The Lucerne Hotel has ten long-term, permanent residents, all senior citizens who’ve lived in the building long before the temporary homeless residents moved in on July 27. Not much attention has been given to them until now.
On September 28, ABC 7 NY published an interview with a tenant named Douglas Rowan, who’s lived in the building for the last three decades.
He told ABC 7 NY that he’s witnessed fistfights and screaming, adding that he and his fellow long-term tenants are “being glared at, threatened, being called names, [and receiving] death threats.”
“We’re invisible, we don’t have a voice – people don’t even know we’re here,” Rowan said, adding that he and his fellow residents “are just in the apartments, except to walk the dogs – then I come right back.”
While the temporary Lucerne Hotel residents were originally expected to be relocated to a downtown hotel by October 5, the DHS has extended the deadline to at least October 19, according to a Facebook post by Corinne Low of UWS Open Hearts Initiative.
The Facebook post also states that a “Free Store and voter registration is ON for Sunday [October 3] at the Lucerne, 2-4pm! We will also be doing a ‘ribbon of love’ ceremony to embrace the Lucerne in a ribbon held in unity around the entire block–details on that coming soon!”
UWS Open Hearts Initiative also mentions the Sunday event on Twitter:
Recognizing the transformative power of love, so eloquently described by @homeless_hero below, we will be doing a symbolic blockade of The Lucerne on Sunday, wrapping the entire block in a Ribbon of Love, held by the community. Join us at 2pm at our Free Store to assemble. pic.twitter.com/DTUeFikNbh
— UWS Open Hearts Initiative (@UWSOpenHearts) September 30, 2020