NY1 has exclusively obtained a new letter from the Department of Homeless Services detailing their response to complaints about homeless shelters on the Upper West Side.
For weeks, some Upper West Side residents have criticized the city for the use of three hotels as homeless shelters, claiming it has deteriorated their quality of life. Critics have claimed there is no recreational space for people staying at these hotels, and they have said the neighborhood needs more security.
The hotels are being used as shelters so homeless people can socially distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The letter suggests roof space at one of the hotels, The Lucerne, could be used as recreational space for homeless individuals staying there. But there is no guarantee that will happen.
The letter states: "DHS will continue conversations with the owner of the Lucerne about the potential use of roof space for this purpose; however, the property owner does not currently have a Certificate of Occupancy for use of the roof, and it is therefore currently unsafe and unlawful for clients and staff to utilize the roof for activities.”
Shelter providers are also now coordinating community patrols in the neighborhood. The Department of Homeless Services also stated each site has 24-hour security.
You can read the full letter here.