Meanwhile, Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) said that the Lucerne Hotel shelter shouldn’t have been a point of contention in the first place, calling the neighborhood backlash against the shelter unwarranted. Two weeks ago, he wrote an op-ed for amNY detailing how we can utilize the abundant housing space we have to accommodate our homeless, which is available here.
“I would like to see folks following the model we have on the Eastside, where we’ve opened hotels and beds for the homeless, and done so with little fanfare and without any community opposition,” said Kallos. “I co-founded the Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services (ETHOS), with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) and State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Upper East Side, Lenox Hill). And when we opened a hotel of the same size as Lucerne to the homeless, they found themselves welcomed. We had a dramatically different experience.”
Kallos also concurred with Levine’s point that, in light of the pandemic, now is not the time to move 240 men across the borough.