Since the influx of new homeless residents at UWS hotels, several petitions along with a GoFundMe campaign have been launched, though they differ in their goals and sentiments. Here is an overview of what’s been formed, in addition to an update on the level of support each has collected.
The recently formed West Side Community Organization has set up a GoFundMe campaign which has, as of writing, raised over $105,000, exceeding its initial goal of $100,000. The campaign states that the group is “an unpaid, volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization” which is “committed to preserving the qualities that make the Upper West Side a great place to live, work, raise a family and enjoy retirement.” This petition also states that the organizers met through the Facebook group Upper West Siders For Safer Streets. See the GoFundMe campaign here.
A petition which shares the safety concerns outlined above, titled “We demand safe and clean streets on the Upper West Side,” has collected a bit over 6,600 signatures. It states that “the safety and well-being of Upper West Side residents is in jeopardy with the conversion of neighborhood hotels into temporary shelters without notice to residents.” It concludes by asking to “Please sign the petition and share the link if you are in support of relocating these men. View the petition here.
In response to the above, Upper West Siders for a Compassionate, Safe and Equitable Community was formed. As of writing, this petition has attracted slightly over 2,600 signatures. It opens by stating: “At this unprecedented time – with a global pandemic, a recession, and an ongoing reckoning with our nation’s racist past and present – it is critical that we act with compassion and empathy to those among us who are most in need. We believe this can be done, while ensuring the health and safety of our community residents.” See the petition here.
Similar concerns can be found in a letter to city officials published by UWS Strong. This letter, addressed to Mayor de Blasio, states that the group is “deeply disturbed by a rise in inflammatory, dehumanizing rhetoric and incitements to violence against vulnerable New Yorkers who are living on the streets or in shelters.” The letter also addresses the group’s concern “about calls to remove Project Renewal, Help USA, and the Center for Urban Community Care from three Upper West Side hotels, without identifying any safe or reasonable alternative location.” Signatures are listed at the bottom of the page, though there is no total tally counted. View the letter at www.uwsstrong.org.