Deplorable Homeless Services (DHS) 2016

December 19, 2016
City Ignored Warnings on Operator of Shelter Where Girls Died, Emails Show

BUSHWICK — The city was repeatedly warned during the past two years that the nonprofit group operating the shelter apartment where a malfunctioning radiator killed two young Bronx girls was a bad actor who didn’t pay rent, maintain buildings it leased or fix housing-code violations, DNAinfo New York has learned.

Lucille McEwen, the executive deputy commissioner at the Department of Homeless Services, was told in emails and phone calls that Bushwick Economic Development Corp. — a nonprofit that runs shelters throughout the city — was endangering the lives of tenants at shelters in Brooklyn by ignoring requests to take care of building violations.

December 18, 2016
Bronx residents rally against landlord after faulty radiator causes death of 2 children

“I blame Mayor de Blasio, the Department of Homeless Services, the landlord and the nonprofit Bushwick Economic Development Corporation,” Jay Espy, the People Power Movement spokesman, told PIX11.

This homeless cluster apartment building is owned by Moshe Piller, prominently featured on the public advocates 2016 worst landlords in New York City list and operated by the Bushwick Economic Development Corporation, also known as Bedco.

This building alone had 116 open violations in December 2015 which grew to 139 violations by the end of this year.

December 14, 2016
Report: NYC Booked $629 A Night Hotel Rooms To House Homeless

Stringer added, “Commercial hotels are by far the most expensive, inefficient ways to house our homeless population.”

The report says that over a year, there were 815 bookings at two midtown Manhattan hotels for $400 a night or more.

The city now spends $400,000 a night to house the homeless, up from $52,000 a night a year ago.

December 9, 2016
Operator of Shelter Where Radiator Killed 2 Girls Acted Like The Mob: Suit

Mione agreed and submitted a proposal to the city in 2003 to provide 27 furnished apartments to homeless families. The city turned him down, but Calvin Pitter, the the deputy chief contracting officer for Homeless Services, suggested they partner with Boswell and BEDCO, according to the lawsuit.

They did and won a contract in June 2004, the lawsuit said. Mione said shortly thereafter the extortion started.

“Bedco through Boswell began demanding moneys separate and apart from any contractual relationship and indeed began a shakedown whereby [Mione] had to pay certain moneys to Boswell,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit said that a certain percentage of the money was to go to Homeless Services employees as a kickback.

December 9, 2016
Bronx radiator that killed two children broke down in August 2015, but calls for repairs went ignored

Jackson said she reported the malfunction to her caseworker at the Bushwick Economic Development Corp., the nonprofit hired by the city to oversee the apartments.
“She said she’d send somebody to fix it,” recalled Jackson, a nurse’s aide whose sons were 12 and 13 at the time. “But of course, nothing ever happened. Nobody ever came.”

December 9, 2016

City Should Stop Contracting With Slumlords, Councilman Says After Tragedy

Salamanca is partnering with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on the bill to stop DHS from contracting with landlords who have outstanding “C” violations or stop-work orders.

“The city should not be an enabler of greedy unscrupulous landlords,” Diaz said, “and even worse, we should not be giving them the money when they are not only greedy, but they are putting the lives of families and children at risk.”

December 8, 2016
City Again Vows To Solve Homelessness Crisis Amid Record Shelter Populations, Young Girls’ Deaths

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, nothing points out the problems with the city’s efforts to deal with the homelessness crisis than this – the city seeking an emergency declaration to lodge homeless families in private hotels at a cost of nearly $80,000 a year.

“It’s unfathomable,” said former Department of Homeless Services Deputy Commissioner Robert Mascali. “I mean, I’ve been involved for 20 years. To think that, almost $80,000 a year for a family, is outrageous.”

November 26, 2016
Data reveals NYC relying more on commercial homeless hotels despite de Blasio’s goal to end practice

The 25-year-old shared one story where another homeless resident in the hotel asked the case worker for help and Robert says the case worker told the person, “to call the hotline.”

Robert said the changes in staffing that he and his family have been forced to endure has been constant. When asked how many case workers he has had in the past year, Robert quickly respond, “Like 4.”

He has spent nearly 11 months living in a hotel room — nearly one year without a kitchen nor hot plates.

While Thanksgiving is a traditional day of Turkey, DHS, according to Robert kept to their own traditional meals, “provided the regular food that they provide us every day.”

So Robert ended up staying in his hotel room with his 4-year-old son because, “I had to send my wife out to get some food.”

“She went to Boston Market,” Robert said.

November 25, 2016
Child molester living in homeless shelter next to three schools


Daunte Gonzales had sex with a 9-year-old girl at least twice landing him a felony “sexual conduct against a child” conviction in 2015. He was sentenced to six months in jail but was instead given 10 years probation, records show. A judge determined that Gonzales poses a “moderate” risk of assaulting more children, and it is illegal for sex-offenders on probation and who are deemed such a risk to live within 1,000 feet of a school, said a spokeswoman for the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.

November 23, 2016
CB 12: No shelter next to daycare site

Now they are weighing just how to approach a proposal to put 30 or more men up at a facility that would be built above a church — and next to a daycare center on 146th Street in Jamaica.

November 16, 2016
The verve homeless shelter–What’s Going On Here?

NYPD statistics show that officers at the 114th Precinct have made 30 arrests at the Verve Homeless Shelter in the last 12 months, including: five felony arrests, one misdemeanor assault on a police officer, two arrests for weapons possession, one grand larceny, two felony mischief, one menacing, one petit larceny, one resisting arrest, two criminal possession of a controlled substance and 15 arrests for third-degree assault. Officers have also issued 10 criminal court summonses to shelter clients.

That adds up to a total of $4,920 per day ($15 per hour, 24 hours) for security at this shelter, NOT including salaries for supervisors and all staff benefits. That’s a total of $34,440 per week, and a whopping $1,790, 880 per year for security services at this one facility.

Do the math. The city is spending more each year on security for this one shelter for 200 women, than most small US towns spend each year to fund their police or sheriff’s departments. How much of this cost is subsidized by the city?

November 7, 2016
Children in NYC shelter are being attacked by pests, parents say

THE BRONX — A mother and father say their children are being attacked by fleas and rodents while they sleep.

They live in a homeless shelter on Southern Boulevard in the Bronx and said they have complained multiple times but nothing has been done.

“My 5-year-old can’t go to school, attacked by fleas from the mice in our room. The entire building is infested,” said the children’s father, who did not want to be identified.

November 5, 2016
Hotel taking in homeless people is a fire safety disaster

As The Post revealed last week, the DHS selected the MAve despite a pending lawsuit brought by the city against its owner, Salim “Solly” Assa, for illegally renting rooms to tourists in midtown apartment buildings. Ironically, the city alleged in its suit that the makeshift hotels were potential fire traps.

November 2, 2016
Housing homeless in sleazy motels helps nobody

Homelessness is an enduring problem and alleviating it is an uphill battle. But placing homeless families into a motel where infants lack care and comfort and adults lack the help they need, while at the same time making neighbors worry about their own families’ safety, only perpetuates an endless cycle of suffering.,61059

November 1, 2016
Bill de Blasio ‘Confused’ by Former Top Homelessness Official’s Criticism

In an interview with NY1 Noticias the former deputy mayor, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, said the administration doesn’t have a long-term and permanent vision for addressing the homelessness crisis. She also said she believed leaving the administration was the best decision and reported difficulties in working with de Blasio.

November 1, 2016
Residents worried about shelter after robberies in Manhattan

Surveillance video shows suspect John Marino, 56, in action during what police are calling a weeklong armed robbery spree. The out-of-state ex-con with at least 18 previous arrests was staying at the 800-bed men’s emergency shelter on East 30 Street and First Avenue.

October 29, 2016
De Blasio’s church-based homeless solution fails to gain traction

More than a year after the mayor used the pending visit of Pope Francis in a plan to create small homeless shelters at faith-based facilities, the program has produced just 72 of the promised 500 beds, The Post has learned.

October 27, 2016
Homeless mother living in hotel shelter describes ‘miserable’ conditions, lack of heat

Lopez credits the Department of Homeless Services led by embattled Commissioner Banks for her misfortune. She blames them for putting her and her two daughters into a shelter on Crotona Avenue with no heat.

October 26, 2016
Audit finds NYC homeless shelters fail to properly screen child care workers

In 21 rooms checked by investigators, 41% had no sprinklers, 18% had no fire extinguishers, 9% had designated emergency exit doors locked from the inside, and 50% had insufficient outdoor space, the report said.

October 25, 2016

Steven Banks Was Hired to Stem New York’s Homelessness Crisis. It Didn’t Happen

Mr. Banks, 59, was in his 20s when he began waging a legal fight to force the city to uphold a “right to shelter” under the State Constitution, obligating New York to provide temporary housing to anyone who entered an intake center and asked for it. It is an entitlement that puts extraordinary pressure on the shelter system he now oversees.

October 24, 2016
EXCLUSIVE: Former homeless man says Brooklyn shelter ignored transfer request before attack that broke his jaw

His attorney David Thompson said that Hardy’s story is all too common in the city shelter system.

“It’s not something we should turn a blind eye to,” Thompson said. “We have a lot of people who are one paycheck away from becoming Mr. Hardy and we owe it our citizens to take decent care of them. That means basic safety at shelters.”

October 20, 2016
City’s homeless services commissioner grilled over shelter plans across Queens

“LaGuardia had something Bill de Blasio does not,” Banks said. Arcuri responded with “brains.”

October 20, 2016
Sex offender living at Corona homeless hotel: officials


A similar situation to the one in Corona occurred in nearby Elmhurst in June when — as first reported by the Chronicle — two Level 3 sex offenders were being housed in the Boulevard Family Residence, a family shelter occupying the former Pan American hotel on Queens Boulevard.

October 19, 2016

Probe Underway in Death of Homeless Baby in Riverdale

The head of the city’s homeless services agency has launched a full investigation into the death of a newborn baby inside a pop-up shelter in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.

October 9, 2016
City Hall is oblivious and shows no interest in local input

“I’ve never seen an administration go to that length to try and justify a failed policy. That was to me a sign of desperation,” says state Sen. Joe Addabbo (D-Queens).

In fact, the city’s efforts to ram through shelter sitings have met with backlash in all kinds of neighborhoods. Time and again, the mayor’s people meet local officials’ initial inquiries with earnest denials. Hiding behind regulations meant to protect the privacy of its clients, the Department of Homeless Services misleads elected leaders about its plans until it’s too late to stop them.

Sept 13, 2016

2 Madams Busted for Running Underage Prostitution Ring in NYC

Police arrested five people Monday afternoon, including the alleged madam, 29-year-old Darlene DeLeon, a mother of three. The other alleged madam, 51-year-old Maria Soly Almonte, also known as “SoSo Wavy,” lived on 145th Street and ran the business out of a homeless shelter. A sixth defendant is at large.

Sept 9, 2016
Infant found days after mom abandoned him at shelter: cops

This cold-blooded mom ditched her 5-month-old son at their Bronx shelter, where he spent three days alone under a bed until he was found Friday, officials said.
Spaights has 15 prior arrests, including drug and prostitution charges.

Sept 6, 2016
Vagrants living under scaffolding are turning Noho into Skid Row

Gaunt and grizzled men have laid down cardboard bedding on Broadway near Washington Place, and a man in stained clothing has been known to hang out on a discarded sofa on Broadway near Waverly Place.
“I get so upset. I spend $4,000 a month to live where I live, and this all started since [Mayor] de Blasio,’’ seethed a 30-year-old woman who lives in the neighborhood and gave her name as Jac.

Sept 7, 2016
Shelter exposed: Residents say Sunset Park home not helping homeless

They’re calling it a bad Samaritan.

Residents of a Sunset Park homeless shelter claim operator Samaritan Village has not been making good on promises to help them find employment or permanent homes. Reps from the company — which runs the controversial, 150-bed shelter in a former hotel on 49th Street between Second and Third avenues — say they conduct weekly workshops to help people living there get out of poverty, but several residents say Samaritan Village has a poor track record of providing the services.

“No one ever told me about workshops or anything at all like that,” said Daniel, who didn’t want to share his full name for fear of reprisal. “In the three months I’ve been here, I’ve never seen workshops for housing or anything at all like that.”

August 30, 2016
EXCLUSIVE: Harlem resident speaks out after allegedly being assaulted by homeless shelter employees

“The case manager came down and attacked me,” Fleming told PIX11.

Fleming and his wife moved to The Dawn shelter in Harlem two years ago. His wife, Miranda Baker, says they became concerned last Friday after the management “put a flyer in the building saying as of midnight the 31st there will be new management coming in.”

When Fleming questioned what was going on, he claims “the case manager of the shelter said something to me, I said something to him, and he ran down the stairs and all I know is three people jumping me.”

Fleming was injured and went to the hospital.

August 25, 2016
City cleans up homeless hangout after cops blame mayor

“We’re seeing more and more homeless people and they’re telling me that the shelters are getting too dangerous. They’re saying the K2 [synthetic marijuana] thing is really getting to be a problem and I ­believe them,” he said.

May 24, 2016
Homeless Man With K2 in Pocket Attacks Bouncer Outside Chelsea Bar: NYPD

CHELSEA — A homeless man with synthetic marijuana in his pocket was arrested after attacking a bouncer at a Chelsea bar, according to police.

May 20, 2016
NYC’s putting bums and junkies up at this swanky boutique hotel

“De Blasio don’t know what the f–k he’s doing,” said Bryan, 52, who said he’s been living at BKLYN House since November.

“He say he want to help the homeless but they doing more damage…De Blasio and the city putting all this money into housing people here but they aren’t being given the help to eventually move out and get on their feet. It’s a waste.”

May 14, 2016
Woman fatally stabbed inside privately run homeless shelter

A 22-year-old woman was fatally stabbed early Saturday by her girlfriend’s ex-husband inside a Brooklyn apartment building notorious for housing homeless families in decrepit conditions, police sources said.

May 08, 2016
EXCLUSIVE: NYC homeless shelters founded by Cuomo are hellholes filled with violence, child abuse

At one point, two registered sex offenders listed HELP 1 as their home, including a man convicted of abusing two boys, ages 12 and 13.

In fact, HELP 1 racked up 31 critical incidents last year — the most of any of the so-called Tier 2 family shelters in the city, a review of internal records obtained by the Daily News found.

April 15, 2016

Man With Throat Slashed at Homeless Shelter May Have Been Murdered: Police

“Young punks pick on old guys like me, and they can because there are no cameras,” he said. “Security don’t do anything.”

April 15, 2016
Friday’s death follows a spate of violent crimes at city homeless facilities.

On Thursday, a man staying at the Skyway Men’s Shelter on the Upper West Side was brutally attacked during an argument.

Mike Oshinowo, 32, smashed a glass bottle over his roommate’s head and slashed the victim with a razor blade, leaving him with a deep cut under the right eye, cops said.

April 11, 2016
De Blasio doubles down on his failed approach to homelessness

Both Homeless Services boss Gilbert Taylor and his boss, then-Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, left last year — amid reports they’d been sidelined by Banks.

Whom de Blasio tapped to run the review that’s now empowered . . . Steven Banks.

Yet Banks hasn’t been a disaster just on homelessness, but also on welfare — with the rolls climbing even as the city’s added hundreds of thousands of jobs.

April 2, 2016
Homeless man clinging to life after being punched in the neck

An elderly Manhattan man living in a homeless shelter is clinging to life after another shelter resident punched him in the neck during a dispute on Friday, cops said.

March 16, 2016
EXCLUSIVE: NYC shelters plagued by domestic abuse, abandoned children, negligent parents

“I saw a stabbing in a fight over K2,” he said, referring to synthetic pot. “The guy who was stabbed went to the hospital. And the other person got kicked out of the shelter.”

“You’ve got to understand you’re dealing with different personalities in the shelter, people with different problems,” he said. “So it’s like the whole world in one unit. So it’s hard. You go through a lot in the shelter.”

March 15, 2016

The majority of the city’s homeless are families with children. In shelters where they live, 60 percent of violent incidents last year were domestic violence. In shelters for families without children or with grown-up children the number was even higher: 80 percent.

March 14, 2016
Unsafe Haven: Documents Show That Pervasive Violence Has Flooded City Shelter System

NY1 has obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request never-before-seen crime reports, which, for the first time, detail violent and what are called critical incidents that were reported in all of the city’s homeless shelters in 2015.

The data and reports show that domestic violence has overrun the system, overdoses occur in bathrooms, and bedrooms and sexual assaults happen behind closed doors.

These are all horrific and violent incidents plaguing a system that is supposed to provide sanctuary and shelter for the neediest New Yorkers.

“We do have security guards or whatever, but it doesn’t really matter because it’s just getting worse and worse by the day here,” said Nicole Souza, who stays at the Parkview Hotel.

Unsafe Haven part 2-5

March 14, 2016
NYC homeless would rather risk the street than hellish shelter system

Thousands of faceless New Yorkers huddling under blankets – on sidewalks or on subway cars – would rather risk freezing to death than face the chances of being beaten, robbed or stabbed inside a city shelter.

Nadeem Mian,29, outside the homeless shelter where he lives on Monday March 14, 2016. He has stab wounds under his left armpit from being stabbed at a different shelter. (Debbie Egan-Chin/New York Daily News)

February 11, 2016

February 11, 2016
Government official blames one another while Homeless people die: But the exchange of letters and their tone, set against the backdrop of the murder of a young mother and her two children, showed the mayor and governor, or their staffs, falling back into a familiar pattern of aggressive sniping over homelessness.

HRA commissioner Steven Banks response to OTDA Executive Deputy Commissioner Sharon Devine: Letter to OTDA EDC Devine.pdf

February 11, 2016
NY State Agency Orders NYC To Take ‘Immediate’ Action At Shelters Following Deadly Stabbing Attack On Staten Island

“This is the most recent in a rash of violent incidents in emergency shelters in your district over the past several weeks,” Devine said in a letter to New York City Human Resources Commissioner and Administrator Steven Banks. “This trend of violence in emergency shelters is simply unacceptable and you, as the district receiving funding to provide safe and habitable services and shelter, must take immediate and effective action to protect your residents.”

Letter from OTDA Executive Deputy Commissioner Sharon Devine to HRA commissioner Steven Banks:

February 11, 2016
Yet I’m unable to shake that, at the one honest chance we had to make an immediate positive impact, the Department Of Homeless Services didn’t have their shit together to actually help someone in need.

February 10, 2016
1.7 billion dollars of Taxpayers money down the drain: Spending on homeless services jumped 46 percent to $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2016 from 2014 when Mayor Bill de Blasio first took office, according to the report. In 2014, total spending was $1.175 billion.”Given our significant investment in homelessness services, we need to see a real tangible return,” Stringer said.

February 10, 2016
New York Leaving People Out Of Homeless Count

Because of these rules, a homeless man CBS2 found at Harlem hospital would be counted, but a man panhandling in a Midtown fast food restaurant would not.

February 10, 2016
Stabbing #3 in less than two weeks: Mom, 2 kids stabbed to death in hotel room, boyfriend at large: sources

“This is crazy, outrageous, to wake up to this. I feel very, very, very unsafe. I have two kids,” said Jones who wants to be transferred out of the hotel immediately.
Jones added that just one security guard patrols the hotel grounds.

February 3, 2016
Homeless housing irks residents, again

Meadowmere Park residents are upset that a nearby Holiday Inn, at the intersection of Brookville Boulevard and Rockaway Turnpike in Rosedale, Queens, is once again housing homeless people from New York City.,76418

February 1, 2016
Stabbing #2: Convicted Murderer Slashes Roommate at Midtown Homeless Shelter: Police

A convicted murderer released on parole in October who was living at a Midtown homeless shelter slashed a fellow resident with a knife on Saturday following an argument, according to police.

February 1, 2016
Mayor’s $22M Mental Health Program Struggles to Get Off Ground

“They think we are mentally ill because you see people talking to themselves,” said Mae Birch, who has been homeless since 2013. “Maybe we’re upset and have no one to listen. When I was in the shelter system, the staff stole my clothes. I will never go back to another shelter.”

February 1, 2016
Delayed New York City Report on Shelter Safety Violations Is Released

The scorecard also does not include reports of crime, which has proved as much of a concern to shelter residents as conditions. Many homeless people say they fear shelters because of thefts and other crimes.

January 28, 2016
Stabbing #1:Ex-Teacher Fatally Stabbed in East Harlem Homeless Shelter, Police Say

“This individual had this throat lacerated and then apparently bled out because of that,” Boyce said. “One of the security officers opened the door, saw him laying on the floor, and that’s when Mr. White ran out.”

January 27, 2016
Curtis Sliwa of the Guardian Angels: The feds report that the number of homeless people in New Jersey declined more than in 45 other states over the last year. How can that be? New Jersey has the highest number of foreclosures in the nation and its employment picture is stagnant.
I’ll tell you how: They’ve come to New York City.
It’s true. We imported New Jersey’s homeless.

January 27, 2016
Homeless shelter or brothel? Cops’ manhunt came to an end at a former Quality Inn, now called Retreat Inn, in Jamaica on 94th Ave., sources said. Jones had been planning to meet a woman there for sex at 7 a.m., but when he arrived, he found police waiting for him, sources said.

January 21, 2016
Another homeless shelter opens in Queens without notification: “Our contention is not intended to address the issue of sheltering the homeless. It is instead, with the hurried action by the Department of Homeless Services to put into place an arrangement which has the potential for profound impact on our nearby community,” board Chairman Alvin Warshaviak wrote last month in a letter addressed to the DHS. – See more at:

January 19, 2016
Errol Louis (NY1 News Anchor): Hmm. I for one would like a much more detailed breakdown of “predominantly,” based on evidence beyond an applicant’s word of honor to establish that they didn’t show up from Boston, Baltimore or Kalamazoo seeking shelter — and permanent housing! — on the city’s dime.
What we do know is as many as one in five people in the adult family shelters last year had a last address outside of New York City.

January 11, 2016
When it comes to report cards on homelessness, he’s so far earned a big fat F.

January 7, 2016
De Blasio Administration Months Late in Creating Scorecards for Hundreds of Homeless Shelters

Eight months later, almost none of those scorecards are in. Only 23 shelters are rated when the promise encompasses nearly 700. A previous version of the Department of Homeless Services website promised reports “by September,” but that never happened. Now, the website says “by November.”
Still, the scorecards aren’t there.

January 6, 2016
What’s going on here? Is it possible Palacio came in to interview for the Department of Homeless Services opening, and because she had a Spanish surname, de Blasio figured he’d name her deputy mayor, like he did with Carmen Fariña at the Department of Education? Now we have a disaster of a schools chancellor who rates schools based on how pretty their bulletin boards are, instead of reading scores.

January 6, 2016
Clueless mayor vs. cynical governor: NY’s homeless wars

It’s not mainly economic: The problem’s soared under de Blasio, even as the city economy’s done pretty well.

January 6, 2016
NYC must fix homeless shelters if city expects people to use them
Last month, my office released an audit of city Homeless Service Department shelters for families with kids, and the findings were shocking. Fifty-three percent of the shelter units we sampled were infested with rodents, roaches or other vermin, and 87% had serious safety violations like broken smoke detectors, blocked fire escapes or walls with holes.

January 6, 2016
Out-of-towners flock to NYC’s homeless shelters
New York City is also one of the lone municipalities that has a right-to-shelter law, which guarantees — with only a few exceptions — access to taxpayer-funded accommodations.

December 21, 2015
No one home at City Hall on homeless

Although de Blasio had vowed to be the mayor who finally found humane solutions for homelessness, results have been abysmal.

December 16, 2015
Can de Blasio be trusted to govern effectively?

At a Tuesday press conference, de Blasio attempted to downplay the significance of Taylor’s departure in bureaucratese. “After we tried a number of changes and reforms, we didn’t feel we were getting as much seamlessness and as much streamlining as we needed,” the mayor said. In reality, Taylor was an administrative disaster as head of an agency with 2,000 employees and a $950 million annual budget. Under Taylor, seasoned DHS employees were quickly replaced with neophyte de Blasio loyalists. The result? Bureaucratic chaos in the form of sloppy paperwork, numbers that didn’t match, and documents that went missing.