Homeless hotels move out temporarily halted in NYC

Local News

NEW YORK — Homeless New Yorkers were in limbo Monday as they waited for a judge’s ruling.

Thousands of people were moved out of group shelters and into hotels during the pandemic. The city had started to move them back to shelters until the Legal Aid Society filed a motion late last week to stop the process. They said it violated the rights of people with health problems and disabilities.

Homeless New Yorker Thyessa Williams is among the women at the Hotel At Fifth Avenue who are fighting the move back to a shelter. The women at the Midtown hotel have various health care needs and disabilities.

“What the city is doing to homeless people is wrong. They are dragging them out of safe environments,” Williams said. 

LaShawn Allicock said Monday she has diabetes. 

“I asked my case worker, ‘What happened to my single room occupancy?’ I’m not supposed to be going back to 52nd Street because of my medical condition,” she said.

New York City has been trying to move more than 8,000 homeless New Yorkers out of hotels. Everything has been halted until a judge rules on the motion filed by the Legal Aid Society. That could come as early as Tuesday afternoon.

“It is our hope that the city is using the time between when we filed the papers and tomorrow to make improvements to the system so that people are safe,” Legal Aid Society attorney Joshua Goldfein said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said accommodations have been granted to people with particular needs.

“Everything we have been doing, has been done based on state and federal guidance, close constant consultation with our healthcare team about what makes sense to do,” he said.

Many of the women at the Hotel at Fifth Avenue said they want to move to permanent housing. A place they can call home.

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