Community members and elected officials were surprised to find last month that a Holiday Inn Express in Corona was being used to house homeless families and have now discovered that a Level 2 sex offender was moved in.
The hotel, located at 113-10 Horace Harding Expwy., is being used by DHS to accommodate homeless families. Though it is technically not a homeless shelter, DHS began renting out rooms to meet the “city’s legal obligation” to house the rising number of homeless people, a spokesperson previously told QNS.
On Oct. 20, state Senator Jose Peralta said someone alerted him to the presence of a Level 2 sex offender in the shelter and he demanded that DHS remove him.
When QNS checked the New York State Sex Offender Registry on Oct. 20, 41-year-old Nevil Bruce was listed as living at the Holiday Inn Express. On Oct. 21, Bruce’s address was changed to 400 East 30th St., where The Bellevue Men’s Shelter is located.
The registry did not list specifics about Bruce’s arrest.
The shelter is located near several schools including P.S. 14, P.S. 28 and the High School for the Arts and Business. According to a spokesperson for DHS, Bruce is currently not living at the shelter. Due to client confidentiality issues, DHS could not confirm whether Bruce ever lived at the Holiday Inn Express.
“I want to thank DHS and the administration for acting quickly and swiftly on this matter,” Peralta said. “It is my hope that the city agency improves its vetting practice to make sure it does not happen again.”
He added that the city should implement a screening process for possible sex offenders before moving them into shelters with children and near schools.
In a similar case in Ozone Park, the Skyway Men’s Shelter 132-30 South Conduit Ave. was notorious for housing Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders.
The shelter is located two blocks from P.S./M.S. 124. Residents, school staff and Councilman Ruben Wills worked for years to ensure that all sex offenders were removed from the shelter and in July 2015, Wills announced that 52 sex offenders would be removed from that location.