“At a meeting with elected officials and community stakeholders on August 19, 2020, the City Department of Homeless Services stated that no other hotels on the Upper West Side will be considered for temporary emergency residence for individuals who are experiencing homelessness and coming from a shelter site in another part of NYC as part of the City’s initiative to prevent spread of COVID-19 in DHS shelters. For example, the Milburn Hotel and the Beacon will NOT be rented by DHS or any non-profit working with DHS. DHS has asked that we communicate this information as widely as possible.
“At the August 19th meeting, DHS also reported that one individual who showed up on the State Registry as a Level 3 sex offender and staying at the Lucerne on W 79 Street was NOT a resident at this hotel. His address showed up at the Lucerne because he thought he was going to be housed there as he had been a client of Project Renewal; and because he followed the law, which is that he is mandated to list his address on the State Registry. DHS has advised the State to correct the registry.”
As of writing, the individual referenced above is listed on the sex offender registry as residing at 600 East 125th Street.
In addition to the two diverging petitions created in response to the influx of new hotel residents, the Upper West Siders For Safer Streets Facebook group, and the newly formed community group called The West Side Community Organization, another new Facebook group has recently been launched.
One of the committee members of the newly formed “UWS Open Hearts Initiative” is Daryl Wendy Strauss, who was also named “NY1’s New Yorker of the Week” in 2019 for having founded a non-profit called Mom’s Christmas Stocking.
Strauss tells us that UWS Open Hearts Initiative is “actively working to dispel the negative image of the new shelters thru compassion and getting to know the services the residents are being provided with and where they are lacking.” The new group has two events this weekend. You can learn more about the group here.