City plans three homeless shelters for downtown

In the continuing saga that is the homeless shelter at the Lucerne Hotel on 79th Street, a New York State Supreme Court appellate panel ruled last week that the men *can* be moved downtown. At one point in the 10-month court battle there were three sets of stakeholders — three residents of the hotel, neighbors who were allies of them and residents of Fidi organized as Downtown New Yorkers — all fighting to keep the men uptown.

But now those three men who filed the suit have moved to permanent housing so the appeal was dismissed.

As of mid-April, when the city’s Department of Social Services sent me a very lengthy update on all the shelters planned for downtown, there were 74 clients living at the Radisson on a temporary basis, since the location is still being used as part of the agency’s “COVID-19 response/de-densification initiative” — or to put it another way, single rooms. That arrangement will end sometime in the near future, however, when people will be moved back to congregate shelters.

Local hotels in Community District 1 currently house 340 homeless residents in temporary shelters. The city has committed to phasing those out soon, and when they do, there will be no shelters in the district. The city estimates that there are 590 homeless residents of CD1, and the idea is to house those people in their home district.

So here are the plans for downtown shelters long-term:

The hotel will still be used as a permanent shelter for the “Turning the Tide” program for adult families (this means no children, but either couples or a parent and 18+ child) experiencing homelessness. The city is planning 90 of these citywide in neighborhoods that have never had shelters, such as Community District 1, and therefore do not meet the needs of their own homeless population. (This would be the first-ever traditional shelter in CD1.) People from CD1 will get priority at this shelter.

This is the first time I have written about this location, and neighbors have already started to organize against it. (You can join the petition here; it has 731 signatures to date.) The shelter will be part of a city program called “Safe Haven,” for people currently living on the street or in the subways. These are “low barrier” shelters — meaning the residents do not have to abide by sobriety requirements or behavioral expectations that are prerequisites for admission into traditional shelters. The shelters have a lot of staffing with more hands-on help, specialized overnight beds and smaller physical settings.

This location will house 84 people and will be run by Center for Urban Community Services. The building itself has a lot of history, and I will get to that in another post.

349 CANAL STREET (aka 10 Wooster Street)
This shelter will house 200 single adult men experiencing homelessness in a building that is currently a four-story parking lot. The program will be run by Westhab, a non-profit housing developer, and will offer case management, individual and group counseling, permanency planning and housing placement assistance, on-site medical and mental health services, support groups, independent living and life skills workshops, and supports in finding and securing employment.

Westhab has committed to a minimum of eight security staff per shift and one additional supervisor overseeing security staff per shift, with a minimum of two security officers at the entrance to control building access and to monitor 110 security cameras, which will be located throughout the building and grounds. There will also be a 10p curfew and a 24-hour complaint line for neighbors.

Priority will be given to residents of CD2, which, like CD1, also has no shelters other than one temporary commercial hotel that currently houses 195 people. That will be phased out in the near future.



  1. “But now those three men who filed the suit have moved to permanent housing so the appeal was dismissed.”

    paid for by the owner of the radisson ?

  2. So sickening! This mayor blindsided us!! We are already dealing with crime, mentally ill homelessness. Imagine 3 more places were 100s of men are. We got a huge problem. New York will never come back becoming the next California! So sad and sick when criminals have more rights than our communities. You keep voting in these politicians this is the outcome. Join Downtown for Safer Streets donate or volunteer to save our home.

  3. of course homeless families deserve a safe place and housing to get their lives back on track. But, Homeless addicted mentally ill men should not be living amongst us. The shelter on Washington Street will be a disaster to our neighborhood. They bought this property and made a deal with this horror of a mayor.

    • Take these liberals to where they want to go.

      • Oh Bobby, Bobby, Bobby. Your comment is infantile and ineffectual.
        For all shelters, small is better. I work on a street where there is a men’s shelter and you would never know it. We need to turn the vitriol down and realize that in order to truly house everyone the effort needs to be made in ALL neighborhoods – not just the Bronx. Some of the comments here are just so full of hate – blinding hate. Keep them homeless? Really? I don’t know you people. Thank goodness.

    • So where do you suggest the shelter be located? Who should they live amongst?

      • I agree with you, Epic. This sounds like a reasonable and fair plan to apportion their housing to where they are now. Leaving them on the streets is not a solution. I just returned from Denver where the problem was much worse than what we see here. Hopefully the right medical attention and support can get a fair amount of them back on their feet.

      • Do you live near a men’s mentally ill homeless shelter with drug use and criminals just out of jail? Should these “some sex offenders” live right near schools? Are you serious. This is were all the assaults’ in our city are coming from. Even attempted rapes! These men are from the homeless hotels and shelters destroying neighborhoods. They should not be near communities.

        • Native- that’s one hell of a sweeping statement. I live within two blocks of a couple shelters. I’d love to see what source you’re getting your “stats” from. Most of the assaults I’ve looked into were attributed to young men hopping on the train for a quick escape, not people living in local halfway houses trying to get their lives back together. Remember that a parole violation sends them right back in the cooler. That’s a pretty persuasive deterrent.

          • AG, just look at the Lucerne Hotel and all the crime and drug use in the area. I don’t need stats, I see it! Just look at Chelsea there are about 7 or 8 homeless centers there also. The 105 Washington Street that they bought for so called “The Safe Haven,” for people currently living on the street or in the subways. These are “low barrier” shelters meaning the residents do not have to abide by sobriety requirements or behavioral expectations that are prerequisites for admission into traditional shelters. So basically they do what they want. Sorry, but we don’t need these men living amongst us.

          • Try as I may, I can’t find any information to support Native’s claim that 8 out of 10 assaults are committed by the homeless.

          • Here are just a few AG,
            A homeless mentally ill man attacks Asian woman downtown June1st with 40 prior arrest.

            Midtown hammer attack by Homeless woman May 21st mentally ill homeless shelter.

            Parole Homeless shelter man attacking Parents and child battery Park, 12 prior arrest and attempted murder.

            Brendan Elliot stomped on woman. He killed his own mother and was living in homeless shelter Chelsea.

            Homeless man assaulting’s woman NOHO March 20.

            Mentally disordered defendants had 40 times the rate of homelessness found in the general population, and 21 times the rate in the population of mentally ill persons in the city. The overall rate of criminal offenses was 35 times higher in the homeless mentally ill population than in the domiciled mentally ill population. The rate of violent crimes was 40 times higher and the rate of nonviolent crimes 27 times higher in the homeless population. Homeless defendants were significantly more likely to have been charged with victimizing strangers.

    • Native. We are fighting a battle I need your help. You seem to have a lot of stats that make great points can you please reply thank you

  4. June 22 is a big day – vote these progressives out! Manhattan DA is an important race – Tali Weinstein and Liz Crotty are the only DA candidates concerned about public safety. Vote on June 22 and vote smart to save our communities and restore safety to NYC streets!

  5. The shelter plans are a disaster and so is the City’s handling of the Homeless… We spend $3.2 billion a year, about double what other Cities spend for terrible outcomes.
    So why actually is the City shoving homeless shelters all across Manhattan? Are the 200 men headed to SoHo from the area and can hopefully reconnect with friends and family and then leverage their support, which is one of the best catalysts to help them escape the terrible cycle of homelessness, obviously no. The same can be said about the Homeless they shoved into the UWS, Downtown and same with the additional shelters planned for Downtown and the UES. The SoHo and Washington Street shelters with their location smack in the middle of high local traffic and major global tourist destinations is a gaurenteed train-wreck.
    So why… The answer, as it usually is with De Blasio, is money and real estate. What we learned from the CB2 meeting the other week, which to no surprise, is that no one, anywhere in NYC wants shelters near them. From what I understood from the Zoom is that the City has a bizarre open RFP process where a developer can buy a property, circle up a bunch of investors, hide behind a LLC and then as of right shove a shelter anywhere. They then charge the City a fortune, as the City thinks that paying up for some of the most expensive real estate in the country for homeless shelters is a good idea. So instead of spending the money on the homeless and the services that can help them, the money goes to secret investors and De Blasio cronies who make a fortune while destroying neighborhoods. This is also the real theme behind the Riker’s Island plan that will destroy three more neighborhoods by building mega prisons so the developers can do their thing.
    Welcome to De Blasio’s legacy, the homeless get the best addresses, more funding and rights than anyone else.

  6. Thank you Thank you Adam!! We need a “Protest against the Mayor and Homeless Shelters” he snuck under our noses. No new Mayor running will stop this. Its a bad nightmare for all of us who live here.

  7. The State just passed this law as a land grab to convert hotels into homeless shelters

    What will this mean for our neighborhoods?

    Governor has not signed yet

    If it were men from the neighborhood it’d be one thing – they’re emptying prisons

  8. You think the city cares about the homeless. Really homeless families and where will they get their affordable groceries? Where will their kids go to school. Doesn’t it make sense to house the homeless where they can afford to get food schooling medical care. These places has NON. What market is around this location. What pharmacy?

  9. I am confused by some of the passionate comments regarding providing shelters ‘ amongst us’. Real estate value aside, isn’t it the basic right of our fellow citizens to have a roof over their head, wherever that might be?
    I wonder how you feel about the unbridled development and building of out of scale towers in our neighborhoods that helped usher in more inequality and destroy the character of a once vibrant and diverse community? No rage there?
    So in your opinion, where should the homeless be housed? Just anywhere out of sight? Let that be someone else’s problem?
    Meanwhile don’t be so sure it won’t be your turn to experience homelessness one day.

  10. We care and fight overdevelopment also. Where have you been? Save Our Seaport! And still fighting!
    These aren’t homeless families that have no where to go. These are mentally ill ,some sex offender drug addicts. No, they should not be living in our communities roaming our streets in any neighborhood, sorry.

  11. Wow. These comments are really ugly. Not sure I wouldn’t rather live next to homeless than some of you on here.

  12. Didn’t have this problem when mental hospitals were here. I remember when they were closed and then the homelessness really began and they littered the beaches not knowing what to do. Don’t know whose brilliant idea it was to close them – a beautiful Veterans hospital closed in Montrose that I visited often – bowling alley, movie theater, swimming pool and excellent care closed overnight. And Matawan for criminally insane? Is it fair to house criminally insane with prisoners? If a prisoner is not insane to begin with he’s sure to come out insane. Why is there no mention of this. Most homeless cannot be trusted to stay on medication unless supervised.

  13. Really CD, when you leave your apartment and see human S– right outside your door. Open drug use outside of the homeless hotel and your trying to walk your kid to school. Go live near it.

  14. For those who have done their research- who are the candidates most likely to oppose moving forward with these shelters? I see someone mentioned Tali Weinstein and Liz Crotty for DA. How about the other seats?

  15. There are ways to discuss these troubling issues without such acute levels of aggression. We have enough of that already.

  16. @native
    don’t forget the young mentally challenged homeless girl that was brutally bludgeoned to death in a seaport building, by 3 other homeless people- 2 in custody, and the 3rd, a woman who watched and participated in the covering up of the body who was released due to bail reform, and not evaluated for her mental stability- I dare say quite obviously, not well. she was recently seen living in a tent with a man on the median at 86th st. there should not be demonization of the homeless, and I firmly believe “there but for the grace of god go I”, but we need intelligent, compassionate and common sense ideas here. 60-70% of homeless are mentally ill and often self medicating with drugs. mental illness is the main problem. we need a multi-tiered response and for sure re-imagining bail reform. and yes, institutions may be the only dignified life for the worst of the mentally ill. we all know there are no easy answers, but there are SOME answers. where are our bright minds and city planners? I agree that putting what is essentially a 200 man warehouse in SOHO (statistically 120 + will be mentally ill), is idiotic. and it’s not about hiding them away. SOHO is a huge tourist, shopping & dining area that is a great source of revenue for the city, and already very congested. and what about moving Rikers to chinatown? another wildly saturated and congested neighborhood right next door. I can’t wait to see what it will be like when all of this construction starts. how many years will it take for all of these projects? good luck driving anywhere in lower Manhattan, and crossing either of the bridges!

    • Oh yes Jenny, I know believe me. This city is to progressive to liberal. Sorry, but the biggest city in the world will never come back with all this crime and mayhem. Look that that woman that is running and wants to take guns away from cops. Sad and sick.

  17. Turning the tied? What a joke? Who created all the problems? Why released so many criminals to the street? Why recreational marijuana is a necessity? What places produce mist homeless people? CA, New York, Denver, Vermont. Drug and marijuana. The only way to solve the problem is vote the extreme liberals out of the iffice

    • Kg, I agree. We know that isn’t happening here in the city. The hatred for the Republican party is out of hand. They rather see no cops protecting us than vote in a republicans mayor. I am a Democrat but will never again vote for these progressive people that destroyed our city and every other city. This isn’t the party that I belonged to all my life. Praying Eric Adams gets in at least. He is the only one that really wants Law & Order in this city. DeBlasio and Cuomo are the cause for this nightmare in this city. Defund and bail reform has destroyed this beautiful city. Once these homeless men come downtown we are done. We must fight this.

  18. How can we protest this?!? This is totally not safe and family friendly for our kids!!

    • Lets get a PROTEST together. I am in. Every other day there is a protest anyway. Why cant we protest and sue the city for the crime and quality of life here. Other cities like Minneapolis are suing the city for crime and safety. We live here, we pay taxes. Its wrong. We need a protest.

  19. The homeless are no more addicted and mentally ill than the housed; the Poverty Pimps gets huge piles of taxpayer cash to label all the homeless as such…keeping them homeless.

  20. There is so much ugliness, vitriol, hate, and aggression in majority of these comments it makes my stomach turn. Humanity still exists and there are ways to discuss heated topics without giving into the sickness out country is trying to heal from. We are all humans and deserve decency in how we are spoken about. The privilege is repulsive. Being concerned for safety and thinking about practical solutions, fine, yes, absolutely. But take it down a notch and maybe think before you type. You never know who is on the other side reading.

  21. J, we should all be humble and grateful to have a roof over our heads. I agree that homeless people, families should have a second chance. My family came from nothing. We lived in a walk up tenement apartment from the early 1900s and worked in factories. I don’t think I am privileged. I don’t think people who want to be safe are privileged either. But putting mentally ill drug addict homeless some sex offenders in empty building and hotels isn’t the answer.
    This is another reason why the city is so dangerous right now. Assaults way up! I lived right up the Bowery many years ago and we had and still have the Bowery Mission. These men wanted a second chance. There is a difference in the homeless they are putting in these places. The community should not have to suffer because of this. There should be facilities away from thriving communities with kids, schools etc. Mentally ill Drug addicts should not be in any community. There were places for them many years ago. I don’t know what happened? The Mayor destroyed us here in the city.

  22. I love it. As soon as you start subjecting limozeen liberals to the policies they push on everyone else, well suddenly everything’s different. The old and tired not in my back yard…