking Ground and our Community Board to decide how kids should develop empathy for those struggling with mental, physical, emotional or other challenges that make it hard for them to function in traditional society.
All we hear is that those most affected by homelessness are women and kids. Why not take advantage of this prime location , across the street from a school, in a family focused neighborhood, museums, parks, libraries, other kids, etc for moms with kids? Dads with kids?
LN, You make perfect sense. How welcomed, helpful, needed and embraced this would be by west siders.
I do not want the shelter either but accusing Gale Brewer of lying about when she found out is ridiculous.
Too little, too late.
There is no way Gale Brewer did not know about this. Absolutely no way. And when she did find out about it she did not push back for a minute. She WELCOMED it. She fully WELCOMED putting another housing on W. 97th street for unhoused and formerly incarcerated on the same block where 2 other shelters already exist, one where someone was murdered 2 weeks ago!
The UWS, has said YES for years and years. No matter when Ms. Brewer finds out about putting another shelter/housing on the UWS, she should say NO and fight it. It should be NO until every other neighborhood and borough has as many as we already do. That’s kindness and fairness for everyone, who she is supposed to be representing, everyone.
“She fully WELCOMED putting another housing on W. 97th street for unhoused and formerly incarcerated on the same block where 2 other shelters already exist, one where someone was murdered 2 weeks ago!”
This bears repeating. These two locations are literally 200 feet apart on the same block.
On the topic of Gail Brewer, it’s important to remember that she has not made a single public condemnation of the recent crime spike.
The most she’ll say is “I’m in touch with the police”.
It’s as if we don’t know whether she actually thinks violence crime is bad.
This is going to be The Lucerne all over again. Except permanent this time.
The progressives agenda: House ‘em stat. At any cost. Especially in upper class areas.
Reality: they will have a much better prognosis over the long run if you send them to intensive inpatient facilities like a nursing home – outside of Manhattan – where there’s a large campus, gym, gardening, nature walks, pastoral support, arts and crafts, computers etc. and if course mental health treatment – the best of the best – day in and out. MANDATORY
People who say I hope they screen for sex offenders, NYC is a RIGHT TO SHELTER CITY, this means sex offenders also have a right to shelter. If that shelter happens to be next to you, deal with it. You have no right to object to where sex offender are sheltered, No one wants sex offenders housed next to them but guess what, SEX OFFENDER STILL HAVE RIGHTS. Liberal ideas sound great, until your safety is comprimised.
Actually there are laws abt where level 2 and 3 sex offenders can reside and that includes certain feet away from schools and playgrounds. Laws exist and will need to be enforced.
Cowardly caving to a loud and unrepresentative group of activists. This city is in a housing crisis and desperately needs more housing of every kind, but especially housing like this for the most vulnerable.
If Brewer is demanding fewer beds at this location than the very least she can do is present an alternative plan for where the beds should be built instead (and it needs to be a real plan, not kicking the can down the road). Anything less is pure NIMBYism of the worst and most discriminatory kind.
I didn’t know what “NIMBY” stood for until I moved to this neighborhood. I take it as a compliment. I think it’s just common sense to place shelters outside of neighborhoods with a lot of children, schools and playground. Not in my backyard? Sounds great.
Agree. It seems to be part of a public shaming strategy to put those who disagree with certain things “in their place.” Not very inclusive for a neighborhood that prides itself on diversity. Thank you for raising this. Im a proud NIMBY on many QOL matters, including my and my neighbors’ right to a safe and clean neighborhood. Tolerance, acceptance, or being a hostage to crime doesn’t make someone heroic in my mind. If that is the badge of being liberal?
As a homeless person who has studied many approaches to housing provision, I don’t understand why cities and towns don’t use hotels for temporary housing and send workers and/ or refer them to legal aid from there: unless and until shelters are made in every neighborhood telling people where they must live is contra to FHA and so not a good solution: most neighborhoods have hotels or motels and if they don’t, it seems like the people should choose a rental apartment or home in the neighborhood they want to live (or lived, then they get the choice which is in keeping with FHA)! That way families experiencing domestic difficulties might stay close to mend their differences peaceably and be able to see their children.
That people might be too disheveled and/or upset to stay in a hotel is no excuse to treat them with less rights: they should get good treatment so that they can recover from their dehumanizing experience! They could be offered a brief stay at a hospital to get clean and new clothes and decompress from the stress of being on the street (and possibly medical treatment)before going in among people (if they want)! Then social workers and lawyers could help them to get unemployment and other benefits to get a primary residence. Since no one is supposed to have his or her privileges and immunities abridged, reaching a state of homelessness is an indication that something went wrong and the person needs help to right them again: evictions should not have resulted in homelessness.
I think hotels might even set aside rooms for such emergency purposes. Something seems to have happened to have upset that amenity. Mightn’t someone from the city try to coordinate that with the hotels? The city might then even have a phone line to call that could direct people in crisis to a hotel near them with that emergency availability.
And this may be a strange question but isn’t Gail Brewer a city council member from Portland, Oregon? Or perhaps that is a coincidence?
Thank you for offering a place to share views!
With friendly regards,
Oh, we tried that little experiment in 2020. Three hotels in a five-block radius were given to the homeless during the early period of the pandemic. Within weeks there was increased drug activity in the neighborhood, needles lying on previously clean sidewalks, public urination and worse, endless panhandling and harassment. Everyone lost count of how many times ambulances were called to hotels like the Lucerne. Every night an overdose. That is the sad reality. No one wants this in their neighborhoods. No one sane, anyway.
That was the shelter that housed the guy assaulted a woman with a brick on Central Park West one July 4th.
Maybe it’s time CB7 present the community with a map of exactly where and how many supportive housing beds are on the UWS and compare that to other neighborhoods. Like the UES, you know where they have a community board that works for the community.
Why is the City not placing homeless families in this shelter so that the kids could have a permanent place and permanent school placement?
…and women with children and men with children and some women without children. as options for the anticipated new tenants. Such a rethinking of combinations of all moveable parts would be innovative to make all the difference to our UWS 83rd Street community.
After all it’s time to celebrate women’s history. month with groundbreaking feminine thinking and practices.
Words have powerful impact…
The meeting was a joke. They kept referring to the shelter residents as “a vulnerable population” but ignored the fact that the children, elderly and others in the neighborhood are also vulnerable and need protection from those who might have a history of violence and drug abuse. No background checks will be done at Safe Haven. They only took written questions and Shelly picked the ones he wanted. The board used the majority of the time answering their own questions. When asked what the cost per resident would be, no one knew. That’s because it’s tax payer money., so they don’t have to raise it or be accountable for results. It’s mostly a great deal for the Breaking Ground organization and its staff.
I agree with Gail Brewer. With my experience with the Lucerne Hotel where 283 homeless men were given rooms in 2020 – numerous problems developed on a daily basis. Many of the problems discussed at the CB7 meeting were the same problems West 79th Street encountered. They had only 2 men in a room. Four men in a room are two too many.
You cannot flood a neighborhood with that many men and women. No matter how good they say their system is you cannot have a safe environment with 180 men and women – not for those clients and those living on the block.
We keep electing the same politicians who have a callous disregard for the residents of our neighborhood. Stop electing them.
That is the only way things will improve here.
Our governor wants to know why people are moving out of the city.
This is why.
…..and…..from past housing efforts of this kind, this will neither be Safe nor a Haven…..the residents will be outside…..a lot….there wlll be fights, drugs and panhandling…..and, by the way, who exactly is paying for this?????
Four beds in a space is too much. Brewer is right.
She already voted yes to the plan with CB7. This is empty optics given that her interests and vote do not align with the actual members of the community.
Wow Gale you didn’t hear about the meeting until just before the meeting ? Is this the level of involvement on your part that we are to rely on – to represent our interest in the neighborhood and the safety of our children? It is also not enough to say that this place was homeless shelter for a decade or more before renovations – as a way to point out that we have lived with it before and that we should therefore know what yo expect. The right thing to do is to acknowledge that this place has been the source of crime and violence against people in the neighborhood for decades. There have been murders, thefts of cars and bicycles, home invasions, rape, and about 5 years ago, the largest bust of heroin and fentanyl – in the last twenty years in nyc – took place on those two buildings including 5 of the homeless people who lived there. . Please think of the safety of our children. Help us save our neighborhood. Please do the right thing.
Yes! Thank you for your post, I attempted to share the same sentiments in an earlier post however, your narrative of the history and evolving nature of the neighborhood is sublime! Spot on!
Brewer MUST alter this proposal. More input from the community is required in an official capacity.
How is the fact that there used to be a shelter there a valid reason to open this one? Why does that make everyone feel better? That old shelter was responsible for horrible crimes. Including attempted rape a few years ago right on 84th street. (https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/nypd-woman-punched-stomped-in-attempted-rape-on-upper-west-side/). If anything it should make us all pause and reconsider this location!
Get this away from the school. And at minimum do background checks, sex offender checks, weapons and drug checks and cut the number of beds in half.
Carol, do you think you could do a piece on this provider? What are their success metrics for running this type of facility in similar neighborhoods and across the street from a school? Unfortunately so many neighbors have become quite jaded from the problems and lip service received while the Covid hotels were operating. Not least of which the level of support provided to the temporary residents so that they were not causing harm to others. Length of service as an operator in a broken system is not a great benchmark for confidence. Also, my understanding is that this model is not yet proven. All for trying something innovative but am less willing to take a risk like this when kids could be harmed physically or emotionally, things we have in fact seen with some of the street homeless, or create any additional distractions on their education. The way the Covid hotels were handled really left a negative impression on many residents, including the way it divided our neighborhood. Sadly, the way this is emerging, it looks like we are headed in that direction again. One would think our elected would have learned.
A little late Gail. You have made the UWS a mess and so unsafe.
UWS so unsafe? https://maps.nyc.gov/crime/
It is probably time for uws residents and especially parents of PS 9 students to organize, petition the uws elected and appointed officials and demand the shelter not open. March on officials offices, assure them that you will campaign against them if they seek office again, and start supporting sensible politicians and policies.
It makes no sense to open this type of facility across from a school, where the residents probably won’t be adequately vetted or supervised. The last time it was open, it was the scene of a murder.
It will be the Lucerne all over again.
Any organizers out there?
Gale has completely mislead this community by claiming she did not know about this project until day of CB meeting. The facility has been under construction for quite some time and DHS has been in communication with Mr Fine. Are we to believe that DHS communicates with an unelected community board member and not the local city council member? Do we all look that stupid? And to even now suggest this is a problem only after this charade of information session shows how little she feels she needs to do as our rep. Lest us not forget that she stomped on the stairs of the Lucerne calling it a ” model for all shelters ” and viciously attacking the neighborhood. All the while ambulances came at all hours, and at least 10 people died in those hotels from overdoses. She should be ashamed of herself for that sham of a statement in the darkness of a Friday evening, after not saying one word at the CB meeting on Tuesday 2/28. It is awful the lack of respect she has for our community, the parents and children at PS9, the women and children at the shelter down the street , on and on.
I can’t disagree. Everyone want to love Gale because she is visible and says she write letters but be clear on her priorities.
The politics of NYC are such that if the infrastructure of government can shove a mess into your neighborhood, they will. If money and power prevail, they don’t. Let’s see,….how many homeless shelters exist between Fifth and lexington Avenues in the 80s? Find one please….just one….right. So the fact is the politics of the UWS invite this and if you live nearby and are concerned for your children you now avoid this block going forward….
Ever wonder why Vienna is free of homeless encampments?? Because it is illegal to be a vagrant there. They take the homeless and mentally disturbed to facilities away from the city. They are humanely treated and readied for re-entry to society with medical treatment and/or job training. And if they won’t work or get medical help, they stay out in the country. BTW, Vienna was voted the highest quality of life in the world last year…
Can someone on this board indicate what we can do to put a stop to the opening of this shelter? Are any legal options possible? I am a parent with two young kids, and live a block away. We have already lived through the fiasco that was the Lucerne. To have this permanently in the neighborhood is devastating.
Is time to get a lawyer that is on our side
If, the meeting tonight brings significant alteration to the initial proposal, then I will go with the democratic process after voices have been heard.
However, if Fine just takes the snowflake questions and comments of gratefulness for the program? Count me in for a class action law suit. Feels like discrimination to me. The UES makes little or no provision for the homeless. As far as I am concerned? The homeless can join as well because what they are promising? Can not be delivered with one psychiatrist on site. Impossible, especially if they have a full house. The ratio of dr. to patient is SEVEN in hospital. This is an outage for all…..homeless, residents….AND families with young children.
Wow you folks in the 80s get really worked up. We in the upper 90s are so used to having mass homes for murderers and rapists opened around here we are numb to it.
Our politicians could care less about us.
And the 90’s and 100’s should NEVER have another UWS shelter/housing put in again until every single neighborhood has just as many. It is time we not be numb and go out and protest if they ever try to put another housing in the 90’s – 100’s.
I have not seen it mentioned that there will be a security risk going to and from the post office with packages. Due to the location of the post office, the block is not entirely avoidable. For years I had storage at Sofia’s. I would now feel uncomfortable transporting belongings there. I am sure there will be those who say I am expressing paranoid thinking. However, the neighborhood has experienced widespread theft of packages from building lobbies in recent years.