Protesters march on Gracie Mansion over plan to move homeless out of NYC hotels
NEW YORK - There were some noisy and confrontational moments during a press conference Sunday afternoon about the homeless in front of the Lucerne Hotel on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
The city took over the hotel in July to house 300 homeless single men, but announced last week they would be moved elsewhere.
Residents living nearby the hotel had been complaining for weeks that some of the homeless men living there were using and selling drugs, urinating in public, and causing other quality of life issues.
But on Sunday, advocates for the homeless rallied to oppose the move. Others have said the decision will create a domino effect, forcing homeless people in other shelters throughout the city to be forced out in order to make room for residents of The Lucerne.
The homeless supporters marched across East 86th Street and took their plea as close as they could get to the Mayor's Gracie Mansion residence.
Since March, the Department of Homeless Services has taken thousands of people out of big group shelters and moved them into hotels to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Protestors said that moving them around from place to place does not serve them or the community that's impacted, and there needs to be a plan.
The Department of Homeless Services placed about 10,000 homeless people in 600 hotels at the height of the pandemic. A DHS spokesperson told FOX 5 NY that the use of hotels is temporary, and they are trying to reduce the number in use as shelters moving forward.