A woman was reportedly set on fire inside of a Queens, New York homeless shelter.
According to several news sources, the victim is a resident at the Verve Hotel, a Long Island City Hotel that currently serves as a 200-bed homeless shelter.
Allegedly, the 51-year old victim got into a verbal dispute with another female resident at the shelter, and the woman doused her with nail polish remover and lit her on fire.
Presumably, the identity of the assailant is known. According to PIX 11 News, the perpetrator is a 33-year old woman, who has yet to be apprehended.
Sadly, it is not surprising that a heinous crime such as this one occurred inside of a New York City homeless shelter. The conditions in NYC shelters are extremely dangerous!! Although New York City spends millions on shelter “security,” security is extremely lax in a lot of shelters. I’ve personally witnessed shelter “security officers” sleeping on the job, having sing-alongs and social conversations when they should be working, and a bevy of other behaviors that greatly contribute to shelters being an extremely unsafe environment.
My prayers are with the victim of this unconscionable crime, and with everyone who is sleeping in a shelter tonight.
-The Homeless New Yorker
According to a New York Times article published yesterday, New York City’s housing projects “has an estimated $32 billion in needed repairs.”
Federal prosecutors have reportedly assigned a court-appointed monitor for the New York City Housing Authority to oversee the management of the nation’s largest public housing system.
NYCHA has been plagued with repair issues for years. These issues, most notably the lead-paint conundrum, have endangered the health of NYCHA’s residents for many years.
To add insult to injury, a June 2018 New York Times article states: “Federal prosecutors…said [NYCHA], which houses at least 400,000 poor and working-class residents, covered up its [“systematic misconduct”], training its staff on how to mislead federal inspectors and presenting false reports to the government, and to the public, about its compliance with lead-paint regulations.”
In their legal complaint, federal prosecutors further assert that NYCHA’s operations “reflect management dysfunction and organizational failure.”
AMARA LA NEGRA: I was homeless at some point in my life, and a lot of people don’t know that.
HOLLYWOOD UNLOCKED: Not sleeping on the street?
AMARA LA NEGRA: Well, sleeping in my car for 2 months outside of McDonalds… And I would go there because it’s 24 hours; and wash up with wipies and stuff, and leave out of the car looking fabulous, and you would never know that I’m struggling; I’m so hungry. You would never know.
HOLLYWOOD UNLOCKED: It takes a lot of courage to admit that though…
AMARA LA NEGRA: You know what? I do it too because I want to be real. I want to be honest about it.
My life hasn’t always been perfect. I don’t do it because I want anybody to feel pity for me. It’s my truth, and all these things build the character and the woman I am today.
A year ago, yesterday, I exited the New York City homeless shelter system. Being in the homeless shelter system was a life-changing experience for me. The New York City homeless shelter system seems to have a lot of similarities with the prison system. People who are in the homeless shelter system for a bevy of reasons, including upstanding citizens who have fell victim to New York City’s vicious cycle of gentrification, are treated like inmates; basically, dehumanized and “institutionalized.”
It’s a process to mentally, emotionally, and physically shake off the despicable trauma of the NYC homeless shelter system. When I read Wu Tang Klan’s U-God’s memoir, a passage in the tome regarding adjusting to life after incarceration reminded me of adjusting to life after being homeless.
In his book, “Raw: My Journey Into The Wu-Tang,” U-God states: “You need about the same amount of time back in the world as you served in jail. If you did three years inside, you’re gonna need three years outside to get your head on straight. You have to catch up with the world that’s kept moving on while you’ve been separated from it. You aren’t just gonna walk out the gate and pick up your life right where you left off. You gotta readjust yourself, reestablish your routines, and above all, get used to the freedom of not being locked up, because that’s one of the biggest things every convict has to overcome.”
Despite the traumatic and extremely negative experiences I had in the NYC homeless shelter system, I appreciate what I learned and experienced there. My experiences in that system armed me with a effective and potent tool for helping others. I will never forget what I experienced, and I will not stop speaking out about it until things are changed, and greater numbers of people are helped.
To commemorate my anniversary, I have set some new personal goals. Me and my husband will also go to a shelter this weekend and give back, directly, to the people.
Lots of Love,
-The Homeless New Yorker
In an exclusive New York Daily News report, it has been disclosed that New York City is auditing Childrens Community Services, a homeless shelter provider that was granted $407 million in contracts from the City in June of 2017.
According to the New York Daily News, Childrens Community Services was granted the lucrative contracts to operate hotel shelters in New York City despite being a neophyte company that was formed only four years prior. It seems that the “nonprofit” company is currently in quite a fiscal pickle. Recent tax filings reportedly state that the company is “$6 million in the red.”
The New York Daily News states: “When the Daily News inquired about the nonprofit’s debts and murky financials, Homeless Services said it planned to procure an independent accounting firm to review Children Community Services and pare down the number of shelters the nonprofit operates.”
These are the types of dealings the City is engaging in in the midst of a homeless crisis? Who are the people making these decisions? Are there professional repercussions, and accountability, for those people’s actions? How will the City claw itself out of the homeless epidemic with going-ons like this?
News sources are stating that nearly 50 Brooklynites have overdosed on K2 over the past few days.
The overdoses reportedly happened in five different locations. NBC News lists the overdoses as having occurred at the following locations: “The area of Broadway and Myrtle saw 15 overdoses; Fulton Street and Alabama Avenue in East New York had 21; Ralph Avenue and Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, 7; Van Sinderen Avenue in Brownsville, 2; and Atlantic Avenue and Sackman Street, 4.”
The New York Daily News states that yesterday’s “rash of overdose victims came from the Renaissance Shelter at Ralph Ave. and Lincoln Place, witnesses said.” The New York Daily News also states that four people overdosed outside the Atlantic House Men’s Shelter in Brownsville.
**UPDATE: About 10 minutes ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that “K2 Overdose Tally Grows to 56 in Brooklyn.”
**SECOND UPDATE: The New York Times just reported: “The warnings on Tuesday [today] carried particular urgency for the city’s homeless population: Three shelters were among the five places identified as epicenters. The largest number of patients, 21, came from the Fulton House shelter in East New York.”