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DHS Ups Security At Verve Hotel Shelter



March 21, 2016 By Michael Florio

Security has increased at a local women’s shelter.

Pam’s Place, previously the Verve Hotel located at 40-03 29th St., will have added foot and vehicle patrol, according to the Department of Homeless Services.

These measures come on the heels of two violent outbursts from shelter residents that left police officers and another resident injured. According to CB 1 District Manager Florence Koulouris, a shelter Community Advisory Board meeting was subsequently held that led to the increase in security as well as social services for Pam’s Place residents.

Sera Security, which provides the guards for the shelter, will have two marked vehicles patrolling the shelter and surrounding blocks, from 8 a.m. to midnight. There will be two officers from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and two officers from 4 p.m. until midnight, according to a DHS spokeswoman.

In addition, Sera Security will have guards conducting foot patrols around a five-block radius of the shelter, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

In total, there will be 16 security guards on duty at the shelter. They will work in shifts, with eight officers on duty from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., eight officers on duty from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., and six officers from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., according to the DHS.

This is an increase of two security guards each shift, plus an additional marked vehicle, according to the DHS.

Those clients who do not comply with the Good Neighbor Policy, which is the DHS’ expectations and standards for residents staying in their shelter, will be removed from the shelter. So far, 22 clients have been transferred for not complying with this policy.

In addition to the heightened security, the DHS and the shelter contractor Acacia Network, is working to assist the residents of the shelter.

Of the 200 women living in the shelter, 173 have mental health issues; most are not considered severe, according to the DHS spokeswoman.

“The provider has an on-site care coordinator to coordinate health and mental health services for clients,” the spokeswoman said.

Additionally, 64 residents are participating in community day programs, while 50 are currently employed.

“DHS has Social Workers onsite to provide support with Client Independent Living Plans, training, technical assistance, client engagement, and more,” the spokeswoman said.

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Rebecca brown

Worse place this place is like a nightmere client always be fighting security just relaxin on there phone DHS police don’t do anything about the situation operations staff be sleeping with each other this place need to be shut down

Debbie A Ghouneim

The reason why DHS is Not doing anything is because the Commissioner is a white Gay make who don’t care about women and it’s LGBT Mr Banks is the Commissioner and it’s Carribean women that is running all these shelter.


They have taken my daughter as a resident their.She has mental problems therefore cannot use mobile phone. I would gladly take her out of the shelter and arrange a good psychiatric for her. But They won’t let me contact her. They might throw her out but they won’t inform me of anything. Recently I found out that her insurance terminated but they will not reinstate it. They won’t get her to a good doctor that way the are thinking she will eventually die and they will bury her without informing me.I have contacted this women shelter but they say they won’t tell us that she is there or not.Dumb People!! I already know she is there. The main idea is to increase the residents so that they will get a lot of funds. Why do they keep so many residents? Why don’t they contact their loved ones and have them take care of their mental health. All for their own greediness.



Agatha Sanzone

Before anyone talks they should go to housing court and see how many people are trying to keep their housing.when the skyrocketing rents force people to become “Homeless” what does an expect ! Now finally renters will once again. Get some Legal Help Inside the Court Rooms, because that was taken from the tenants now maybe that’ll change; We shall see how have a leg to stand on in the Court Rooms !


So why don’t they give them to their loved ones? I would love to take care of my daughter but they won’t let me see her.


There were times that I passed this place and I would see people alone talking out loud i thought they were talking on their cell phones. I guess i was wrong.


At first we were told it was a woman’s only shelter which eased some fear. Now this place needs additional security monitoring behavior. Why do they put so many people with mental issues in one location? No wonder so many people are against homeless shelters. In the long run, most are poorly run and people do indeed legitimate concerns about safety and over all quality of life.


We all seen what happened just a couple of weeks ago in Astoria when someone stopped taking their meds. Is this a hospital or a homeless shelter? If there so many in one location with mental issues they should be monitored when leaving the hotel premises also in the surrounding area.


My daughter has stopped seeing her doctor.Her insurance expired but they won’t reinstate it . Therefore she is not getting any medicine for her mental health. They won’t let me meet her.They just want the residents to fight and end their lives.

Thea Romano

This meeting was requested by The Dutch Kills Civic Association. The city must be held accountable when allowing woman with mental health issues bombard our neighborhood. The Acacia network has a program in place to assist their clients in obtaining permanent housing, this program has been derailed due to the Mayors Emergency Declaration on the homeless. Does Acacia need to improve? Yes! The residents of Dutch Kills will hold them accountable.


The fact is that many mentally ill patients are often discharged from hospitals, prisons, jails to the streets. Shelters can be a very stressful environment for someone who is fragile. But we know that for some people, there is no other option.


I hope the nearby school, residents and business also get additional support from the police and security.


YEA RIGHT! I work nearby and we’ve had several incidents with the women at the shelter and when we ask for help, NO ONE DOES ANYTHING!!!! About an hour ago I asked someone to remove a lady who was sleeping on our table at the restaurant because we were closing and the guy that I spoke with said, “she’s not ours.” Ten minutes later, he came to get her!! The staff are HORRIBLE! Everyone claims to be in some high position until they actually have to do something, that’s the time they admit to being NOTHING!


“Of the 200 women living in the shelter, 173 have mental health issues.” Enough said.


Sounds like an institution offering shelter and support to woman who are mentally ill. I feel bad for the neighbors.

Anonymous visitor

It would have been more productive if someone in charge thought about that before they put a homeless shelter so close to so many schools. What did they think was going to happen? It’s a shame that they think about security after the fact and not before anything happens.
Someone needs to look into Westway as well. Do they honestly think that there aren’t any issues there and that those who are in need of mental assistance actually get it or even care?
Take care of the communities who unfortunately have to deal with these issues instead of the politicians having to actually deal with them. I am sure they are all far away from these homeless shelters.
However, let’s go out and vote how to spend the one million dollars or so in the councilman’s participatory budgeting that is going on. Really? How about doing right by the citizens of this community and putting them first for once by representing them the way they said they would when they were voted in. How about spending that money on cleaning up the area which is the dirtiest it has ever been? How about allocating that money towards getting security for the shelters that need it? How about actually putting the shelters in areas far away from schools? Oh wait, that means doing the right thing.

L Jenn

Like where? Everywhere in this city is going to be near something, a school or someone’s home. I have lived near shelters before without any problem. Security upgrades are a good idea, but the residents shouldn’t be demonized because a few have had problems. The mentally ill are part of this city, and we need to figure out how to deal with their problems better, and that does not mean shoving them off to nowheresland.


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