he Oct. 24, 1990 issue of the Gazette reported on the public outcry from parents and elected officials when it was learned that the Westway Motel on Astoria Boulevard and 74th Street and five other Queens motels were housing welfare recipients and homeless. According to early reports, 25 families were living at the Westway and their children were attending local schools. Motel manager Rick Carrus said that the city program to house the homeless began earlier that month. Carrus stated that he was only providing 26 rooms out of 121 for the program. Each room housed a single mother and a child. A 28 day limit was placed on each occupant. “This is a temporary housing situation and we will have no permanent guests,” Carrus said.
In February 2012, the city Department of Homeless Services (DHS) rejected a proposal by the Manhattan-based nonprofit organization Housing Solutions USA to transform the entire Westway Motel into a permanent shelter for homeless families.
This decision came after much protesting by community members and elected officials.
–Jason D. Antos