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City View Inn, Currently Sheltering Single Men, Will Transition Back to Homeless Families

City View Inn at 33-17 Greenpoint Ave.

May 11, 2018 By Christian Murray and Nathaly Pesantez

The City View Inn in Blissville will once again house homeless families with children, the city announced today.

The Department of Homeless Services said the hotel at 33-17 Greenpoint Ave., which is currently housing single adult men, will transition back to temporarily providing shelter for families with children before the school year in September. The specific date and time for the move is yet to be determined.

The DHS says the decision comes with trends the agency sees in the summer months, when more families with children seek shelter due to the school year wrapping up.

The single adult men currently at the shelter, the DHS says, will be transferred to other shelter locations. The agency is expecting several high-quality, permanent shelters to open around the city in the coming months, which will provide capacity to shelter the men at the City View Inn and others.

“Nobody wants to see families with children or single adults without a roof over their heads on the street, and every night we have a legal obligation to provide shelter,” said Steven Banks, Department of Social Services Commissioner.

The City View Inn began sheltering 54 families with children in July 2017, but abruptly switched to housing over 100 single adult men in January. The DHS was met with much criticism at the time due to its handling of the move, where families at the shelter were seemingly notified hours before of the news. The agency has since publicly apologized for the miscommunication.

The news comes at a time when tensions are running high in Blissville due to a permanent shelter opening at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott. The shelter, the third in the area next to the temporary Best Western and City View Inn sites, is expected to receive up to 154 homeless adult families.

Many Blissville residents say the demeanor of the area has changed in the months since the DHS began providing shelter for the homeless in the two hotels. Some, however, say the change was especially noticeable when the City View Inn began sheltering adult men in January.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said the DHS’s decision is a sign of progress, but needs to go further.

“This is an acknowledgement by the administration that having so many homeless adults in a small community is a mistake,” Van Bramer said. “Three homeless shelters in a small area is a burden and unfair to Blissville.”

He added that the Blissville Civic Association (BSA), a new group that formed in response to the number of shelters in the area, should continue to make their voices heard by the city. The group has a protest scheduled at Gracie Mansion on Monday, to be attended by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, followed by a protest at City Hall on Tuesday, which Van Bramer will attend.

Maria Davis, Vice President of the BSA, said she doesn’t necessarily feel heard by the city with its decision.

“This industrial location at the end of the day is not good for homeless families, homeless individuals, and the most vulnerable,” Davis said. “They need housing. They don’t need to be put in a hotel.”

She says that the city is continuing to re-traumatize families, and has shown “more apathy” in their newest move, adding that three shelters is still too many for one remote area.

“We care enough to say this is not the solution,” Davis said. “They’re playing games with people’s lives.”

The two temporary shelters, including the City View Inn, are expected to begin being phased out in 2021.

Update: The Blissville Civic Association, along with Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, will protest outside of City Hall at noon on May 15.

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LIC Neighbor

I heard from a source The homeless men’s permanent shelter being relocated and coming to 39th Street and 50th Avenue Site — the gray building on that corner – already leased with on site services for drug counseling and needle exchange. They have three months t0 get the site ready.

Sunnyside Resident

How can concerned community members find out more information on this?

Tommy O

Stay Loose – If I represent “the epitome of callousness and NIMBY,” then you most certainly represent the “epitome” of the gullible, embodying the mentality of the entitled that has driven this topic since the 1979 lawsuit Callahan v. Carey. The law suit that ensured the right to shelter for homeless people in New York City. For one I have experienced a number of sudden life changing events and so have all of my friends and relatives. Life changing events are not unique to the people in the homeless shelter system. NYC has always been a more expensive place to live than most places in the country that is nothing new just the entitlement mentality is the new component to this equation. The overwhelming majority of my friends and relatives had to move from the city they grew up in and loved because of affordability, it wasn’t the end of the world. The city now spends $2.3 billion a year on homeless services. The cost per day for sheltering families jumped to $167.84 for fiscal year 2017, which ended in June and that’s on top of last year’s jump from $105.37. City taxpayers shelled out a record $648,000 to house the homeless in hotels for just one night last year, according to a city reports. The figure included a block of 10 rooms at a hotel near Times Square at a cost of $549 each, according to the city comptroller’s report. The shelter system is a scam. People move here to enter the shelter system just like the family from Portland, ME (both parents were drug addicted) who were victims of that horrible radiator explosion in the Bronx killing two children. People now enter the shelter system to get “emergency status” to get priority and shoot straight to the top of housing lists for NYCHA and Section 8. Don’t tell me about “callous”, some people may find bilking me and the other tax payers of this city out of billions of dollars every year as “callous”.

Ulysses Malvan

Although, this is probably NIMBY, what they have right is that real housing that meets SHNNY, HPD and HUD habitability standards would allow for stabilization of neighborhoods and families single and multiple with or without children. Next to operating costs of an ever growing shelter system and post shelter sites that do not meet standards, permanent housing which meets standards would be an inexpensive solution. The homeless appear to have become a way to make profits without regard to fact that they are human beings. While the country has developed Best Practices NYC has lagged behind and developed practices to institutionalize. Real housing is a much cheaper humane and perhaps positive solution for our city.

Tommy O

If you can’t afford to live in NYC then you need to move to a place you can afford to live. This should not be the tax payers problem. These people should move in with relatives or move on.

Stay Loose

Let’s hope that you never experience a sudden life changing event that makes your family homeless and stranded somewhere without family or friends who can take you in. You would uproot your children in the middle of a school year, leave your local support network of friends, change jobs, etc. You represent the epitome of callousness and NIMBY.

I certainly do not have room to house a homeless family with children in my two bedroom apartment alongside my family. These are our neighbors, and they attend school with my children, and they work in our shops and are all less than six degrees of separation from us.

Joe at the Berkley

@stay loose, Back in 1974 my brother and his family (wife & 2 girls) were burned out of their apartment on 46th street. My wife and I took them in for a year and a half in our 2 bedroom apartment with our two children. It’s called making sacrifices for your family, something you’re obviously not willing to do. You already have your excuse ready, no room at the inn, let the tax payer take care of it. You have gall to accuse others of NIMBY attitude.


Most if not all of these homeless got a headstart in life by being born in this country compared to those who came here with little English and documentation plus streetwise so now you tell me I should pay more taxes so they can live for free. You are loco.

We gotta nip it in the bud Andy!! Nip it!!

why dont they try doing this in midtown manhattan? like to see how that’d go over


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