For Immediate Release: October 19, 2020
Today, New York State Supreme Court Justice Debra A. James granted a temporary restraining order filed by residents of the Lucerne, preventing the City from moving those individuals into the Radisson until after November 16, when she hears arguments from the Lucerne residents and from Downtown New Yorkers.
We are gratified that the judge stopped the precipitous move, but we were shocked to learn that the City may fill the Radisson with other homeless individuals in the meantime seemingly to help its court case. This shows that the City’s motivation has nothing to do with the best interests of homeless people.
After the City informed the judge that it would not move the Lucerne men until today’s hearing, it snuck four homeless people into the Radisson in the very early hours of the morning so that it could tell the judge that the building was still being used as a temporary shelter. This follows an announcement by the DHS Administrator on October 8 that DHS did not need the shelter anymore.
It would be unconscionable for the City to move any homeless into the building knowing that they might be forced to move again in several weeks. However, it appears that the City will move homeless individuals in without a social service provider and without appropriate security staff in place.
The City has behaved unacceptably throughout this process. We call on the Mayor and other elected officials to put a stop to the chaos surrounding this issue. In the meantime, we ask everyone in the neighborhood to keep an eye on activity at the building so that we can track the City’s increasingly bizarre actions.
We are actively focused on raising funds to advance the legal strategy, and the next several weeks are critical to our success.
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