Jamaica’s Par Central Motor Inn Shelter Closed

The Par Central Motor Inn, which was converted into a homeless shelter in 2016, has been closed as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to end the use of 360 cluster sites and commercial hotel facilities to house the homeless.

The hotel, located at 82-85 Parsons Blvd. in Jamaica, used its 33 units as temporary housing for families in need. However, as part of the mayor’s Turning the Tide plan, the shelter is now closed and its homeless families have been placed in new shelters in their home boroughs that are closer to their support networks—which include schools, healthcare, houses of worship, jobs and families.

“As part of our commitment to ending the use of decades-old stop-gap measures, like commercial hotels, which date back on and off to the 1960s and 1970s, we are no longer utilizing the Par Central Motor Inn to provide emergency shelter and services to New Yorkers experiencing homelessness as they get back on their feet,” said Isaac McGinn, a spokesman for the Department of Homeless Services (DHS). “As we transform the city’s approach to providing shelter, we are phasing out all commercial hotel facilities and cluster units, while opening a smaller number of high-quality borough-based shelters to more effectively support our homeless neighbors citywide.”

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest), who represents the district of the former shelter, said he is pleased that the Par Central Motor Inn will no longer be used as a homeless shelter, and will work with the administration to close other hotel shelters in his district.

“The mayor has rightfully focused on using hotels less frequently to house homeless families,” said Lancman. “Hotel rooms have proven to be insufficient as emergency housing, with many tight on space, unable to maintain basic services and lacking working kitchens.”

So far, the DHS has announced the creation of 17 transitional housing facilities under the Turning the Tide plan, 11 of which have already opened.

–Ariel Hernandez

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