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City takes over Long Island City’s Fairfield Inn to house homeless families

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The city will begin sheltering adult homeless families at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott in the Blissville section of Long Island City later this month.

The Department of Homeless Services notified Community Board 2 and elected officials on Feb. 13 that priority would be given to families with roots in the district.

“This high-quality facility will be the first of its kind in this community district, offering 154 adult families from Queens the opportunity to be sheltered in their home borough, closer to their support networks and communities they called home as they get back on their feet,” DHS spokesman Isaac McGinn said. “Working together with neighbors and nonprofit service provider Home/Life, we’re confident that these families will be warmly welcomed — and through collaborative support and compassion, we will make this the best experience it can be for these individuals as they get back on their feet.”

Programming at the facility, located at 52-34 Van Dam St., will include case management, housing-placement assistance, health and mental services, and on-site employment counseling. Home/Life will provide around-the-clock security with four guards per shift, and 95 security cameras have been installed throughout the building and across the grounds of the shelter, where there will be a 10 p.m. curfew for residents, according to DHS.

Once local pol applauded the city’s most recent effort to provide a safe space for residents without homes, but demanded officials look beyond the Blissville area and Queens itself for shelters because he argued both are already at capacity.

“It’s important that the city provide individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness with shelter and resources, ensuring opportunities for them to find work and permanent, affordable housing,” City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said. “However, DHS has been reckless in their use of commercial hotels as temporary shelters throughout Queens and especially in this district. We already house many more homeless individuals than come from the district so we are doing more than our fair share in being a part of the solution to this crisis.”

Last summer, DHS began using the City View Inn — just around the block from the Fairfield Inn — as a shelter, before it claimed space in September inside the Best Western hotel at 38-05 Hunters Point Blvd. and the Quality Inn on Queens Boulevard in Woodside.

And Van Bramer said the trend of transforming commercial inns into hubs for the homeless must stop.

“There comes a time when DHS’ over-reliance on hotels must be called out,” Van Bramer said. “The Mayor’s Turning the Tide plan on getting out of hotels as shelters and bringing balance to each community board is simply not working. This proposal is yet another commercial hotel being repurposed as a shelter. The Mayor and the Department of Homeless Services are failing us here.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

Posted 12:00 am, March 2, 2018
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Reader feedback

THINK from QUEENS says:
No so "Blissville" now. So that is how many mismanaged homeless shelter hotels in that area.

YEP, NO LONGER BLISSVILLE. Welcome to more quality of life issues that these homeless hotels bring: litter, garbage, noise, drinking out in public, prostitution, fights, crime.
March 2, 5:48 am
local resident from blissville says:
This is NOT a solution. Blissville is being targeted and its unfair. Thank you mayor DeBlasio for ruining our commmunitys we have all worked so hard to sustain.
March 2, 3:30 pm
The Filth of Forest Hills from Forest Hills says:
In regards to the Greenpoint article on a problematic shelter (https://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/38/39/dtg-clay-shelter-uproar-2015-09-25-bk.html) - "But facility director Riquelma Moreno said she can’t lock up her tenants like prisoners, and claimed she can’t gauge how long a smoke break should be because she has never smoked."

Ironic, these willing and able LAZY men who DON'T want to work, due to their BAD LIFE CHOICES, cannot afford a place to live, yet waste money on cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. I mean let's be real, the homeless are a BIG PROBLEM due to their poor life choices and actions regardless if they are drug addicts, etc. YOU are responsible for your own actions and your own actions are what gets you into this mess. It is not caused by others. SO the fake liberal progressive Mayor and his fake liberal progressive cohorts need to stop acting like it is not because of their actions and laziness. AND people with very young children who are homeless, why are you living in one of the most expensive cities in the world and why did you have not one, but several kids, when you cannot provide a roof over your head and care for them properly. THIS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, not others.

Very few of the homeless are due to unforeseen circumstances that were out of their control. The majority are POOR LIFE CHOICES and an unwillingness to work and clean up their damn act.

Kew Gardens/Forest Hills has seen the Comfort Inn on Queens Blvd turned into a single men's homeless shelter and things have gone down hill in the area with constant panhandling, dangerous men loose on the streets, crime up and litter consisting of the small alcohol bottles (the choice of homeless). See
https://thefilthofforesthillsqueens.wordpress.com/

AND when is this city going to come clean on the statistics of how many of these people are from out of state/country, because of NYC's archaic "right to shelter" laws which put the burden on NY and away from the place these people came from or how about the statistics of all the men released from prison ending up on the streets. OR he number of years many of these people have been homeless.

BUT the homeless have become a big for profit business and the powers that be don't want to upset that huge gravy train even at the detriment of the communities these problematic places are put in. AND why are these places run so badly to begin with.

Typical bad NY policies and no one willing to be upfront about all of this and just pass the buck.
March 2, 3:49 pm
Waste from Queens says:
This city is getting so bad with the homeless population. Half the homeless who are here aren't even from ny. Why cant we just look to see where they are REALLY FROM and send them back to their own home states or countries??
March 3, 12:19 pm

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