Residents say they were unaware of motel housing homeless

Several Riverdale residents have criticized the city's decision to house homeless men in a motel near their homes without any notification.



Residents say homeless men are living in the Van Cortlandt Motel. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz says the residents should have been alerted about the new members coming into their community.



"A significant number of homeless people who were put there without any discussion or consultation with the community and the potential there could be very serious," says Assemblyman Dinowitz.



Donnel Leverett lives next door to the motel and says there has been an increase of homeless men loitering and panhandling the area, making him uneasy about the safety of his wife, who walks home alone after dark.



"I don't feel comfortable with her coming late at night or doing after hours," says Leverett.



Residents say they have been told by the city that some of the men being housed in the motel will be gone within the next four months. But they say they're unsure if similar housing arrangements will pop up in their neighborhood without prior notification.



According to published reports, the Department of Homeless Services has said the motel is a temporary situation.


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