Downtown New Yorkers, through its initiative Downtown Safe Streets, is the only non-profit that fought the imposed transfer of the homeless men of Lucerne to the Radisson hotel on 52 William Street by The City of New York.

As of June 28, the men have been moved back to their congregate shelters, ending our year-long effort to bring attention to the dangerous practice of using hotels as homeless shelters without any due diligence given to the local community. We are gratified to learn that they will be able to reside in a community where onsite services for their mental illnesses and addictions will be provided, as such was not the case at the Lucerne.

Although the closing of the hotels as shelters program was a city-wide effort, it came at a price. Those who sought to impose radical policies on our neighborhood jeopardized both the community and the homeless. We must remain vigilant to ensure such an idea cannot return in a neighborhood that’s unfit for shelters more than almost any other in NYC. Downtown New Yorkers is determined to end the addition of shelters in Lower Manhattan and continue advocating for better community safety.

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Downtown NYCers for Safe Streets Initiative

Progress Timeline

2020
September 25, 2020

The Issue

The City of New York issues a press release announcement stating that the Lucerne Hotel residents are to be moved to the Radisson hotel at 52 Willam Street in the heart of the Financial District.

September 26, 2020

Reaction

Downtown residents react and form the Downtown NYCers for Safe Streets initiative.

October 1, 2020

Introduction

CB1 holds a public online meeting (Manhattan Community Board 1: Proposed Shelter in the Financial District) regarding the issue. A Downtown New Yorkers volunteer formally introduces the civic group to the broader public.

October 2, 2020

Not-For-Profit Formation

Propelled by residents’ requestsorganizers form Downtown New Yorkers, Inc.a not-for-profit entity with the purpose of collecting donations for the legal recourse. 

October 6, 2020

DNY Retains Legal Counsel

Downtown New Yorkers, Inc. engages nationally ranked law firm Cozen O’Connor to sue The City of New York. 

October 14, 2020

DNY Sues The City of New York

On behalf of Downtown New Yorkers, Inc., Cozen O’Connor files for a Temporary Restraining Order against The City of New York to prevent the homeless residents of the Lucerne Hotel from being moved to the Radisson at 52 Willam Street in the heart of the Financial District. 

October 16, 2020

TRO Denial

New York Supreme Court Justice Debra A. James denies DNY’s request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). 

October 19, 2020

TRO Approval

Supreme Court Justice Debra A. James grants a TRO filed by the residents of the Lucerne preventing the City from moving those individuals in the Radisson until after November 16th, 2020 

November 16, 2020

Court Hearing

Judge Debra James hears arguments from all parties, including Downtown New Yorkers.

November 25, 2020

DNY Launches Online Petition

Downtown New Yorkers launches the official petition in support of this effort. You can sign it here.

November 25, 2020

Case Dismissal

The judge dismisses all cases related to the homeless shelter. Downtown New Yorkers prepares to file an appeal.

November 28, 2020

DNY Neighborhood Meeting

Downtown New Yorkers holds an online Neighborhood Meeting with the public at large where legal counsel Kenneth Fisher of Cozen O’Connor explains where the case currently stands and the plan to prevail in the courts.

December 2, 2020

DNY Files Emergency Motion

Downtown New Yorkers, Inc., files a 53-page emergency motion in the Appellate Division, First Department, of the New York State Supreme Court seeking to stop the transfer of 235 men from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side to the former Radisson Hotel at 52 William Street until the appeal of the lower court judge’s recent dismissal can be heard.

December 3, 2020

DNY Milestone Win

The Appellate Division, First Department, of the New York State Supreme Court grants a stay to Downtown New Yorkers, Inc., preventing the City from moving 230 homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side to the Radisson Hotel at 52 William Street in Lower Manhattan. A five-judge Appellate Division panel will consider the case on Monday, December 14.

2021
January 5, 2021

Court Rules The Men Can Stay at the Lucerne

A five-judge appellate panel unanimously blocks the City of New York from transferring all the homeless men of Lucerne from the UWS to the Radisson in Lower Manhattan — saying the city is only “permitted to relocate those residents who voluntarily choose to be moved.”

 

The ruling gives DNY another win in their fight against City’s mishandling of the homeless crisis during the pandemic and sets the stage for the next round of legal recourse.

June 28, 2021

Conclusion

As of June 28, the men have been moved back to their congregate shelters, ending our year-long effort to bring attention to the dangerous practice of using hotels as homeless shelters without any due diligence given to the local community.

 

We are gratified to learn that they will be able to reside in a community where onsite services for their mental illnesses and addictions will be provided, as such was not the case at the Lucerne.

To everyone who contributed so far, we are deeply thankful. To those who plan on helping our initiatives, now is the time.

Please consider donating through one of the acceptable methods here.

 

And don’t forget that you can always call, email and reach out yourself to all our elected officials. We provide a list of contacts on our resources page to get you started.

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