Oct. 17, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
The Department of Homeless Services has plans to partially convert an East Elmhurst hotel in to a shelter for homeless people, according to a statement from several local politicians.
Congressman Joseph Crowley, State Senator Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Francisco Moya released a joint statement today condemning the DHS plan to partially convert the Courtyard by Marriott hotel at 90-10 Ditmars Boulevard to house single homeless men.
According to the statement, DHS plans to put up to 60 homeless men in to the hotel, and did not inform elected officials or community members of the plan.
This plan comes on the heels of several similar incidents involving DHS converting hotels to shelters with no notice to the community.
These incidents include conversions of the Westway Motel in Astoria/East Elmhurst early last year, the Quality Inn on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside/Woodside in August, and most recently, the highly controversial Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth.
The Maspeth shelter plan resulted in protests outside of the Brooklyn home of the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services Steven Banks, and the plan was recently dropped.
“Again, these plans were implemented without any community involvement. While our communities remain very sympathetic to the ongoing issue of homelessness in New York, it is true that we have already carried our fair share of this problem by hosting no less than five shelters in our neighborhoods,” the statement read.
“We will fiercely continue in our opposition to additional shelter facilities within the area. Simply put, DHS must work to solve the pervasive issues of homelessness through ongoing dialogue with affected communities and their elected officials. Continued unilateral action by DHS fails to provide any measure of a meaningful framework for a long-term solution to these problems,” the three politicians concluded.