Downtown New Yorkers, Inc. is a non-profit organization established to challenge the city’s efforts to relocate 235 homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side to the former Radisson Hotel at 52 William Street. The organization fully supports these homeless individuals and believes that they are better served by remaining on the Upper West Side, where they have access to extensive social programs — including a powerful jobs program — that are not available in Lower Manhattan. Downtown New Yorkers also believe that 52 William Street is a highly problematic location for a homeless shelter given that it stands within 300 feet of four schools and within blocks of 12 schools.
Downtown New Yorkers will launch a legal effort to prevent the relocation of the homeless men based on the city’s failure to comply with a series of administrative and procedural requirements. To advance this, the organization has engaged the law firm of Cozen O’Connor, with member Ken Fisher leading the effort. Mr. Fisher, a former member of the New York City Council, has a deep understanding of real estate and city government, and a long history of litigating issues of this sort.
Downtown New Yorkers is established as a non-profit corporation with New York State and it is governed by an executive committee of its founding members, who are local residents. The organization has established a bank account that is able to receive donations from area residents and businesses. Downtown New Yorkers will be fully transparent on the use of donated funds, and it has set forth the following policies.
Use of Funds Policy
The Downtown New Yorkers team will not take a salary, or any form of compensation from the funds raised for this initiative. All collected funds will be used exclusively to fund third-party services and vendors to advance organization efforts. A large portion of the funds will be used to pursue our legal challenges to the relocation of the shelter. Depending upon the amount of collected funds, we may dedicate a portion of the funds for lobbying, public relations and similar efforts.
Return of Funds Policy
In the event that there are funds remaining at the conclusion of the effort, Downtown New Yorkers will immediately return these funds to donors. We will return funds based in direct proportion to the percentage of each stakeholder’s contribution. That is, we will determine the percentage that each donor has contributed, and each donor will receive the same percentage of the remaining funds after efforts have come to a conclusion.
Reporting to Donors
Downtown New Yorkers will provide a full accounting of all spending at the conclusion of the effort. This reporting will respect privacy of parties involved while ensuring that donors understand exactly how their funding was used.
All donations to the organization will remain anonymous to the full extent permitted by law. We will not disclose the identity of donors to media outlets, city officials, or other third-parties. As a non-profit organization, Downtown New Yorkers is not required to reveal sources of funding.
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