More than just wrong, TOTALLY ILLEGAL. First, it is illegal for anyone to be in a building that does not have a certificate of occupancy and TOTALLY ILLEGAL to place homeless people in a hotel or any place that does not have a kitchen, yet the city and this awful mayor dumblasio is skirting all kind of legal issues. I am curious, how many of those people are from Jamaica, how many of those people are here in this country legally, how many of these people came from another state recently (NY is a right to shelter state, which is a BIG PROBLEM in itself), how many of these people pose a threat to others and the community due to a history of crime, drug/alcohol/mental healthy issues & violence, which we have seen a pattern of this in the majority of these places.
All this talk and all this money about investing in Jamaica and then more than 5 hotels have already been turned into homeless shelters and more hotels are being built. I was not aware that Jamaica, let alone Queens was a huge tourist attraction (WHICH IT IS NOT) that so many hotels (and small shady ones by shady owners) are being built.
Every time Jamaica attempts to make 1 step forward, the powers that be turn around and take three steps back.
Currently the way homeless shelters are run is very problematic. Almost of these places (especially smaller ones) have issues with noise, fights, drugs, loitering, litter, security, etc. They are the scene of constant police, fire departments and ambulances on a regular basis. Sure not all homeless people are problematic, but many are with a history of crime, violence, drugs/alcohol problems, mental health issue, chronic unemployment (cause by these issues) and just plain typical laziness. AND this is why so many communities DO NOT want these shelters in their communities, especially communities like Jamaica, which already has problems to begin with. More problems do not need to be added to the mix of an already problematic community.
A major disservice is being done not only to communities, where these shelters are placed, but the continuous warehousing of human beings in sub-standard conditions is a big disservice to these people, who are not properly being houses and properly service.
And the major blame lies with Mayor Dumblasio and DHS, who have decided to turn homelessness into BIG BUSINESS, just like the prison system was turned into big for profit business, which all are now realizing the long term devastating effects on people and communities.
Have we NOT learned from past mistakes?
FIGHT BACK PEOPLE, YOUR COMMUNITIES ARE AT STAKE, but not the communities of elected officials and city agencies heads, who do not deal with this on their blocks and in their communities.
From DNAInfo New York:
Homeless Put in Jamaica Hotel Before It Gets Certificate Of Occupancy: Docs
A new hotel in Jamaica is currently used by the city to house homeless families.View Full Caption
QUEENS — The city placed homeless families at a new hotel on Jamaica Avenue before the building before obtained its Certificate of Occupancy, documents posted on the Department of Building’s website indicate.
The Department of Homeless Services confirmed to DNAinfo New York that it is currently renting rooms to house homeless families with children at the brand-new building at the intersection of Jamaica Avenue and 183rd Street which does not have any logo nor a reception area.
But neighbors, who said they were never informed that the building would be used to house the homeless, said that the city started placing families there before the building was even completed, they said.
The hotel received its Temporary Certificate of Occupancy on Sept. 28, according to city records.
However residents said they first saw families being placed at the hotel on Sept. 11, and number of complaints about the issue that pre-date the certificate of occupancy were also posted on the DOB’s website.
On Sept. 19, one person called the city and said “people are moving in but front entrance is not open, people are going through the side entrance” and another reported “load of [SIC] buses of children” at the hotel.
On Sept. 22, still another person claimed that “there is a hotel with people living on the premises and there appears to be no certificate of occupancy.”
According to the DOB’s website, “no one may legally occupy a building until the Department has issued a Certificate of Occupancy or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy,” which states “a building’s legal use and/or type of permitted occupancy.”
The city downplayed the issue saying that the life safety systems at the hotel had been inspected and signed off before Sept. 28.
The owner of the property did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Neighbors and local officials complained that they felt ignored by the city.
“If I knew before that the shelter was going to open here I would do something,” said Fillah Kazi, who bought a house in the area four years ago.
In September, the operator of a Maspeth Holiday Inn slated to be converted into a homeless shelter backed away from his agreement with the city following ferocious opposition from the community.
Local Councilman Daneek Miller was also upset about the decision to house homeless families at the Jamaica Avenue hotel.
“My office remains opposed to any new shelters being placed within the district, particularly the disingenuous way this one was opened without any public notice,” he said. “Whether it is temporary or not, transparency is critical to ensure our goal of equitable housing for homeless across the City.”
Yvonne Reddick, district manager for Community Board 12, told DNAinfo that the DHS is supposed to inform community boards before using hotels for housing. However she only found out about the changes to the Jamaica Avenue building after the community began complaining about it.
She went to say that the board has “nothing against homelessness because at the end of the day any of us could be homeless, but everyone should get their fair share.”
To Reddick’s knowledge CB12, which includes Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans and Springfield Gardens, currently has 11 shelters and eight hotels that are used to house homeless people, “the most in the borough of Queens.”
Two years ago, when the board had 10 shelters, it passed a resolution requesting a moratorium on building or expanding homeless shelters in the area. There were 22 shelters in Queens at the time.
DHS was not able to immediately provide the number of shelters currently in the area.
The agency said it began renting rooms at the hotel to deal with growing numbers of homeless people in the city.
“Each day, we are tasked with determining how to meet the City’s legal obligation to house tens of thousands of homeless New Yorkers, including families with children, who would otherwise be on the street,” Lauren Gray, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeless Services, said in an email to DNAinfo. “We are using commercial hotels as a bridge while we work to open new shelters across the city.”
There were nearly 60,000 residents in the city’s shelter system as of early October, the agency said.
“It used to be a quiet area, but now every day there is police, ambulances and fire trucks coming to this place,” said a neighbor who did not want his name to be used. He said he and his family lived and operated a small business in the area for about three decades.
“This is our neighborhood, we worked for this neighborhood,” he added. “They never even asked us if it’s OK to open it here.”