Women’s homeless shelter to open at site of LIC hotel

A women's homeless shelter will open in Long Island City at the site of a former hotel.
THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

Updated 11:42 p.m.

The second homeless shelter in New York City erected during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tenure will open its doors as soon as Oct. 9 in Long Island City.

The Verve will be located at 40-03 29th St., the site of the Verve Hotel, and will serve 200 single women. The shelter is opening in response to a 9 percent increase in single adult women coming into the system, according to the mayor’s office. Community Board 1, which includes parts of Long Island City, is home to one other shelter, Westway in East Elmhurst.

The shelter will provide several onsite support services including clinical services for mental health treatment, health and home coordination, supportive housing and employment services. Programs will include money management and independent living skills.

De Blasio’s office held a meeting on Friday, Oct. 2 to notify community members about the opening. Florence Koulouris, district manager for Community Board 1, attended the meeting after her office got a call late Thursday informing her that a homeless shelter was being placed in CB 1’s jurisdiction. Koulouris was told that the shelter could open as soon as Oct. 9 or on Friday, Oct. 16. The services and staff will be provided by the Acacia Network and the average stay for each woman will be 11 months.

The shelter, located near Growing Up Green charter school, is also 2.5 miles away from Westway. Koulouris said the location of the shelter is “a little troublesome” since it’s in a residential area.

“We want these woman to be comfortable. We want them to have a new start,” Koulouris said. “Is this really the right location?”

The facility will be supervised around the clock and will have security staff stationed on all six floors, including the courtyard. The front entrance to the shelter is equipped with an X-ray scanner, hand wand scanner and three security personnel. All floors and public spaces are monitored with cameras, and staff at the operations reception desk will oversee two large video monitors from inside the front lobby.

The De Blasio administration has invested more than $1 billion over the next four years to address homelessness. There are currently 57,237 individuals in the city’s shelter system, including 12,316 single adults

“We’re seeing more single adult women entering our shelter system and we want to ensure we can provide shelter and services – including employment services and clinical services – to these women as they rebuild their lives,” said Ishanee Parikh, city hall deputy press secretary.

As of Tuesday, Oct. 6, The Courier noticed that guests were still entering and exiting the Verve Hotel.