Neighbors prepare to fight the expansion of a homeless shelter in Fidi

A group of Fidi residents have started to organize around the news from the mayor’s office that at least 240 homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side, who were forced out by neighbors there, will be moved to a hotel in Fidi, and all signs point to the Radisson at 52 William. (I am awaiting specifics from the Department of Homeless Services.) I updated this post on Oct. 1 to reflect new details from Project Renewal, the agency that runs the shelter for the city.

Calling themselves Downtown New Yorkers for Safe Streets, the group is communicating through a private Facebook group, as well as a website and Twitter. Their goal is not to simply stop the move, but also protest that it was made without neighborhood consultation. “We believe that our residents should have been notified of this possibility and now that it has been agreed to without our knowledge, we need to make our voices heard,” the About page reads.

In late March, the city moved several dozen homeless people into the Radisson as a temporary measure to relieve overcrowding at shelters and contain the virus. They similarly moved nearly 300 men into the Lucerne on West 79th in late July, but not long afterwards — actually, just a day — neighbors there started to protest what they said were quality of life issues stemming from this particular population. (The city also housed another 500 homeless temporarily at three other UWS hotels, which did not receive the same attention or treatment.)

The group that formed — Upper West Siders for Safe Streets — eventually hired former Giuliani deputy mayor and lawyer Randy Mastro, a regular hired gun for thorny city issues like this one. And sure enough, in early September, the mayor announced that the men would be moved; on Friday he announced they would be moved downtown.

Uptown, there was mixed reactions from residents, some of whom said there was racism and privilege at work. When The Times covered the story, they noted that the group formed just one day after residents arrived and that a couple of months in, neighboring businesses had not registered any problems. And an opposition group also formed against the opposition — Open Hearts New York. But there were increased complaints about the homeless and drug usage to 311.

The discussion now revolves around the specifics of the shelter, and Project Renewal stated that it is temporary as long as Covid-19 is a threat. The men originally came from their two congregate shelters in the East Village. includes making the Radisson a permanent residence for the homeless Councilmember Margaret Chin has suggested that more details need to emerge: “Right now, the demands and questions raised by Lucerne residents and their advocates should be prioritized. Before taking any action, I urge the City to share how it will engage Lucerne residents on the plans impacting their future, and how it plans to provide shelter to the homeless individuals in my district.”

 

53 Comments

  1. We will not stand for mentally Ill drug addicts and sex offenders. 300 men moving downtown near our schools our businesses and our homes. We had no knowledge this was going to take place. This has never been discussed with our community. We will fight back. Downtown has been through so much, 911, the rebuilding, Super Storm Sandy, our businesses closed from Covid19, people moving out of the city. We do not need this down here. There are a couple of hotels already housing the homeless. We see the crime going around already. These are not families that are homeless that lost there homes. This isn’t about being against the homeless this is about OUR SAFETY! We must stick together and fight this permanent shelter that the Mayor made a deal with behind our backs!

    • I agree – it’s about our and our kids safety

      • DeBlasio is ruining our city! I live across the street & this will drive me out of the city. I am a young female living alone. I already feel enough stress/anxiety without this. I can’t handle feeling too scared to go outside in my own neighborhood. There was NO warning. I just signed a new 12 month lease. We pay for a quiet, safe, kid friendly neighborhood.. NOT a homeless shelter with drug addicts!

        • This isn’t just your neighborhood.

          So what you’re a single female? What does that mean?

          Kid friendly neighborhood since when? You don’t have kids.

          NIMBY at it’s worst.

          Btw name me ONE murder committed within say ten blocks of a homeless shelter by a resident of it? I’ll wait.

          • I agree with Liz – I am also a new resident to Wall Street who just signed a 12-month lease on an apartment right across from the Radisson. I am also a young, single female and I am back to work at my office daily, which means I travel early morning and late evening by foot to and from work. I am deeply concerned about this given the issues in UWS. I have multiple friends on the UWS who have had witnessed or been the receiving end of violent events caused specifically by the rowdy homeless population housed at the Lucerne. If we face any similar issues, it will critically impact my day-to-day.

            In regards to your ignorant response, why do we only need statistics on murder in order to deem the proposition as “unsafe” for the taxpayers living in the area? Non-murderous violent events also make it unsafe for anyone – men, women, children alike. These include physical and verbal harassment, among many other nameless undeserving offenses to the peaceable public, not uncommon to current UWS residents.

            I deeply oppose the motion to move the homeless to the Radisson. I really hope our community can come together to block this.

      • Let’s propose a compromise – a safe shelter for homeless WOMEN and their children. I don’t think anyone would oppose this. And it is definitely needed.

    • Enough is enough!! This WILL NOT BE TOLERATED in downtown. We keep getting the brunt end of the stick ALWAYS! What’s going to happen when Wall street becomes congested again

  2. Please be careful how you phrase who these folks are: mentally Ill drug addicts and sex offenders – you, nor I, know this. There was not trouble uptown. People used 311 to call in complaints that were non-existent, in order to “paper the file”. Please show some compassion.

    • If there is no trouble , no one would move them from there let’s be honest

    • I been up there myself to see a relative living up the street from the hotel. She was followed numerous times home by mentally ill walking around from that hotel. The quality of life uptown from this hotel housing the homeless is horrible. Lets see, Muggings, assaults, prostitutions right on the streets for drugs, drug use seen on the streets. So yes I think I was careful describing what I seen with my own eyes.

      • Pipe DOWN! I work at Nice Matin right at the Lucerne. Not one single problem from these men. Lies and vitrol just like up here. Get a life.

        • what a weird thing to lie about it

          • Oh its the person that “works” right near the hotel. Hello, you don’t live there. So do not call anyone a liar when you do not live 24 hours uptown or downtown.

        • Get A grip, do you live in our area? I am a bit confused. We already have a couple of hotels down here with homeless living. There is a lot of homeless living on our streets downtown already walking around making problems. Please don’t tell anyone to Pipe down. There are problems uptown too. Lots of quality of life issues.

          • New York. Please stop telling lies in your posts. You keep referring to things that happened on the Upper West Side – which you don’t live in so don’t think about telling me not to comment on what you are saying and posting. That’s the pot calling the kettle black.

        • AMEN!
          I used to live on the UWS (four blocks from the Lucerne) and for the past 15 years have resided in Southeastern Tribeca/City Hall area (6 blocks from proposed shelter location). I have a family with two young kids. And I am frankly appalled, if not too surprised, by the shrill, privileged, new money hysteria represented by many of the above comments. The level of racism and classism embedded in these misconceptions and biased assessments of the threat and “quality of life” dangers posed by the homeless among us is disgraceful. You are all lucky to live where you live and have shelter, food and assured futures. Homelessness is a major problem in NYC. The mayor is a great disappointment. The police are not the answer, and in fact are a demonstrated threat to anyone but the hypergentry. Homelessness and the systemic failures undergirding it will not be solved by people who have no sense of social conscience or true community-based civic duty or responsibility to the cast-off and forgotten citizens who share this city with us.

          • Garbage politics at every level. Vote these people out, every last one of them. Then throw Deblasio’s wife in jail for stealing 1 billion+ from the taxpayers for her bullshit “Thrive” project.

    • At the end of the day, people in the community must be able to have a say on things that impact their neighborhood. Its unfair for people to say these are harmless individuals and they have caused no problems as your reason for us to allow this. We cant wait until issues happen to then react. You are asking us to put our families at risk as the city experiments with the arrangement.

      We want the homeless to get all the help they need and the dignity they deserve. However, that cannot come at the cost of our families and their well being. That doesn’t mean we are giving up our values. We are calling out politicians and activists that want to find an easy way out and not solve problems for the community

  3. Thank you KU. Its about our kids and our community. These aren’t mothers and children living on the streets. Many have criminal records and are sex offenders and ARE mentally ill. We already have hotels down here with homeless and don’t need a permanent one housing 300.

  4. Thank you KU. This is precisely about the safety of our kids and our neighborhood. If the same group of people caused trouble and created an unsafe situation in the UWS, who is to say that they are not going to do the same in FiDi? Especially given that this group (which according to many source suffer from drug issues, and some are not mentally stable) is going to be housed with a walking distance of two schools and a popular playground for kids, 28 Liberty Plaza. The problem is the decision made by the incompetent city officials — instead of coming up with actual solutions they came up with a band aid solution which no one is happy about. Another issue, shouldn’t have the residents of FiDi been informed or consulted regarding this move? This is absolutely NOT about racism or privilege, rather challenging incompetent decision making by city officials.

    • city hall has been playing a game of pass the buck until they find someone who cant afford to fight (remember they were going to put a shelter on billionaires row until they paid up and lobbied hard?) or find a neighborhood that wont complain.

      they never solve the problem, they just spread it out. there is inadequate counseling for these people. a lot of these types of hotels are small with very little services. there are no kitchens and food options are poor. the hotel shuffle has only benefited marginally corrupt operators of failing hotels. the amount of money they are receiving from deblaz is criminal. that agrregate amount should be used to build real facilities from the ground up.

  5. Downtown has already exploded with homeless since the outbreak of Covid-19. It’s like “Night of the Living Dead” out there. They are filthy, aggressive, they don’t wear masks and I worry about them with the virus.

    These people have taken over street corners and doorways. I have been chased own in front of Morgan’s Market for money several times.

    What id di Blasio and/or the city doing about it? nothing from what I see.

    • No incidents in or right outside Morgan’s Market or it’d have been reported here. Get a life.

      • Seen it happen, also seen people defecating in the street twice, called 911 twice on mentally deranged men. It has happened, and will only get worse.

        I know exactly who he is talking about in from of Morgans- witnessed this first hand- so the only liar is you.

  6. “When Mexico sends it people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” Donald Trump

  7. Reps from Project Renewal which managed the Lucerne shelter and the city’s Department of Homeless services should meet with local leaders and concerned residents before proceeding, for sure. Community safety and also proper planning for those undergoing substance abuse treatment / trauma / homelessness are paramount.

    However, to those of you that want to make an argument that downtown already has its “fair share” of the burdens that all New Yorkers bear as a part of city life – that is just not the case.  I know homelessness citywide increased during the pandemic and hotels were used everywhere. But, as of last fall, my neighborhood’s share of the citywide homeless population was 0.2%

    https://citylimits.org/2019/09/10/data-drop-which-nyc-neighborhoods-host-the-most-homeless-shelter-beds/

  8. I’d like to know where those of you who are just fine with this live. I assume not down the block or you would care more. There are several issues with this, including the fact that putting homeless people into hotels does not at all help them improve their lives. It’s a band-aid, lazy approach that De Blasio is perpetuating and it’s costing the city excessive amounts of money. There are no support services. They just hang out on the streets and sleep in their free hotel. We have shelters that sit empty, but they are piling homeless into hotels. There are also a ton of homeless already congregating around Fidi and this is a dense residential community with a lot of schools and children’s services within close proximity to that hotel. Given that Midtown is virtually empty and has much less residential density, it seems a better option. I actually do live down the block and this is incredibly disturbing. It has become less and less comfortable to walk through this neighborhood at night and will be even more so if this goes through.

  9. This is going to be a permeant homeless shelter. they say it the first of its kind in NYC. I want to know: are there doctors on site, is it a rehab center. Are residents staying there all day or are they pushing them out on the street during the day. Or is this just our major caving to the upper westside lawyers.If we are going to help the mentally ill and junkies they needs this. They need a treatment center that can take care of them all day. A place where they can get their meds everyday all day.. And there are at least 5 schools in within 3 blocks. Two of them are schools for special needs kids.

  10. You can mention Guili alll you like

    this is the Dem///the Left wingers who claim they love the poor etc

    but ,,uh,,not in my hood

    • NYC has less murders under De Blasio than Giuliani and any eight years of Bloomberg (first two terms, last two, or first and third), deal with it.

  11. To the complaints that downtown has exploded with homeless people, isn’t providing a proper home part of the solution? And aren’t hotels underutilized now? And if not FiDi, where? There are no neighborhoods devoid of families and children. There are just less wealthy neighborhoods. And if that is what is being implied, this is a classic examples of what happens when progressives abandon their values when it comes to “their” backyards.

    • It sounds bad but you’re exactly right. Unfortunately they will have to find a neighborhood where people don’t have the money to fight them off. People pay A LOT of money to live down here and safety/cleanliness is a big reason. I agree with your point but I also think a homeless shelter in the area would completely destroy one of the nicest, most desirable family neighborhoods in the city. I’m a homeowner with a family in this neighborhood. I think its the most wonderful place to live and will happily fight to keep it that way. Sorry!

  12. Duane Street when it put our children and community in harms way like it did upper west “YES” not in our backyards, Downtown has been through enough.

  13. I live two blocks away from the proposed site. I have a family. I work downtown. I live in New York City because I imagined it as a diverse city where the wealthy don’t mind living near those who struggle. Many people on this post have posed excellent questions that the city and facility managers should answer for local residents. Our local reps and public officials must make addressing residential concerns a priority. There is a larger homeless population due to the PANDEMIC and economic SHUTDOWN the the city has to bear. We live in THIS city not a gated community. Public safety and concern for the good ???? f the city go hand in hand.

    • I am the fourth generation living in New York City. I lived through the 70s and 80s and the 90s when the city started to become what it is today! The crime and garbage we lived through was unimaginable. No one only a Native New Yorker would understand. For the past 30 years I have felt SAFE here. It was great raising my kids who are now in their 20s. Who wants to go backwards and destroy what WE built here? No one does. Since March with the virus the streets are empty, Lots of people have moved out. There is an element around downtown with predator’s who are mugging and assaulting people. Our Mayor isn’t any good. You need to walk with eyes behind your head. We lived through 911, 20 years of the rebuilding. We lived through Super Storm Sandy. We don’t need a Permanent Homeless Shelter Down here. Upper West fought for a reason. It was bad, don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise. This is not wanted down here. Put the troubled Mental homeless somewhere else beside near residence and schools and communities. The Mayor is a horror. We will not allow this to happen.

    • I am in no way wealthy. I live a block away and work 15hr days to barely afford my apt with high taxes and common charges. I have already lost most of my equity from federal tax increase and job loss act, and the expiration of tax abatement making living here and providing services through collected taxes prohibitive. Regardless of whether I want to share my neighborhood with the poor, many prospective buyers do not and this destroys my property value even more causing mass migration out of the city and job losses and even further increases in local taxes used for services. The Radisson could be sold for 1B dollars and the city could build 200 same size new shelters with services in more affordable neighborhoods. This not only prevents me from creating jobs, but virtually bankrupts me and makes in impossible to sell my condo and pay off my mortgage and survive. I may have to join the homeless now to afford to live on my block where I have spent my entire life helping the city to provide these services. Residents who have to work are middle class, not wealthy, and destroying property values and allocating minimal space and no services is irresponsible where a developer would be happy to buy the building and 100 new shelters with services with the same funds in a more affordable neighborhood. Most of the people who work in this neighborhood commute at least an hour each way and sometimes work 2 jobs or multiple shifts to survive and should have priority for being productive members of society and supporting the city services through the high taxes they are already forced to pay for existing mismanaged services. The losses and reduced safety of residents struggling to support the neighborhood far exceeds the inefficient use of luxury space and is irresponsible and negligent, hurting those people who you are trying to help by destroying tax revenue for the city and jobs leading to reduced budgets for social services and increased taxes causing residents to give up and flee the area. Again, you are destroying the middle class and the people who work in this area in order to promote yourself rather than looking out for the best interest of the people you are claiming that you are trying to help.

    • Amy,
      Just because you transplanted here does not mean you are a New Yorker. You have no idea of the reasoning behind this, do you think the city gov is that stupid? They know that placing homeless men (with mental illnesses, drug addictions, and violent felonies) in the most expensive parts of the city is counterintuitive, the only affordable meal is halal carts and even that costs 25-40% more than other boroughs.

      Unlike you, real New Yorkers don’t have another home state they can return to after you screw up this place. We are not in Cali, ok?

      These decisions are NOT for the benefit of the homeless, it is Cuomo and Deblasio’s way of saying F U to certain people. They did this exact same thing on 58th st. Literally picked the most expensive parts of the city, Central Park south and now wall st. Tell me how this is for the benefit of the homeless, you have to be so simple minded to accept their premise as is. Ask yourself, why is it ALWAYS mens only shelters and not women/children shelters? Especially now when they have a police stand down order, and even if the police respond, and if they make an arrest, the city prosecutors all have orders to drop charges for rioters, looters, and other violent acts as everyone is a “protestor” now.

  14. I’ve never understood why you would put homeless shelters in wealthy neighborhoods. It makes NO SENSE. First of all, the neighborhood is wealthy because everyone works hard and is focused on keeping a safe & clean environment for themselves & their family. It’s not exactly fair to them to drop the mentally unstable & drug addicted into that mix. And please don’t say ‘how do you know that’s what they are’ because every government statistic points to these being key contributing factors to homelessness. Second, these neighborhoods are incredibly expensive to live in beyond just rent: you’ll often pay much more for a quick lunch ($15 sandwiches & $4 ice tea) and your weekly groceries will be much more expensive as well. This doesn’t help the homeless either. They’ll have to spend what little money they have on over-priced items vs what they would pay in a lower economic neighborhood. It just makes more sense to house them in a neighborhood more aligned to the reality of their situation. Somewhere they are also more likely to afford when they get back on their feet. It’s not exactly feasible they are going to transition from a homeless shelter into an $8k a month 2 bedroom apartment in FiDi. They could, however, feasibly afford an apartment in a less expensive section of Brooklyn or Queens if they got back on track. So why not start them off there?

  15. I personally have called 3-1-1 and 9-1-1 several times since COVID began to report unfortunate behavior by seemingly homeless individuals. My complaints about these individuals have ranged from walking around the neighborhood with NO PANTS on while kids are riding their bikes way too close to this person, to someone relieving themselves in the street, someone screaming at me calling me a ‘f&%king fag$ot’, to someone pulling a knife and waving it around. In all but one of the incidents reported above – NO ONE SHOWED UP to help. I have absolutely no problem with helping the homeless situation if police and mental health professionals come along with it. Even if the shelter doesn’t move to FiDi – we need help keeping our neighborhood safe. I don’t feel comfortable outside after dark, and I have lived in the city for over twenty years.

    DiBlasio is a disgrace as is his entire administration. Please show up to the meeting tomorrow night – our gov’t isn’t going to help us, so we have to help ourselves.

    • I ???? percent agree with this post. I myself have called 311 several times in the past month to report drug sales and drug use on my street in Tribeca and when the cop show up two hours later and asked me where the perpetrators are, I just asked them why they took so long to get there and told them that no one sits around smoking pot for two hours in one spot. They told me sorry we have too many calls and not enough men….. Clearly we don’t have the coverage of the police force or the sanitation down here anymore and it does look like we need to take matters into our own hands. Maybe we should start a neighborhood garbage pick up group that works on Saturdays or Sundays? The streets are filthy and it’s no place for children to grow up.

  16. Please check out our FB page where we are posting similar fact-based information: https://www.facebook.com/groups/friendsoffidinyc

  17. There is a mentally ill homeless man who lives under the tracks of the 2/3 Wall St. Station and spends his days filling unattended shopping carts with trash. He also often obstructs the stairwells with them. He leaves them for days sometimes and they represent a major hazard and could be pushed in front of a train or someone could hide a bomb there in a crowded location. I asked both the Metro police and NYPD to clear the unattended trash carts from the platform. Their response was that the opaque carts were his physical property and removing them, even shen unattended for days, would be a violation of his civil rights, so the hazard remains for us all. They said the only thing they could do was have the coalition for the homeless offer him help if he wanted it but they know him and he has already refused it. So working people have to step around his dangerous carts to get to work because this mayor is so focused on protecting the rights of mentally ill persons that he creates a 911 style hazard for everyone commuting from that station. Last year, the law was also changed to make it no longer a criminal offense to urinate in public. Why are these people being kept in office destroying the city and Our quality of life while we struggle to improve society and provide funding for city services that then get mismanaged. Red light cameras would eliminate the need for city employees directing traffic and the city could probably save more money by keeping the salaries of persons whose only job is to write parking tickets so none of us can even unload our vehicles or even pull over to drop someone off. The constituents need to wise up and elect new politicians to clean up the city rather than destroying it like DeBlasio and Margaritas Chin and Alexandria Orcasio Cortez who drove away thousands of jobs from Amazon that were much needed by the local population.

  18. Where is the $1 BILLION dollars De Blasio spent on Thrive NYC?

  19. There are plenty of options for this kind of thing in the outer boroughs. Leave Manhattan alone. We pay the lion’s share of the taxes for these programs as it is, and then the Mayor has the audacity to dump this powder keg right on our doorsteps.

  20. To the comment made about me, NEW YORK LIES. Hiding behind a computer. We are all giving opinions on a permanent Shelter downtown in our community. I have NO REASON WHATSOEVER to lie about MY relative who lives on the Upper Westside. How dare you call me a liar. Who are you anyway? Come clean. Why would you fight me on Tribeca Citizen article? Coward remark

    • I completely agree. The homeless situation is ridiculous in our neighborhood. This shelter needs to be stopped.

      Are you organizing something specific to stop it? Please let all of us know how we can help

      I am prepared to donate $ to stop this with lawsuit.

  21. Please show some compassion. Where do you expect these homeless people to be sheltered? In poor neighborhoods or neighborhoods of color?

    At least make an attempt at concealing your privilege. I am a long time FiDi resident and I support a constructive solution to this problem that includes the community as long as the community is not hostile and only looks for its interest only instead of the community at large. I am not for kicking the problem to some other neighborhood to solve.

    • We do have compassion, however the area has been overrun with homeless and crime for years, COIVD helped it explode, Putting them literally on wall street surrounded by residents who pay their taxes, and spent their $ on real estate down here.

      There is NOWHERE for these people to go in the area, the public spaces are VERY LIMITED – they have no plan, so you are releasing 250 homeless men on the streets with nowhere to go, nothing to do.

      This is yet another poorly planned band aid to a huge problem. We already have 35 units at the Holiday in on Nassau and Maiden lane. Fulton street is a complete and utter nightmare-

      The city has never been able to run a shelter safely, they stay on the streets because the shelters are crime ridden, and disgusting. And you think this is going to be any different? Just look at who has been in charge all these month down there, minimum wage security clerks and KIDS with plastic shower caps and mask at the front door.

    • Was on the community board meeting yesterday. They would not even tell us about the men and how many mentally ill there are. As a community we have rights to know. We live work in this area. They didn’t even have plans. Go on YouTube and watch it. They just seen the property on Monday. Throwing these men here around numerous schools and our community is out right wrong. These poor men had jobs uptown and everything. The city is losing over $200,000 on the move. This is being done because of the lawsuit. Lots of corruption involved.

  22. putting them in Hotels on a temporary basis is not the solution – why doesn’t the city put them in permanent shelters which should already be there for homeless people and where there are facilities of medicine and education as well – and this can be outside the city where there is enough space available. am not asking them to be kicked out of the city but just expanding the city and in these permanent shelters their medical requirements plus education is taken care so that they can come back to the city one day. The city officials cannot shrug their responsibility by just putting them in the hotels.

  23. 10 year FiDi resident here. The homeless have already exploded down here. This will make it worse. Moving myself and my business out of state at the end of the month because of the deterioration and DeBlasios terrible “leadership”. He’s a corrupt piece of s—t. He’s getting kick backs or benefitting from these homeless hotels that are costing the city millions. I’m taking my high earning tax dollars elsewhere. Good luck paying for all this with the high earners leaving due to poor leadership and destroyed neighborhoods. We all work too hard and pay too much to live amongst addicts and mentally ill people who should be in treatment, not roaming the streets.

  24. seeing some of the comments makes me sick, you have no human decency or regard for your fellow human suffering. just sitting on your rich and privileged asses complaining…. if you are so bothered by homelessness, how about you try to do something instead of trying to push it all on the government. weirdos, get a life instead of shitting on people less fortunate than you

Comment: