It has come to our attention that Samaritan Village made a proposal to place about 200 homeless in the Pan Am Hotel, Queens Boulevard at Hillyer Street. Some are children who will be attending our already overcrowded schools. This plan is supported by the Mayor and the Comptroller. 36 families have already been placed there. Please see Councilman Daniel Dromm's comment below.
This hotel is a block or two from Woodside and a stone's throw from Maspeth via 51st Avenue.
We are planning to stage a protest rally next week on Tuesday, June 17th, beginning at 6:00 pm outside the hotel RAIN OR SHINE. It is imperative that EVERYONE attend to let our voices be heard. Please tell your neighbors they need to get involved!!!
Statement from Councilman Daniel Dromm
“I am deeply concerned that the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) plans to use the old Pan Am Hotel on Queens Boulevard as a homeless shelter,” said NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm. “Elmhurst has already had to bear a huge burden of services for the less fortunate. One block away is the Metro Motel, another homeless shelter. I am upset that I was only informed that 36 homeless families would be given shelter at the Pan Am hotel as it was actually happening at around 4:45 PM last Friday night. My office and our community were given no advance notice. The hotel has 216 rooms. I believe it is bad policy to bring that many needy people into one place. While I recognize and support the need to house our homeless, I believe that this number is way too large. While DHS has promised my office added security and additional social services at the site, I still believe Elmhurst is overburdened.”
This is quite interesting considering that a DHS representative had the following to say at a May 22nd hearing about the proposed Glendale homeless shelter:
The DHS was asked why it rejected a plan to create a homeless shelter at the Pan American Hotel, which closed earlier this year and later reopened as a hostel. Black stated the DHS did not believe the hotel was suitable since it didn’t “have kitchens and bathrooms,” a statement loudly jeered by residents. - Times Newsweekly
Some residents brought up a proposal earlier this year to turn the closed Pan American Hotel at 79-99 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, which has since reopened, into a shelter.
Black confirmed the proposal was denied by DHS, citing the lack of a kitchen and a bathroom in each unit. Residents didn’t take too kindly to Black’s reasoning as some booed and shouted about the relative simplicity of renovating the hotel as opposed to the Glendale site. - Queens Chronicle
The current PanAmHotel.com website is down, but these photos were on it previously:
So the owner of this place put a lot of money into upgrading it and promoting it, but is putting a homeless shelter there?
Furthermore, this proposal is supported by both Bill DeBlasio and Scott Stringer, who was mentioned on this very page yesterday as having gotten campaign contributions from Samaritan Village.