Homeless residents leave Upper West Side’s Lucerne Hotel, head back to shelters


UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan — Homeless residents who’d spent months living at the Upper West Side’s Lucerne Hotel moved out on Monday morning, boarding buses headed to shelters.

The 60 people moving out were the last of the more than 200 homeless New Yorkers who lived in the hotel at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Housing paid the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side to house homeless men in the beginning of the pandemic.

Corrine Low with the Open Hearts Initiative said this is a step backward for the progress made for these men holding jobs, taking care of their health and staying clean.

New York City is moving roughly 9,000 homeless people out of hotels and back into traditional shelters now that hotels are filling with tourists.

“We are here today watching the grave injustice of Mayor de Blasio transferring people out of hotels back to congregate shelters before the pandemic has evaded,” said Low.

Across the country, tens of thousands of homeless have been staying in hotels across the U.S. paid for by federal programs aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, but as hotels re-open to tourists and federal pandemic funding wanes, many are facing uncertainty as the hotel programs end

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