WALL Street residents and businesses are suing New York City in an attempt to stop Mayor Bill de Blasio from relocating almost 300 homeless men to a hotel.
The group, Downtown New Yorkers Inc., filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday, October 14, to prevent the transfer of the homeless men from the Upper West Side to a former Radisson Hotel in the Financial District.
De Blasio has worked tirelessly over the past few months on how to address the backlash surrounding his decision to house some 13,000 of the city’s homeless population into hotels that have been left empty as the pandemic halted tourism.
The move aimed to protect the homeless people, many of whom suffer from mental illness and addiction, intending to keep them safe during the pandemic.
But many Wall Street residents living near hotels-turned-shelters have voiced outrage over the initiative, saying that the growing homeless populations diminished their security and quality of life.
Critics formed a Facebook group called ‘Downtown NYCers for Safe Streets‘ shortly after the announcement of the plan to convert the Radisson on William Street into the area’s first-ever traditional shelter.
It seems the residents are now at war with each other over the issue with many claiming the homeless being relocated there is bad for the neighbourhood, whilst others are embracing the positive change the mayor is trying to make by providing safe accommodation for these people.