HELL’S KITCHEN, NY — A Hell’s Kitchen community board renewed a call this week for the city to reduce the density of temporary homeless shelters in the neighborhood, saying increased crime and drug use associated with the facilities was causing a public health crisis in the area.
Members of Community Board 4 strained to distinguish the situation in Hell’s Kitchen from similar battles over the pandemic-era hotel shelters that have played out in other neighborhoods, saying they objected only to the concentration of shelters around West 36th and 37th streets and were open to relocating the shelters to elsewhere in the district.
“This is not NIMBYism. This is a common-sense request for a reduction,” board member Maria Ortiz said, using the acronym for “not in my backyard.”
The board voted unanimously Wednesday to send a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea and Department of Homeless Services