Since it was announced that the temporary homeless residents of The Lucerne Hotel would be heading south, a group of downtown New Yorkers have formed a new Facebook group to oppose the relocation.
The new downtown Facebook group is called Downtown NYCers for Safer Streets. While the similarly named Upper West Siders for Safer Streets (and the West Side Community Organization, which formed from the Facebook group) are happy that these residents will be moved out of The Lucerne Hotel, members of the downtown group are not.
The about section of the newly formed Facebook group states:
“We have formed this group as concerned residents of the Lower Manhattan neighborhoods in response to the announcement that the Radisson Hotel New York Wall Street located at 52 William Street, New York City, New York 10005 will be converted into a permanent homeless shelter. This shelter is expected to receive over 240 homeless men from the The Lucerne Hotel in the immediate future. This will not be a temporary “COVID-19 homeless shelter” as Mayor Bill de Blasio has mentioned over and over again — this will be permanent.”
In confronting the hotel shelter situation, the downtown group admins also echo two of the complaints which were made by members of Upper West Siders for Safer Streets: that neighborhood residents were not given advance notice of the relocation, and that they already have too many shelter sites (stating that 10 downtown hotels have already been converted into shelters).
The about section concludes with a list of email addresses and phone numbers for concerned downtown residents to reach out to.
On the Upper West Side, UWS Open Hearts Initiative is continuing to support the Lucerne residents, though they are expected to be relocated downtown by October 5.
We would like to bring some quality meals to the residents of The Lucerne to show them community support and love. Please donate (tax deductible) to @feedthefrontnyc and select “From UWS Open Hearts Initiative” in the designation label. Many thanks!https://t.co/PLQDWwhkcD
— UWS Open Hearts Initiative (@UWSOpenHearts) September 29, 2020
UWS Open Hearts Initiative was also the recent recipient of the Coalition for the Homeless’ annual Compassionate Communities Award, Patch reports.
In the announcement of the award, Coalition for the Homeless wrote that “For those who have been reading the news lately, it might seem counterintuitive that the Coalition for the Homeless is recognizing a group from the Upper West Side with our fifth annual Compassionate Communities Award.”
They continued by recognizing how “The mighty group of volunteers from the Upper West Side Open Hearts Initiative have organized rallies, art events, donation drives, and press conferences since they launched the initiative in the middle of August, right as the anti-shelter sentiment was reaching a boiling point. Their tremendous energy and organizing in support of people experiencing homelessness in the midst of a public health crisis – and in the face of vociferous hostility from some of their neighbors – is an example of compassion for all communities.”