The intensification of New York’s homeless crisis is one of the starkest examples of COVID’s impact in laying bare the deep inequalities across our city.
Many of the vacant hotels-turned-shelters which the City created to support the unprecedented stress on our already inadequate shelter system embodied the chasm between the haves and have nots.
Now, as wealthy communities mobilize against these emergency hotel shelters, we have seen the Mayor’s response to this moral litmus test. In the first major clash of this kind, pitting Upper West Side NIMBYs against the 300 individuals currently living in the Lucerne Hotel, he has bowed to misplaced community frustration and put in motion a relocation policy that is short-sighted, ineffective, and counter-productive.
First, moving 300 individuals out of the Lucerne Hotel destabilizes those 300 residents plus hundreds more homeless families in shelters across the city who were moved with no notice to make room for the Lucerne refugees.