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NYC cancels plans to build shelter for unhoused people in Chinatown


New York City has canceled plans to build a shelter for unhoused people in Chinatown after protests from residents.

The proposed shelter would have been located on Madison and contained 49 beds, CBS New York reports.

Protestors advocating against the shelter said Chinatown was already overburdened. There are six shelters in the neighborhood already, according to CBS New York. City leaders have decided to move the shelter to an area with fewer services.

“We have decided to re-site this shelter capacity to an area with fewer services and shelter for those experiencing unsheltered homelessness,” Julia Savel, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeless Services, said in a statement to The New York Times. “Our goal is always to work with communities to understand their needs.”

City officials will now begin to look for a new site, CBS New York reports.

The Madison block location is one of three shelters planned for the area. Those specific shelters would offer more social services and privacy than other shelters, The New York Times reports.

Susan Lee, the founder of the Alliance for Community Preservation and Betterment, told The New York Times she thought the cancellation was a “step in the right direction.” Advocates for unhoused people worry about the impact the city’s decision will have on future services.

“Caving to backlash will not placate opponents of housing and services for homeless New Yorkers — it will only embolden them,” Corinne Low, executive director of the Open Hearts Initiative, said in a statement, according to The New York Times.

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