Lucerne Residents will be Relocated by End of Month

After weeks of neighborhood backlash, the 283 homeless individuals residing at The Lucerne will be relocated to alternate shelters by the end of the month.

A statement from attorney Randy Mastro, who is representing the West Side Community Organization, states that the city confirmed that “all of these individuals” will be moved “into state-accredited shelter facilities with the social services they need on-site.”

Advertisement




Mastro also states that “the City has further committed to cease using the Hotel Belleclaire for such housing in the next wave of closures after this one.”

This news comes after the newly formed organization had Mastro reach out to the Mayor’s office and, in late August, threaten to file a lawsuit if the city did not come up with a relocation plan.

Isaac McGinn, a spokesman for the Department of Social Services, stated that “As part of our effort to continually review and streamline the footprint of our shelter locations, while always ensuring effective provision of services, we’re beginning to relocate individuals from several commercial hotel locations.”

The city’s decision to relocate these homeless residents from The Lucerne has been met with mixed reactions.

In recent weeks, a number of residents have witnessed and documented incidents including open drug use, public urination and harassment, with the goal of bringing a declining quality of life to the attention of our local leadership. For them, and for anyone who has been concerned about their safety since the influx of new homeless residents on the Upper West Side, the announcement of the Lucerne residents’ relocation will be a positive.

But others have been critical of the city’s decision.

This includes Council Member Helen Rosenthal, who tweeted “It’s a sad day when the threat of lawsuit gets city hall to reverse a decision. What message does this send that groups who can afford to hire high-powered lawyers (are) the ones who will get their way.”

As of writing, the West Side Community Organization has raised over $135,000 through a GoFundMe campaign it launched in mid-August.

UWS Open Hearts, a recently formed group which has welcomed new residents with events including an art protest and sleep out at The Lucerne,  tweeted “If the city is indeed making this decision based on pressure from the WSCO, it is an outrageous dereliction of the duty to protect vulnerable NYers. We’ll wait to hear what @NYCMayor has to say. The idea that services will in any way be better in another location is false.”

Advertisement




Another opponent of the recent decision is Dave Giffen, the Executive Director of The Coalition for the Homeless. Giffen stated that “Playing politics with the lives of people experiencing homelessness during a global pandemic is simply inexcusable and confirms that the suffering of homeless New Yorkers means less to Mayor de Blasio than the power of those who find it inconvenient. It is inhumane and just plain wrong, and the Mayor should be ashamed.”

But the conclusion of Mastro’s letter indicates that his work, and the work of the West Side Community Organization, has been designed to benefit all NYC residents (even though some would disagree). The sentiment behind this is the belief that the UWS hotels are not providing adequate services.

In a recent response letter from the Department of Homeless Services, the agency stated that while some services are offered onsite, others – including primary healthcare, health / mental health services and substance use treatment – are provided offsite, at locations outside of the hotels.

Mastro’s letter wraps up by stating that “All New Yorkers deserve to feel safe on the streets of their neighborhoods. But we as New Yorkers also care about our neighbors, particularly those in need. We are all in this together. So, we should all be concerned about what happened here and make sure it never happens again.”

Read Mastro’s full statement here

 Get the Upper West Side newsletter: 


Sharing is caring!

Latest Comments

  1. Avatar Ian Alterman September 9, 2020
    • Avatar Ken September 9, 2020
  2. Avatar MOOK Pseudonym September 9, 2020
    • Avatar Ian Alterman September 9, 2020
      • Avatar brian September 9, 2020
        • Avatar Ian Alterman September 10, 2020
      • Avatar Misha September 10, 2020
        • Avatar Ian Alterman September 10, 2020
          • Avatar Misha September 10, 2020
            • Avatar Ian Alterman September 10, 2020
              • Avatar Misha September 10, 2020
    • Avatar UWS mom September 9, 2020
      • Avatar Ken September 10, 2020
  3. Avatar MOOK Pseudonym September 9, 2020
  4. Avatar Privileged on the UWS September 9, 2020
    • Avatar Ian Alterman September 9, 2020
      • Avatar brian September 9, 2020
        • Avatar Ken September 9, 2020
  5. Avatar ProgressivePracticality September 9, 2020
  6. Avatar arlene September 9, 2020
  7. Avatar IR September 9, 2020
    • Avatar Blumpkin September 9, 2020
  8. Avatar Fiberoid September 9, 2020
    • Avatar M September 10, 2020
    • Avatar Gabrielle Lucas Pseudonym (no relation ;-) ) September 10, 2020
  9. Avatar Pedestrian September 9, 2020
    • Avatar Kenneth J Hunt September 9, 2020
  10. Avatar Luther Cavendish September 9, 2020
  11. Avatar Ark Shein September 9, 2020
  12. Avatar Upper west side resident September 9, 2020
  13. Avatar Annette September 9, 2020
  14. Avatar Ian Alterman September 9, 2020
    • Avatar Spelling patrol September 9, 2020
      • Avatar Spelling patrol September 9, 2020
      • Avatar Ian Alterman September 10, 2020
        • Avatar Spelling patrol September 11, 2020
          • Avatar Ian Alterman September 11, 2020
            • Avatar Self reflection September 13, 2020
              • Avatar Ian Alterman September 13, 2020
                • Avatar MOOK Pseudonym September 13, 2020
                  • Avatar Ian Alterman September 13, 2020
  15. Avatar Sarah September 9, 2020
  16. Avatar brian September 9, 2020
    • Avatar Ian Alterman September 10, 2020
  17. Avatar Karma September 9, 2020
  18. Avatar Mark London September 9, 2020
  19. Avatar Mook September 10, 2020
    • Avatar Ian Alterman September 10, 2020
  20. Avatar Jennifer Amos September 10, 2020
  21. Avatar ROB September 10, 2020
  22. Avatar Ian Alterman September 10, 2020
  23. Avatar Ian Alterman September 10, 2020
  24. Avatar Ian Alterman September 10, 2020
  25. Avatar Ian Alterman September 10, 2020
  26. Avatar Ian Alterman September 10, 2020
    • Avatar Misha September 10, 2020
      • Avatar Ian Alterman September 10, 2020

Advertisement