MANHATTAN, N.Y. - The mayor announced this week that hundreds of homeless men being housed at a hotel on the Upper West Side would be moved elsewhere.
This comes after more than a month of complaints from neighbors over quality-of-life issues.
One neighborhood group even hired a politically-connected attorney and threatened to sue the city.
Manhattan City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal’s support of the city's decision to use that hotel hasn’t sat well with some residents in her district. Joining Pat Kiernan on ‘Mornings On 1,’ she says the criticism was based on “misconceptions” – legitimate concerns that she says were already addressed.
Former Giuliani administration official Randy Mastro, who was hired to represent the neighborhood group, said by those staying in the hotel to a traditional shelter will allow them to get the supportive services they need. Rosenthal countered that they will have to go through a “destabilizing change” just to relocate from the Upper West Side hotels to a shelter on East 31st Street.
Asked about the mayor’s involvement and decision to relocate the homeless residents staying in the hotel, Rosenthal was critical, calling the move “nonsensical,” adding “if what he saw was homeless on the street that were doing drugs or other things that disturbed him, then you need to address the problem of homeless on the street.”
“Moving 283 men from a shelter on the Upper West Side down to the East Side is not going to solve the problem for these men,” she continued.
Dozens of protesters including Rosenthal blasted the mayor’s decision Wednesday morning in front of the Lucerne, one of the homeless hotels.
“It is a sad day when the mere threat of a lawsuit can get city hall to reverse a decision that it had thought through and made,” she said.
Men from the Lucerne will be moved almost 50 blocks south to a family shelter on 31st Street. The city says they will still be able to socially distance there. The families there now will also have to be relocated, NY1’s Courtney Gross reported.
“The groups that can afford high-powered, well-connected lawyers are the ones who will get their way,” Rosenthal said.