N90s files an appeal in the New York State Appellate Court to close Freedom House

Neighborhood in the Nineties Files Court Action To Close West 95th St. Shelter

NYAppelateCtOn Friday, January 2, 2015, N90s went back to court.  We filed an appeal of our lawsuit in the New York State Appellate Court opposing the Freedom House shelter at 316 West 95th Street.

The appeal comes just nine months after our initial lawsuit in the state’s lowest court, the Supreme Court, resulted in a settlement between Comptroller Scott Stringer and Mayor Bill de Blasio that cut the shelter in half, going from 400 people to 200 people.

N90s needs your support as we work to close the shelter.

We need look no further than three recent incidents related to the shelter and other facilities that already populate our neighborhood to understand that our issues are urgent and compelling:

  • The Superintendent of Pomander Walk was stabbed while he was cleaning the sidewalk across from Stanton (250 West 94) and steps away from The Lyric (251). His assailant was spotted urinating between parked cars before stabbing the super with a 12-inch knife.  He has been seen in the neighborhood often, visiting his mother, a Freedom House resident. As reported in the news media, the assailant is a gang member “with 29 priors.” The attack took place at 2 PM. The super is still being treated for his serious wounds.
  • Two days after the Pomander stabbing, two residents of the St. Louis, a City-funded facility at 319 West 94th Street that draws tenants from the City homeless pool and adjoins the back of the 95th Street shelter, got into a vicious fight that resulting in a near fatal stabbing.
  • The following week, the 300 block of 94th Street was in lockdown after a resident of 308 West 94th Street an SRO that also shelters emergency placements, assaulted his girlfriend and barricaded himself in his room.  Riot police and hostage negotiators were part of a 12-unit emergency response.

Our neighborhood is over-saturated by many shelters, special needs housing (which includes MICAs (Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers), and newly released ex-cons) and other socially-taxing facilities operated by three City agencies.

The inescapable fact is that we are a leading community in housing those in greatest need.  Sadly though, the City has continued to exploit our compassion by dropping more facilities here, often with little notice and no transparency.

The importance of a lawsuit goes well beyond its eventual outcome. It is a signal that the neighborhood has been dumped on too often by the City. It gives cover to our supporters in public service and sends a clear message to not site additional facilities here.

N90s works with the Community Board and public officials to report facility operators who endanger their populations, including legacy SRO tenants who have been harmed by the shelter placement in their buildings. Only N90s has done the research to track the facilities in our community.

To keep up the pressure on our elected officials, we need to step up now and keep the case in court.

It is also important to remember that this shelter shortchanges the people it’s intended to serve, those who are the most vulnerable and helpless of the City’s population, and the taxpayers.  The same City government that signed a consent decree to preserve permanent housing for SRO tenants, has, in using the property as a shelter, created a situation which is forcing out the very same SRO tenants it is trying to protect.

At $3,710 a month for a 100-square-foot room with no bath or kitchen, the taxpayers are being fleeced.

As we prepare to again go to bat for our beautiful neighborhood, donations are needed to fund the lawsuit.

Ask your landlord or co-op/condo board to pitch in. We thank those who have given generously. We ask our neighbors who haven’t written a check to do so now. Help us help our neighborhood.

Send a check today to:
Neighborhood in the Nineties, Inc,
c/o: R.A. Cohen & Associates
Attn: Rina Krebs
60 E 42nd Street, Suite 850
New York, New York 10165

Support the lawsuit: Visit N90s.org and click “DONATE” today!

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