Fresh Meadows, NY In response to the news that the Wyndham Garden hotel is being utilized to temporarily house formerly incarcerated individuals, Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Queens), State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing), and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows) have issued the following joint statement:
Members of our community have recently brought to our attention that the Wyndham Hotel in Fresh Meadows is being used as transitional housing for formerly incarcerated individuals who were scheduled for release or released early due to COVID-19. Our offices have reached out to the NYC Mayors Office and have since confirmed that the City has contracted Exodus Transitional Services to oversee temporary housing at the hotel and provide re-entry services which includes transitional employment, mental health support, and a search for long-term housing.
We realize the critical role that transitional housing serves for individuals working toward a safe and successful re-entry, and that the unexpected nature of COVID-19 prompted quick action to address the needs of vulnerable populations across the city but the Citys failure to notify our offices and engage with the community has left us in the dark causing misinformation and confusion.
Unfortunately, this lack of transparency on the Citys behalf has been witnessed before in Queens and it is unacceptable that the Mayor continues to utilize the same misguided approach to community engagement time and time again despite the frustrations expressed by residents and elected offices. It also raises further questions and concerns about how the Wyndham Hotel was selected, the length of stay for those who are currently housed, and future uses of this hotel and others in the vicinity.
We understand that our neighbors want clarity and we will be working with our colleagues in the City Council to ensure that the City comes forward with information and guidance to allow us to properly address the concerns and needs of all involved.