Jan. 19, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
The City View Inn, which has been used by the city to provide temporary shelter for homeless families, will now be sheltering up to 100 single men, only, in a last-minute decision that left many families at the shelter in shock.
The hotel, located at 33-17 Greenpoint Ave., was housing 54 families since July until this week.
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said the Department of Homeless Services did not notify his office about the change, and that they only learned about the news when ABC-7 reported it early Thursday morning.
The news outlet also reported that families at the City View Inn were completely blindsided by the change, which came on Wednesday night. A letter given to residents of the shelter only gave them a few hours to pack their belongings and leave the hotel.
“It is an outrage that DHS has acted with such incompetence and cruelty,” Van Bramer said. “To rip these families and children away from their homes at a moment’s notice only serves to traumatize the most vulnerable among us.”
The surprise change has placed the DHS under fire again for not giving the community enough notice on their plans. News that the City View Inn itself was being used to house homeless families came as a surprise to many, for example, in October—three months after the families moved in. The DHS, however, maintains that notified the community board 24 hours prior.
The DHS was also criticized for their short notice on the Best Western hotel at 38-05 Hunters Point Ave., which began housing homeless families late September.
“It is also unacceptable that once again, DHS has acted without notifying community leaders and elected officials,” Van Bramer said. “I am angry at DHS for consistently mismanaging the homelessness crisis in New York City and in Queens, and for not being able to move the ball forward on reducing homelessness in our city. The city absolutely must do better.”
The DHS did not respond to questions about the City View Inn by press time.