Tuesday, May 15, 2018
South Ozone Park: all shelters, all the time
From the Queens Chronicle:
All but two hotels within the boundaries of Community Board 10 are being used to house homeless people, with the latest being the Sheraton JFK on South Conduit Avenue.
The announcement that the Sheraton is being used to house the undomiciled — made at CB 10’s meeting last Thursday — comes more than a year after Mayor de Blasio announced the city would stop using such sites to alleviate the growing homelessness crisis by 2023, and open 90 new shelters in the five boroughs. A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeless Services says the city is already in the process of not ending the use of some hotels as temporary shelters.
It now joins five other commercial hotels in Ozone Park and South Ozone Park being used by the DHS. Three are family shelters — The Days Inn and Comfort Inn, both on Redding Street, house 30 and 54 families with children, respectively, and the Hilton Garden Inn on 134th Street in South Ozone Park has 60. The EconoLodge on Rockaway Boulevard is a “single adult site” with 48 people. The View Inn and Suites JFK, on the Van Wyck Expressway service road, has 62 rooms being rented out by the city. The Skyway Men’s Shelter, formerly a motel, is also housing 124 homeless men.
Only two hotels within CB 10’s area are not being utilized by the city — the Surfside Motel in Howard Beach and the Crossbay Motor Inn in Ozone Park. Many of the hotels lack kitchens in the rooms, a violation of the law that states there must be one where homeless people are being housed. The city has exempted itself from its own regulation, citing an emergency.