The Quality Inn located at 53-05 Queens Boulevard.
The 72-room Quality Inn on Queens Boulevard has been sheltering homeless families for at least a month, according to several of the hotel's neighbors and the Office of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
A neighbor, who asked that her name not be used, said she first contacted Van Bramer's office on July 14 wondering why there were no talks or public meetings before the decision, like in nearby Maspeth where the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) aims to convert a Holiday Inn into a homeless shelter.
“When I originally called Van Bramer's office and advised them that this hotel was turned into a homeless shelter, they said they didn't know anything about it and had not been informed,” she said. “In Maspeth, they were informed in advance and had rallies. To my knowledge, many people in this area where unaware of what's going on here.”
In the past month, she said there's been a serious problem with litter on her property, and said residents of the hotel smoke marijuana behind the building.
“I am forced four or five times a day to pick up litter and debris,” she said. “I'm concerned for my safety.”
She was informed by Van Bramer's office that the situation is only temporary, but she fears that the longer it goes on and word spreads fewer people will stay at the hotel, ultimately leaving more rooms for homeless individuals.
Not everyone in the immediate vicinity has noticed a difference. One woman who lives on 54th Street and whose backyard was adjacent to the hotel said she's noticed no difference in the quality of life.
“That hotel is very quiet,” she said.
Van Bramer's office has asked the city for a timeline for scaling back the use of the hotel as a temporary shelter, which is housing mostly single mothers with children.
DHS responded on Wednesday saying there's no current plans to convert the Quality Inn into a homeless shelter. Rather, the agency is currently renting rooms on a temporary basis for homeless families.
"These families come to us from every neighborhood," said a DHS spokesperson. "We thank the communities and businesses standing with their neighbors as they navigate the most difficult situations of their lives, and we are doing our part to bring appropriate security and social services to the sites we utilize, including those that are, like this space, not functioning as homeless shelters.”