The building at 82nd Avenue and Queens Boulevard includes a Comfort Inn and The Kewl, an upscale residential section with luxury apartments.
According to a DHS representative, there are 170 cases comprised of 333 individuals from Community District 9 (CD9) who are homeless. However, none of the individuals have been able to stay in the area because of a lack of a traditional shelter capacity.
While DHS is ending the use of all cluster sites and commercial hotel facilities to address homelessness as part of the mayor’s Turning the Tide plan, this particular site is still being used as a bridge to provide shelter for the homeless.
Isaac McGinn, DHS spokesman, said the 84-room Comfort Inn was the “only capacity” in CD9 to serve homeless community members.
“We anticipate identifying new shelter space within this community for at least 300 individuals, so we can offer those New Yorkers who called this neighborhood home the opportunity to be sheltered closer to their support networks, including schools, medical care, and family as they get back on their feet,” McGinn said.
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz has been an opponent of the decision, noting that DHS didn’t provide her with proper notification prior to moving the individuals into the Comfort Inn.
The agency notified her office on September 29, just prior to the Yom Kippur holiday. When DHS asked for alternative locations to house the homeless, Koslowitz refused.
The homeless men were moved in on September 30. There are 19 rooms currently being rented, but DHS expects to fill all 42 rooms soon.