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Comfort Inn in Kew Gardens is now housing homeless men, elected officials not notified until they moved in

Oct. 3, 2017 By Tara Law

The Department of Homeless Services is housing homeless men in a Kew Gardens hotel, the agency has confirmed.

The men began moving in on Sept. 30 and are currently occupying 19 rooms at the Comfort Inn, located across the street from borough hall at 124-18 Queens Blvd. DHS has set aside 42 rooms.

DHS did not notify community leaders and elected officials about the shelter until Saturday, the day the men moved in. The DHS also provided no notice to community leaders in Long Island City last Tuesday when it moved families into a Best Western on Hunters Point Avenue on the same day.

DHS is currently looking to house at least 300 people in the Community District 9 zone that includes Kew Gardens, Ozone Park, Woodhaven and Richmond Hill, according to Isaac McGinn, a spokesperson for DHS.

There are no traditional homeless shelters in CD 9, although there are currently 333 homeless people in shelters in the city who are from the district.

The department aims to house the homeless in the communities where they are from, according to McGinn. The goal, he said, is to give the homeless “the opportunity to be sheltered closer to their support networks, including schools, medical care, and family as they get back on their feet.”

Hotels in Queens are often used as housing for the homeless. More Queens hotels are used to house the homeless than hotels in any other borough, although there are more traditional shelters in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.

The city is currently working to phase out the use of hotels as shelters for the homeless. In February, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a plan to expand existing shelters and to open 90 new facilities across the city over five years.

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16 Comments

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Dr. Barry Feinstein

I understand this is a three year old article however it is more relevant now than before. If you look at the date of this and then look at the crime rates in the area or even a one mile radius you will see a tremendous uptick in crime both on the street and in the subways below the shelter. This is not a coincidence. This is one of the many times where correlation is in fact causation. A middle and upper-middle class area with relatively low crime rate for decades immediately received an increase in crime and the only change in the area is a homeless shelter and the addition of illegal immigrants then one has to wonder how they are not related and how this can be shut down. I have been a resident of the area for over three decades. I have two practices in the area. I employ a group of individuals who reside in the area. We are all tax payers, contributing members of the community and feel our voices are not being heard. Our taxes are taken from us, our money ripped from our hands and misappropriated. The politicians reward the least productive and punish the most productive. It is time to VOTE. If our voices are not heard our votes must be. If both fall on deaf ears it is time to move. If one of us feels this way I have to assume there may be others as well. If others feel this way and then an exodus of productive individuals leaving would severely impact the area economically and socially.

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Kewgardensjail

Imagine what would happen with the mega borough jail being built right across the street from this hotel/shelter. Small middle class community of like Kew Gardens housing 1500 inmates, destroyed.

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KewPardons

Since this practice began the one mile area surrounding this “hotel” has seen a tremendous uptick in crime and aggressive panhandling. The local businesses have these individuals loitering and harassing customers. The politicians that are supposed to serve this area failed us and should be ousted from office.

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Losers

Stop complaining. I guarantee Deblasio was overwhelmingly voted for by the great citizens of Forest Hills. You wanted him..now deal with the consequences. As Mayor Koch use to say..”The people have voted and now they must be punished.”

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jb

Could the community start a class action lawsuit to get it out? Or at the least, compensate the community for creating a crime pocket?

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P. Bertagnolli

:The department aims to house the homeless in the communities where they are from, according to McGinn” The homeless who have been brought here were most definitely not from the neighborhood.

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jb

This isn’t a just Kew Gardens problem.
We’re getting an uptick of crime in Forest Hills, 1/2 mile away. I’m told this by a restaurant there on Metropolitan Avenue.
De Blasio is doing max damage.
And he’s doing it secretly, like all despots.
This creep must be stopped.

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FedUpInFoHi

How much more abuse can the KG, FH and RP area take already? We pay more than our fair share of real estate tax and get treated like third class citizens. Our voices go unheard, our concerns ignored and our complaints on deaf ears. What is happening to our borough? How did this mayor get re-elected?

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DopeFromParkSlope

Worst Mayor Ever. Now the dope from park slope has plans for higher office? Ran a city backward three decades and wants to do the same with the country all the while giving away the money and net worth of the middle and rewarding everyone else. No thank you.

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WG39TH ST

MAYOR DI BLASIO IS RUINING OUR WORKING/MIDDLE CLASS NEIGHBORHOODS, NEXT WILL BE 90 + COMMUNITY HOMELESS SHELTERS COMING TO A NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR YOU, LIC BEING INUNDATED WITH HOMELESS HOTELS.

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Anonymous

Just de valued my property…thanks for put the safety of young women at risk mr.mayor. You won’t be getting my vote

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KewGardensWithLove

I was ready to buy an apartment in this building, prior to them changing the space into a hotel…heartbreaking.

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