NYC halts plan to move homeless people out of hotels after legal deposit

“The city is moving people faster than it can filter them,” said Joshua Goldfein, a staff lawyer for the company. “So every day, in every hotel, we meet people with disabilities who are not taken into account when DHS assigned them a new placement and, as a result, are sent to places that are dangerous for them or who cannot. to serve. . “He said hundreds of people have been affected.

Isaac McGinn, spokesperson for DHS, said the city, which has carried out transfers from 23 of the more than 60 hotels, has granted hundreds of accommodations. The city was “suspending the planned transition” from three others scheduled for Friday and Monday, including the Hotel at Fifth, which served as a refuge for women with disabilities, pending a hearing on Tuesday, he said. .

Ms Williams, 48, an unemployed pharmacy technician, showed documents indicating she had been granted an exemption and would go to a single or double room. Yet she was to be placed on a bus bound for a group shelter on 52nd Street until the transfer was canceled.

Helen Strom, the Homeless Advocacy and Benefits Supervisor for the Urban Justice Center Safety Net Project, stood under the awning of a Korean restaurant to interview clients and send emails to those responsible for the city. She said people at the hotel who were wrongly denied accommodation included women with lung disease, chronic asthma and seizure disorders.

“They are in flagrant violation of the law right now,” she said. “The mayor is focused on evicting people from Midtown and the wealthy neighborhoods, and he cares about that rather than the safety of people.”

During the pandemic, the number of single adults in shelters hit a record 20,000 – partly because the virus and its economic fallout left many people homeless, and partly because the city offered sleeping accommodations. hotel that attracted people from the streets and subways.

More than 120 homeless people have died from Covid-19 and more than 4,000 have been infected with the coronavirus, according to the city. At least 7,000 single homeless adults have been vaccinated by the Homeless Services Department, and an unknown number have been vaccinated through other programs.

A woman outside the hotel, Chantel Estrella, 31, who suffers from asthma and panic attacks and also asked for reasonable accommodation, said the city was wasting everyone’s time . “The same effort they made to get us out of here,” she said, “they should make the same effort to help us find an apartment.”

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