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WCBS NEWS RADIO 880: Midtown residents protest city’s plan for homeless shelter in former hotel

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From WCBS News Radio 880:

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Residents living next to the old Savoy Hotel on West 58th Street rallied Sunday over concerns that the shelter could bring crime.

The shelter is set to open in the old hotel space at 158 W. 58th St., near Carnegie Hall and Central Park.

The local residents noted that there have been 672 arrests by the NYPD at homeless shelters for the first quarter of 2018, according to information released Friday.

The residents also said disclosures of crime taking place at New York City shelters has not taken place in more than two years.

Residents said the shelter would place 140 single homeless men in the shelter, and some would be parolees.

“This is not a community from which they came,” said Robin Sisken, who lives near the hotel. “There are no services here for them.”

The building sits near the so-called “Billionaires’ Row” of luxury homes. But Suzanne Silverstein of the West 58th Street Coalition said the city needs to rethink its entire approach to homelessness.

“There should be a moratorium on opening any more until the city gets a better handle on crime in the shelters,” she told WCBS 880’s Ethan Harp.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has defended the placement of shelters, saying the city should be doing it in what he calls “privileged” parts of the five boroughs as well as other communities.

Robert Mascali once worked for the Department of Homeless Services and is backing the opponents.

“I opened up a lot of shelters when I was with the city. I opened up 24 shelters,” he said. “But I never opened up a shelter for men on such a densely-populated residential street.

The Department of Homeless Services said there will be security cameras watched around the clock at the 58th Street shelter, as well as a 10 p.m. curfew.

Read more from WCBS News Radio 880…

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