2018-02-28 / Front Page

LIC Fairfield Inn To House Homeless Families

By Liz Goff
A Fairfield Inn Hotel in Long Island City will begin taking in homeless families in March, according to the Department of Homeless Services (DHS).

DHS alerted local lawmakers and officials at Community Board 2 in mid-February that the hotel at 52-34 Van Dam Street would provide services for 154 homeless families under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Turning The Tide” initiative.

The initiative established in 2007, transforms hotels into transitional housing facilities to help tackle homelessness.

Families with roots in Community Board 2 will be the first to obtain housing at the new shelter, a DHS spokesperson said.

The shelter will be operated by Home/Life, a non-profit provider offering services such as case management, housing placement assistance, health and mental health services and employment counseling for on-site residents, DHS said. Home/Life will also offer substance abuse screenings and intervention services, yoga and nutrition classes.

The shelter will provide 24-hour on-site security services, with two officers posted at the building entrance to control access and monitor security cameras.  DHS has also installed an additional 95 security cameras throughout the building and shelter grounds to provide a measure of increased security.

“This high-quality facility will be the first of its kind in this community district, offering 154 adult families from Queens the opportunity to be sheltered in their home borough, closer to their support networks and communities they called home as they get back on their feet,” DHS press secretary Isaac McGinn said in a prepared statement.

DHS is utilizing three other commercial hotels in the CB2 area to provide shelter for nearly 530 New Yorkers, including the Best Western family shelter, the Quality Inn on Queens Boulevard and the City View Inn, which has been housing only single men since January.

City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer said it is important for the city to provide shelter and resources to homeless individuals and families as they search for jobs and permanent housing. “However, DHS has been reckless in their use of commercial hotels as temporary shelters throughout Queens, and especially in this district,” Van Bramer said.

The Fairfield Inn is a brand of the Marriott Hotel chain.

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