Twin Infants Die At Queens, New York Homeless Shelter

The Landing Hotel

2020 has sadly started with tragedy in the New York City shelter system. On January 11, 2020, it was reported that 2-month old boy/girl twins died at a family shelter located near LaGuardia Airport. The death of the twins at The Landing Hotel is the second reported tragic occurrence at the shelter in two months. Just this last November, a 38-year old man was fatally stabbed outside of The Landing Hotel.

According to the New York Post, the father of the twins said that he put the babies in their cribs for a nap, and when he checked on them a few hours later they were unresponsive. The babies were later declared dead at Elmhurst Hospital.

Deepest condolences to the family.

-The Homeless New Yorker

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Bed-Stuy Women’s Shelter Residents Shipped Out Like Chattel

BRC

There are numerous similarities between New York City’s homeless shelter system, the prison system, and chattel slavery. A recent situation that confirms this premise is the abrupt relocation of women shelter residents from a Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn facility.

More than 100 homeless women were notified that they would be removed from the Bowery Residents’ Committee operated Lexington Avenue shelter and relocated to various shelters throughout the city to make room for homeless men with mental health challenges. According to Brooklyn Paper, the women were notified of the mandated move only 48 hours before it began to take place.

This type of unsettling transfer seems to be protocol for New York City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS). It is not an anomaly for DHS to uproot homeless residents from their shelters at less than a moment’s notice; and yes, they will do this at any given time of the year, even during the holiday season.

Brooklyn Paper states that Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo have spoken out against the transfers and have tried to get Mayor de Blasio’s administration and DHS Commisioner Stephen Banks to halt the unsettling move. However, thus far, it has been to no avail. Councilwoman Cumbo is quoted as saying: “I have had a heated conversation with Commissioner Banks about this. When the heat didn’t go the way that I wanted it to go- I begged.”

I wonder how the commissioner of DHS and the mayor’s administration rationalize such a callous upheaval; that is, if they rationalize it at all.

-The Homeless New Yorker

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Brooklyn Homeless Shelter Residents Get Food Poisoning From Shelter Food

Auburn Shelter Chicken Salad

Last week, about a half-dozen residents of the Auburn Family Shelter in Brooklyn became violently ill after eating chicken salad served at the facility. Residents who consumed the poisonous meal immediately became ill and began vomiting.

The salad that caused the food poisoning was reportedly expired. According to CBS News, “The first label said the chicken salad would expire Oct. 31, but there was a second label underneath saying the chicken expired almost two months ago on Sept. 5.”

CBS News also states that the food vendor that was “responsible for the rancid chicken had been cited by the FDA for unsanitary conditions”; still the food vendor “holds a $35 million contract” with New York City to service the shelters.

A shelter resident who witnessed the residents falling ill told The Patch that the shelter’s workers and security guards stood around laughing at the horrific medical emergency scene.

It should be noted that yesterday, a former worker at this same homeless shelter was convicted of sexually assaulting residents. (CLICK HERECLICK HERECLICK HERE for the article.)

SIDEBAR: I wonder if, or when, the food service provider will lose their contract with the city. $35 million of NYC taxpayers’ money…SMH! I also wonder if the security guards and shelter workers who thought people being food poisoned was hilarious still have their jobs today.

Yet another prime example why homeless New Yorkers fear the NYC shelter system.

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Former DHS Employee Convicted Of Sexually Assaulting Shelter Residents

Auburn Family Shelter

On Thursday, a former Department of Homeless Services (DHS) community coordinator and housing specialist was convicted of sexually abusing and forcibly touching three women who were residents at the homeless shelter where he was assigned to work.

According to Bklyner, the serial sexual abuser, who worked at the Auburn Family Shelter in Brooklyn, was convicted of three counts of forcible touching and one count of third-degree sexual abuse.

He has yet to be sentenced. He is reportedly facing up to two years in prison. His sentencing is set for December 16, 2019.

This criminal situation is a prime example of why so many homeless people refuse to stay in NYC shelters.

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HMLS Mathematics: The Mandatory 30% Savings Edition

HMLS New Yorker Blue Logo

New York City is proposing the implementation of a mandatory Income Savings Program (ISP) for working homeless shelter residents. Under this program all employed New York City homeless shelter residents will be required to deposit 30% of their income into a city-controlled savings account. Failure to do so would reportedly result in eviction from the shelter.

According to City Limits, the shelter residents will only be able to access the aforementioned account 30-45 days after exiting the shelter.

This proposal is ridiculously flawed for a multitude of reasons. Opponents to the proposal recently spoke out at a public hearing regarding the implementation of this program.

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Shelter Conditions That Dehumanize

HMLS Shelter Food

The following statement is an excerpt from Coalition for the Homeless’s “State of the Homeless 2019” Report. (This report is a survey, and analysis of the New York homeless shelter system. Also, the following passage is 100% accurate, sad to say. SMH!):

“In addition to the needed capital repairs, the failure to provide routine cleaning and maintenance of facilities is degrading to shelter residents and creates unhygienic conditions. Coalition monitors frequently observe filthy bathrooms, most often at night and on weekends. Shelter residents sometimes have no choice but to try to clean the bathrooms themselves despite lacking proper equipment and supplies. Problems with vermin, including insect infestations, also abound in many shelters.

Certain practices and conditions in many shelters further traumatize and dehumanize homeless individuals. These practices include requiring residents to request toilet paper whenever they need to use the restroom; providing poor-quality, unappetizing food and insufficient portions (while forbidding residents from bringing outside food into shelters); failing to offer frequent laundry services; providing inadequate case management and housing assistance; and erecting bureaucratic barriers that deter those seeking shelter.”

[NOTE: The above picture is from news source DNA Info. It is from a 2015 article entitled, “Jail Has Better Food Than Homeless Shelter Without Kitchens, Residents Say”]

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Homeless Shelter Coming To Billionaire’s Row?

Billionaire's Row

A homeless shelter is slated to be opened on Billionaire’s Row, a stretch of New York City that is purported to be some of the most expensive real estate in the world.

The area that is located at the southern end of New York City’s Central Park will reportedly soon be home to a 150-bed men’s homeless shelter. After multiple rounds of litigation, a Judge recently gave the green light to the shelter’s opening at the former Park Savoy Hotel, located on 58th Street, near 7th Avenue.

Residents of the area attempted to fight the opening of the shelter in court stating that the building was unsafe for residency, would increase crime in the area, and would cause economic harm to the value of neighboring properties.

In light of the most recent judicial ruling, opponents to the shelter vow to continue to pursue an appeal. Meanwhile, according to news source Breitbart, social services Commissioner Steven Banks has stated that, “We will begin servicing our neighbors in need at this location as soon as possible.”

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2 New Homeless Shelters To Come To Park Slope

2 New Park Slope Shelters

Tomorrow a meeting will be held at John Jay High School to address two new homeless shelters that are proposed to be opened in Park Slope before the end of 2019.

The meeting, which will be held at 237 7th Avenue, between 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM, will reportedly be attended by elected officials, representatives of the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS), and representatives of Women In Need (WIN).

The two shelters will be operated by WIN. According to The Bklyner, one shelter, proposed to be opened in September, will be a 148-unit shelter located at 535 4th Avenue. The other shelter, located at 555 4th Avenue, is proposed to be opened in November 2019. It will house 105 shelter units.

NYC is still seemingly attempting to solve its serious housing crisis by building new homeless shelters rather than turning available properties into affordable housing? I’m still unclear exactly what the city’s plan is here. What city official can accurately articulate the city’s affordable housing plan?

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Woman Loses Her Life In A Faulty NYC Homeless Shelter Elevator

Anna DeJesus

Earlier this month, Anna DeJesus, a resident of a New York City homeless shelter run by Project Renewal, died in the shelter’s elevator. Ms. DeJesus had reportedly been complaining about feeling ill before she went into cardiac arrest.

According to ABC7 News, EMT workers quickly arrived at the East 45th Street shelter to give Ms. DeJesus medical attention and transport her to the hospital. However, instead, the medical workers and Ms. DeJesus ended up trapped in the shelter’s freight elevator for approximately an hour; precious and critical time during which Ms. DeJesus passed away. (They were using the freight elevator because the shelter’s main elevator had been broken and out of service for several months. Apparently, the service elevator wasn’t in proper working condition either.)

Anna DeJesus’s relatives and fellow shelter residents feel that she would still be alive had she not been trapped in the elevator, and had been able to get to the hospital in a standard/appropriate amount of time.

The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) had a different perspective on the situation. They called the circumstances surrounding Ms. DeJesus’s death “a confluence of unfortunate events.” ABC7 News states that, “A DHS official says DeJesus was overdosing and did not respond to naloxone.” Residents at the East 45th Street women’s shelter refute this. [SIDEBAR: Having personally experienced homeless shelter administrators spin a false story to no end, I look at their version of events with wary skepticism. Also, even if she was overdosing from a narcotic, does that mitigate the fact that she died while being trapped in a faulty elevator?]

Further, The Department of Homeless Services has denied responsibility for the condition of the shelter’s defectively deadly elevators. Although DHS owns the property that houses the East 45th Street shelter, their official has reportedly stated that the shelter operator, Project Renewal, is responsible for the maintenance of the building’s elevator.

The shelter has a long history of defective elevators. ABC7 News revealed the following: “Department of Building records show a long list of complaints about the shelter’s passenger elevator dating back several years, including an open violation from last November for failure to fix the elevator.”

Despite billions of taxpayers dollars being poured into the NYC shelter system, so many shelters have potentially deadly conditions of squalor and danger. Why is this? It is inexcusable.

R.I.P Ms. Anna DeJesus. May your soul find peace and justice.

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