Pushback on Homeless Shelters

Given so much push back on placement of homeless shelters, the latest being on Upper West Side and West Harlem, we thought some facts would be helpful.

There are about 60,000 individuals who do not have a permanent home in NYC. The majority of these are families who typically enter shelter when they can no longer afford to pay rent due to job loss or other hardship.

Times are tough. We encourage all districts to help take care of their own residents who fall into hard times. Unfortunately, “most homeless families are not sheltered in the communities they come from.” Currently, only about 50% of children are placed in shelters in areas where they have been going to school. In fact, there are 12 districts in NYC with no family shelters at all.

Regarding single homeless adults, “Research shows that, compared to homeless families, homeless single adults have much higher rates of serious mental illness, addiction disorders, and other severe health problems.” These adults should be placed in small settings fairly distributed in areas where the individual used to reside, and with adequate social services to support them. 

Times are tough. Let’s all help each other while keeping fair share and equity in mind. We need to strike a delicate balance for the sake of our beloved NYC.

See these 2 links for more info and our quotes: https://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/basic-facts-about-homelessness-new-york-city/
https://www.icphusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Shelter-DynamicsFinal07819.pdf

The graphic is plotted based on Shelter Score Card data: “https://fordham.carto.com/u/shill18/builder/8f51c8fb-6910-48d3-ae9d-35ffadfed443/embed”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON OPIOID EPIDEMIC AND ACTIVISM AIMED TO PUSH BACK ON PLACEMENT OF HOMELESS SHELTERS

  • 2021 Jan: West Harlem pushes back on homeless shelter on 145th st. (Patch)
  • 2020 Dec: NYC Districts pushes back on housing affordable housing planned by Mayor – (nytimes.com)
  • 2020 Dec: NYC Upper West Side: The residents in Upper West Side Lucerne homeless shelter filed a law suit on decision to relocate them – (nydailynews.com)
  • 2020 Nov: NYC Downtown: Downtown residents filed a law suit against movement of homeless shelter to downtown hotel – (nydailynews.com)
  • [NEW] 2019 Dec: Description of the medical challenges faced by residents in homeless shelters in New York City – (The New York Medical Journal)
  • 2019 Nov: NYC Ozone Park: 500 residents pushed back on new homeless shelter. 1 man went on hunger strike! – (citylimits.org)
  • 2019 Sept: NYC Harlem Wards Island: Wards Island Homeless Shelter managed by Andrew Cuomo’s sister gets new 4 year renewal worth 45 million despite 22 code citation- (THE CITY)
  • 2018 Jul: NYC Midtown: Billionaires Row group sues city over homeless shelter plan – (Nydailynews.com, Fox News)
  • 2016-2019: NYC: In 12 years, NYC homeless population surged 40% from 2011. The City counted almost 4000 people sleeping on the street and there is a 50-60,000 homeless population. Mayor launched turn the tide campaign to set up 130 shelters in the city – (Daily Mail Online, nydailynews.com, Curbed NY)
  • 2012: NYC Harlem: Wards Island Homeless population of 1000 has one bus M35 and the only drop off point is… 125 street and Lexington. The City Limits claimed many of these men are ex convicts and sex offenders – (citylimits.org)

Disappointing New Data

We are sad to report that new FOIL data indicates that number of patients traveling into Harlem to obtain methadone treatment continues to rise over the last 2 years.

For your background, below is the density map of methadone facilities in NYC.

And below is the overall capacity of methadone dispensing approved by NY State OASAS (Office of Addiction Services and Support)

NY Govt Wants to Hear Your Views on Pending Merger of Dept of Addiction Services and Dept of Mental Health

@NYOASAS and @NYSOHM are on a listening tour. Pls send your views to @NYGovCuomo! This is the chance to help build a more effective @NYOASAS and stop the issue of oversaturation
#greaterharlem #redliningharlem
#inequity
#oversaturation

There is an imminent plan at NY State to merge OASAS (Department of Addiction Services and Supports) and DOMH (Department of Mental Health). To this end, the departments are accepting public statements to understand best ways forward.

Let’s take advantage of this unique opportunity to help the government create a more effective Addiction Services for New York State. Submit a statement here

Or, you can just write to @NYSOASAS and @NYGovCuomo on twitter.

Tell them OASAS must do a better job in (1) preventing a neighborhood from being oversaturated with drug treatment facilities and (2) monitoring the impact of drug treatment centers on the nearby areas.

See more detail of the announcements below:

Governor Cuomo’s announcement of merger of DOMH and OASAS. Click on the image to learn more

Your statements don’t have to be lengthy or exhaustive.  A simple, heartfelt request from you is sufficient.  As we always say, they can’t read our minds.  We need to tell them what Harlem wants them to do.

Seminar/Talk on Redlining

Event on 3rd Dec 2020 where author of award-winning book “Redlined” gives a seminar

The Greater Harlem Coalition uses the term ‘redlining’ in context of how Harlem and East Harlem became the communities that they are today.

On Dec. 3rd, at 7:00 PM, The Washington and Chicago Map Societies will host Linda Gartz in a Zoom discussion: “How Federal Government Redlining Maps Segregated America.” 

She will discuss her award-winning book, “Redlined,” and her discovery of the redlining maps used by the federal government to exclude African-Americans from the middle-class dream of home ownership. Inspired by a trove of long-hidden family letters, diaries, photos, spanning the 20th Century, “Redlined” interweaves a riveting family story with the history of redlining. Linda will display digitized versions of original redlining maps, share photos, read short excerpts from “Redlined,” and speak about the lasting impact of redlining maps that segregated America. 

To join in, please RSVP John Docktor at washmap@gmail.com

Exposure to Violent Crime

The map above shows the prevalence of certain reported violent felonies—homicides, robberies, and felony assaults—by neighborhood. The areas with the highest reported violent crime rates are in areas of the South Bronx, portions of Harlem, Norwood to Wakefield in the North Bronx, and portions of central and east Brooklyn, all of which have predominantly Black or Hispanic populations. Smaller areas that also have high rates of community violence are on the north shore of Staten Island, Coney Island, Queensbridge, Jamaica, and the Rockaways. Midtown Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn have elevated rates of NYPD complaints due to their high volume of daily visitors; it is therefore less likely that residents of these areas experience crime in the same way or to the same degree as residents of other, more residential neighborhoods that are predominantly communities of color, such as the Melrose and Mott Haven neighborhoods of the Bronx and Brownsville and East New York in Brooklyn.

Given these highly unequal spatial patterns of violent crime, Black and Hispanic New Yorkers have the highest rates of exposure to violent felony crimes near their homes in communities like Harlem and East Harlem.

From: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hpd/downloads/pdfs/wwl-plan.pdf

Protest at the Lucerne

You likely have heard how some residents of the Upper West Side raised a significant amount of money to fund a legal campaign to force homeless New Yorkers out of the Lucerne Hotel which the DHS had contracted to house homeless New Yorkers so they wouldn’t be at risk of COVID in congregant shelters

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Today members of HNBA and The Greater Harlem Coalition attended a protest and press conference to note that our community – East Harlem and Harlem – has had more than its fair share of shelters for decades, and that all communities in New York need to take their fair share of shelter residents in this pandemic until permanent residences can be built/found.

As the 2017 NY City Council Report on Fair Share noted:

Residential Beds in East Harlem

Manhattan Community District 11, with 52 beds per 1,000 residents, or 4% of all residential facility beds in the city, embodies the legacy of decades of poor planning by and coordination between City and State governments and the failures of Fair Share. A low-income community of color, it is third in the city’s beds-to-population ration.


Manhattan CD11, composed primarily of East Harlem and Wards/Randall’s Island, is home to 1,082 chemical dependency treatment beds, 1,312 mental health treatment beds, and 2,691 shelter and transitional housing beds. The community hosts 5% of all Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelter beds, 19% of all State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)-licensed beds, and 11% of all State Office of Mental Health (OMH)-licensed beds in the city.


Distributional equity does not only mean equity between community districts, though that is a reasonable unit of analysis, but also equity within community districts – as the Fair Share Criteria recognize in their directive to specifically consider facilities within one half-mile of a proposed facility as well as the total number of facilities within the community district. Yet Manhattan 11 fails this test of equity too, with one-third of the DHS, OASAS, and OMH beds in the district located between 116th St. and 126th St. between the East River and Park Avenue. If facilities were perfectly evenly distributed between the City’s 59 community districts, each district would host 1.7% of each facility type.

https://council.nyc.gov/news/2017/02/27/fairshare/

Greater Harlem Coalition Partners With SiliconHarlem.net

The Greater Harlem Coalition partnered with Silicon Harlem to present an NYC Open Data workshop on Visualizing Social Justice on March 4th.

Visualizing Social Justice

Illegal Drug Use, Treatment, and Bail Reform—Impact on the Greater Harlem Community

Thursday, February 27th – 7:00 PM, Ascension Presbyterian Church, 15 Mount Morris Park West @ 122nd St.
When will other, wealthier communities accept their Fair Share?

Thursday, February 27th – 7:00 PM
Ascension Presbyterian Church
15 Mount Morris Park West @ 122nd St

Presenters:

Mount Sinai Beth Israel

Dr. Lily Awad, Assistant Professor Psychiatry and Director of Addiction services, Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

Teri Friedman, MS, CRC Director Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Opioid Treatment Program.

Will discuss Methadone and other modalities used to treat addiction, including dispensing protocol, outcome, and the use of the life saving drug Narcan.

Bridget G. Brennan, the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York

Will speak to the impact the 2020 New York State Bail Reform is having (and will have) on the quality of life in Harlem and East Harlem.


mmpcia.org greaterharlem.nyc
Illegal Drug Use, Treatment, and Bail Reform MMPCIA and The Greater Harlem Coalition are working to locate opioid treatment programs in all New York communities and to end the practice of oversaturating Harlem and East Harlem.

Bronx politicians pushed back. When will those in Harlem?

Who are the New York politicians you should contact and demand fair share practices be implemented in Harlem?

The politicians in The Bronx are pushing back on new substance abuse facilities:
https://thecity.nyc/2019/04/pols-shun-drug-center-in-bronx-opioid-od-hotspot.html

What have Harlem’s politicians done?
https://twitter.com/nysoasas

Photo: The potential future site of the disputed drug-treatment clinic at 5622 Broadway in Kingsbridge, The Bronx. Photo: Ese Olumhense/THE CITY

From the Archives: CB10 in 2008

2008 archive documents from Community Board 10.

Community Board 10-Manhattan
April 2008 General Board Meeting Minutes

Community Board 10 Resolution Calling for a Moratorium on New/Additional or Expansion of Existing City, State, Federal, or Private Substance Abuse Facilities in Central Harlem