During the peak of the pandemic, New York City moved homeless residents from crowded shelters to hotels, in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Many of the hotels, like the Harmonia in Midtown and Long Island City Plaza in Queens, have housed homeless people in the past. Others, like the Lucerne on the Upper West Side, generally had not been used for that purpose.

After complaints from Upper West Side residents about housing men in need at the Lucerne, the city announced it would relocate them to the Harmonia, a plan that would have a cascading effect across the city.

After criticism from advocates including the Coalition for the Homeless and the Legal Aid Society, the city called a temporary halt to the moves.

For this AudioFiles segment, Ali McPherson visited the Harmonia to interview residents and spoke with a homeless advocate at the Lucerne to get deeper insight into the issues.

Music Emmit Fenn

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