Temporary Victory for Manhattan Homeless Against City

New York City has agreed to halt the moving of residents from a Manhattan shelter to make room for homeless people being removed from an Upper West Side hotel in order to allow for further discussions.

What We Know:

  • This all began when a protest was held in Manhattan Friday over New York City’s DHS’ (Department of Homeless Services) plan to move hundreds of homeless residents from the Lucerne Hotel to the Harmonia Houses, which currently houses homeless adult families, many with physical or mental disabilities, on East 31st Street.

  • For now, there are no more school buses or sad faces; this comes as a result of a temporary win by New York City’s often voiceless population, the homeless residents of a shelter who decided to stand up to City Hall.
  • After months of dispute, the city finally decided to clear out the Lucerne, which was created as a temporary shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating an outcry from area residents who said their quality of life was being degraded.
  • Josh Goldfein, of the Legal Aid Society, stated that 17 families had already been removed from the Harmonia and that the organization is making threats to take legal action against the city. If the city decides to continue removing people, the Legal Aid Society will stop it. They say there is no guarantee the already removed families will acquire the same services.
  • Once the shelter is cleared, it is expected to be changed to a single men’s facility. The decision to move homeless residents out of the Lucerne came as a relief to many area residents, but it also sparked anger from advocates for the homeless.

West Side Community Organization President Megan Martin said in a statement, the organization’s goal was always to better the conditions of not only the community but the lack of resources the men were receiving. This was a win-win for all involved.