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HOMELESS & HOUSING MEETING RECAP FOR September 1, 2020

(MSCC) John Mudd, Posted: October 5, 2020

SUBJECT: Homeless and Housing Committee Meeting recap for Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Time: 9:30 am-11:00am

Chair person(s): Sharon Jasprizza, MSCC

INTRODUCTIONS

  • Sharon Jasprizza: welcome and introductions, noted the committee is celebrating three year anniversary 
  • John Mudd: recording and live streaming to FB, please let us know if you have concerns
  • Lenise Hazzle-Harris: recorded the actions and monitored chat box
  • The Homeless and Housing September 1, 2020 meeting on housing development can be viewed in its entirety on our Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/537585579597175/videos/769605333867125/ or see MSCC’s Facebook page: Midtown South Community Council @Midtownsouthnyc

PURPOSE

To develop partnerships and resources to identify problems and find solutions for our homeless and housing crisis

POLICY MEETING UPDATES

The prior 8:30 Homeless and Housing Policy meeting recap focused on the need to review the Model Budget (DHS) and shelter policies and implementing the Model Budget. Language of a narrative being promoted to denigrate people being housed in hotel shelters reviewed and steps needed to educate people about the harm of language. Medical respite beds still needs further research.  

DEFINING HOUSING OPTIONS

The various housing options listed below were referred to with the focus on community, and need to be included as part of our activism to render homelessness a moot point.

  • Shelters: Truly transitional; although purposeful, achieving our housing and community goals will eliminate or lessen the need
  • Medical Respite Beds: Health care unit for longer stay and transitioning to housing (see Addendum B: Medical Respite Bed Advocacy Plan and youtube video for more details)
  • SROs: Single Room Occupancy
  • Supportive: Accessorized with social services
  • Housing First: Unconditional placement
  • Really Affordable: Rentals below the medium wage of 55,000 and or below 30% of income (input)
  • Affordable: The market rate rentals currently available to people above the medium wage up to 88,000 with a 30% of income ask or higher
  • Option and Incentives for Home Owner

Objective: What are the quantities of the above needed to make the community whole?

Daniel Pichinson Ryan Chelsea Clinton Medical Center outlined the summary of Mt. Sinai, Dr. Coyle’s findings: 

  • Mount Sinai medical record system identifies individuals who are unstably housed at the point of contact
  • People who are unstably housed, stay in hospital 5 days longer than others
  • Hospital and medical services are being diverted unnecessarily because people don’t have homes to go to
  • Emergency room rates of people who are homeless are higher, because they have no place to go
  • Health dollars of Medicaid are being used instead of being used for housing
  • Once people are well enough, they are sent back to the street, which is not an effective recovery phase and hence often end back in hospital

HOMELESS AND HOUSING CRISIS

Britt Melewski, LMSW, Assistant Program Director, Breaking Ground:

  • The additional hotel shelters are replacing the congregated shelters; NYC its a right to shelter state
  • Several reasons for increase of people on street;
    • Youths are aging out of the shelter
    • Mental health, substance abuse 
    • Need a political willingness to take risks to solve problems eg Safe Injections Sites
      • Maia noted there is a Bill to make SIS (Supervised Injection Sites) legal: Senate Bill S498, 2019-2020 Relates to the enactment of the Safer Consumption Services Act

Marc Greenberg, Executive Director, Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing

  • 35 years working with the homeless and many achievements gained pre COVID-19
  • A need to use collective action and build community and apply community support to people who are homeless as we do for people who lose their house to fire or flood. This is how we need to treat all our community.
  • The use of hotels as shelters during COVID-19 reduced the spread
  • Unintended consequences (community concerns, discomfort, and outrage) of this which need addressing

Natalie Naculich, HCC, WSNA: overview of housing crisis

  • Despite the many victories of late, there are 1.4 million people as of July who can’t pay their rent
  • Pushing to stop evictions
  • Housing Courts are still closed, moratorium on evictions 

CURRENT HOUSING STATUS AND DEVELOPMENT

DHS, was not able to brief the committee on this topic but others were able to fill in the gaps over the course of the meeting

BUDGET BALANCING AND REPURPOSING

Joycelyn M. Taylor, Founder and Chair of the New York City  MWBE (Minority Women Business Enterprises, gave a power point of NYS budget and described how we may rearrange the budget for solutions to homelessness and housing instability. The expenses were outlined as follows:

  • $2.64 Billion a year on housing
  • $3.2 Billion a year on homelessness
  • $3.2B/60,000 = $53,000 per person annually

Which means the money is there!

Ways to address this issue?

  • Convert empty office buildings and vacant real estate property into long term stable housing
  • Value add: This will provide stable housing for all homeless New Yorkers reducing the cost for homeless services in the city   

Where do we get the money and where do we apply the funds?

  • Divert $2 Billion from (lessor priority) projects, such as new prisons, and allocate the funds for housing and services
  • Reinvested $2 Billion could house approximately 8,000 – 10,000 people, this will reduce the cost for homeless services by $530,000,000.
  • An allocated $50 Million could build a new 200 unit building
  • Average development: $250K per unit, minimum 8,000 units per year
  • Costs could further be reduced by availing construction opportunities for small business contractors (who we should be nurturing)

This process and the facilities should include a variety of resources:

  • Rental Assistance, Employment Assistance, Mental health services, Nursing, etc. 

End Results:

  • If we continue down this path of investing in this issue yearly we can significantly reduce homelessness
  • The ultimate goal being to create a city wherein everyone has the resources that they need to be self sufficient, productive, purposeful human beings

BUDGET AND POLICY

Brendan Cheney, New York Housing Conference, spoke of their initiatives and the best way to progress housing needs:

  • Advocating for housing assistance, especially with COVID-19 impacts
  • Working to oppose the most recent budget cut by $1billion (which is to be finalized at the end of Fall)
  • Capital spending should continue to speed up recovery during a crisis such as this
  • Housing advocates to form a coalition to speak to mayoral candidates regarding housing, extremely low and homeless communities
  • 15% of housing development at risk

Recent update on policy and funding: Gov. Cuomo’s 9.1.2020 press release announce the availability of 158mil to advance actions to combat homelessness

ADAPTING NON-PERFORMING PROPERTIES FOR HOUSING

Marcel Negret, Senior Planner, Regional Plan Association (RPA), spoke about Adaptive reuse; the recycling or conversion of properties (hotels and other commercial spaces) will provide benefits for midtown.

  • Underperforming spaces for supportive and market rate housing
  • 1970s adaptive reuse history with success and also unintended consequences
  • Rethink the clustering of non-residential floor space to add balance
  • Challenges include the legal and zoning restrictions

THE WAY TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Ted Houghton, President of Gateway Housing, supported Brendan Cheney’s point of view regarding the capital budget. Brendan’s summary:

  • Housing is not one that should be cut from the budget; investing in housing will pay off in the future
  • Housing restoration should be a part of the budget
  • Conversion of empty and underutilized hotels for housing is the right thing to do
  • The office market is not clear yet, but it may be a worthwhile endeavor
  • In the past the city has focused on housing quality and local control but the result has been less housing, need to balance
  • Capital housing budget, tax revenues are down, things are being cut, investment in affordable housing should not be cut. The city borrows to invest in affordable housing
  • M1 zones can not be converted to housing, so need to review zones
  • Expanding the Loft Law precedent of (1982), may increase housing opportunities

DEVELOPMENT PERSPECTIVES AND MODELS

Aurelija Jara, Architectural and Project Manager, Heritage Architecture gave two examples of Community Partnership:

  • Affordable Housing Project: Harry T Nance Apartments w/ True Holy Church, 1860 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn and RiseBoro Community
    • 67 units in 10 story elevator building of low, very low, and extremely low-income affordable housing ($368 – $822 per month)
    • Residential unit cost: $255 per SF. 
    • Households with income limits set at $21,930 for an individual and up to $75,120 for a household of three
    • Community facility/church: proposed 6,700 SF of ground level and a 4,800 SF basement community facility, to be occupied by the church and another non-profit
    • Community room, laundry room, and tenant storage room located on the 2nd floor and in the cellar of the building
    • The 10-story building is designed to meet Passive House standards, a technique that uses extreme insulation, air-tightness, and energy recovery ventilation to dramatically reduce energy consumption
    • The total development cost of the project is approximately $35.7 million. Financing includes $10.5 million in City Capital from HPD, and $2 million Reso A funds from New York City Council Member Rafael L. Espinal, Jr. of Brooklyn District 37. HCR provided $2.2 million in Housing Trust Fund (HTF) financing
  • Affordable Housing: Thomas & Lilly Keller Manor Apartments w/ The Evangelical Church of Disciples of Crist 917 Westchester ave & 944 Rogers Place, Bronx
    • 83-unit residential community for very low-income families and formerly homeless individuals.
    • These buildings are being constructed through the Extremely Low & Low-Income Affordability Program (ELLA) of the New York City Housing Development Corporation and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Everett Perry, Independent Local Housing Developer (WHAT IS HIS BUSINESS)

  • Everett’s business went from 4 employees three years ago and now 109
  • Benefits from working with small businesses: training (carpentry), trades, employment (including at risk youth to reduce crime)
    • Everett’s company developed synergy with local organization for homeless initiatives that supports people with mental illness and 
  • Conceptually if City and Mayor are on Board so is DOB
  • 25,000 rooms are available now, hence the need to talk with the city council
  • Hotels converted into something rather standing as nothing
  • Converting hotels to SRO 
  • Doing something now adds tremendous value to the city 

Gustavo Jara, Construction and 

  • Represents small business
  • Drive employment numbers down

NEXT STEPS

Committee formation

The following people agreed to be on the Housing Action Committee to pursue initiatives.

  • Andrew Kunkes
  • Ted Houghton
  • Marcel Negret
  • Everrett Perry
  • Brenden Cheney
  • Auralia Jara 
  • Leslie Boghosian
  • Allen Oster
  • Jocelyn Taylor
  • John Mudd
  • Sharon Jasprizza
  • Lenise Dazzel-Harris 

UNITING COMMUNITY BOARDS AND OTHERS….

The Homeless and Housing Committee decided to bring the community boards to work together and advocate for housing

PUBLIC CONCERNS

Community emailed many concerns about the hotel shelter additions to the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. It was addressed, but time was limited. John Mudd added the community’s concerns to the MSCC evening Council meeting for more triage. The representatives for the community who were very helpful in identifying the problems were: Lila Pino Blouin, Jennifer Cherney, Ivie Bien-Aime, Delsenia Glover.

ACTION LIST

Lenise Dazzel-Harris recorded the following actions:

  • Convert unused properties 
  • More Medical respite beds
  • Create a new way to relate to each other and see the homeless as part of our community- create a video, #hashtag, commercial
  • Research and support safe injection sites (Update see Addendum 
  • Organize precinct council and community board meeting to unite to work across borders for common purpose (schedule meeting)
  • Confer with Brendan Cheney on public recommendation for Mayor’s office
  • Table a discussion discuss “How do we complete a neighborhood?”
  • Look at new ideas and models to housing
  • Create community with church so we can build more mix units shelters- to be operated by the church – ELLA funded 
  • Layout a methodology for what sites would be ideal for shelters and incentivize building owners
  • Housing options
    • Adaptive reuse – transforming manufacturing sites in Brooklyn, what type of ideas might be relevant 
    • Find out underperforming spaces that will be good for housing
    • Conversion of distressed properties (i,e. Hotels, office buildings, theaters)  
  • Lobbying
    • Call for restoration in the capital housing budget so we produce more
    • Create a zoning text amendment that allows hotels in M1 Districts to be converted to housing, not just shelters,
    • Local support to turn hotels into housing 
    • Put pressure on the city to provide funding for the conversion of commercial space instead of building new shelters
    • Get City council and mayor on board 
    • Get involved with covid 19 RFPS to Talk SRO for hotel conversions (hotels are very interested)  
  • Employ local and at risk youth to reduce crime
    • Set up local 3 ??
  • Train homeless and youth carpentry and trade 

OUT OF THE BOX IDEAS

Using spaces for housing:

  • Movie Theaters 
  • Shipping containers – Huiini House is a compilation of four stacked cubes, which come together to form a sustainable residence on the edge of the Primavera Forest. Because of its modular construction, the house can easily be expanded or adapted to new sustainable technologies.
  • Abandon churches
  • Floating shelters
  • Abandoned subway stations 

QUESTIONS

  • How do we create a new way to relate to each other and see the homeless as part of our community? How can we change peoples ideas about the homeless ( Create a commercial or documentary series?)
  • Is anyone affiliated with the property pathways initiatives? 
  • How is it determined where a safe injection site is? (They don’t exist yet )
  • What do we need to do to get safe injections site legal? (Get bill info from Maia)
  • What is the collective vision? 
  • How do we appeal to office building owners to turn these vacant spaces into shelters?
  • In converting hotels to residential 

ASKS

We Ask that you rethink a more humane and modern society keeping zoning, design and investment in mind with consideration for 

All Housing Needs which are defined under housing options on page 1 

Balancing Urban Design with the Public’s Interest in Mind

Creating strong networks of community and supportive services 

Public Bathroom 

Sustainable, Social and Green Spaces

Making Homelessness a non issue

AOB

  • Next Meeting: 9:30 am, Tuesday, October 6, 2020 (The first Tuesday of every month)

ADDENDUM A: WHO’s WHO

SPEAKER(S)

  • Daniel Pichinson Ryan Chelsea Clinton Medical Center 
  • Britt Melewski / Nick Urban, Breaking Ground
  • Marc Greenberg, Executive Director, Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing
  • Elise Levy, Natalie Naculich, HCC, WSNA: overview of housing crisis
  • Leilani Irvin, Matt Borden, DHS: Conditions, costs, budgets
  • Joycelyn Taylor, NYC Minority Women Business Enterprises, redistributing our priorities through budgeting, community development, and community activism
  • Brendan Cheney New York Housing Conference: United for Housing Project’s NY housing production pipeline analysis and recommendations
  • Marcel Negret, Senior Planner, Regional Plan Association (RPA)
  • Ted Houghton, President of Gateway Housing: The Way to Affordable Housing
  • Aurelija Jara, Architectural and Project Manager, perspectives.
  • Everett Perry, Independent Local Developer: current history, RFP, creating jobs within the community

SPEAKERS MINI BIOS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER (FIRST NAME)

Elise Levy is the Organizer at  Housing Conservation Coordinators in New York City . Elise’s advocacy for tenants and associations ensures tenants have a voice.

Aurelija Jara, R.A., AIA, Project Manager, is an experienced project architect with more than 10 years of experience in educational, institutional and interior architecture. She has led design initiatives across a broad range of project type including K-12 school renovations, private residential design, museums, and urban design. Ms. Jara is a LEED-accredited professional. Her strong focus on resilient design stems from thorough knowledge of NYC’s current changes in zoning and building standards for resiliency. She understands FEMA regulations, resilient design techniques and methodology. 

Brendan Cheney is the Director of Policy and Communications at the New York Housing Conference. Previously, Brendan has worked on affordable housing and homelessness budgeting and policy at Gateway Housing, Politico New York, New York City Council, and the NYC Independent Budget Office.

Britt Melewski is the Assistant Director of Programs at Breaking Ground – Street to Home Manhattan.  He received his MSW in 2019 from Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work as well as his license in the same year.  He’s been working in Social Services in New York City since 2012.

Daniel Pichinson, MBA, has been the Executive Director for the Ryan Chelsea-Clinton for three years and has over twenty-five years experience in the delivery of community-based health services.  Dan first became involved in community health in volunteering in a syringe exchange program on the Lower East Side in the late 1980s.

Everett Perry is a New York City contractor developing and building affordable housing for the last 10 years. Everett has a fast growing company and is passionate about improving quality of life for New Yorkers.

Gustavo Jara, has over 25 years of experience in the construction industry working for major construction management firms in the New York City area as well as working as the principal of a General Construction and Management firm. His involvement in the construction industry has been multifaceted involving work as an Architect, Cost Estimator and Project Manager.

Joycelyn M. Taylor is also the Founder and Chair of the New York City  MWBE (Minority Women Business Enterprises) Alliance, whose mission is to assist minority and women-owned firms in  overcoming challenges related to obtaining access to opportunities on the federal, state and city levels. 

Marc Greenberg, Executive Director, Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness & Housing, President, Interfaith Affordable Housing Collaborative. A social entrepreneur focusing specifically on poverty and homelessness but more broadly working for housing justice and a more equitable New york City and beyond by helping to facilitate collaboration between a broad network of stakeholders including faith leaders, those who have experienced homelessness, Housing and service providers, advocates and elected officials. 

Marcel Negret is a Senior Planner at the Regional Plan Association (RPA). He leverages design thinking and data analysis to inform long term planning and urban policy. Marcel conducts research on land use and housing at the nexus of physical infrastructure, in particular public transit – generally referred to as transit-oriented development (TOD).

Natalie Naculich is the Tenant Organizer at Housing Conservation Coordinators in New York City. Natalie is passionate about social justice and community organizing. I have experience in direct service, communications, and advocacy work in both non-profit and legal environments.   

Nicholas Urban is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and the Director of Breaking Ground’s Street to Home Manhattan homeless outreach program.  He has worked in homeless services, community mental health treatment, and substance use research for the past decade.  In addition to his work with Breaking Ground, Nick is an Adjunct Professor at the Fordham Graduate School of Social Service and is a psychotherapist specializing in Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

Ted Houghton, President

Ted is the President of Gateway Housing. Prior to Gateway, Ted served as Executive Deputy Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), overseeing the State’s housing and community renewal agencies, including the NYS Housing Finance Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation, Affordable Housing Corporation, Division of Housing and Community Renewal, and the State of New York Mortgage Agency.


ADDENDUM B: MEDICAL RESPITE ADVOCACY PLAN FOR NYC

MEDICAL RESPITE BED ADVOCACY PLAN

There is no question that we need medical respite beds in New York City. Many of our service providers will attest to this. People suffering homelessness are deprived of complete recovery alternatives after leaving an emergency room. People are mostly cared for by family or visiting nurses after returning home to ensure successful recovery. People who are homeless do hot have access to aftercare, and hospitals are reluctant to house people beyond their needed emergency care. As one Mount Sinai doctor said, “We’re not a Holiday Inn.” 

A medical respite bed facility can be a pipeline from the hospitals to health, medical, social, and other services, which can lead to housing opportunities. 

This four-step plan is to encourage the development of medical respite beds in NYC. This is a plan in progress, not without flexibility, and is open for suggestions.

Step #1 (Began November 2019) Mission:

Describes our mission (the encouragement of medical respite beds) and suggests the following pathways to complete that mission:

  • Encourage medical respite bed funding through the city budget
  • Ask the city to fund a pilot project to study the financial and clinical outcomes
  • Encourage the network of providers to develop medical respite beds

A press release describing the committees’ intentions, emphasizing the forthcoming presentations, and encouraging attendance could be prudent.

Step #2 (March 2020) Information Gathering:

This step requires a tremendous amount of information gathering affirming the necessity, sustainability, and capital to develop a respite bed facility. Fortunately there are successful examples and developers who are willing to guide this endeavor. The Information Gathering should include, but not be limited to:  

  • Statistics outlining success in other states
  • Costs difference between emergency care and respite bed facilities
  • Developmental and operational cost analysis
    • Daniel Muwamba, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program is already working on financial details of the Barbara McInnes House and Stacey KirkPatrick facilities
  • Short documentaries and testimonials speaking to medical respite needs
  • Video and PowerPoint presentations affirming the medical respite beds necessity and benefits:
    • Andy Coyle, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and Medical Education, Associate Program Director for Ambulatory Care, Internal Medicine Residency Program, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, has shared a great deal of knowledge during a conference call and with his PowerPoint presentation, using data from March 2019, and he is willing to further support our endeavors: 
      • I can pull updated data if there is an opportunity to speak to a group…I can also share more of our outcomes data for the respite as we have it.
    • Comunilife’s Rosa Gil, DSW, President and CEO, has contracts with Monte, Bronx Lab and a couple Medicaid Managed Care plans for medical respite bed care
    • David Munson, Barbara McInnes House, has shared details of his operation and as with Dr. Coyle, is willing to support our endeavors
    • BronxWorks, is partnering with One City Respite Program, to lower the cost of emergency room use, to provide longer care for persons without a residence, and to enable a pathway to better health and housing stability (an interim step towards medical respite beds?)
    • Insurance Companies: Health First, United Healthcare, MetroPlus, AMIDACARE
    • DHS, Outreach services, and NYDIS: How can medical respite beds benefit?

The video presentations should educate, speak to the need, and empower others to advocate for medical respite facilities. 

Step #3 (July, August 2020) Administrative, Proposal Development, and Marketing: 

This step collates the work from Steps 1 & 2, fills in the gaps, and tailors it to the needs of client and state for a finalized proposal to encourage the development of medical respite beds. This step serves the final presentation and marketing needs, and also encourages support and participation. 

Step #4 (September, October 2020) Advocating for Development:

This is the culmination of discussions, meetings, research, discoveries, proposals and presentations to gather the support from nonprofits, city agencies, governing bodies, medical institutions, and humanitarian developers to realize the building of medical respite beds.

ADDENDUM C:  COMMUNITY CONCERNS

COVID-19 is vividly showing us our pre-existing social crisis that was hidden or easily ignored with a busy city.  We have 80,000 give or take who are without housing; this includes approximately 60,000 sheltered (13,046 homeless families with 19,278 homeless children, sleeping each night in the New York City municipal shelter system—two-thirds of the homeless shelter population), 3,600 living on the streets, others dispersed in emergency wards, living in cars, couch surfing, and doubling up with family and friends. “Princeton University’s Eviction Lab estimates up to 40 million people are now at risk of eviction in the coming months.”

What is hampering the cure for the homeless and housing crisis, is the continual degradation of communities for the extraction of wealth. The many hotels littering our neighborhood will tell you as much. We’re glad to have you share your concerns for our social crisis. These concerns are important to us. We look forward to your participation to improve the quality of life in Midtown Manhattan.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM COMPLAINTS

  • Business having windows broken, defecating in front of restaurants
  • The men loiter all day long on the street, tree rail guards as seats, makeshift table, eat and litter on the street, verbally harassed each time he(?) leaves his home
  • A neighbor (?) mugged and then saw perp the following day enter one of the hotels. The ones(?) on the street are not socially distancing, not wearing masks
  • Need to address immediate safety issues – masks and harassment on the street. Long term – 36th cannot absorb over 500 people—Highlights from July 2, 2020 meeting with community and business members (see Addendum C for additional notes)
  • Need “guidance on how to deal with the drug addicts, drug related activities and other issues in front of our buildings on 9th Avenue” [and 38th Street (NE)]. A tenant(?) residing at 574 9th Avenue was robbed in front of the building. A rise of various illegal activities going on (?). My buildings (?) are constantly being broken into by ppl looking for a place to do drugs. People are even dealing drugs in the broad daylight out in the open on the corner of 9th Avenue and 42nd Street and the phone booth in front of 568 9th Avenue…. complaints with 311 to have that phone booth removed because no one uses it to make phone calls but instead they use it to urinate, defecate, use and sell drugs. …Losing tenants and are having difficulty renting out vacant apartments. For the 1st time in the 6 years that I’ve been managing these buildings, I fear for my safety especially after an incident I had with a homeless woman on 9th Avenue where she tried to hit me and was using racial slurs at me because i refuse to give her money—Sanders Investment, Lisa He
  • “…large groups of homeless men hanging out all day unmasked in front of Il Puntos’ shuttered doors had became very worrying, and there was even a death on the street…. We have been alerting City Agencies and Outreach all along; I personally use the 311 app almost on a daily basis, but nothing seems to happen. I went from being sad and frustrated to fearing for my life now.—Lilia Pino Blouin, 502 9th Ave Condo Association
  • I have witnessed gatherings of dozens of unmasked men hanging out all day in front of Il Punto, urinating against the wall, pretty much every single day since March. A couple of weeks ago, I saw someone shooting up in broad daylight at 3 pm in front of Penn Station. I have been very aggressively approached on the street several times over the past month, for the first time in 12 years Lilia Pino Blouin, 502 9th Ave Condo Association
  • Noticeable “uptick in crime in recent weeks…49th and 9th, as my wife and I were sitting for dinner:
  • …we noticed a shirtless man walking southbound on the sidewalk with a chainsaw
  • …numerous alerts on my Citizen app notifying me of violent crime in the area. This is fairly typical most nights of the week:
    • 1:30pm: 2 men fighting with knives at W. 25th St & 10th Ave
    • 4:30am: Person assaulted at 325 W. 37th St
    • 2:30am: Report of attempted assault with hot iron at 9th Ave and W. 36th St
    • 2:30am: Man assaulted at W. 48th St & 8th Ave
    • 2:30am: 5 men fighting at W. 39th St & 8th Ave
    • 10pm last night: Report of Man Armed with Machete at Times Square NQRW subway stop
  • A 49 year old man was stabbed to death at W. 38th St & 9th Ave on Saturday (?) evening around 9:15pm
  • While I can’t confirm which hotels are housing how many homeless people, I can confirm that there is a ton of public urination, feces, shopping carts, office furniture, trash, and countless people sleeping on the streets during the day as they are supposedly only allowed inside the hotels at night
  • …while some of the homeless may have been saved from COVID, several have been attacked or killed due to violence
  • Most of these homeless people, mind you, are not wearing masks.—Deb, 502 9th Ave Condo Association 
  • …encampment has taken up residence on Dyer Ave between W34th and W35th streets and grows in size number daily. There are currently 6 encampments on both the east and west sides of Dyer Ave next to residential buildings
  • The homeless are openly selling and using drugs (shooting up), are aggressive towards local residents (spitting, yelling, blocking traffic demanding handouts), are throwing their trash onto the properties of the Webster Hotel and 433 W34 Street, do not wear masks, are not social distancing, and are blocking the sidewalks with tents, furniture, mattresses, bicycles, and suitcases
  • Some have tried entering residential buildings and are harassing building employees
  • I make 311 requests daily, as do other residents, and every day I receive a text saying N/A or case closed
  • No one from DHS has visited the site. I sit at my computer at my window all day and see the encampments. They have not been visited from any city agency. They have been visited by drug dealers and drug buyers
  • The situation is degrading daily. Additionally, there are new graffiti tags on buildings, walls, fences and sidewalks  every day. This is being done at night.Julia Campanelli
  • 11:45 AM EDT, 09/01/20
  • I am on the board of 347 W 39th Street. You had asked to be kept abreast of events: there was a murder on the corner of 39th and 9th last night/this morning. I did see police and medics, and detectives – but no press. Do not know any further details.— Nick, Nayana Currimbhoy

For full email see Copied Agenda 9.17.20a