It was recently determined that the homeless individuals who’ve resided at The Lucerne Hotel since July 27 would have to be relocated by the end of the month. They’ll be moving into the Harmonia shelter on 31st Street, where some of the current residents have already been forced out to make room for them.
The Legal Aid Society has stated it’s preparing a lawsuit against NYC for its plan to relocate these Midtown residents, many of whom are disabled, NY Daily News reports.
#BREAKING: We are preparing a lawsuit against the City over its plan to force homeless NYers with disabilities from the Harmonia shelter in Manhattan to other facilities scattered around New York City that lack necessary services to accommodate their needs.https://t.co/Z8ePNla8UI
— The Legal Aid Society (@LegalAidNYC) September 10, 2020
According to the report, residents of the Harmonia, 80% of whom are said to be disabled, began getting kicked out of the building on Thursday, September 10. The Legal Aid Society states that residents were given less than two days notice, and some of them have lived in the Midtown building for years.
Legal Aid Society attorneys originally stated that 150 families would be moved so that the Lucerne residents can take their place.
However, it was more recently announced that the city had put a pause on the relocations.
NEWS — @LegalAidNYC tells me the city has paused moving people out of Harmonia as negotiations continue. 17 families have already been moved out
— Courtney Gross (@courtneycgross) September 11, 2020
“This crisis emerged after the City’s knee-jerk decision to uproot men living in safe refuge at the Lucerne Hotel in the Upper West Side to the Harmonia Shelter in Midtown Manhattan, a facility that serves homeless New Yorkers in adult families, 80% of whom are disabled,” The Legal Aid Society tweeted.
Protests outside the Midtown building took place after the news was announced.
What is happening at the #???????? is not who we are as a City, we don’t purposely hurt our most vulnerable.
This should have been handled with compassion.
These are disabled people, being displaced by the City through no fault of their own.
— Ben Kallos, NYC Council Member (@BenKallos) September 11, 2020
At the Harmonia in Midtown, where shelter residents and electeds including @galeabrewer, @KeithPowersNYC, @HelenRosenthal and others are protesting the abrupt transfer of dozens of homeless families. @LegalAidNYC is threatening a lawsuit. pic.twitter.com/E5Ni9TaoGP
— Nick Garber (@nick_garber) September 11, 2020
Mayor de Blasio stated that Lucerne residents would begin to be relocated on September 20.