Residents will get their say at a public hearing next week about the Department of Homeless Services’ plan to turn the Westway Motel on Astoria Blvd into a permanent homeless shelter.
The Department of Homeless Services’ plan to convert the shelter into a permanent facility comes six months after the agency unexpectedly turned the hotel into a 121-family facility for those needing long-term shelter. The agency was only given a six month contract to offer shelter for 121 families in this fashion under an ‘emergency contract’ with the city.
Westway, located at 71-11 Astoria Blvd, has traditionally provided the homeless with shelter for one night only—and that has mainly been when other city shelters were beyond capacity.
The city, however, must approve the Westway ‘contract’ before it becomes a permanent facility. As part of the process, the city is required to hold a public hearing.
The public hearing is scheduled for Jan. 15 at 10 am, at 125 Worth Street. The public is encouraged to attend and is free to give testimony.
The Comptroller’s office will then review the permanent ‘contract’ and then render a decision, according to a DHS spokesperson.