Statement on Homeless Shelters in Blissville

May 15, 2018

I stand with the Blissville Civic Association, the neighborhood of Blissville, and the residents of Long Island City and western Queens, and demand that Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYC Department of Homeless Services take a step back and develop a plan that actually helps the homeless, rather than warehousing them in hotels.

The use of hotels as shelters is inappropriate. Hotel rooms cannot serve as functional living spaces. Hotel rooms do not provide adequate space or services for families with children, are frequently located far from basic amenities and mass transit, and are not suitable for long term use. The use of the City View Hotel and now the Fairfield Inn to house the homeless will greatly hurt our Blissville community without providing long term solutions.

Queens, and in particular western Queens, has seen the Maspeth Holiday Inn, the Verve Hotel in Dutch Kills, the former Best Western Hotel in Sunnyside and now City View and the Fairfield Inn turned into homeless shelters over the past few years. Our community has always done our share, having been the location for the Borden avenue men's shelter in Long Island City for many years. Our community worked with the providers to help our veterans who were homeless. There has been oversaturation of our western Queens Neighborhoods, often times without adequate notice, and we have had enough.