Sept. 29, 2022 By Christian Murray
A hotel on Queens Boulevard in Woodside, which for many years had been used as a homeless shelter to accommodate families in need, is now being used exclusively by single unhoused men, according to multiple sources.
The facility, formerly known as the Quality Inn and located at 53-05 Queens Blvd., had been used as a shelter for families dating back to 2016, when the de Blasio administration began housing people at the 72-room location without first notifying the community.
Last year, the Department of Social Services transitioned the shelter to be for single adults only—and then earlier this month it was designated for single men only. The building is now called the Delight Stay Hotel.
Community Board 2 chair Morry Galonoy said the board was notified of the recent change, although after it had gone into effect. Many residents are also aware of the transition prompting mixed opinion on social media.
The Department of Social Services, however, would not confirm or deny whether the facility was being used exclusively for men or by asylum seekers.
But the agency did say that it has seen an increase in need for its services, with it providing shelter for more than 11,000 asylum seekers including many single men.
“We are … seeing an extraordinary uptick in the number of single adult men seeking asylum and in need of shelter services,” a spokesperson for DSS said in a statement. “As we continue to add emergency capacity to the shelter system, we are also identifying ways in which we can more effectively manage our existing network of shelter sites to address the unprecedented need for shelter services for certain populations while making sure that we are prioritizing stability and continued supports for all clients receiving our services at all times.”
The agency noted that it has a legal and moral obligation to provide shelter to whomever is in need—no matter their immigration status.
“Our teams are working around the clock to provide shelter to recently-arrived asylum seekers and continue to open and identify emergency sites citywide.”
It is unclear how many men are currently being housed in the 53-05 Queens Blvd. facility.