Update on the shelter coming to 105 Washington

The city, which has been working on a shelter facility at 105 Washington at Rector for at least three years, will open it late this summer or early fall, the Department of Social Services said.

The Safe Haven shelter will house 84 people currently experiencing unsheltered homelessness, in other words, folks coming off the street or the subways; inside they will receive both case management services and health care. Safe Havens, called low-barrier programs since there are very few requirements for living there, target people who are resistant to traditional shelters.

The staff will work closely with the clients to build trust, stabilize their lives, and encourage further transition into permanent housing. The spaces are designed a bit differently, with smaller physical settings and more hands-on and intimate case management.

One thing I wanted to clarify: DSS-DHS policy does not require that shelter residents leave the premises during the day. Residents are only required to vacate their rooms for a short period of time during the day to allow for regular cleaning and maintenance; they can remain in the recreational spaces/cafeteria/common spaces of the building.

This will be the first Safe Haven shelter in CB1, which until recently had no homeless shelters. The city is also developing a long-term shelter for 170 single men at 41-43 Beekman, a five-story residential building between William and Gold; the Radisson hotel at 52 William is also a sanctuary site for migrant families with children under 18.

The shelter will be run by the Center for Urban Community Services, which was founded in the late 1970s as a way to engage Columbia University students with the Morningside Heights neighborhood. They currently run six transitional shelters in the city, as well as 23 buildings that are permanent supportive housing for the formerly homeless, with case managers and health care providers.

The city estimates that more than 4000 homeless adults currently live on the streets or in other public places, though experts on homelessness suggest that this is underestimated and tough to measure. The Coalition for the Homeless says that studies show that the large majority of unsheltered homeless New Yorkers are people living with mental illness or other severe health problems. Many of these folks resist placement into traditional shelters, so Safe Havens are designed to be their first step toward permanent housing. Last year the city placed more than 1,000 New Yorkers residing in low-barrier programs in permanent housing.



  1. Why do they think it’s ok to add more homeless shelters in fidi? Tour streets are already filled with mentally disturbed assaulting women and sometimes children. We pay to house these people who make me and many other people feel unsafe in our own neighborhood. The mentally disturbed and past sex offenders need to be institutionalized and not put near our schools!! People who think this is okay clearly don’t have kids

    • This is gross. People who think this clearly don’t have humanity.

      But I’m sure you’d be okay with this as long as it was in another neighborhood; likely a different borough. And this location is not for sex offenders.

      • Level 1 sex offenders, or sex offenders who appealed to be reclassified from Level 2/3 to Level 1 will be allowed at the shelter, within 200 feet of the nearest school (China Institute) – this is mentioned here during CB1’s 5/18/23 meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teiWvA4G9fE

      • Malcolm,
        I have lived in NYC my whole life.
        I grew up by supported housing for people with mental health needs.
        I and other relatives have had negative and crime experiences with people on the streets/in shelters etc.

        Without going into details not unreasonable for people to be unhappy about a shelter nearby especially a men’s shelter.

        And the City has no ability to ensure anything gets done right or is enforced.

        Also BTW shelter will generate vehicles

  2. Malcolm,
    IMO insulting others is not the best way to change opinions.

    • And reasoned discourse isn’t going to restore anyone’s humanity.

    • Sorry, you’re right. I just get frustrated with the immediate and reflexible dismissal of anything that anyone might construe as an inconvenience to their lives, without a thought to the broader society we’re trying to live in. Your point is a fair one, though. Thanks.

      • There is something actually wrong with YOU Malcolm that you think when families are being threatened by the mentally ill its a small inconvenience. A child walking home from school in fidi was physically threatened by a man from the shelters. I was verbally threatened when walking into my building while I was with my small children- I ran in and he missed us by seconds. Multiple women were accosted punched, grabbed on my block on different days. You seem completely delusional if you dont think its a valid reason to feel this way. Accusing us that we dont have humanity because we care for the safety of our families? You dont have humanity!

  3. Malcolm, I don’t think humanity has anything to do with it.
    I can claim that YOU have no humanity for the people/families/local businesses that will be affected by this new shelter. Just because you care about one side, doesn’t mean people who care about the other side are morally lacking.

    • Give people a chance. You can always protest later as they did effectively on the Upper West Side. I volunteered in a homeless shelter for 3 years running several creative programs. Lives were changed, including mine.

  4. Wondered if anyone knew….

    It was my understanding that there were tenants at 41-43 Beekman – but somehow they left?

    “The city is also developing a long-term shelter for 170 single men at 41-43 Beekman, a five-story residential building between William and Gold”

    While understanding the need for housing/shelter for people who are unhoused, it would be very troubling if the process meant that others were losing their housing….
    (Interestingly the Beekman site is by a school, a firehouse, Pace and the hospital)

    In the meantime, the super-tall billionaire buildings keep going up….

    Seems to me the City should insist that the billionaire buildings provide affordable units – there is plenty of space and the owners are mostly not ever there…

  5. I have lots of relatives who would love to live in upscale Tribeca who cannot afford the rent so they find cheaper places in Brooklyn and Queens. I don’t understand the logic of using public funds to house poor homeless people in some the the world’s most expensive real estate instead of someplace cheaper.