Save Our 107th Street Women's Shelter

Save Our 107th Street Women's Shelter

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Katie Rosman started this petition to Mayor de Blasio

Update:

Thank you to everyone who submitted letters and called the Mayor's Office. Although City Hall did not respond directly, our collective efforts were such that Mayor de Blasio was forced to address the women's evictions on Brian Lehrer last Friday, October 25th. The mayor failed to explain why 120 women were being uprooted to make room for 120 men, but did promise that every former resident would be "put in a place that's most conductive to their situation."

Well, we went back and spoke with the women who have been evicted from this shelter. We asked if their new placements allowed them to commute to and from work safely, to access supportive services, to have a bed that was theirs alone and a secure place to store belongings. 

The response was unanimous: the women's new placements are NOT comparable. They are being sent to shelters meant for people experiencing mental illness, shelters over two hours away from their jobs, shelters miles away from public transit, shelters without locks on the doors. These women do not feel safe in their new environments. They do not feel secure. They do not feel supported.

All they want is come to back to 237 West 107th Street. THAT is the place "most conducive to their situation."

This Friday, November 1st, Brian Lehrer will be following up with the mayor on this issue, and we need your help. This interview is our best chance to call the mayor's bluff: all shelters are not created equal, and 120 women are being forced into inappropriate, inconvenient, and insecure housing while 120 men take their place.

If you would like to help, please email your concerns about this situation to the Brian Lehrer show at blshow@wnyc.org before 10:00 AM on Friday, November 1st. Feel free to use some or all of this email template. The more people that contact Brian Lehrer, the more likely he is to devote on-air time to this issue and challenge the mayor's assertions that the displaced women are doing just fine. They are not, and they desperately want to return home.

Thank you. Please email katie.rosman.cb7@gmail.com with any questions.

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I want to go back 237 w 107 . . . . I was stable WHERE I WAS. I was  . . . LOVED FROM THE WOMEN AT 237 w 107 to support from the block. . . . Help 107 IS A WORKING SHELTER. DHS states that there ARE NOT ENOUGH SHELTERS FOR MEN. BUT ITS THE SAME OR WORST FOR THE WOMEN. I'm suppose to have a bed. Im SO DEPRESSED, OVERWHELMED. DHS has victimized me and other women. DHS is a BULLY SYSTEM. I AM A WOMAN A MOM A PERSON
-A female resident who was evicted from 237 West 107th Street, October 17, 2019

For the past ten years, the shelter at 237 West 107th Street has provided safety, stability, and support for women experiencing homelessness. Nearly all of the shelter's residents work or go to school, and they have become a valued part of the community. Women volunteer, worship, and work on the block; their positive presence and civic contributions are a source of pride for residents and community members alike. 

A few weeks ago, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) under the De Blasio administration abruptly announced plans to evict all 120 women and transition the shelter into a men's residence by the end of October. They did not provide any public policy rationale for this decision, beyond the general statement that more homeless men need shelter as winter approaches.

Prior to this announcement, DHS conducted no outreach to the affected residents or neighborhood. They have since ignored the outpouring of community vigils, protests, and pleas to let the shelter’s current residents stay. Instead, residents are being ordered to sign forms which give DHS the authority to move them to unspecified locations within 48 hours. If the women do not sign these agreements, they risk being removed from the city’s housing system altogether.

With every day that passes, women are now being forced out of the shelter, their belongings in garbage bags and their faces in tears. They are being dispatched to remote corners of the city, far from their support networks, and in some cases, hours away from their jobs.

The physical, emotional, and economic suffering that these evictions have inflicted upon a vulnerable population, many of whom have already survived domestic violence or other painfully difficult circumstances, cannot be overstated. It is a devastating development not only for the women being evicted, but for our entire community.

We firmly believe that housing is a human right. That is why we have welcomed the creation of 110 affordable housing units for seniors  just one block away, as well as a men's shelter on 108th Street. But by evicting women from a highly successful shelter for no apparent reason, DHS is violating its own mission to provide safe, secure, and stable transitional housing for people who need it. And in forcibly uprooting these residents from their homes, they are causing untold damage to a population that has experienced so much destabilization already.

DHS must figure out a way to provide housing for everyone without dismantling a shelter that, by all accounts, serves as a model of community integration and has provided the safety and stability necessary for countless women to begin rebuilding their lives.

Please sign this petition to show your support for maintaining the shelter at 237 West 107th Street as a women's residence, allowing the current residents to remain and enabling the women who have been evicted to return to their home.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!