UPPER WEST SIDE, NY — The Upper West Side get a new permanent homeless shelter in a couple years. The Department of Homeless Services recently confirmed to Patch that a new shelter will be built at 537 W. 59th St.
The address is currently home to the Manhattan Neighborhood Network.
The shelter will be “the first of its kind in the Community District” and will house 200 women experiencing homelessness.
The Department of Homeless Services said it notified Upper West Side community leaders on Dec. 30 about the anticipated 2023 opening.
The “high-quality borough-based” shelter will prioritize homeless persons living in Manhattan, particularly from the Upper West Side’s Community District 7. Additionally, the Department of Homeless Services said it will phase out all Upper West Side commercial hotel locations, which currently provide shelter to 655 homeless New Yorkers.
The commercial hotel locations refer to places such as The Lucerne, Hotel Belleclaire and the Belnord — which have been housing people experiencing homelessness in the neighborhood since the beginning of last summer.
“Homeless New Yorkers come from every community across the five boroughs, and now more than ever, we need every community to come together to address homelessness in this crisis,” said Neha Sharma, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeless Services. “As we implement our borough-based approach, we are ending the use of inefficient stop-gap facilities citywide while opening high-quality facilities New Yorkers in need deserve as they stabilize their lives.”
“This shelter will be the first of its kind in this Community District, offering 200 women experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges the opportunity to get back on their feet safely and closer to their anchors of life in these unprecedented times,” Sharma added.
The nonprofit social services providers Project Renewal will provide the on-site services for the new shelter. Project Renewal is also the provider in charge of services at The Lucerne.
Project Renewal’s on-site services will include counseling, housing placement assistance, medical and mental health services, support groups, independent living workshops and securing employment.
Off-site services will include health care, referrals to substance use treatment, vocational training, GED instruction, conflict mediation and legal services.
The new shelter will serve exclusively single women, some of whom have mental health challenges, according to the Department of Homeless Services.
In terms of on-site security, Project Renewal will have a minimum of two security officers at the building entrance at all times. Additionally, there will be a minimum of 15 security staff per shift.
DHS will install 70 security cameras throughout the building and on the grounds of the shelter.
There will also be a 10 p.m. curfew enforced, excluding residents with late work hours.
Additionally, it was not lost on the Department of Homeless Services the amount of feedback from Upper West Side residents about the temporary homeless shelters in the neighborhood.
To that end, the city department has pledged to establish a “Community Advisory Board” that will hold regular meetings with direct communication lines between Project Renewal staff and UWS community members with questions or concerns.