Faced with an alarming increase in the number of homeless families, the Department of Homeless Services had few options left when it decided to use the former Best Western Carlton House hotel near Kennedy Airport as a homeless shelter. If there is a community leader with a better solution, we have not heard it.
But the sad truth is that in just a few weeks the Carlton House has turned into a motel hell. The 113th Precinct has been inundated with complaints about the shelter. Queens residents living near the hotel say they frequently see people using drugs or engaging in sex in parked cars near the motel. There are even unconfirmed reports that some of the security guards at the shelter are demanding sexual favors.
The Carlton is now home to more than 300 families and 600 children. None of these families have ties to the community. The city must make certain that southeast Queens residents do not suffer a dramatic drop in quality of life because of this shelter.
©2002 Community News Group
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