Mayor Bill de Blasio has again pledged to move homeless residents from local hotels back to congregate shelters by the end of July — providing New York State gives approval.

One of the hotels on W36th Street that was used to house the homeless. Photo: Phil O’Brien.

In his press conference on Wednesday, the Mayor said: “We’re going to start the process of moving homeless folks back to shelters, where they can get the support they need. In shelters is where we can provide support, a variety of services, and that pathway into a better life.”

Governor Cuomo’s reopening of New York earlier in the week after the threshold of 70% of adults being vaccinated was passed has given the green light for this action. The Mayor said the changes will involve moving 8,000 New Yorkers who are currently in 60 temporary hotels.

There has been criticism of the concentration of homeless hotels in Hell’s Kitchen. During the pandemic, over 800 men were placed in one Hell’s Kitchen block that has caused significant public safety issues for residents. However, some hotel programs (not run by the city) have given significant benefits to those looking to move out of the shelter system.

The management of the Skyline Hotel on 10th Avenue has been a source of complaints from Hell’s Kitchen residents. Photo: Phil O’Brien.

The homeless and their advocates are protesting against the action. “We’re not chess pieces,” Peter Trapani, who has spent time in both homeless shelters and a hotel, told Gothamist. “We’re human beings who need some place to live. Sixteen men to a room is not living.”

De Blasio said that the move could not start without state sign-off. “Once we get that sign-off, we can start immediately moving people to shelters and getting back to that work of moving them forward in their lives,” said the Mayor.

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  1. Moving these homeless people back to shelters is far from the answer. The shelters have proven a disgrace. Drugs, alcohol, rapes, thefts; are a known fact. Supervision is very faulty. The City needs a new management to run housing for these unfortunate people. The landlords continue to wharehouse empty apts. so they can then get higher rents for them. The shelters are a known disgrace. The mayor continues to take the easy way out on the homeless.

    1. We all know the problem. Provide a solution. Your unicorns and rainbows don’t work.

      Run for office Bruce. I bet you’d show up more than our current HK rep. Cough cough..

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