During the peak of the pandemic, Mayor De Blasio relocated homeless residents from crowded shelters to hotels, to slow the spread of the virus. Many hotels across the city like Harmonia and Long Island City Plaza have housed homeless folks for years.
After numerous complaints from Upper West Side residents about The Lucerne, the men’s only facility in the Upper West Side, the city announced a plan to relocate Lucerne residents to Harmonia. This plan would relocate shelter residents across the city, creating a domino effect. Mayor De Blasio explained that hotels were meant to be a temporary relief for the homeless. After major backlash from the Coalition for the Homeless, The Legal Aid Society, and other advocates the city has halted the move until September 30th.
AudioFiles reporter Ali McPherson went to Harmonia to speak with residents and virtually met up with a homeless advocate at Lucerne to get a closer look at how they are moving forward.
Featured music is “Creep” by Emmit Fenn