The mayor is expected to unveil his homelessness plan on Tuesday. But before that, the city gave NY1 data revealing where all of the city's homeless shelters are located and which neighborhoods are more burdened than others.
It's a nondescript hotel on Queens Boulevard. But it's home, at least for now, to homeless families.
"You can't cook for your family," said Teresa Smalls, who is staying at the shelter. "You have to use a microwave."
"We were only supposed to be here for ten days and be placed someone where else," said Candice Cruz, who is living at the shelter. "But you get stuck here."
Go about four blocks east. The hotel name is still plastered all over the building. But it's a homeless shelter.
"It doesn't give you the living requirements," said Jalitza Nieves, who is staying at the shelter."We have a minifridge and two bunk beds. And we are just stuck there."
It's because Queens is a hotbed of hotels turned into homeless shelters.
For the first time, thanks to a Freedom of Information Law request, NY1 is getting a look at where all of the approximately 650 sites that house the homeless actually are.
We uncovered most of the hotels are in Queens.
The Bronx is home to the vast majority of cluster sites, or landlord operated shelters. Manhattan has 109 sites. Brooklyn has 163. Staten Island only has one.
The data shows an area in the Bronx has the highest number of units for homeless families.
Meanwhile the neighborhoods by JFK Airport are full of hotel rooms for the homeless.
"We want to reorient the system to work better for our neighborhoods and better for folks who are homeless," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in the Road to City Hall's "Mondays with the Mayor" segment.
We got the numbers on the eve of the release of the mayor's new homeless plan. He plans to restructure the system to keep people closer to their home borough and to phase out the use of hotels.
As the homeless population skyrocketed, the city increasingly relied on those hotels for overflow. Sometimes, that meant homeless families were often placed far away from their own neighborhood. In the first four months of this fiscal year, just 43.7 percent of families were placed according to their youngest child’s school address.
Of course, if the city were to stop using hotels, it would have to dramatically reduce the shelter population or build new shelters. We are expected to hear more about that from Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday.