With its many shelters providing resources for at-risk individuals, Midtown Manhattan has long been welcoming to the unhoused. But when the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) compensated for theCOVID-19 complications of existing facilities by relocating hundreds of people under their care onto two blocks in the upper West 30s, residents were shocked,then worried, then outraged.
Placed among them in three hotels on W. 36th and 37th Sts. normally occupied by tourists—without consultation, let alone consent—the May 2020 arrival of800+ men with no on-site recreational facilities or social/medical supportive services caused egregious quality-of-life issues. Now, locals and their elected officials are putting their foot down and saying, “Enough is enough.”