ABC7NY"With all these options for permanent housing, moving homeless people from hotels to dangerous congregate shelters doesn't make any sense and is cruelty that needs to stop now," said Helen Strom, Supervisor of the Benefits and Homeless Advocacy Unit at the Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center.
NY1“They were in the process of moving them,” said Helen Strom, a supervisor with the Safety Net Project, a housing rights organization. “People were being loaded onto the bus and we got them to pause the move.”
New York TimesHelen Strom, the supervisor of benefits and homeless advocacy for the Safety Net Project of the Urban Justice Center... said the people at the hotel who were being wrongfully denied accommodation included women with pulmonary disease, chronic asthma and seizure disorders. “They are right now in flagrant violation of the law,” she said. “The mayor is focused on evicting people from Midtown and wealthy neighborhoods, and he cares about that over people’s safety.”
NY Daily News“These hotel evictions are cruel, dangerous, illegal and racist,” said Helen Strom, a legal advocate at the Urban Justice Center, who is representing several homeless people included in the lawsuit.
City LimitsAfter Ernest contacted advocates from the groups Neighbors Together and the Safety Net Project, a branch of the Urban Justice Center, organizers arrived to halt the move because residents did not receive the 48-hour written notice required by law. Safety Net advocates have made similar visits to shelters elsewhere in the city ahead of abrupt transfers to unknown locations and have distributed Know Your Rights materials to shelter residents.
The City“The pattern of moves is very clear,” said Helen Strom, a legal advocate with the Safety Net Project, an advocacy group for homeless and low-income New Yorkers. ”The city’s starting with almost exclusively Manhattan hotels, primarily in Midtown, in white and wealthy areas.”
City LimitsAhead of the HOPE Count, the city stepped up these number of sweeps, according to records obtained by the Safety Net Project, a group that is part of the Urban Justice Center. A DHS spokesperson said city officials “address conditions as they occur.”
Gotham GazetteThe Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center acquired the reasons for the rejections via the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). The results were appalling, and showed the extent to which the Department of Social Services (DSS) and Department of Homeless Services (DHS) take a hands-off approach to the supportive housing application process. People were rejected because of their mental illness, the very reason supportive housing would likely have been a great fit in the first place.
CURBEDFor the past year, Peter Malvan has been working with Midnight Run, the Urban Justice Center’s Safety Net Project, and other groups to help the city’s unhoused. This has been especially challenging during COVID, with people fearing that the crowded conditions in the shelters would spread infection. “I’m disabled, but I like to keep busy,” he says. “I used to go to offices for in-person meetings. When virtual meetings happened, that got interesting because my phone doesn’t always work. I didn’t get paid, but I worked.”
N.Y.C. doubled ‘cleanups’ of homeless encampments last year, despite C.D.C. guidance to let them be.
New York TimesFrom March 1 to Dec. 12, the city performed 1,077 cleanups, compared with 543 during the same period in 2019. The statistic was released by the city in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Urban Justice Center, a nonprofit whose Safety Net Project helps homeless people.