City Nixes Second Homeless Shelter Planned for Chinatown

Posted on: May 3rd, 2022 at 5:01 am by

The city nixed two homeless shelters n Chinatown within the last week.

The Department of Social Services yesterday announced that its shelter planned for 231 Grand Street (at the Bowery) is now canceled. The announcement follows mere days after the city likewise terminated a proposal to convert 47 Madison into a shelter.

“After reviewing planned shelter sites scheduled to open in Chinatown, we have decided to re-evaluate this shelter capacity to an area with fewer services and shelter for those experiencing unsheltered homelessness,” a DSS spokesperson said in a statement. “Our goal is always to work with communities to understand their needs and equitably distribute shelters across all five boroughs to serve our most vulnerable New Yorkers.”

Opponents argued that the area had become a dumping ground for the city’s homeless, given that there are already five existing shelters within the Chinatown boundaries.

The proposed shelter at 231 Grand Street – the former Bowery Hanbee Best Western – was conceived as a 24/7 drop-in facility with 94 stabilization beds for in-house residents. It was spearheaded by Housing Works, and would have allowed in-house drug use under the “harm reduction” model. The latter helped spark fierce community opposition due to fears of homeless wandering the neighborhood while under the influence of controlled substances, coupled with those in need of treatment for mental health issues.

Naturally, proponents of the proposed shelter accused residents of using tired NIMBY arguments. That diminishes the reality, though – it’s a Chinatown overrun by homeless ever since former Mayor de Blasio began warehousing the destitute into area hotels at the start of the pandemic; since the program ended late last year, many of the homeless were not relocated or refused to enter the system and remained in Chinatown.

According to sources, at the end of the day, it was allegedly objection from the HTC Hotel Trades Council which ultimately persuaded Mayor Adams to cancel the proposal. Proof once more that our local community is not heard.

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