City’s Blue Moon Homeless Shelter on Orchard Street Opens this Month
The controversial conversion of the Blue Moon Hotel to a homeless shelter is happening, but the opening date has been delayed.
Lawyers for a group of Lower East Side residents and business owners, who filed suit to stop the shelter, revealed in a letter to a judge Wednesday that the city said it is delaying the opening of the 100 Orchard Street facility by one week – from February 9 until February 15.
Local nonprofit, Not on My Watch, is slated to run the neighborhood shelter.
The three local landlords, two residents, and a restaurant claim the city has kept the plan secretive, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court last month. The group argued that, with only 22 rooms, at least three unrelated homeless men would live together in each unit, “thus creating a dangerous situation in which COVID-19 could spread like wildfire.”
However, the city now claims it only plans to use 46 beds, and created a plan of action to combat the spread of coronavirus — a combination of providing PPE, testing, and vaccinations for residents and staff.
At the January Community Board 3 meeting, Department of Homeless Services allegedly only provided “broad generalities” about how the shelter would be run. In addition, the city has failed “to address the actual impact the shelter will have on the community,” according to court papers.
Not on My Watch was not at the community board meeting to speak to specifics about the shelter, the affidavit claims.