Downtown New Yorkers for Safe Streets against permanent homeless shelters in FiDi

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Downtown New Yorkers for Safe Streets, a group of Lower Manhattan residents and businesses represented by Downtown New Yorkers, Inc., seeks to prevent City of New York and the DeBlasio administration from illegally transferring 235 men from a homeless shelter on the Upper West Side to the Radisson Hotel at 52 William Street, thereafter, converting it into a permanent homeless shelter.

Downtown New Yorkers believes that the City is exploiting the current humanitarian crisis to cover up its own mismanagement. The City specifically stated that the proposed transfer was not prompted by coronavirus considerations as it must be to fall under the emergency rules for COVID-19-related contracts. There is no public health rationale for the move because the Lucerne Hotel did not require de-densification. De-densification was accomplished when the homeless men were moved from various shelters to the Lucerne Hotel in July.

There are numerous issues related to the 52 William Street site that make it unsuitable for use as a shelter, including its location within 300 feet of four schools and within blocks of 12 schools. According to public reports and statements by the homeless men themselves some of the homeless men have psychiatric and substance abuse issues.

Lower Manhattan is currently home to multiple temporary shelters and other facilities for the homeless, and the streets of the neighborhood in the immediate vicinity are narrow and congested. Locating a suitable site for a shelter requires extensive analysis and review, as required under the city’s siting process that was ignored in the Radisson move.

While most residents support these homeless individuals and recognize their needs, many residents do not believe that there is any appropriate location in Lower Manhattan for a permanent shelter given the dynamics of the street plan.

Downtown New Yorkers, Inc. has officially sued the City of New York through our legal representation at the law firm of Cozen O’Connor. As of November 25th, the court has dismissed our case, but we are appealing and believe we can win on the merits. However, this effort requires significant financial support. For those who have considered supporting the effort, or who have pledged funding, now is the time. If we do not have the funding, we cannot advance this legal strategy. It is now or never.

To those who are willing and able to donate in support of our ongoing legal effort, we are accepting donations via Zelle at donations@downtownnewyorkers.org. We are also able to accept checks -- please contact us at hello@downtownnewyorkers.org to make necessary arrangements.

Our organization, Downtown New Yorkers Inc. is not organized for profit, and no part of the net earnings of any donations or fundraiser will contribute to the benefit of any member of our team. You can read our extensive Fundraising Policy on our website.

We continue to work every single day and night on this important cause to protect the safety of our children, the cleanliness of our streets, and the historical integrity of our neighborhood.

Together, we can do this!