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103 ROOM HOMELESS SHELTER WESTHAB TO CLOSE
Release Date: January 26, 2006

WESTHAB Elmsford, the 103 room homeless shelter located on Tarrytown Road, will be closing on March 31st.  This shelter has served the homeless population since the early 1990s. The shelter previously was a Howard Johnson’s Hotel. When I was a member of the Westchester County Board of Legislators the hotel was receiving $49 a day for rent. The owners of the hotel started accepting homeless families and raised the daily rates to $108. The county, over my objections, placed homeless families in every major hotel in Westchester—including the Rye Town Hilton, Tarrytown Hilton, CrownePlaza.  Soon, the Howard Johnson’s Hotel became a homeless hotel. At one point, early in the 1990s, the NY TIMES, called Elmsford the homeless capitol of the nation. Every hotel in Elmsford was used as a homeless facility. WESTHAB eventually took over the responsibility of housing the homeless at this location and turned the complex into a transitional housing facility—providing families with social services and housing.

The homeless population in the county has been declining in recent years – rooms have not been  fully occupied. And, Elmsford is no longer the homeless capitol of America.

PAUL FEINER

 

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