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City View Inn in LIC has housed homeless since July, DHS criticized for lack of transparency

October 6, By Christian Murray

The Department of Homeless Services has been housing homeless families at the City View Inn in Long Island City since late July, residents learned at a community meeting last night.

The revelation was made during a heated Community Board 2 meeting on Oct. 6 while board members were questioning DHS officials on why the agency started using the Best Western hotel as a shelter without providing the community adequate notice.  Some officials said they were given less than 24 hours notice before the decision to use the hotel at 38-05 Hunters Point Ave. as a shelter.

Claims that DHS lacks transparency grew in intensity when attendees were informed that it had been using the Citi View Inn, located at 33-17 Greenpoint Ave., to house 37 homeless families since late July.

A representative from DHS claimed that elected officials and the community board were notified 24 hours prior to the homeless moving into the Citi View Inn. CB2 officials, however, claim that they only learned about it being used as a shelter after the 108 Police Precinct notified them of some domestic disputes at the location — and they did some digging.

Representatives of DHS faced an onslaught of criticism at the meeting, with elected officials, board members and the public arguing that the agency acts in secret to the detriment of the public.

“This is a broken system,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who spoke at the beginning of the board meeting. “It is wrong and absolutely absurd to start moving people in before anyone in the community knows or has an opportunity to talk about it.”

Van Bramer said that he nor any of the elected officials knew that 57 families were moving into the Best Western, located at 38-05 Hunters Point Ave., until hours before people started moving in.

DHS officials defended the practice, arguing that it is required to house the homeless and that it was an emergency so it decided to use the Best Western.

Stephen Cooper, a board member, asked DHS how it came to use Best Western, doubting that the agency just ran out that night looking for a hotel to house 57 families. He and other members wanted to know what discussions had taken place with the owner of Best Western prior to last week, and what had been negotiated.

The representatives of DHS at the meeting were unable to answer these questions.

Some board members claimed that Community Board 2 is carrying an unfair burden, with four hotels in the district now being used to shelter the homeless–the Verve Hotel, Best Western, Quality Inn and Citi View. Many also wanted to know how many homeless people came from CB2.

Amanda Nasner, the Queens Director for DHS, said that 416 homeless people are being housed in Community Board 2. She said that 260 individuals who are part of the citywide shelter system come from CB2.

After the meeting, Van Bramer in a statement said that the district is already doing enough to house the homeless.

“Our community now houses more homeless individuals than it produces,” Van Bramer said. “The Mayor has said those numbers should be aligned. So why do they keep converting hotels into shelters in an area already doing more than its fair share? It’s wrong and it must end. The Mayor and Department of  Homeless Services Commissioner should come to our community and answer these questions directly from my constituents.”

The City View location, according to CB2, has been less contentious than what’s transpired with the Best Western, where attendees last night complained about people pot smoking and loitering outside. The Best Western’s location by the LIE is also viewed by some as hazardous for children.

Meanwhile, there have not been any complaints made by residents about Citi View to Community Board 2 and elected leaders have heard little.

Denise Keehan Smith, community board 2 chair, attributes the lack of complaints to Citi View’s location. The hotel is not located in a residential area; instead it is across the street from Calvary Cemetery, adjacent to an industrial zone.

 

email the author: news@queenspost.com

43 Comments

LianoD.

Its a scam by developers that the politicians are in on. For example; there is a huge hotel being built on the LIE in Fresh Meadows that i pass by every week. Why on earth is a hotel being built there of all places…theres nothing but houses there, no attractions, no transportation. That will be made a homeless shelter, guaranteed 100%!




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WG 39th St

To Maria: You don’t need to go so far to offer shelters to Puerto Ricans you can welcome a local homeless family in your home now. Victims of the Hurricane Maria have relatives who will take them in and they will support each other through their network of friends and family in the mainland, they are all welcome, they are US citizens and merit our support and compassion, but not leave Puerto Rico to live in deplorable conditions in flea, bed-bug, drug infested homeless shelters/hotels in NYC. Which proud Puerto Rican who loves Borinquen would leave the island to live in deplorable conditions in a NYC homeless shelter? They rather be homeless in PR, without running water, electricity and rebuild the Island any day than spend a day in a homeless shelter in NYC with no hope and no future. Despite the devastation in Puerto Rico the future of the Puerto Rican people is brighter than that of the people stuck in the vicious cycle of homelessness in NYC.




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WG 39th St

The building (formerly VG Nichols Furniture) next to La Quinta Inn on Qns Blvd on 37th Street must be WATCHED CLOSELY. There is non-stop construction which picked up with about two dozen workers on site during the past couple of months with steel reinforced girders installed and stairs raising the building to 4 stories – seems they are in a big rush to finish. I asked JVB about this site at the community board meeting when I spoke to him privately and also on the empty lot next to the YMCA on 32nd Street which is slated to become another hotel, I pressed him on this and from the look on his face he already knows that a homeless shelter is being built on the site on 37th Street in Queens Blvd. This will change the face of our neighborhood forever with vagrants, low-lives, mentally ill and junkies hooked on OPIOIDS and HERION, with a smattering of decent and legitimately working poor homeless individuals lumped in the mix. Build affordable decent housing for working poor families, not homeless shelters in neighborhood.




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TeaLady

The Motel 6 that became Feather Factory down on Skillman is probably next. It was built in the weirdest place and clearly not meant for real hotel business.

Crusty Panda must go and check.




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maria

I hope shelters like this one and we as a community can welcome many of the hurricane victims who are coming from Puerto Rico to NYC. They deserve our help. More shelters need to open!




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juan

The hotel owners and a good number of local business (e.g., delis, supermarkets, fast food take out, etc) especially those that accept EBT, WIC, and food vouchers really benefit from these hotel shelters. Its not all bad for the community. My local supermarket which is the first one nearest to a shelter is now packed daily! The Chinese take out and pizza place had to hire more workers and delivery people to keep up with the demand. There are pros.




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a million to juan

homeless people can afford take out? When i need to curtail my budget, one of the first money saving things I do is start cooking my meals.




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baw

Food vouchers (in the form of Cash) are given to residents of these hotel shelters that do not have kitchens to cook. So they are given money to buy meals.




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a million to juan

well that is a horrible solution in general. Take out is more expensive than home cooked, AND they aren’t learning the valuable skill of cooking to learn how to take care of themselves. Give a man a fish vs. Teach a man to fish!?

Not to mention the likely unhealthy makeup of chinese and pizza take out night and night again. Where are the vegetables? Here we are, taxpayers, contributing to their takeout bills, only to have to contribute to their medical care when they all end up with high cholesterol, heart disease, hypertension, etc!




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Kremden's Delicious Marshall

SO many experts on homelessness in Sunnyside! Who knew we had a such a glut in folks that knew so much about homeless and their situation. Bravo commenters.

Wondering when you all will light your tiki torches and have a rally for your great cause?




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Bruno

Domestic disputes requiring a police response. Sounds exactly what any neighborhood needs. These people obviously need to be educated in how to live and function in a society.




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Theorem Ox

Considering that this is beyond the second time we’ve heard about such instances within the past three years alone, there should be a default assumption that virtually ALL lodging open to the public within city limits are city-run de facto homeless shelters unless proven otherwise. In case it’s not clear: NONE of the massive layers of government (city/state/federal) care about anything other than themselves. Elected and unelected officials have (vacation) places to be and votes (to steal and enrich themselves at public expense) to buy




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Anonymous

why why put these people in midtown we are hardworking families

and our neighborhood is being accosted by the homeless i go to work i support my family i pay my taxes why can’t they cmon do not be an
enabler put these folks in manhattan and put them to work from what i see
they are quite capable they have i phones they all smoke at 13 dollars a pack maybe we should all go on the dole cmon fix this mess get them ou of heret




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take action and stop complaining behind the computer screen

take action in november
vote for ANYONE but big bird de blasio
there will be 90….yes, 90 shelters coming to the 5 boroughs courtesy of big bird
google it
no neighborhood is safe because yoy don’t know where they will land
and we lucked out with a family shelter
where are the sex offenders living?




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sheila

Most people in are area rent! Rents are sky rocketing which means people do not care and love it around here! This trend will continue and Deblasio will be re elected! I laughed at the boxing glove commercial campaign ad (looked so phony and fake) by one of his opponents. People around here do not vote for names they cant pronounce.




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Lack of transparency

City hiding info as usual. Oran Juice Jones and El Loco will expose the truth with their upcoming investigative expose !




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Ridiculous

The kicker is they are still renting rooms to unsuspecting tourists. I feel bad for the homeless, but imagine you book a hotel and arrive to find it’s being used as a shelter, with the police showing up to break up ‘domestic disputes’ ?

The damage to these hotels reputations is going to affect their long term viability, potentially creating a whole other set of problems for the community once their huge new revenue stream from the city gov dries up and no tourists want to stay here.




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Mike P

Ridiculous – You’re speculating.i had a friend who called Quality Inn on QB at 53rd street to book a room to help his mother move and was informed they weren’t taking reservations over the phone just walk ins.




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transparency

that isn’t the same as “we aren’t taking reservations because we are now a homeless shelter”




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MIKE O. The 40st wonder!

Can I get paid by the city to rent my co-op on 40th st and queens blvd to the homeless?? Like section 8? I would like to make money too. Thank you.




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Eric

Mr.Van Bramer ,you sir are a compulsive liar. When the homeless were placed at the Quality Inn you initially ignored complaints then admitted they had moved in but would not sanction any protest or debate on the matter.Stopping the Barnett Ave. development came with a price.




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Robbie

Eric- Are you for real? Just about every member of community boards throughout the city are claiming they weren’t informed by DHS or the administration about housing homeless in their districts until after they were moved into these shelters. Fact, just pick up a news paper. As for your ridiculous statement about the low income housing project on Barnett that was voted down being a factor in the welfare hotel scam that is currently being perpetrated on NYC tax payer, that building wouldn’t even be in the planning phases, the environmental impact studies would still be in the planning stages.




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Billy

@Eric- That’s right luxury housing is always built right next to the train tracks.




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El Loco Rules

Hey Robbie. Sounds like your one of JVB’s puppets. Blah blah blah. I hope you don’t in into Oran Juice Jones and El Loco in a dark alley. They will tune you up Charlie.




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Billy

ELR-The truth is the truth and stating just the truth and facts like Robbie did proves he is nobody’s puppet unlike you although.




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Bill

The idea that these families come from the surrounding communities is a total joke. All of them are from out of state. If it were actually locals, I would support having one or two shelters.

I hate Bloomberg, but where did he put all the homeless? Did he just have them shipped out?




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rikki

Housing the homeless at city view in is perfectly fine with me because no one lives around there,

But the one on 39th st he old holiday Inn express , the public must be informed or we should picket and protest., Now if they had a permanent police presence that would help to ease our criminal concerns.




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claire

It doesn’t matter that “no one lives around that area.” Residents from these shelters end up walking, driving or using public transportation to the nearest schools, doctors, shopping, transit and residential areas to get things done in the neighborhood. Homeless shelters are not prisons! Its not like they sit in the hotel room and do nothing. They also go on with their lives like any one of us. Family shelters also have many programs in store for the children. I live away from a shelter but I see them daily going on with their lives because my home is located next to transit and business. The most i seen them do is ask for money or directions, curse on cell phones, smoke weed, and and teens and children acting rowdy (which already happens in any neighborhood with paying residents). Have a heart!




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rikki

Remember its all about BEHAVIOR I wouldn’t want to live next door to a bunch of redneck bikers riding their unmuffled bikes at 3 am either.




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Claire is nuts

If they have weed , but have no money, how did they get the weed? Selling it! Stole it? How Claire. How did they get the weed ? Are you sure your not super twitty SMITTY




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Joe Filipino

Rikki Who doesn’t live there? I live around the corner. I don’t need homeless robbing my house while I’m at work earning a living. Jerk




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Anonymous

all of bunch of hot air from JVB he is very friendly with him and he knew all along —




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Billy

I think Queens needs to revive its secession movement. This mayor is using the borough as a dumping ground and trying to bring its crime rates up to those of Brooklyn, Bronx and upper Manhattan. Vote this clown out.




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