Upper West Side residents say three hotels that are housing countless homeless men during the coronavirus pandemic have turned the region into a spectacle of public urination, cat-calling and open drug use.
Among those staying at the luxury Belleclaire on Broadway and the Lucerne on W. 77th Street, and also the more down-market Belnord on W. 87th Street, are people that are emotionally ill, recovering from drug addictions, and registered sexual offenders.
Ten sex criminals are staying in a single resort — the Belleclaire, which will be just one block from the playground of P.S. 87.
“It will not feel secure anymore,” nanny Michele McDowall, 39, told The Post.
She said she had been recently provided crack by a set of homeless men since she wheeled a toddler along Riverside Park at 79th Street.
“You want to buy crack?” She said they shouted repeatedly as she hurried past, and also the frightened 2-year-old girl in the stroller place her hands over her ears and cried,”Too loud!”
The displaced men have been moved from dorm-style lands around the city in order that they can be sheltered one or two to a room to protect them from COVID-19, officials explain.
“In order to defuse that ticking time bomb, we executed a huge emergency move of human beings from these congregate shelters across the city, over 10,000 in about eight weeks,” Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Steven Banks stated Thursday.
But acquaintances say that now a brand new bomb is ticking in and around the 3 resorts. They’re three out of 139 resorts used to house homeless in the city, a source attached to the Hotel Association of New York City told The Post.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent around the relocations, the source said — 75 percentage of it paid by FEMA, also 25 percent by town — a breakdown supported by city officials.
“The contract is short-termed and runs through October but will probably be revived,” the source stated.
DHS is managing the distribution of their funds, but is less than transparent in notifying the area or releasing details openly.
“The DHS is a rogue agency,” one local community board member said of this displaced influx, noting that taxpayers were given no input signal and little or no notice of this move.
The board member, who asked to not be identified by name, said that they were advised the city was paying the resorts $175 per day per homeless person or”two men in an area at $350 a day.”
“You do the math,” the board members said. “It’s a lot of money.”
The board member added,”It feels like the 1970s. Everybody who can move out is going ”
whined about the funding and the number of displaced people being planted, a Department of Homeless Services spokesman stated”File a FOIA.”
“The don’t give us the info in real time,” a spokesperson for the town Comptroller’s Office stated of town when asked for the same data.
A Facebook group has been formed where taxpayers exchange photographs of men peeing, masturbating and laying sprawled and handed out near the hotels.
“Our community is terrified, angry and fearful,” one secretary of this 1,700 member team, Dr. Megan Martin, told The Post.
A group of almost a dozen nearby rabbis last week asked to meet with the mayor to Find out if something could be done — so far, no reply, one told The Post
And the PTA for local school P.S. 87 sent out a letter on Monday urging parents to telephone their regional politicians to roust their neighbors entirely.
Of greatest concern for parents are the sex offenders — ten are residing at the Belleclaire, the state sex offender registry mentioned as of Thursday. That is just 1 block from P.S. 87’s playground.
The ten include Luis Martin, 44, who stabbed, punched and raped a girl in 1995, resulting in a 12-year prison sentence — along with four offenders whose victims were children.
They are: Ronald Butler, 62, detained in June, 2013, of raping a 16-year-old woman;’ Eddie Daniel, 59, convicted of abused a 10-year-old in 2011; Jonathan Evans, 29, convicted of abusing a 6-year-old, and Michael Hughes, 55, convicted of possessing child porn in 2007.
“I tell my 10-year old’I’ll be back in 2 minutes’– I figure I won’t do this anymore,” mother Mariane Dabo told The Post at the playground after learning of the sex offenders. “It’s scary,” she explained.
“Since they have arrived just a week before, members of the community have observed guys urinating in public,” that the PTA’s letter to parents laments.
“You’ve been battles at 79th and Amsterdam, on Broadway between 79th and 80th. Some of neighborhood families have been harassed, guys happen to be spitting in Metal Park (in Covid days ) and regrettably, a few have reported seeing guys looking for drugs or using drugs,” the letter read.
Then there are the alcohol and drug addicts.
Nearly 300 homeless addicts lately have since last week lived at the Lucerne at 79th Street and Amsterdam, where on Thursday afternoon, a trio of displaced residents filled a Post reporter in on the ongoing drug usage.
“Listen, whatever medication you can picture is completed there,” Angel Ortiz, 60, told a Post reporter of his fellow residents outside the hotel.
“They take upward, sniff up, crack, and K2, everything,” agreed a fellow resident who gave his name as”B.K.”, along with his age as 43.
“You got drunks — you have abusive drunks,” another Lucerne resident, William, 45, told The Article — though he kept interrupting the meeting to call out to passing women.
“What is up momma? You doing pretty woman? Yo’ fine self,” he shouted. “How you feel infant girl? Pretty girl.”
When his offer to sell K2 into the reporter was rebuffed, he noticed, fairly enough,”It is not for everybody.”
Round the road, Mariano Ouatu, 49, runs a restaurant, Coppola’s, where stern arguments among the homeless are driving away his clients.
“They go to the tables, they asking for money,” he said.
“Screaming, forget about it. It’s like a jungle. They get drunk and they begin fighting,” he said.
When he tells a few these to move together,”Already there are 20 round you. … They’re currently on Broadway. Everywhere. Everywhere. Sitting on the bench. Drinking. There is a liquor store. You see them go in and out, in and out, in and out and buying those spirits bottles.”
He included, of the Lucerne,”Exquisite resort, I